masthead.jpg

April 6, 2016

[Editor note: I drafted this before I even knew Reed was writing his own thing on Barnes. So, this isn’t a counterpoint. Just my own thoughts.]

One of the nice things about traveling is that it does give you time to think. Between the driving, the flights and motion there has been a bit of time for that. Can’t break out the laptop and there are only so many times you can bust out a pithy 140 character tweet that neatly encapsulates the rambling thoughts bouncing around the head. It gave me a rare chance to step back and actually think before blathering.

That has led me to think more and more about the hiring of Kevin Stallings. I’m not going to waste my energies venting about Stallings. I want him to prove that it really was Vandy, not him, that was the reasons for the underachieving.

That he is reinvigorated by the move and that it is going to turn out a lot better than it seems. Retaining the recruiting class and the fact that all seems calm with the returning players is encouraging. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I’d rather have a little hope for a while longer.

I think that what most of us are bothered by is not hiring Stallings, but why hire Stallings.

There’s the executive search firm angle that has a logic of cronyism, but also screams conspiracy theory when you start piecing it all together. Fitting all the pieces all too neatly to make it work. That tinfoil hat fits a little too well, when I take a step back.

There’s the idea that Athletic Director Scott Barnes is simply an incompetent idiot who showed how out of his depth he was with this hire. Appealing, but then all that he seemed to show in understanding what has fans and alum believing he got what mattered makes us all look just as stupid. So willing to blindly believe without real proof. Now turning just as fast. Don’t we have to question ourselves as well, then?

…Nah.

The more I have thought about it, I just start to think that Barnes froze in his first big moment. As much as he talked about having a list of names in his back pocket for just such a moment, he just wasn’t ready for this one.

He didn’t think Jamie Dixon would leave this year. Disappointing as it may have been, realistically, the performance of the basketball team wasn’t too far off of expectations going into the season. There was a good squad coming back for next year, and (hopefully) at most there would have been some changes in the assistant coaches. That changed with Dixon actually taking the TCU job. As much as Pitt was willing to let Dixon leave, Barnes was clearly unprepared for this happening in his first year. And in the face of no easy pick to replace, he went with the safest choice.

When I took a look at coaching hires over the previous five years, my conclusion was that Pitt would hire a head coach from a mid-major. There just weren’t any major basketball conference coaches out there that were going to move to Pitt. There was no Buzz Williams. I flat out didn’t envision Pitt being in a position where it would hire a coach from a power conference who was going to be fired or jumped before being pushed; because Pitt wasn’t at rockbottom or that desperate.

The programs that did hire coaches fired, on the verge or just jumping a year early: Missouri (Frank Haith), K-State (Bruce Weber), Texas Tech (Tubby Smith), TCU (Trent Johnson), Tennessee (Rick Barnes); only Missouri and K-State had just lost coaches that were getting their team into the NCAA Tournament. In both of those cases, the move raised eyebrows and questions. Both also saw diminishing returns after an initially strong first year.

There was something of a desperation for both hires. As if the AD and the school wanted to prove their desirability. Martin was having better success than anyone expected. He was/is — a bit of a lunatic. Not the easiest guy to deal with daily. But, again, succeeding.

In leaving K-State, Martin went to a fully rebuilding South Carolina both for money and to get away from an AD that he did not trust/like. K-State is a tough gig. With Kansas’ presence looming large in the state and conference.

What better way to try and battle that narrative — at least on paper — then by hiring a coach that had taken a team to the NCAA Championship game (albeit with players recruited by Bill Self at Illinois)? The problem was that everything Weber did at Illinois afterwards was a steady painful decline where the Illini have remained.

At Mizzou, Kevin Anderson went back to Arkansas. Missouri, openly went hard after Matt Painter from Purdue. Painter nearly left his alma mater, but after nearly a week, Purdue finally blinked and upped his salary and money for assistants and the program. (Comparable to when Jamie Dixon nearly left for Arizona State.)

Scrambling, with an obvious top-25 team for next year, and with a very good recruiting class coming in, that Missouri did not want to lose. Hiring a mid-major candidate at that point, nearly guaranteed losing them that class. The hire of Frank Haith seemed almost all about hanging onto it. I mean, Haith may be a lousy coach and likely cuts corners (cheats), but he is an outstanding recruiter. It worked in the short-term — but the longterm damage has been an extreme outlier. The rationalizations seemed familiar. Haith underachieved at Miami. A tough place for basketball with no history and limited support. He got talent, but it just didn’t quite come together.

