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April 14, 2014

It seems assistant basketball coach Barry Rohrssen has been the rumored target to replace Orlando Antigua on John Calipari’s Kentucky bench. Granted it has been a slow week-long rumble, but everyone is presuming it will happen (and thank you KSR comment kids for demonstrating that Kentucky fans have little basketball knowledge outside their own team).

For Rohrssen it is almost a no-brainer. Kentucky is a blue-blood job with huge exposure. No, John Calipari assistants haven’t had the greatest success rates, but they get opportunities. Rohrssen obviously wants another crack at being a head coach. His odds increase being on a staff like Kentucky  This may shock some, but the money may have very little to do with it.

There’s no doubt it would be a tough loss if Rohrssen goes. The immediate fallout would likely be the loss of 2016 commit Mustapha Heron.

That said, it is hardly a body blow to the program. There are lots of very good coaches out there looking for work *cough*Tom Herrion*cough* who could be brought in to replace Rohrssen.

One other stay or go guys now appears to be St. John’s transfer Chris Opekpa. The 6-9 center/shot eraser sought and received permission to transfer from St. John’s. Pitt has been one of several teams actively pursuing him. Yet it now seems that he is having some second thoughts about leaving.

According to a source at one of the potential destination schools “every day that Obekpa hasn’t transferred leads me to believe that he’s going to stay with St. John’s.”

The source added “I don’t know if the problem is sitting out a season, getting away from New York or (something) else.”

Part of that “something else” might have to do with his NBA Draft status. Opekpa is eligible for the 2015 draft if he stays with the Red Storm. Heading somewhere else and sitting a year delays his eligibility until 2016





To my defense, Johnson didn’t play enough or well enough for me to immediately recognize him by initials.

Hopefully, now that he is in a MUCH BETTER position at GUARD… we’ll all know who DJ is.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.15.14 @ 6:48 pm

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winner – Nation’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player

Chuck Bednarik Award Winner – Defensive Player of the Year

Outland Trophy Winner – Nation’s Best Offensive of Defensive Interior Lineman

Rotary Lombardi Award Winner – Nation’s Most Outstanding Lineman or Linebacker

Athlon Sports National Defensive Player of the Year

CBSSports.com National Defensive Player of the Year

Lindy’s Sports National Defensive Player of the Year

American Football Coaches Association All-American (first team)

Associated Press All-American (first team)

Athlon Sports All-American (first team)

ESPN.com All-American (first team)

Football Writers Association of America All-American (first team)

Lindy’s Sports All-American (first team)

SI.com All-American (first team)

Sporting News All-American (first team)

USA TODAY All-American (first team)

Walter Camp Football Foundation All-American (first team)
ACC Defensive Player of the Year (coaches & media)

Athlon Sports ACC Defensive Player of the Year

All-ACC (first team) (coaches & media)

One of the last Wanny recruited players. What a way to exit…..stage left !!!

HTP !
VeV !

Comment by Emel 04.15.14 @ 6:53 pm

Now, that thing about “SAVAGE HATER.”

Comment by PittofDreams 04.15.14 @ 6:58 pm

Tj Clemmings was also a Wanny recruit

Comment by wbb 04.15.14 @ 7:10 pm

Emel, please, please, please, don ‘t leave me hanging. Who could you possibly be talking about? Probably somebody from the National Champs FSU squad, right???

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.15.14 @ 7:58 pm

Jerry McCullough about to be named Director of BB Operations at USF working for his Pitt teammate, O Antigua.

Apparently, Roerrsen is a close friend of Calipari according to a tweet I just read. Now things are making a little more sense

Comment by wbb 04.15.14 @ 8:58 pm

Gotta wonder if the poor UK fans are crying about Orlando and all his recruits leaving like some of you Pitt fans are?

Probably not.

Comment by Pitt2Cali 04.15.14 @ 10:19 pm

Good for Jerry McCullough! One of my all time favorites!

Comment by Gordo 04.16.14 @ 12:20 am

Some good examples of the Wanny recruits that panned out. Many more spent more time in jail than on the field.

Comment by TX Panther 04.16.14 @ 6:55 am

Why no official word On Slice? Seems a bit odd.

Jahmahl Pardner leaves soon after he is mentioned as recovered from injury and making the 2 deep. Again, odd.

Another comment that Jaryd Jones got a lot of snaps but is not ready for prime time. Shouldn’t our back-ups be ready to play? Especially when O-linemen get dinged up routinely and need to sit down for a play or two. I railed early on about Hollins last year, before any mention of Bisno injury, he just wasn’t getting it done. Then they put DJ in against the best D-end in the conference and he gets schooled. Finally in desperation they put in Hollins, a fifth year senior with experience and he does a reasonable job.

