February 11, 2017

1pm, ACC Network syndication (ugh) or ACC Digital Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Hard to find this one on regular TV across the country. Clemson-Duke is on the ACCN syndication at the same time. Guess which game most stations outside of Pennsylvania and New York seem to be favoring?

Last time against the Orange, Pitt looked like it had never seen a zone defense before. Settling for nothing but outside shots and not able to work the ball inside at all. On top of that, they still couldn’t rebound. And that was just in the first half.

Pitt has looked better in the last week plus. Battling against UNC and Duke. Finally notching that second ACC win against BC. (As an aside, off the top of your head do you think BC has more recently beaten Pitt in football or basketball or is it Penn State? Answer at the end.)

Does it continue? I don’t really know, but Paul Zeise remains optimistic that the team never really quit on Kevin Stallings — apparently they only quit a couple games.

The pace on this game should be fairly slow. Pitt has continued to slow things down to get more offensive flow. Syracuse’s style of play is always on the slower end.

Jamel Artis has missed some practice, and the ankle is still swollen. But he is good to go for the game.

I feel like I am now saying this everygame (because I am), but I really don’t know what to expect from this game. From this team. Your guess is as good as mine.

Given the game and old Big East stuff, Stallings was asked his thoughts on the old league — of which he had no part.

He admitted Friday, while chatting with reporters, that he wasn’t a big fan of the old Big East, a conference where Syracuse and Pitt — Saturday’s combatants at Petersen Events Center — used to thrive in physical games that often emphasized defense over offense.

“The old Big East seemed like a 50-point game waiting to happen,” Stallings said. “Really from my perspective, it was pretty boring. I was never trying to carve out time to watch a Big East game on TV.”

Of course, the game wasn’t officiated as close as it is today, and that emphasis was no friend to shooters. Pitt senior Sheldon Jeter said, “It was very physical. It really was. It seems like hand checks never got called back then.”

Jeter added that 310-pound Pitt center Rozelle Nix may be the only Pitt player who fits the old Big East mold.

“Big, bruising,” Jeter said. “If you just looked at him right away, he could play in the old Big East.”

Honest to a fault is the best I can say here. But I’m just not sure you are going to win people over when you call the Big East boring, given the success Pitt had for over a decade. And when you have spent most of the past month complaining about the lack of effort of your own team at playing defense.

(The answer is Boston College. BC beat Pitt in football, 45-7 on October 20, 2001. PSU beat Pitt in basketball, 88-74 on December 6, 2000. They haven’t won since.)


Gotta win this to have any kind of season.

Comment by alcofan 02.11.17 @ 12:26 pm

….even Billy Hillgrove has given up on this hoops team & this season
…..(NOT broadcasting on the Panther radio network for the 1st time in forever — due to a Steelers conflict)

[seriously,…I think Jim Colony mentioned he had a back flareup….GET WELL, Billy]

Comment by The Truth 02.11.17 @ 1:17 pm

Hmm, my tallies may be a bit off, but just going back from the start of Kevin Stallings time at Vanderbilt (1999-2000 through 2012-2013 (old Big East) the following:

Big East
4 championships:
Connecticut (2), Syracuse (1), Louisville (1)
10 final four teams
97 total bids

3 championships: Florida (2) and Kentucky (1)
4 final four teams
71 total bids

5 championships: Duke (2), UNC (2) and Maryland (1)
10 final four teams
69 total bids

Stallings may not have been entertained by the old Big East but it’s difficult to argue that it wasn’t a more competitive conference than the SEC.

Comment by Barvo 02.11.17 @ 1:33 pm

Stallings was just talking about the style of play game by game. He can watch what he wants IMO…

Comment by Jackagain 02.11.17 @ 1:44 pm

Sloppy last five minutes – blown lead before the half – typical Pitt.

Comment by Erie Express 02.11.17 @ 1:46 pm

Ever since the North Carolina game the Panthers have been running a more controlled offensive game. The difference in their overall play has been remarkable. It’s like they’re a different team all together. It makes you wonder what could have been. So much for freedom on the court.

Comment by Justinian 02.11.17 @ 1:58 pm

Good first half. I didn’t get a chance to see it because I was busy making jelly with the last of my berries in the freezer. Score looks good though.