For the criticism of Stallings, he did tick off a lot of boxes in what Barnes said he was looking for in a coach. What a lot of ADs would like in a hire. Experienced. Coaching at the power conference level. Good offensive mind, and reasonably up-tempo. Good recruiter. Schedules the non-con well. And — and this may have played a role with relations to the pressure — he was available at the right time.

The last point seems relevant as Vanderbilt is hiring Bryce Drew to succeed Stallings. Drew was a name that got a lot of attention as a possible hire for Pitt. But, Drew’s team, Valparaiso, was still playing in the NIT through Thursday night (against GW with their coach Mike Lonergan — another potential candidate). And while it still may have been the NIT, few coaches worth getting would bail on their team while still playing any kind of games. Barnes (and arguably the fans) could have been that patient.

Other candidates had issues. USC’s Andy Enfield reportedly wanted to be paid like Jamie Dixon as the starting salary to come to Pitt. Enfield may turn out to be worth it in the long-run, but $3+ million was not and should not happen unless you are absolutely sure.

Other coaches that are potentially rising stars were reportedly wary of the Pitt job because of the perceived unreasonable expectations (summary of this from CBS CBB writer Gary Parrish, via Chris Dokish) after the dissatisfaction with Jamie Dixon and a fanbase relieved to see him go. The coaches don’t see just 3 poor seeds and bowing out of the NCAA Tournament after the first weekend in the last 4 years. They see the length Dixon was at Pitt and what he accomplished in 13 years. Accomplishing more at Pitt, over a longer period than any coach in 60 years. The broad picture. And how it was no longer enough.

We are the fans. Pitt is our school, our team. Our passion. For the coaches, this is their career. Their livelihood. They are looking at things much differently. At the very least, the interest in trying to follow that is not exactly appealing.

Still, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Pitt could have done better than Stallings. At the very least, there should have been more willingness to take a chance on a rising coach with a higher potential ceiling.

The more I think about it, though, the more it seems that AD Barnes simply wasn’t willing to take that kind of chance. Reviled, though, he may seem to be at the moment. Guys with thinner resumes. Less experience. Maybe not ready to step up in the level of play. And simply demanding way too much money. Their ceilings might be higher, but the potential floor could be Ralph Willard-esque.

And there’s Kevin Stallings. A completely defensible, if uninspiring move. Someone who, at the very least, could match what Pitt has been doing. At worst, the program won’t fall much further. That doesn’t seem like enough, but it buys time. It lets the expectations reset.

It’s why retreads at all levels of athletics get hired and rehired. They are safe picks. They don’t generate great risk. The reward may not be as big, but people don’t lose their jobs (as quickly) if it doesn’t work.





1) again, it’s not so much of who was hired as it was how he was hired

2) Stallings is not an incompetent; we just thought this program could have attracted better

3) now that he’s hired, he has brought in just one assistant so far. There is one roster opening for this coming year (please make it be a decent center) … but more importantly, there will be 4 or 5 opening for the 2017 class, which is the focus of most of the recruiters right now.

It will be interesting to see who Stallings brings in as the other 2 assistants … and when he brings them in.

Comment by wbb 04.06.16 @ 8:11 am

I think the Richie Walsh-Sean Miller is coming started the drumbeat of incompetence whether it was Barnes fault or not. It also added to the high expectations and frenzy that occurred in the media and among fans.

Comment by gc 04.06.16 @ 8:40 am

If Stallings finds a competent center for next year, he could be a hero real fast.

Comment by gc 04.06.16 @ 8:43 am

GC – Mutombo could be on that Jester’s roster and he won’t smell 20 wins. 3 years and he will be cashing in his millions from being canned by an actual East Coast AD while Barnes feels the heat and takes a job out west.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.06.16 @ 8:48 am

That poor horse just keeps getting beat.
His corpse resembles hamburger.

Comment by Sfpitt 04.06.16 @ 9:00 am

I think Stallings was the safe hire. In 6 years may come the next long term BB coach unless Stallings wins big.

Comment by Frank MD 04.06.16 @ 9:28 am

Then Gallagher should bury him.

Comment by Barvo 04.06.16 @ 9:49 am

Anyone consider the common denominator in Jamie’s departure and the apparent lack of interest in the job is Herman Munster?
While rampant speculation involving Jamie’s departure involved returning to his alma mater, he hadn’t been at TCU in over 25 years; they have never been a bball school; and his returning Pitt squad was, if not impressive, the best he has had in a while.
Couple that with the belief that Pitt is not a worthwhile destination, well, how can anyone say the common thread is NOT the AD?

