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.


Pass, pass, pass and pass again around the perimeter then jack up a 3 with less than 10 seconds left!!! That’s the offense…no screens set, no plays to try to get inside the paint.

7th grade girls rec ball at its best!!

Never in my life have I seen such an aggregious lack of basketball fundamentals… and just when you think it can’t get worse…then you see in bounds passes go through Pitt players legs and OB….or Artis driving the lane and just handing the ball to the Tech defender.

And this is the end of the season!

The reasons for these utter embarrassments by Pitt Bball no longer matters. That they are there, does!

Comment by Dan 72 03.01.17 @ 8:54 am

I said it from day 1 Stallings was hired that it scared me when he was saying “freedom on offense” “were going to play fast” basically YMCA rec ball. . For me on the other hand I love watching defense blocked shots, steals, just plain out being scrappy on the defensive end is what I like to watch. I enjoy watching West Virginia or Virginia games people call slog ball but I love it. Look at what Pastner did with GT his first year he said we need to hang our hat on the defensive end and they are in a position to make the NCAA tournament this year and in my opinion needs to be strongly considered as the ACC coach of the year. We lack a true PG and C but HCKS on court coaching is terrible in my opinion why in the world he lets teams get on a 9-0 run against us and never calls a TO to settle this team on the road at that it just baffles me. I can go on forever but its really not worth it this year.

Comment by PittPanFan 03.01.17 @ 8:57 am

That is the worst offense to watch that pass pass pass that takes about 20 seconds to run then we get up a contested 3 I mean I guess you can say well we don’t have any real ball handlers or players that can take it to the rim without handing the ball to the other team. But thats all excuses this team just has no passion anymore and JA and MY are just out to build there resume’s so they can hopefully play in japan if there lucky.

Comment by PittPanFan 03.01.17 @ 9:05 am

The first thing that stands out to me is the absolute lack of trust that these players have for each other and themselves. There is so much hesitation before they make a pass, that by the the time they make it it is too late, the player is covered. The four seniors never developed that intuitive sense that Patterson and Zanna had in their last two years. There are no give and goes or back door cuts that are readily available against us.

The other point that stands out is that this team can’t make a shot when it counts, when it is a must have. Again, last night, they had plenty of opportunities. And what’s happened to foul shooting? You used to be able to count on at least that.

I find it very difficult to say how much blame is on Stallings, certainly a decent percentage, but the players just haven’t held up their end of the bargain. Plenty of blame to go around, but only Stallings remains next year.

Comment by gc 03.01.17 @ 9:54 am

The sad thing is that you can easily see the individual talent of the top 5 guys, they just never played as a team. They also never had a center and although they missed him mightily this year, JR was very limited as a scorer which isn’t good enough in the ACC. However he was a decent game manager, which was sorely missing this year.

The lack of a center was big last night with Lammers having his way with us down the stretch.

Obviously playing with 6 forwards has it’s limitations.

Comment by gc 03.01.17 @ 10:02 am

Welp. I guess you can blame the coach, blame the players or a combination thereof but there isn’t a fourth alternative. We don’t hear the players blaming coaching but we hear coaches blaming players. What does that tell us? Once more with feeling:

The best way to guarantee failure is to blame somebody else for your lack of success.

Comment by wally 03.01.17 @ 10:06 am

Blame the Grandpa making 2.2M a year or 70k dollars a game.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.01.17 @ 10:10 am

GC – well said, good summary in my opinion.

I think at some point, an interesting discussion would be to speculate on which players currently on this team will still be here next year. Obviously, whether or not we add more players will affect the current non-seniors, but still I wonder how this is going to play out.

Comment by 1618mt 03.01.17 @ 10:12 am

Pitt’s starting point guard had 4 assists and 5 turnovers last night in 35 minutes. The 3 guys recruited to play point guard had 0 assists and 0 turnovers in 17 minutes. The problem for the guys recruited to play PG is that they spent much of their time on the floor together.

Rozelle Nix, coming off an 8 rebound in 18 minute performance against UNC, played all of two minutes while Lammers had his fun with Jeter, Luther and Young.

Comment by Barvo 03.01.17 @ 10:20 am

I think only Luther, Johnson and Nix remain next season. Kithcart may stay but I don’t know why he would since Stallings has competition coming in and Kithcart didn’t pick up much useful experience this year. If next season Cam Johnson can shoot like 45% or better from 3 and graduate early, he tries to jump to the NBA. He’d be a fool to stick around for a painful senior year.

Comment by Barvo 03.01.17 @ 10:31 am

I think that KS is soooooo frustrated because he knows he has some talent on the roster and he knows if they would listen to him that they could have made the tournament. But he’s had enough. He’s tried different motivational tactics and none of them are working. Frustration has gotten the best of him and the truth comes out. Like I’ve mentioned before – I’m not saying he’s the greatest coach. But I think it’s clear that he hasn’t been directing a lot of what we’ve seen on the court. It’s pretty telling whenever he says to the media that he’d wish the players would just run the play that he called. I understand that a lot of the blame goes to the coach – but anyone who thinks this is all on him is completely clueless. They’d have been better off kicking Artis off the team when he was suspended for a game.