Comment by Jackagain 02.11.17 @ 1:59 pm

More discipline for sure. Looks like KS has reeled this team back from the abyss. I still dont think Coach is Pitt’s future but I’m glad Pitt isnt getting embarrassed anymore. The Louisville game would have resulted in a fire if we didnt have an AD that was still creeping around campus before he leaves town.

Comment by TX Panther 02.11.17 @ 2:10 pm

These four seniors never learned how to win.

Comment by Erie Express 02.11.17 @ 2:53 pm

Almost blew that one with our two seniors taking shots early in the clock trying there best to let Cuse back in the game that my friend is bad coaching why not take a TO and settle these players or at least let them no not to take a shot early in the clock. Then again we have no PG so who the hell knows what would happen if we continued out the possession.

Comment by PittPanFan 02.11.17 @ 3:03 pm

Another convincing win….

Comment by Jackagain 02.11.17 @ 3:07 pm

Pitt outrebounded SU 41 to 25; they also had more assists, 25 to 11

That’s winning basketball

Comment by wbb 02.11.17 @ 3:08 pm

Cam with a fine game. He is learning how to win. He and Lex will be the veterans next season.

Kithcart played ok today – did not score if I remember correctly.

Good to beat cuse no matter how Pitt looked…

Comment by Erie Express 02.11.17 @ 3:08 pm

Nice to get a win however that happens. Syracuse are no pushovers either.

Comment by panther94 02.11.17 @ 3:09 pm

Pitt’s 17 turnovers made this game close. Pitt outplayed cuse in every other stat.

Comment by Erie Express 02.11.17 @ 3:13 pm

When Jeter scores we win, simple.

Comment by alcofan 02.11.17 @ 3:18 pm

Howsabout Stalling’s press offense? Pretty damn good, eh?

Comment by steve1 02.11.17 @ 3:18 pm

Rebounds: Pitt 41; Syracuse 25. Pitt usually wins when they win the rebound category.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.11.17 @ 3:38 pm

Today it was men vs. boys

Comment by steve1 02.11.17 @ 4:05 pm

Nice win. Why can we play so well at times and so crappy at other times?

Comment by Goalie44 02.11.17 @ 4:16 pm

Blueberry, strawberry?? Don’t leave us hanging!

Comment by Goalie44 02.11.17 @ 4:18 pm

Learning curve, Goalie Haven’t you seen an improvement?

Comment by steve1 02.11.17 @ 4:19 pm

It does seem like they are competing harder, but I don’t know enough to really pinpoint the improvement.

Comment by Goalie44 02.11.17 @ 4:21 pm

Things seem right again when Pitt beats Syracuse.

Comment by Justinian 02.11.17 @ 4:42 pm

Just got back from game. Wow! only 23 posts. If they were losing there would have been over 100.

They actually played good defense today and it looked like Lyton was afraid of MY. He kept backing off. This breaks Syr. 5 game winning streak. MY did try to give it back though with that quick 3 with about 1:30 left to play. Overall I pleasantly surprised they actually looked like they were playing as a team.

Comment by JP 02.11.17 @ 4:45 pm

Jeter had double-double, 14 & 11 reb; as did Artis, 16 & 10 assists. Young had 6 assists and 9 reb to go along with his 21 pts.

again, that’s winning basketball

(Pitt made 26 baskets, 25 were assisted)

Comment by wbb 02.11.17 @ 4:47 pm

PittPanFan, That’s when a seasoned point guard typically takes charge and backs the out to work the clock. Hey, I’m just happy that they are better basketball.

Comment by Justinian 02.11.17 @ 4:47 pm

Goalie: New Coach, old team

And I think he’s now convincing others than the Big 2 that they are good players as well

Comment by steve1 02.11.17 @ 4:54 pm

Watch Out Syracuse!

Who said that?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 4:56 pm

Young officially back from wherever!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 4:58 pm

Kithcart OFFICIALLY… whatever I said.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 4:58 pm

Sorry for those who thought Stallings should Go.

This pretty much cemented him staying.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 5:00 pm

And believe me, ever since Stallings’ infamous “Walk Off”… I’ve been pretty much on the fence.