Comment by Gasman 04.06.16 @ 9:53 am

And, to “soften “Jamie’s buyout and pay for a search firm (twice) makes me think Herman’s objective is to spend money rather than generate it.
Ok with Jamie leaving, but y cut him/TCU a break?
Neither would have cut one for Pitt!
Jamie give back any of his 3 Large for crapping the bed with Wisky?
It was a hand – a few hands, actually – poorly played.

Comment by Gasman 04.06.16 @ 9:58 am

GC – I agree, would be great if KS could find another Center; technically, we only have one now in Nix, and he may not even play a lot of minutes, because nobody knows how good he is. However, at this late stage in the game, I think it’s more likely we save the scholarship rather than wasting it on another questionable player, unless we can get a grad transfer for a year (in which case we don’t lose anything). Worst case, we could use Manigualt and Luther, with Nix getting a few minutes, right?

Comment by 1618mt 04.06.16 @ 10:08 am

A very thought provoking and extremely well written article. Thank you very much Chas!
One imperative issue here IMO that we have not talked about is the cultural bias that exists today against men who have hit 50. Unless you have personally experienced this or know someone who has experienced this politically correctness bias you don’t realize how deeply it has infiltrated our society.
The fact is the mature male is being eliminated from any usefulness in today’s world simply because former older men in our nations history are accused of dominating society (especially women) and therefore we, men who are over 50 have to pay for it today (remember, this is how PC works).
Heck, this “correctness” has been so successfully implemented into our society that even UPitt doesn’t realize he has bought into it!!! Reread what UPitt has said about Stallings: “he’s an old retread”; he’s 55 years old; etc. etc.
The fact is before all of this feminist “payback” showed up the MOST respected person in our society were men 50-65 yrs. of age. In 20 short years men of that same age have now become the LEAST respected people in our society.
Stallings has felt the full affect of this cultural change. By all rights he is experienced, mature, and in his prime – not an old worthless dinosaur as our feminist friends would have us believe!
Hence, will he be a success at Pitt? I hope so but time will answer that question. I do know we use to respect and highly esteem men of Stallings age and maturity and its a shame that we no longer do.
And one more thing….UPitt buddy, you will soon be a dinosaur yourself so give us “worthless to society” old farts a break once in a while!
Thanks!!

Comment by pittman4ever 04.06.16 @ 11:26 am

C’mon pittman4ever, if you’re not 33yo, wear tailored suits and look like a GQ model, you can’t coach or recruit!!!

Comment by Dan 04.06.16 @ 11:37 am

Amen, pittman4ever.

Comment by rockymtnhigh 04.06.16 @ 11:51 am

Chas – Well said.

Pitt will have a good season next year and be in the tournament and all will be forgotten.

Stallings knows he has to recruit well at Pitt and I think he will be given more tools to do so than Dixon had. He would win some fans with good recruiting.

Comment by notrocketscience 04.06.16 @ 11:54 am

Gasman, with all due respect, the returning Pitt squad with a Big question mark at the point guard position and NO center to speak of could be in deep trouble next year.

Comment by jrnpitt 04.06.16 @ 11:55 am

Dan…last comment, too funny!

Chas, great take. Thanks as always for your leveled analysis. I think you are spot on with everything you outlined. He wasn’t ready for this and also did not feel comfortable taking a risk out of the gate as AD.

Comment by FG 04.06.16 @ 11:58 am

Final 4 head coaches’ ages:

Jim Boeheim 71, Roy Williams 65, Lon Kruger 63, and the baby, Jay Wright 54 ….so maybe youth does rule!

Comment by wbb 04.06.16 @ 12:15 pm

Upitt has also used endearing names for KS. My favorite is Pappy.

Comment by Pittastic 04.06.16 @ 12:16 pm

1- Chas, I so agree with you about the false notion most hires thought PITT was too demanding in their expectation of a new coach. I’m convinced all of this is Chris Dokish and that was via old man Evans the Blackhawks coach latest interview and maybe a few others locals.

PITT is a desireable place to coach basketball, period.

2- Not happy with the undercover (secret way) way the so called “search” was conducted. Cronyism is part of business life. (For years, Budweiser only purchased crowns (caps) for bottles thought a son’s friend.) I chose to deal with friends in my business. That is only natural. Of course it was my money.

