February 27, 2017

Nothing Surprising, Only Disappointing

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:44 am

The loss on Saturday to UNC was not anything unexpected. Just because Pitt played them well in Chapel Hill a few weeks prior didn’t mean Pitt was going to pull an upset. UNC has been playing a lot better and Pitt has been… as they have been.

No one seems to have wanted to admit this around the team, but defense and rebounding make a difference. At least until it was absurdly beaten into them.

And led to a post game quote from Jamel Artis that kind of sums up this team:

“Obviously we would have liked to come out with a win and it’s very disappointing. We thought we had a good chance to win, but we didn’t go out and play as hard as we could have. I think we learned how important the defensive side and rebounding are to winning a game.”

Way to figure that out 29 games into the season. I’m sure you will take that lesson to heart with all the games still to play.

UNC has been stronger all season on offensive rebounding, but against Pitt it was taken to a new level. UNC grabbed 24 offensive rebounds in the game and 48 overall. Pitt had just 9 offensive rebounds — which depressingly enough is actually an improvement over the Wake Forest game where they only had 9 — and only 28 total. That UNC was close to having as many offensive boards as Pitt had total rebounds is absurd.

Not that it would have made a difference, but once more Pitt’s 3-point shooting disappeared in the second half. After going 5-12 in the first half, Pitt shot 2-12 in the second. And if you dip back to when UNC made their 10-0 run to put Pitt down by 12 at the half, Pitt had been 5-10 on 3s before that 3-minute bludgeoning by UNC. Pitt missed two 3s in that stretch.

Finishes the regular season on the road. Tomorrow at Georgia Tech and then on Saturday at Virginia. If Pitt doesn’t win one of those games, they will finish the regular season with a losing record. Their first since 1999-2000.

Even Stallings says the “Cupboard is Bare!”

“We certainly have some weaknesses. We have some challenges on our roster relative to things that a lot of people have that we don’t…”

Kevin Stallings
Trib Review

Comment by PittofDreams 02.28.17 @ 5:12 am

AMAZING transformation!

Conner “Lean ‘n Mean” for the Combine.

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.28.17 @ 5:23 am

How fast will he run? No takers?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.28.17 @ 5:24 am

Of course I’m a taker –

Put me down for a 4.49 – he appears to be in the BEST shape of his Pitt career.

For us working stiffs, if anyone captures the video of Conner’s combine efforts, please share them with us all.

Predict that R. Shell will clock a 4.6

Comment by Erie Express 02.28.17 @ 5:35 am

Hopefully E.Price worked out with the same trainer that Conner used – results could be similar with selections in rounds 3 or 4 for the NFL draft.

Prediction – both get selected by Seattle – seems to be the perfect fit for both. IMO

Comment by Erie Express 02.28.17 @ 5:54 am

4.63 Upitt

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.28.17 @ 7:49 am

POD – that sounds better than Stallings admitting he sucks.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.28.17 @ 8:06 am

Stallings has been blaming the players since we started loosing. Some of you actually believe they are the root of all of the teams problems.

Remember that time when John Wooden said “We lost tonight because these guys won’t listen to me!”? No? I don’t either.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.28.17 @ 8:42 am

@Huff – I don’t believe Pitt (which is not an SEC registrant) is eligible for a shelf offering.

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.28.17 @ 8:54 am

The class coming in does not suck. They have two borderline 4 star players that are 4 stars on some sites and 3 stars on others. If Rivals bumps them up to 4 stars, Pitt has a top 15 class. It’s why these rankings can be dumb. Both are very high 3 stars which doesn’t translate to rankings.

They need two top 50 players between the 2018 and 2019 classes to make this team a legit contender down the road. It’s very much a foundation class and won’t win much on it’s own. Next year will be rough. Very rough.

I’ve seen Aaron Thompson in person 3 times now this season. He is very good. I get to see a lot of great HS ball in my neck of the woods and a lot D1 talent and D1 talent that goes to Duke, UNC, Georgetown etc. He stacks up.

Paul VI is down the road from me. I saw Manigault (same HS) last year as well and, even last year, you could tell Aaron Thompson was the better player. I was thrilled when Pitt offered. Manigault was always going to be a kid who needed to develop. Thompson will be better out of the gate. Probably shouldn’t be starting, even though he will be, but Pitt fans are going to love him. Ice cold competitor. High basketball IQ.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.28.17 @ 10:08 am

Hope some of our current running backs are sharing Conner’s workouts.

Who would have thought joining the ACC would mean the demise of Pitt Basketball?

At least Football seems to be heading in the right direction. This year will tell us a lot since it is the transition year from Chryst’s to Narduzzi’s recruits.

Comment by gc 02.28.17 @ 10:12 am

Good to hear TT, recruiting is our only hope. The big question is will we get those top 50 guys that you absolutely must have to be competitive in the ACC? Then will the coaching be good enough or do we end up like NCST?

Comment by gc 02.28.17 @ 10:17 am

GC – Coaching? You mean Stallings actually coaches? I see him on the bench disinterested in even being there.

