March 1, 2017

Offense Struggles, Defense Follows

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:25 am

There is nothing remotely surprising about the outcome of the game. Oh, hell, let’s jump right to Kevin Stallings in the post-game.

Thirty games into his first season at the school, Stallings saw a continuation of what has irked him for much of the past four months, including a lack of execution from a group, he said after the game, which sometimes lacks coachability.

“If the coach says run a play, how about just run the play?” Stallings said. “How about just don’t come down and charge before you give the play a chance to unfold? It’s a lot of things. It’s staying in your stance on defense. It’s staying between your man and the goal. It’s seeing the ball when you’re away from the defense. There are a lot of things that go into it. I get it. I get where they’re at. I get where we’re at in the season. It’s kind of a pride thing at this point. I just had hoped we would play a little better.”

Not that Stallings has been much for taking much responsibility for the way this team plays, other than the usual lip service of “it’s on me as the coach” stuff after blaming the players. But after this game, he didn’t even bother with the pretense.

I mean, I don’t think he’s totally wrong. It is clear that this group didn’t want to listen to him outside of “offensive freedom.” And we all know how thin this team is, making it next to impossible to just bench a guy. But at some point he needed to just yank those players from the game (this one or any of the others where things unfolded all too similarly) rather than lament them (not by name) in the post-game. It’s not like they are listening to him on the court, why would he think they would listen off?

Offense feeds the effort of this team — especially the two primary seniors. When the offense is going, the energy is up. They are at least making an effort on defense. When — as last night — the offense is stuck. In this case because Georgia Tech was very good defensively, you could see the frustration mounting on offense. As that happened, the defensive effort kept slipping as the game got later into the second half.

In the first half, Pitt kept GT outside. They kept the interior — where the Yellow Jackets thrive — clogged. Points happened, but more shots were taken from outside or as jumpers. In the second half, as the offensive frustration mounted, the defense kept getting sloppier. Spreading out further, leaving the paint. Opening up passing lanes, and GT started getting closer, easier shots inside.

Only one more regular season game left, and it sure looks like Pitt will finish sub-.500. There is no way this group will even do the CBI. They just don’t care.

conner 4.59
shell 4.59

Comment by TX Panther 03.03.17 @ 9:01 am

If Conner wants to be a 3rd round pick he’ll have to do a sub 7 in the cone drills and a sub 4.55 40.

I’ll never say Conner can’t do something, so …

Based on his current conditioning, I’m going to say he runs a 6.95 and 4.54. Just under the gun for both.

Not being a complete homer either. He is currently at the weight he was entering the “lost” season and that summer it was reported he was hand timed sub 4.5.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.03.17 @ 9:34 am


Comment by Upittbaseball 03.03.17 @ 11:10 am

PoD – obviously you are not a track coach – lol.

Comment by Erie Express 03.03.17 @ 11:17 am

Breaking news Kithcart dismissed from the team??? Facebook is the source so stay tuned.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.03.17 @ 11:50 am

Erie… Hilarious.

Late night, early Morn. That’s my excuse. Going with it.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 11:54 am

But I was SPOT ON about Kithcart.

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 11:58 am

Don’t have to worry about Kittycart developing any farther.

Jeff Borzello
ESPN Staff Writer

Pittsburgh has dismissed freshman point guard Justice Kithcart due to conduct detrimental to the team, per release.

Comment by Emel 03.03.17 @ 11:59 am

So when is Pitt going to dismiss Loser for conduct in losing.

Comment by Emel 03.03.17 @ 12:03 pm

Kithcart sounds serious.

Usually with something this abrupt news of a Police Report follows shortly.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 12:08 pm

Comment by Emel 03.03.17 @ 12:15 pm

He probably stole Stallings Hair net 🙂

Comment by Emel 03.03.17 @ 12:16 pm

It appears Pitt is already for the BC level in basketball. At the moment I’d be happy if Stallings could match Dixon’s record of last year. Heck even match his own record of last year. However I see next season as being worse with at least 7 new players, none with D1 experience.

As TT has said, if Pitt is going to pull the trigger on Stallings it should happen after the ACC tourney or wait two seasons and evaluate.

It sure would be nice if Barnes would rectify the coaching problem he has in Corvallis by taking as his “solution” the problem he created at Pitt. It’s the ethical thing to do, which means it definitely won’t happen!

Comment by Barvo 03.03.17 @ 12:16 pm

Anyone notice that the 11th seeded Pitt women lost in the first round of the ACC tourney to 14th seeded UNC? The difference was 12 points. UNC then lost to Syracuse by 19.

Herman extended Suzie McConnell-Serio through 2021 after making the NCAA tournament after her first season at Pitt. Two sub .500 seasons and 4-12 conference finishes since. Another HUGE accomplishment for Herman during his time at Pitt.

Comment by Barvo 03.03.17 @ 12:23 pm

Door opens for Conner at Combine?

Fournette a MAJOR disappointment in Vertical at 28 inches, less than last year’s AVERAGE for Backs.

Declines Broad Jump.

Comes down to the Forty for Fournette.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 12:32 pm

Precipitous drop for Pitt basketball since making it to the NCAA tournament last year.

Comment by Justinian 03.03.17 @ 12:44 pm

Wow, Kithcart gone? I know he didn’t appear to be a D1 point guard, but you never like to hear that kind of thing…

Comment by 1618mt 03.03.17 @ 12:52 pm

My guess is Kithcart’s problem is grades. And the good news is it opens up another scholarship for a good player.

Comment by rayhpgh 03.03.17 @ 12:54 pm

Kithcart’s dismissal is not for grades. Last semester’s grades were known in January and Pitt is only 8 weeks into this semester. Pitt would not dismiss him during the season just because of low grades during the first 1/2 of the semester. The reason may be drugs (but not sex or rock and roll). Sad outcome.