But let’s just see.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 5:06 pm

Barvo @ 1:33, if the NCAA ever gets off its ass, 2 of those ACC championships will be taken away

Comment by wbb 02.11.17 @ 5:10 pm

Next time Pitt 75, Syracuse 70
Comment by TX Panther 01.08.17 @ 9:08 am

I was close

Comment by TX Panther 02.11.17 @ 5:13 pm

Funny… Pitt’s BIGGEST Win of the Season… and just 34 Posts.

If Pitt would have lost or better yet been BLOWN OUT… would have easily been many MANY more… with at least a few Emels and Upitts!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 5:15 pm

some of us love we pitt fails
im glad we won
im glad we beat that cheater and whiner coach
im still not sold on ks but the players havent quit
im confident that if pitt plays with focus and discipline, they can make noise in acc tourney
but nit bid is what pitt may get

Comment by TX Panther 02.11.17 @ 5:32 pm

pitt = football school

Comment by TX Panther 02.11.17 @ 5:33 pm

That was a good win. The real shame is that this team should have been playing like this the entire season.

Too Little too late? Definitely

Will Stallings stay here? Unfortunately for those of us that would like to see him gone yesterday he was staying for a couple of years no matter what happened during this season.

NIT is now a maybe.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.11.17 @ 5:46 pm

Dave Odin (part of the broadcasting team of PITT-Cuse) was/is employed by the consulting group that was instrumental in the hiring of Stalling.

Absolutely correct on comments. Emel hasn’t posted here or on POV in awhile. We won so Upitt is a no show.

Comment by PITT-cocks Fan 02.11.17 @ 5:57 pm

That is four straight well played games. It is also the first time all year that we played aggressive defense beyond the 3 point line for the entire game. H2P

Comment by HbgFrank 02.11.17 @ 6:52 pm

Does Pitt have better wins than Syracuse? I think Pitt does. It likely will not happen but Pitt could STILL make the tournament. That’s how good the ACC is.

Comment by Brian 02.11.17 @ 7:03 pm

Goalie, it was red raspberry & blackberry with black raspberry.

Comment by Jackagain 02.11.17 @ 7:20 pm

Truth is… ACC is BRUTAL compared to the Old Big East.

And of course, I was in the category of loving the Basketball played in the Big East.

Kind of like the AFC North in Football… minus Cleveland.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 7:23 pm

Good win. The playoffs started with BC. Pitt has to win 4/6 and the two losses can only be to FSU, UNC or UVA. They have to win at least one of those 3 games and Pitt will probably still have to win 2-3 games in the ACC tourney. That would get us up to 20/21 wins. Pitt’s RPI is it’s only saving grace right now and they still have to get that to sub 50 to have a shot. They’re 62 right now. The Young and Luther injuries plus the Herman connection would play well with the selection committee.

Stalling’s contract prohibits him from leaving anytime soon but he has done himself no favors endearing himself to Pitt fans. As I’ve said, I’d prefer he’s cut loose now rather than in 3 years for the sake of the program but if we’re stuck with him, at least I like his class coming in next year … as long as he hits a home run in 2018.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.11.17 @ 7:49 pm

@wbb I assume we’re talking about the seemingly endless investigation into UNC and the threat of vacating titles.

PoD – Really, “Biggest Win of Season”? How about the UVA home win? That is easily Pitt’s most significant win of the season. I had thought you were back to earth before the UNC game but the last two weeks seem to have have returned you to full throated support for KS.

While the win is nice, and the stomping on the boards was a welcome surprise and huge factor in the win, the win should be kept in proper perspective. Pitt beat a team that was a very small favorite (ESPN had it as even), has a lower RPI, had beaten Pitt earlier in the season, and has won only 2 road games (beating NC State by 7 and Clemson by 1) all year. Syracuse had been beaten by double digits in their other road games (including a 15 point loss at BC on New Year’s Day).

Syracuse has a home win versus FSU. Pitt has a home win versus UVA. It’s about equal there. Syracuse was blown out in road games against UNC and ND. Pitt was very competitive against both. A really interesting comparison opportunity is coming up as Syracuse has a home and away with Louisville.

Nice to see Pitt top 10K in attendance for what I believe is the first time this season. An indication that the fans haven’t given up. Attendance and record will probably be equal measures of Stallings at the end of the season. If the team remains competitive and attendance hovers at 9-10K, Stallings will be back. He should thank Barnes for the contract he was reportedly given.