3- PITT fans don’t like Stallings for at least the last two years. Do I dare say why? JETER!!

Still scratching my head over Barnes decision. Will Stallings overcome his poor public relations?

As far as I’m concerned, I’m not interested in PITT basketball right now. I’ll wait the 3-4 years until Stallings is out and we have that hot shot new young coach.

I think Stallings is going to have trouble recruiting, because of his history. He is going to be very average at PITT.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 04.06.16 @ 12:18 pm

Should have said PITT fans haven’t liked Stallings for the last two years.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 04.06.16 @ 12:23 pm

Dokish seems to be hinting that the new assistant could be Jeremy Ballard of Illinois St.

Comment by Mark 04.06.16 @ 12:42 pm

Pittman4ever — the fact that Stallings is 55 is auxiliary to the real reason against him being the coach: in 17 years in a lesser conference he had a losing record; he won one league championship; he performed poorly in the NCAAs, the few times he got there. He is, in fact, a journeyman retread, who just happens to be 55.

And, could someone please explain this (apparently) widespread belief that there was an apparent “lack of interest” in the Pitt job. If Stallings was mainlined with all due haste into the job by Turner, which seems to be the case, no one was given the chance to express any interest.

Comment by PetePitt73 04.06.16 @ 12:48 pm

RIP Merle. You’re an Okie I know, but Merle you had soul!

Comment by wbb 04.06.16 @ 1:00 pm

Pitt fans don’t like Stalling because of Jeter? Say what?

Who cares about Jeter? He ended up getting to Pitt anyway and it is n’t like he is the star of the team.

The only thing that will make Pitt fans not like Stallings is if he doesn’t make the tournament next year. Period.

Comment by notrocketscience 04.06.16 @ 1:19 pm

In the 1st half of the Wisconsin game Pitt missed too many bunnies around the rim. If I recall it was about 6 or 7 shots. If they were ahead by 20 Points instead of 6 at halftime, we probably aren’t have this conversation.

Comment by Justinian 04.06.16 @ 1:19 pm

Pittman – I know what you mean but I have no bad feelings to anyone at any age and stage as long as they add value to the team. My problem with Stallings specifically is he is a retread that never won.

Roy Williams or any of the cats that won and were effective whether 55 or 75 are more than welcome if they have a history of winning.

Sorry it comes across like I feel different.

Pappy Stallings is bc he looks like a Pappy or a Sorgum Farmer from Georgia.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.06.16 @ 1:19 pm

I don’t buy that Barnes wasn’t ready for hiring a basketball coach. He brought all this basketball upheaval upon himself. Gasman identified a revealing angle of Barnes actions, that of cutting TCU a break on the Dixon buyout.
If TCU wouldn’t pay the full buyout then Barnes keeps Dixon unless he has that splash hire to replace him then you negotiate the buyout. Stallings could not have been a splash hire in anyone’s eyes.
Barnes made Dixon feel unappreciated and pushed him to leave for TCU, if Jamie really wanted to leave and TCU couldn’t afford the buyout then Jamie could have paid for part of his buyout. That is provided he really wanted to leave.
Now I’m not saying Jamie needed to stay but if I had to pick between Jamie and Stallings ( a safe choice) I think Jamie was safer (more expensive yes). Barnes knew if he pushed on Jamie hard enough his plans supported by a search firm (?) would be profitable for all concerned.
Barnes planned everything and he got what he wanted not what he promised when the hiring process started.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 04.06.16 @ 1:25 pm

Hey look, with my body and how I feel, 50 is the new 70.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 04.06.16 @ 1:31 pm

In Barnes other basketball hire, he didn’t get anyone to come to Utah State either. He had to hire a coach at Utah State after longtime HC Stew Merril retired.

Utah State while not a huge basketball power had done very well under Stew Morrill. They had two 30 win seasons, same as Pitt under Dixon. And had been to the Big Dance 8 times in 16 years. Had won their conf. 7 times and their conf. tournament 6 times.

So Barnes uses Todd Turner’s CSA to conduct a ‘national search’ for Stew Morrill’s replacement.