Comment by oakland comet 03.03.17 @ 1:05 pm

Somebody had to go so not that surprising Stallings found an easy way to do it.

Pitt not at BC level yet..need at least 4 years of losing to get that level…did you see how many people were actually at the PittBC game? I doubt there were 500 people in the arena…Pitt attendance is dropping but not that bad….yet…

Comment by milobloom 03.03.17 @ 1:10 pm

Conner’s FIRST Forty… 4.66

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 1:25 pm

Wow… Rushel Shell really is Maurice Clarett.

4.75 Forty.

Goodbye NFL.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 1:45 pm

Conner Second Forty… 4.68… thanks to a slight stumble.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 1:49 pm

Similar to Boyd, look for Conner to knock two or three hundredths off his time at Pitt Pro Day.

Turns out 4.65 was pretty close.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 1:52 pm

Terrible 40 time. Connor or that bum Shell won’t make a team in the NFL.

In other news, Stallings is still the worst D1 Coach in the NCAA’s.

Kitchart will go to TCU and average 22 a game.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.03.17 @ 1:57 pm

I said 4.63 so I win.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.03.17 @ 1:58 pm

And it just keeps getting worse for the Player some thought was the “Next Tony Dorsett.”

Rushel Shell Second Forty… 4.81

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 2:07 pm

Ya, I’ll give this one to you Upitt.

I wasn’t firm on the 4.65. Let my Heart get in the way.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 2:08 pm

According to PG, Justice Kithcart dismissed from team for conduct detrimental to the team

Comment by Jerry S. 03.03.17 @ 2:12 pm

But Upitt… Conner WILL make the NFL. One way or another.

He’ll get picked… guessing about Round 5.

But my PREDICTION is… he could eventually end up earning his way on Defense as an Outside Backer or D-End in a 5-3.

This should make all those who argued that Conner was NOT fast enough or good enough to play Runningback… happy.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 2:17 pm

But again, NEVER count Conner out of anything he wants to do.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 2:18 pm

Starting out in the NFL….first year, or 2….

James Conner will make (a) a great special teams player and (b) a tremendous GOAL LINE/RED ZONE player

Agree with many of my Blather Brothers….never ever…..count out JC !!! 🙂

Comment by The Truth 03.03.17 @ 3:19 pm

Conner is not an NFL DE, though LB I could see. My bet is that he’ll be an NFL RB, the same position he played in college. He’s a shifty, powerful runner, not a gamebreaker, but that’s what today’s NFL backs are. He fits that mold. Personally, I’d like to see him a little more weight. Given his running style & size, 40 time is more than a little over-rated.

Comment by 1618mt 03.03.17 @ 3:32 pm

You can easily pick up guys like a Connor with a little less heart as FA’s.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.03.17 @ 3:54 pm

Upitt – That’s a very general statement which can apply to most of the upcoming draft. Conner will do just fine, if like most RB prospects, he lands in the right spot.

Comment by 1618mt 03.03.17 @ 3:57 pm

If Conner can not some time off he’s fine. Blount ran a 4.74 and Bell ran a 4.6 a few pounds lighter. Those are the two comparisons made most often. I would like to see Conner around 225 for the pro day and run a 4.6.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.03.17 @ 3:59 pm

Sorry milo, if that’s what you meant was year over year extreme failure and complete lack of fan interest. Those are on the way…

Comment by Barvo 03.03.17 @ 5:49 pm

I thought Conner might be a fullback type (good blocker) with occasional running.

Comment by Frank MD 03.03.17 @ 8:42 pm

Look for Scott Orndoff to come away as the real STAR of the Pitt contingent attending the NFL combine.

It will become abundantly clear to Scouts that one thing Orndoff can do and do well is RUN.

4.6 easily in reach for the Pitt Tight End who measured in at a legit 6-5.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.04.17 @ 6:11 am

Now if Orndoff could only be counted on to catch PERFECTLY delivered Game-tying TD Passes in the waning minutes of Bowl Games.

Unfortunately, his 10 Percent Drop Rate is also going to be abundantly clear.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.04.17 @ 6:18 am

The wrong guy was dismissed from the Pitt BB team yesterday. Just saying…can Stallings be next?

Comment by Erie Express 03.04.17 @ 7:24 am

Pitt is an 11.5 point underdog today vs uva. Pitt won the last contest at home – not many wins away from the Pete, nor at the Pete for that mattter.

Without Kithcart and with Stallings, I predict we struggle on both ends and go down in defeat.

Remember how competitive this team was to start the ACC play – losing a close one to nd and beating this uva team. The current team is a shell of that early ACC season group that went into the 3rd ACC game with a chance to propell itself into the top 25.

Oh, the memories. Right now Saragin has them rated at #69. Higher than I would place them. Aren’t there 68 teams that make the NCAA tournament? Does that mean other programs are bad too? Should that give us hope that maybe it will be easier to rise back to being a contender?

Wait, I just tied my shoes to go out for some yard work and was reminded who our current HC is – scratch that last contender thought…

Comment by Erie Express 03.04.17 @ 7:50 am

This program has been trending down over the last 6 years, counting this season we have been to the NCAA tournament 3 times. Does anyone remember our last NIT performance? Stallings is here for at least 2 more years, also when you look at the current Pitt BB team how many of these guys could be on the UVA roster 2 maybe 3? This team/program is devoid of talent especially ACC caliber talent. Dixon neglected recruiting and it shows period.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 03.04.17 @ 8:17 am

Blame the man making 2.2M not the coach of TCU.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.04.17 @ 10:36 am

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