Comment by Barvo 02.11.17 @ 7:53 pm

sorry meant 4 wins over tourney teams.

Comment by milobloom 02.11.17 @ 8:48 pm

Yes Barvo… BIGGEST Win. Last time I checked ‘Cuse won the last time around.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:01 pm

Somebody figured something out. Kind of like making adjustments at Half Time. This just took a little longer.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:02 pm

Stallings deserves credit on this one… despite what the Naysayers might say.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:04 pm

Looks like Paul Zeise was right afterall.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:04 pm

Although I kind of predicted Pitt beating Syracuse… not so sure about VaTech.

Maybe… maybe not.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:08 pm

If Kithcart is playing… NOT!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:09 pm

There’s the second one, beat VT on Tuesday and sets up a huge game Saturday against FSU

I’m telling ya, this team ain’t dead!

Comment by Keith 02.11.17 @ 9:43 pm

I’ll say this much… when this Team WINS, it’s a lot of FUN to watch.

Stallings has got to keep it going.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:48 pm

Keith, whatever drug you’ve been accused of taking… maybe you should start making it readily available to Posters of the Blather.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 9:50 pm

Good thing we won with the syracuse fans chanting “Jamie left you”

Comment by alcofan 02.11.17 @ 10:07 pm

Team spins on Young. If he gets back to where he was EARLY… good as Gold!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 10:19 pm

Or at least an NIT Bid.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 10:20 pm

I’ll say this… the Dukes would have no chance at this point… with or without Artis.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 10:22 pm

Just so long as that No. 5 ain’t in

Comment by PittofDreams 02.11.17 @ 10:23 pm

Stalling should be ashamed it took him 25 games to get this team to play defense.

This team should have been playing like this all year.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.11.17 @ 10:51 pm

In the post game interviews both Stallings and Young were on the same page. PITT has now played 6 consecutive consistent halves. Even under Jamie PITT was notorious for good half / not as good half. It takes more than two players to win a game. If they can continue getting production like today they might well obtain an NCAA bid. Forget Jamie, Stallings is the coach. We need support both him and players.

Comment by Joe Bro 02.11.17 @ 11:19 pm

Correction. Make that 8 consecutive consistent halves.

Comment by Joe Bro 02.11.17 @ 11:21 pm

Joe bro

Couldn’t agree more


Did you see our seniors almost blow the game?! Cuz of all those horrible shots at the end??
Just one example of what coach Stallings has had to deal with all year!!!

I hope pitt reels off 5 more so you’ll have to give coach some credit, ….but then it’ll just because the players are playing well,

You can’t win in this city with bozzos like you

Comment by Keith 02.12.17 @ 12:07 am

HCKS has them playing good ball now finally. So I give Stallings credit for that however it should never have taken this long and NO I do not have to get behind this coach. I do have to tolerate him while he is here. I am going to game next weekend to cheer for the players.

Kieth the bozo comment is noted. Uncalled for but noted. As for credit isn’t it HCKS that gave us our 2nd largest loss in history after saying nothing but negatives about the players to anyone who would listen? Let’s not forget the lost to the Dukes with this team this year as well. You would say that’s all on the players right?

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.12.17 @ 12:52 am


success doesn’t happen overnight. i think you are unrealistic to think this group of players with a brand new coach would be successful right from the start.
ks is on the hook for those two horrible losses especially the louiville loss.

Comment by goalie44 02.12.17 @ 8:29 am

Great way to put it Tony. Tolerate. I like that word. KS can no doubt “coach” basketball. Whether he can, ya know, win a lot of games is yet to be determined (if Vandy is any barometer, not so much). But he clearly is not a leader. Maybe a coach, but not a leader. Leaders inspire people, they don’t blame others for their own shortcomings. Leaders hold themselves accountable, they don’t abandon sinking ships. Leaders pay homage to heritage and legacies, they don’t disparage, ridicule, and deride them.

Great win for the kids yesterday. Who knows? Maybe they circle the wagons and go on a run. Let’s hope so. If they do, it will be an organic uprising from within.

One footnote: comity has been a pillar of Blather exchanges. While it us true that different opinions are what makes the world go around, civility while espousing those views is why I come here and stay away from message boards and other blogs. I can only assume others share that perspective.

