No one has been arrested so far this offseason. And I’m not saying I want any players in trouble with the law. It’s just been real quiet the last couple weeks.
Nothing with recruiting. No police blotter. No conference insanity. Just ridiculously quiet.
So, what are still in my browser tabs that need to go?
The Academic Progress Rate reports came out in the beginning of May. Since the APR can be such a flawed metric, I really don’t get too worked up one way or another on it. Pitt has not had any problem with its major sports in staying above the trouble point.* So, for whatever value you want to place on it, the basketball squad finished in the top 10% of the APR compared to other basketball programs. The third time in four years it has done that.
APR takes into account graduation rates over a four-year period between 2009-10 and 2012-13 and is considered a real-time measure of retention and eligibility. Pitt received recognition in 2009-10 and 2010-11 under coach Jamie Dixon and academic support services director Mike Farabaugh, joining Duke and Notre Dame as the only ACC schools to earn honors three of the past four years.
The ACC had 77 teams in all sports recognized, the most of the five major conferences.
“Jamie Dixon continues to prove that you can have one of the top basketball program in the country and still achieve the highest levels of academic success,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a prepared statement. “We are fortunate to have a gentleman leading our basketball program who personifies the ideals of this great university.”
Pitt had four players — junior Cameron Wright and freshmen Jamel Artis, Josh Newkirk and Mike Young — named to the Academic All-ACC team.
Wright also received the Skip Prosser Award, honoring the ACC’s top scholar-athlete in basketball.
Players being named to the Academic All-ACC team seems like a bigger deal than the overall APR score.
*Well, maybe not entirely true. If I recall correctly, when the APR was first instituted, Pitt basketball was at risk because the years it tabulated included the end of the Ralph Willard era. Tons of players booted, transferred and such made it look really bad to start. There was plenty of time for the APR to improve, though, before any penalties occurred. Which is what happened.
Feel like some early ACC basketball prognostications? Me neither, but the pickings are slim.
Over at NBC Sports, Rob Dauster sees Pitt finishing around 10th. 10th?
The Panthers stumbled once they hit ACC play and they couldn’t hide behind a week non-conference schedule anymore. Next season, they’ll be playing without Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna, who both graduated. There is some decent young talent on the roster, but the Panthers will have a lot of production to make up in a conference that could have four top 15 teams.
My quick thought is that I’ve heard this song before. Seniors at Pitt who departed and since there are no one-and-dones coming in, the roster seems like unknowns left on the roster.
There is no doubt that there will be plenty of questions on the team, but barring injuries I just don’t see this team finishing 10th in the ACC. No matter how potentially loaded the conference could be.
The only ACC Coaching news was Clemson basketball head coach Brad Brownell getting an extension and bump in salary after his run to the NIT semifinals. The extension was not surprising since he had less than four years on the initial deal and no one wants to have whispers of job insecurity. The extension merely moves Brownell from near the bottom of the conference pay scale to the middle. Most Clemson fan grumbling has to do with his buy out if Clemson decides to fire him:
Buyout on Clemson’s end to fire him
5+ seasons left: $5 mil
4: $5 mil
3: $3.5 mil
2: $3 mil
1: $3 mil
Yeah, that might annoy some people. Seems more like a way to be sure he gets at least three years without a fight. I happen to think Brownell is a pretty good coach, and Clemson has been, um, Death Valley for basketball so there has to be some extra protection with a middle of the road salary.