Does make you wonder about Hueber. There are a lot of other big guys waiting in the wings who never get mentioned. Makes you wonder if they are overlooking someone this year. If Bisno does not heal or as Emel mentioned he is not what he is cracked up to be. How bad will it be?

You also have to expect that one or more of the big guys will get hurt and miss some PT. Will our back-ups be ready?

You also have to wonder if Hollins would have been the starter from the get-go, does Bisno hurt his back, does DJ’s redshirt get burned etc? How many fewer sacks are made?

You never know about linemen, sometimes the stars don’t pan out and the journeymen do fine, just ask the Steelers.

They didn’t want Rowell to be the guy last year, lucky for us/them he did not quit. Their other big guy never played a down.

Watched a little of the show on the NFL draft last night. Words of praise for Donald and Savage. Great to see PITT mentioned frequently.

Pitt2Cali, what’s your point, pretty obvious that Kentucky will always get 5 star players. Obvious as well that we struggle with or without Slice.

Even if he stays, no guarantee we get all the guys listed in the so-called pipeline.

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 8:04 am

I didn’t read the rest of the comments, but just spotted this about the proposed NCAA changes:

In other moves, the committee approved:

• A measure requiring football players to get a three-hour break between preseason practices. Film sessions and team meetings still could be held during the break;

• require a school staff member who is certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities;

• and require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified by a nationally accredited certification organization.

If approved, the proposals, except the one regarding strength and conditioning coaches, would take effect Aug. 1. The committee has recommended giving strength and conditioning coaches until Aug. 1, 2015, to complete their certification.

Guess our S&C guy might need to get certified.

Comment by BigEgg 04.16.14 @ 8:14 am

@Denny, There is no comparison with the way Slice is leaving and the way Howland left. I never questioned Howland for taking his dream job, but he quit at the exact moment that caused the most damage. One day we were headed for the Final 4 with a united team and the next the next we lose with our forward pouting, sitting on the floor with his shoes off. Howland screwed us on the way out and even tried to take Dixon with him. Slice has a better offer and the timing doesn’t effect the current team. Apples to oranges.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.16.14 @ 8:25 am

@Pitt2Cali, I certainly haven’t cried about Slice, said it was disappointing, but next guy up!! Only made one comment.

However, I believe comparing Antiqua’s loss at Kentucky to Pitt losing Rohrsen is comparing apples to pineapples.

Kentucky gets recruits, because they are “KENTUCKY”. Even if Calipari left, Kentucky would still get top 10 classes.

Rohrsen meant a lot more to Pitt, than any assistant would ever mean to Kentucky.

Comment by Dan 04.16.14 @ 8:54 am

Why is Penn State so fascinated with rape? In addition to you know who …

– they hire a new FB coach who had to deny alleged rape cover-up of his players at Vanderbilt

– they hire a new Prez from FSU who has to deny any knowledge about the Jameis Winston investigation.

Comment by wbb 04.16.14 @ 9:50 am

Will Woody Allen become the next Dean of Theater Arts?

Comment by wbb 04.16.14 @ 9:57 am

I guess recruiting should be going now that spring practices are over. Not sure the dates or any possibilities.

Comment by Frank MD 04.16.14 @ 10:53 am

I heard that Roman Polanski is a child law professor up at Happy Valley.

Comment by Dan 04.16.14 @ 11:00 am

That’s a very interesting observation wbb.

Both those guys could have been or would have been having to answer some very interesting questions about the goings on involving their football programs.

And here comes along Pedo State……and bails them both out and neither they nor their universities will have to answer some very uncomfortable questions.

Very interesting………

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 11:12 am

Birds of a feather….

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 11:18 am

Long story about the Winston investigation or lack thereof:

link to nytimes.com

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 11:23 am

After watching that FSU grad DA’s press conference last year, that whole thing reeked of a ‘coverup’.

What a disgusting display that was.

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 11:27 am

Look at these 2 cornpones.

link to thebiglead.com

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 11:29 am

Had not seen that Emel. Really made a joke of the situation. Unreal.

Money and celebrity trump the legal system almost every time.

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 11:35 am

I just got back from Puerto Rico and saw Sam Young drop 37 points while playing there. There is no way he doesn’t belong on an NBA roster. His fake is still incredible, the jumper was on and he’s athletic.

Comment by Pittastic 04.16.14 @ 11:46 am

Feature article over at ESPN about ACC hoops. Not exactly flattering.

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 11:47 am

Spirit — you’ll have to give me the rest of the story. I never attributed Zavackas pouting to anything Howland had done. At 23 years old, you’re kind of responsible for your own actions. But perhaps there’s something I don’t know.