Comment by wally 02.12.17 @ 8:52 am


At least your gonna show up to the game!

That can’t be said for a lot of Pittsburghers

Comment by Keith 02.12.17 @ 9:33 am

“He just doesn’t like (zone defenses),” Stallings said. “Or, he didn’t; 21 and 9 and 6 ought to make him feel better.”

Trib Review

Stallings explaining Young’s troubles against Syracuse the first time around… versus his success yesterday.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.12.17 @ 9:35 am

The Syracuse Win is INSTRUMENTAL… in more ways than one.

You might remember that it was ‘Cuse the first time where the wheels came off. Boeheim showed how if you stop Young, you stop Pitt.

It was the loss at Syracuse where Young started his struggles which now finally he seems to have overcome. Granted the fractured eye socket did not help.

Yesterday, with a little help from Stallings… Young found a way to feel comfortable and CONFIDENT enough to perform up to his abilities when he’s not going against Man-to-Man.

Says a lot in a couple of ways.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.12.17 @ 9:44 am

However… and it’s a BIG However.

Pitt obviously would not have won without Johnson hitting 6 of 9 from THREE-land.

Boeheim says stopping Johnson… which Syracuse failed to do yesterday… was the key to beating Pitt.

Well, we know better.

Have seen Johnson miss too many shots and look clueless too many times to believe he’s the key to beating Pitt.

Don’t expect much of a change.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.12.17 @ 9:50 am

The key for me for the rest of the season is for MY to be selfless and do wahts good for the team and play down low and exploit the mis matches he has with his quickness

MY wanted everyone to see he has an outside game, ok Mike we get it, you can shot

But for the TEAM, we need you to down low and bang!

Jeter has his limits but plays very hard, his effort has to be matched by the rest

Let’s go on a nice run fellows!!!

Comment by Keith 02.12.17 @ 10:25 am

Believe me. The new AD will be watching how Pitt ends the year very closely. I think these last 5 games and what Pitt does in the ACC tourney will determine KS’s fate. If Pitt can win 3 out of 5 and another 2 in the tourney, thats 19 wins for the season. Maybe a bubble team but definitely NIT. And thats decent for this year…slightly above mediocre. I do think the new AD will give KS the benefit of doubt but have him on a short leash.

Comment by TX Panther 02.12.17 @ 10:53 am

And I always love beating Syracuse. I wish Pitt could play UConn and Nova. Loved beating those pussies as well.

Comment by TX Panther 02.12.17 @ 10:54 am

Pitt’s “End-of-the-Season” Run being celebrated in ways even Emel and Upitt would appreciate.

BUY in before they’re gone!

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.12.17 @ 11:31 am

I gotta get me some of dem rockports

Comment by TX Panther 02.12.17 @ 11:51 am

Keith, I guess that I must be one of the bozzo’s. HCKS has done a poor coaching job for most of this season. I do give him credit for getting this team ready for the last four games and hope the trend will continue. But as Tony points out, why did he not have them ready to play from day one of the conference games?

As for your calling out the players out for their shot selection at the end, the only one of those shots that was not a part of HCKS offense was MY last 3 attempt. IMHO it was not a “horrible” shot, just illadvised. When you have a wide open look in HCKS offense, you take the shot. MY had a wide open look and took the shot. He should have ran clock, but the shot he took was not a bad one. All of the rest of the shots taken at the end were in concert with HCKS offense first style. In other words, if you did not like those shots, take it up with the HC.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.12.17 @ 12:21 pm

Oregon State’s BB team is 4-21. Barney will need a search firm to help him replace the current HC Tinkle. Fingers crossed that Barney goes to the same search firm he used (or used him) while at Pitt to hire HCKS.

The new Pitt AD will make Barney a deal on lowering KS’s buyout – guaranteed!


Comment by Erie Express 02.12.17 @ 1:24 pm

In Pitt’s past five games, its five starters — Young, Jamel Artis, Cameron Johnson, Sheldon Jeter and Chris Jones — have played 864 of a possible 1,000 minutes (86.4 percent) and scored 339 of 365 points (92.9 percent).

Post Gazette

Aye, the rub!!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.13.17 @ 6:02 am

Whew…the rub in question being Icy Hot!

Comment by HbgFrank 02.13.17 @ 12:44 pm

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