After this exhaustive search by CSA and Barnes, Barnes ended up hiring Morrill’s top asst of 14 years at Utah State. Tim Duryea. Yea ikr.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 1:39 pm

Still researching to see if Duryea was another client of CSA. ha

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 1:40 pm

Anyone consider the common denominator in Jamie’s departure and the apparent lack of interest in the job is Herman Munster?
Comment by Gasman 04.06.16 @ 9:53 am

That would tie-in with Barney’s Utah State hire.
Nobody was interested so he had to settle on Duryea.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 1:45 pm

So far Barnes has only bombed on one of his three coaching hires. Unfortunately it was the one that generates the second most revenue for the school. One tends to forget his great hire of the men’s soccer coach that preceded it or the very recent impressive hire of the new swimming and diving coach that followed it. Although he did not have anything to do with it, Narduzzi’s hiring is also in the back of everyone’s mind. Given all these hires, the hiring of Stallings comes off as a real disappointment. The topper to this was the way Barnes acted at the press conference. Hopefully for Barnes’ and Pitt’s sake Stallings will do well next year. Too bad he couldn’t have bombed on one of the other hires instead and done as well on the men’s basketball hire because not many would have cared.

Given all this I am going to stay very upset with Barnes for a while longer yet.

Comment by John the Listener 04.06.16 @ 1:47 pm

~ pittman4ever

I’ve been critical of the hire, moreso the hiring process.

But you are spot on about the denigration of males, especially white ones, that are over the Age of 50 or 55.

Not to many older white guys in the movies or TV being portrayed as experienced and wise, etc.

Morgan Freeman gets all those roles.

So it is an interesting thought, was the PC media backlash against Stallings, based on him being a 50 something balding white man. And not a hipster or a black guy.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 1:53 pm

Boeheim coached at same school for nearly 40 years and won a NC 13 years ago. His first NC appearance was in 1987.

Williams had lots of success at Kansas winning several conference championships and making four final fours. He then move to UNC in 2003 and then won 2 NCs.

Wright has coached at Nova for 15 years. He made the Sweet Sixteen in 2005. He made the Elite Eight in 2006. He made the Final Four in 2009. He won the NC this year.

Kruger took Florida to their first NCAA final four in 1994. He led K-State to the Elite 8 in 1988. In 2007 he took UNLV to their first Sweet Sixteen in sixteen years. He led OK to the Final Four this year. Kruger has led five different schools to the NCAA tourney.

I hope we’re not trying to draw parallels between these guys and Stallings career arc….

Boeheim, Williams, Wright and Kruger have had HC success since they were in their 30s.

Comment by Barvo 04.06.16 @ 2:02 pm

per PG, Dan Cage expected to join Pitt staff in some capacity. I would have preferred Jason Richards be promoted (and he may still)

link to vucommodores.com

Comment by wbb 04.06.16 @ 2:04 pm

Good piece Chas. Good read !

However I don’t agree that Barnes was caught unprepared. Everyone knew that TCU was going to fire Trent Johnson after going 0-18 in conf n 2013, and going 6 wins and 30 losses since then. And that TCU was going to spend some money to upgrade their basktball program. And Dixon had been tight with TCU and even moreso since the TCU to BigEast deal a couple years ago that Dixon was involved in.

That along with the report that Stallings was contacted by Barney the very same day Dixon, at 5 pm I believe. Suggests Barney was prepared and Stallings was the target/hire all along when Dixon left.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 2:04 pm

^^ line 5

(the very same day Dixon resigned, at 5pm)

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 2:08 pm

Excellent point Spindler.

Barnes had to known who he was going to hire, BEFORE lowering the buyout on Dixon’s contract.

Nobody is that foolish.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 2:16 pm

This means nothing at this point, but I’ve seen and heard in regards to being “forced out”, that Dixon didn’t want to go home because it’s been
twenty some years since he was at TCU.

Well, a lot of people thought, hoped, assumed that Sean Miller would come home to Pitt.

Sean Miller’s been gone from Pitt playing for 24 years, from asst coaching for 20 years.

I don’t think there is a statue of limitations on going home to coach.

Comment by Dan 04.06.16 @ 2:20 pm

Yes, statue, it’s a Seinfeld reference! LOL

Comment by Dan 04.06.16 @ 2:20 pm

Barnes just hired a lawncare company and house cleaner Todd and CSA found and we paid for.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.06.16 @ 2:45 pm

John with all due respect who gives 2 shits about soccer or swimming. Hell even baseball at Pitt for that matter. The soccer coach fell in his lap as he gave pro soccer a shot and quit.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.06.16 @ 2:48 pm

Dokish was apparently right. It looks like Ballard is a new assistant. Worked with Shaka Smart for three years.

Comment by Mark 04.06.16 @ 2:56 pm

I like Coach Stallings, in fact I resemble Coach Stallings. Bald, white guy in my sixties.