He had 2 NBA Draft Picks on the same team and couldn’t win a game in the tourney.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.28.17 @ 10:31 am

Keep the excuses coming Rockports. Cover your ass and blame everyone else.

“To be able to be talking about the NCAA Tournament — that we’re even mentioned — and talking about being .500 in the greatest year (in ACC history) is a modern miracle and the eighth wonder of the world,” he said. “If you told me that in the summer, you’d have to be checked out.” Stallings said competing in the ACC, which has seven ranked teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, has been difficult for Pitt (15-14, 4-12).

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.28.17 @ 10:47 am

KS should have made the tournament with this team. Dixon would have, which isn’t saying much. He totally F’ed up a chance to get this team going.

Pitt won’t fire KS unless they hire a great AD with a big name…which won’t happen.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.28.17 @ 10:47 am

As for recruiting, compared to what Dixon recruited before fired, KS’s class looks incredible. Again, that isn’t saying much.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.28.17 @ 10:55 am

Pitt athletics is teetering on the brink. They are a Mark Dantonio heart attack away from irrelevance. The BOT would then complete the hat trick and hire Charlie Weis. Then we could all walk away in peace.

Comment by wally 02.28.17 @ 10:59 am

gc – yeah. The one consistent thing with NCAA winners is that they have at least 2 top 50 recruits on the roster. Pitt’s elite 8 team had Blair and Sam Young who were both just outside the top 50. You don’t need all Americans. In fact, you’re better off with the kids 25-50 as they generally stay 3 years instead of 1-2 like the All Americans. The All Americans are great for generating excitement but very few coaches can run a consistent program with them. You need a team with very good role players, two top 50 talents with one go to player.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.28.17 @ 11:00 am

wally – people vastly overestimate the MSU connection. He was a Dantoni loyalist, not a MSU loyalist. Not saying it couldn’t happen as he’d be one of the first calls but, historically, MSU and Pitt are sister schools. Very similar histories of mediocrity. I’d think Narduzzi would be more likely to leave for a major program than a mid-P5 program that’s really a lateral move or minor upgrade.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.28.17 @ 11:37 am

Tossing, understood and agree. I was using Dantonio as a recognizable placeholder to try and illustrate the point that, as this point in time, HCPN is the ONLY thing between Pitt Athletics and the pitchforks. The BOT should be act accordingly and with a sense of urgency

Comment by Wally 02.28.17 @ 11:54 am

It took 8 years for Stallings to have a winning conference record in the weaker SEC.

A quick builder of programs he is not.

Caretaker/undertaker more likely.

Comment by Emel 02.28.17 @ 12:22 pm

A Funeral Home career awaits.

Comment by Emel 02.28.17 @ 12:27 pm

The problem with an OCS that seats 45K is that if it ever happens when we play ND, Pedos or WVU the game will be moved to Heinz Field so that they can sell 70K tickets like we did last Sept 10 and our “Home Field” atmosphere will disappear like we used to move the big games form old Pitt Stadium to pathetic 3 Rivers.

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 02.28.17 @ 12:40 pm

If the fans don’t start showing up we will lose Narduzzi in a couple years. We need an AD that can market, not boast about selling tickets to PS fans and calls the fans noise. Should not be difficult to canvas the upper decks and get 50-55,000 in the stands every week. A filled lower bowl and better camera angles would make a world of difference. Promotions like fireworks, bobbleheads, and t-shirts always work. How about a classic bobblehead series with the Pitt Greats, a real collectors item.
Some autographed and certified, to the first 5000 fans, get kids in the seats early.

Get creative.

Comment by gc 02.28.17 @ 1:28 pm

Everybody always talking about we got football to look foward too thats cool if your a Pitt Football fan. I’m strictly basketball I’ve been a fan since 2002 or so ever since Chevy Troutman played he was a good friend of my wife and I from our hometown. I don’t want to mention my favorite college football team it might offend some people on here lol. My point is basketball is what I look foward to and it is just plain embarassing from what it was in the big east now its so bad I forget to watch games before I would plan everything around pitt basketball so when you guys talk about football on a basketball post thats when you know nobody cares about this BBall program anymore the fans are dissapearing fast.

Comment by PittPanFan 02.28.17 @ 2:32 pm

These idiots can’t even get the game camera’s positioned on the other side of the field, so that the Fuller Home side of the Field, is shown on TV.

3 Stooges running this ?

Comment by Emel 02.28.17 @ 3:17 pm

The first litmus test for the new AD should be, does Narduzzi like the guy? We lose him and I’ll be spending the next 20 years watching the Golf Channel. (Steelers can’t beat NE)

Comment by Jackagain 02.28.17 @ 5:47 pm

Nard Dog likes Tressell

Comment by TX Panther 02.28.17 @ 8:30 pm

Fans disappear when the experience isnt fun anymore. When its actually painful to watch.

Pitt basketball should not be watched tonight on TV. But many will because its an abusive relationship.

Comment by TX Panther 02.28.17 @ 8:33 pm

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