Comment by JJ 03.01.17 @ 10:33 am

“Kevin Stallings is an offensive genius” says yet another winning coach in a post-game press conference.

And we’ll be hearing this again and again the next few years.

Comment by wbb 03.01.17 @ 10:42 am

wbb – Protect your own. I’d say it to bc it is an easy W as long as he is the coach.

JJ – I mean Mrs. Stallings. You can’t be serious.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.01.17 @ 10:51 am

Every announcing team in the ACC has said that Pitt is in good hands with Stallings. Pretty funny.

JJ, sorry but kicking Artis off the team ranks up there with one of the dumbest things ever said on Blather. We lost to Duquesne without him. While he is no point guard he still was the best we had. Blame Jamie for that. Artis will finish in the top ten scoring all-time at Pitt, It is not his or Young’s fault that in three years, no one comparable to their abilities was recruited.

What value does a point guard have if they can’t shoot, pass or drive the lane? Artis would have finished as a great small forward, if we would have had any guards. Just like Young would have finished as a great power forward if we had a decent center.

We can blame the players, but how much of their poor play was caused by playing out of position and not having players to fill two critical needs on any team?

Comment by gc 03.01.17 @ 10:59 am

I’m totally serious. I wasn’t real thrilled with his hire when it was announced – but it was done. So support the guy til he has a chance to prove it with his players. If he fails, then move on. But this 1 year is not enough to make a true judgment on.
Do you really think that a “different” HC this year would have made any difference? Seriously, the players do what they want. They always have. What I would fault Stallings for is not benching them.

Comment by JJ 03.01.17 @ 11:02 am

gc – I’ll agree about players being out of position because of lack of recruiting. However, leaders lead regardless of circumstance. He’s supposed to be a senior leader. And what you’re seeing from him by his actions and body language and demeanor is not what you would want or expect from a senior who is supposed to be one of your best players. That’s not a personal attack on the kid. It’s an observation of his play on the bball court. And he’s not the only one.

Comment by JJ 03.01.17 @ 11:07 am

JJ – Yes I do. Jamie makes NCAA’s. Pitino wins 1-2 in the tourney. Stallings wins 4 games in ACC. Talent is there coaching was not.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.01.17 @ 11:07 am

Jamie was known for micromanaging every little detail, benching kids for taking a bad shot or making a bad pass. Stallings is known for letting his kids play and never calling a time out.

That is a lot of transition for kids to make. Personally I don’t appreciate coaches ever blaming the results on the kids. That should be done behind closed doors. Especially a guy that has coached as long as he has and really has little to show for it.

And yes, there are many coaches that would have made the Tourney with this team. Look how many close games they played, good coaches win the majority of those games.

Comment by gc 03.01.17 @ 11:24 am

Meaning the players have demonstrated they CAN be coached and they have won in the past.

Comment by Wally 03.01.17 @ 12:18 pm

I’m glad to see this senior class move on. They never learned how to win, a must in any sport. I coach tennis and have some players like that. Look good in practice but when the match gets tough, they usually lose. Ok – I know what you are thinking – it’s me. LOL

Comment by Rayhpgh 03.01.17 @ 1:27 pm

Letting players just go out and do whatever…is not coaching.

Jacking up nothing but perimeter shots is not coaching.

And hiring a coach with a losing conference record in 17 seasons, would make him a Loser.

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:09 pm

Haven’t seen the non-con for next years team.

But I doubt Pitt wins 10 games next year, unless it’s loaded with Bethune Cookman’s, Savannah State’s and Lipscombs.

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:13 pm

The ‘offensive genius’s’ offense got worse and worse as the season went on.

Last 5 games Pitt is only avg’g 64 ppg.

Genius has no clue in to how to speed the game up.

He just sits there and watches and I guess think of how to blame the players in the post-game presser. LOSER !

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:22 pm

Every announcing team in the ACC has said that Pitt is in good hands with Stallings. Pretty funny.

Comment by gc 03.01.17 @ 10:59 am

More talking points. They must get memo’s on this stuff, just like the newscasters, as when you turn on every national news stations, they all just ‘parrot’ the same talking points…almost verbatim.

And we all know the same old talking points the broadcasters use about Pitt all the time. Cue the molten steel and the crucible in a foundry.

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:29 pm

~ JJ….you have obviously not worked in a team type environment to not know, that the leader of the team be it a sales mgr., head of a division or a head coach in this instance….has a tremendous impact on the success or failure of that sales team, division or in this case….basketball team.

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:33 pm

“But this 1 year is not enough to make a true judgment on.”

And we do have something to judge Stallings by.

His 17 years as HC at Vanderbilt, where he had a LOSING record for SEC conference games.

17 years not enough evidence for you ?