Comment by Grizzly1 04.06.16 @ 4:20 pm

I am 65 white and in good shape and I couldn’t disagree more on the denigration of older makes. There is a knowledge and experience of that age others don’t have. I’ve had several offers to come out of retirement and am currently seriously considering one. My competition is in their 40’s.

I’ll tell you one thing about Stallings. We don’t have to worry about him choking in big moments. He’s seen it all. I’d bet my last dollar he has someone covering the inbound player against Nova both in the Pitt and NC Nova game.

No way you want to allow that player a free release heading toward their own basket w 5 seconds left!

Comment by Dan 72 04.06.16 @ 4:38 pm

I am in the same boat Dan72, albeit I’m younger than you by more than a few years.

I have no problems myself either, but there is certainly a denigration in the culture of middle age males. I believe you are in sales, like myself and that is a totally different creature than the job market as a whole. As they don’t care how old you are, as long as you can produce.

I have several friends though that are over 50 and in the more common, non-sales full salaried type jobs. And those guys have been looking for work for several years. Corporations for the most part do want to hire men in the 50’s or of course older.

Most companies would rather hire someone at the entry level position, or via H1B visas over the guy in his 50’s. Saves them money and they can even offer less benefits if any.

Comment by Emel 04.06.16 @ 4:48 pm

BTW Emel, just off the top of my head ….. Michael Caine, Bob DiNiro, Robt Duvall, Tom Wilkinson are all older white guys who continue to get plenty of roles .. not to mention 86 yr Christopher Plummer who won an Oscar in 09

Comment by wbb 04.06.16 @ 6:11 pm

Vandy BB season ticket sales on the rise with the hiring of Bryce Drew (and the departure of Kevin Stallings).

Thanks to Pitt AD Barney…

Comment by Erie Express 04.06.16 @ 6:52 pm

UPitt – at the Pitt baseball game yesterday in freezing cold temperatures, our two corner outfielders were playing at the fence – no lie – the whole game. On a cold day when the ball wasn’t flying.

The pedos would dink little flairs that normally would be caught – but because the OF was playing deep, they were falling for hits.

Now, if that happens a few times you must adjust. That did NOT happen. To me that lack of adjusting IS on the coaching staff.

You may be right that it is time to make a change at HC for baseball.

Comment by Erie Express 04.06.16 @ 7:02 pm

EMel… You are correct. I’ve been in sales and that is different.
91 million out of the labor force has killed jobs for white men in general. I’ve spent much time helping male friends find jobs the past 2 years. White men anger is fueling the heated political anger in this country.

Also I live close to DC where an alternate universe exists. Good jobs are everywhere in the area.

Comment by Dan 72 04.06.16 @ 9:23 pm

Chas summed up the Stallings hire with just one perfect adjective “uninspired”. Me personally, unless there was some illegal act committed, I’m ready to bury that dead horse all of you guys have been beating for many days.

Recruiting will make or break Stallings. Will he recruit well here, time will tell. His future record will be directly tied to his success in recruiting though. IMO, that was Dixon’s obvious weakness. If Stallings can bring in the players he will win a lot of games here at Pitt.

It is really is unfortunate that the welcome was frigid for Stallings. Barnes felt it and reacted defensively to it at the pressor. Maybe, just maybe, Barnes actually thinks he has made a good hire?

Just like in any competitive sport, winning supplies the soothing balm to heal many a wound. If the guy can show up at the big dance with Pitt next season, all this present angst will be forgotten. Me, I’m just going to keep my opinions mainly to myself for now, give the old retread a chance and see what he can produce out on the hardwood.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.07.16 @ 7:14 am

Barnes deserves every bit of scrutiny he has received and continues to receive. I don’t understand how anybody who truly cares about the university would want to bury that. If buried, how would anybody know whether Barnes had done anything wrong. At a minimum he behaved unethically. He compounded everything by acting defiantly when questioned.

Barnes: “I am not a crook”

At this point Stallings looks like nothing more than a profoundly uninspired choice that has been collaterally damaged by the process.

Now, let’s get back to being entertained by wildly and irrationally speculating on a season that is seven months away while disregarding a coach and players that have never before worked together (minus Jeter) and at least five players most have never before seen play outside of highlights. Sounds like a much more productive use of time and effort. On the other hand I suspect Dokish has this one under control if anyone wants to head over there.

Comment by Barvo 04.07.16 @ 12:52 pm

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com

Site Meter