I remember Howland begging Pitt to hire Jamie. Sure, had we not, he would have followed Howland to UCLA, but Howland wanted Jamie at Pitt.

I don’t have a problem with Rohrssen or Howland leaving for another job. You simply have to do what you think will make you happy.

Comment by denny 04.16.14 @ 11:53 am

Howland or Roerrsen leaving doesn’t bother me. except for ..

– Howland could haved done it in a classier manner

– I hate to see Slice’s leaving lead to Heron decomitting (although he has every right to)

But, as we all should be now be totally aware, coaches and players come and they leave …. and as a fan, if I want to pout about losing a really good propsect .. I will do it, damnit!

Comment by wbb 04.16.14 @ 12:06 pm

I thought we got the better guy with Jamie Dixon when Ben Howland left for UCLA. About assistant coaches, they all aspire for head coaching jobs and they will leave whenever they have better opportunities. I care more about the recruits. Hopefully we can keep them.

Comment by Justinian 04.16.14 @ 12:16 pm

I am not that forgiving regarding Slice. If it was a head coaching job, OK, but I think he owes a little more loyalty to Jamie and Pitt. Two years from now OK, but recruiting takes a longer commitment than one year.

Howland got UCLA, one of the bluebloods and he is a west coast guy, a once in a lifetime chance. Could he have held off on acceptance or kept quiet, not likely with media coverage.

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 12:32 pm

Tyrone Haughton ?@44tyrone 1h
I just signed my NLI ????

Comment by xfmrman 04.16.14 @ 12:37 pm

this is a tweet from Pantherlair’s Matt Steinbrink who earlier reported on Monday that Slice going to UK was a done deal

Matthew Steinbrink ?@MattSteinbrink ·Apr 14
Last update of the night; Rohrssen is torn and this could go either way. Still think he is probably gone but we should have decision soon.

Comment by wbb 04.16.14 @ 12:40 pm

Rohrssen, Rice, Skerry, Herrion, all got a shot after being mentored by Dixon. That’s a pretty decent track record.

Comment by gc 04.16.14 @ 12:47 pm

If you live near a Wingstop here you go:

Free Wings !!!

link to wingstop.fbmta.com

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 1:30 pm

Concur with gc @ 12:32

One day you’re talking up Pitt to recruits and the next day UK. Something is basically wrong with that.

There’s a lot I don’t like about revenue making bigtime college sports. It’s a sleezy business.
That’s just me.

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 1:39 pm

This from a Sea of Blue blog:

“Barry Rohrssen appears to be headed to Kentucky to replace the now-departed Orlando Antigua. According to Ben Roberts, that places UK in a great position for 5-star power forward Cheick Diallo.”

Little more in-depth here:

link to ukrecruiting.bloginky.com

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 1:45 pm

Say it ain’t so Slice. Prove me wrong buddy !

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 1:46 pm

Emel — I certainly agree. I would love for him to stay. It seems like a selfish decision without knowing all the details. I just don’t see a real upside to jumping ship and going to Kentucky. The money’s the same — allegedly — and most of his kids will be on the team for just a year.

It was my understanding that Diallo was high on Pitt because of his relationship with Damon Wilson, who is a Brandon Knight recruit. I’m not so sure landing Rohrssen gives them the inside track on that kid. However, they are Kentucky and seem to get whoever they want.

Comment by denny 04.16.14 @ 2:01 pm

Some good news; another Syracuse starter has declared for the NBA draft.

And so it goes. Sophomore forward Jerami Grant is forgoing his final two seasons with the Syracuse Orange and going pro, per Pete Thamel. The official announcement is expected later today.

Son Of Harvey, Nephew Of Horace is being projected anywhere between 15th and 25th in most 2014 NBA Draft mock drafts.

Didn’t know he Harvey Grant’s kid.

That means Cusey is losing 3 starters, Grant, Tyler Ennis & CJ Fair. Nice !!!

And they had a very thin bench so nut much waiting in the wings. They could be worse than us next year.

Comment by Emel 04.16.14 @ 2:03 pm

Well, if history is any indicator, we will lose Rohrrsen, Heron, Diallo and wouldn’t be surprised if Wilson goes (even though he’s a Knight recruit) if Kentucky wants him, that is. The rich get richer.

Sorry to be so cynical … but I have come to expect the worst. Can’t blame JD for hiring very capable and attractive assistants, and then losing them to better programs.

Comment by wbb 04.16.14 @ 2:14 pm

@wbb, with our luck, they’ll offer to Diallo, and he’ll say, “I’ll come if you give my buddy Wilson a spot too. We’re a package deal.”

I can see it now!!

Comment by Dan 04.16.14 @ 5:57 pm

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