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 2:37 pm

@Emel But KS was constrained in filling out at a complete roster at Vanderbilt due to their stringent academic constraints! You obviously haven’t been reading the apologists. That’s also the flip side of why he “needs to get his guys” at Pitt and should be given a chance for a few years. He can get better players if they don’t have to be good students. Then you will see his true coaching genius. Got it now?

Comment by Barvo 03.01.17 @ 2:45 pm

On a different note, what a mess the pantherlair/rivals site is in terms of the free message board format. They should just get rid of the whole thing. It does look like Vukovcan’s site will be getting some sort of a message board as well soon.

Comment by 1618mt 03.01.17 @ 3:40 pm

Teams featured on next year’s non-con:

Taylor Allderdice
Central Catholic
West Mifflin
New Castle


Comment by Pitt Dad 03.01.17 @ 3:46 pm

Next year’s men’s throwback uniform:

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.01.17 @ 3:52 pm

86 year old in a Rascal > Stallings

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.01.17 @ 3:59 pm

The real villain here is Barnes, who now gets to be the latest high profile Athletic Department employee at Pitt to play the “I’m not screwing you over, I’m just going home” card. He ran the best coach Pitt has ever had out the door (IMHO) and replaced him with a coach that does not know these simple rules of coaching: If you refuse to do what I am coaching you to do, then you will come out of the game. If you do not make a consistent effort on defense, then you will not play, period. If you are 6’8″, and your name is not Irving Johnson, then you will not play PG at Pitt. If my team consistently fades in the second half, them my strength and conditioning program requires a serious review. If you want to let your team play through adversity and not use your timeouts, that is not the same thing as letting your team play through a complete free fall.

Comment by HbgFrank 03.01.17 @ 4:03 pm

Here’s a few quotes. Ask yourself how many of these will apply to HCKS.

“All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.”
– Bill McCartney, American Football

“I’d say handling people is the most important thing you can do as a coach. I’ve found every time I’ve gotten into trouble with a player, it’s because I wasn’t talking to him enough.”
– Lou Holtz, American Football

“To be as good as it can be, a team has to buy into what you as the coach are doing. They have to feel you’re a part of them and they’re a part of you.”
– Bobby Knight

“If you have something critical to say to a player, preface it by saying something positive. That way when you get to the criticism, at least you know he’ll be listening.”
– Bud Grant, American Football

“People thrive on positive reinforcement. They can take only a certain amount of criticism and you may lose them altogether if you criticize them in a personal way… you can make a point without being personal. Don’t insult or belittle your people. Instead of getting more out of them you will get less”
– Bill Walsh, American Football

“I have learned over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat, together, a team.”
– Bear Bryant, American Football

“A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “x’s and o’s” as compared to time spent learning about people.”
– Mike Krzyzewski

I will say firmly that not one of these quotes applies to HCKS. Not a one, and that’s the problem with the “offensive genius” he offends his players to mask his own short comings time & time again.

I understand he is going to be here for a couple years.

I still will support the team.

I can’t support HCKS because he’s not going to change. He doesn’t know how to change. He is X & O’s and not a team builder and that is a recipe for mediocrity regardless of the talent level.

Hopefully the next hire 2 to 3 years from now isn’t another retread.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.01.17 @ 4:09 pm

Tony ++++2000000%

Nuf said!

Comment by Wally 03.01.17 @ 4:36 pm

Emel – I get what you are saying but that’s not an apples to apples comparison. To the players, this isn’t their job. They’re not at risk of losing their scholarship as seniors for the way they play basketball – by how many points they score or assists they have. So it’s not quite the same. I’ve been saying all along, I’m not stating that he’s the greatest coach. But the hatred and garbage thrown at him is completely ridiculous and unwarranted.

Comment by JJ 03.01.17 @ 4:39 pm

JJ – Mrs. Stallings. Call him a saint if you want. He is terrible and acts like he is 14-2 in conference. He makes 2+M a year. Keep blaming the kids and not a 76 year old looking coach who never won anywhere in his career. A has been would be better bc that at least means they won at least in the past.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.01.17 @ 5:38 pm

I cant support this product. My support would mean tacit approval of how everything went down and give legitimacy to the BoT and others calling the shots.

Comment by TX Panther 03.01.17 @ 5:45 pm

Upitt – Stallings did not help himself this year but lets not pretend this group of players didn’t have their own issues coming into the season. The issues were magnified under Stallings but these seniors have been a pain in the ass for years. Defensive lapses, lack of focus, long cold stretches, bad attitude, lack of aggressiveness have all been ongoing problems. There were a lot of issues with this team over the course of the season, and the coach is certainly one of them, but certainly not the only one.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.01.17 @ 6:02 pm

Quite simply, over the past 15 years or so we have been spoiled. We have been lucky enough to have seen winning basketball in the best conferences in the land. We started to get fussy, not liking the style when a few years prior we would have taken a 2-0 win.
Jamie’s biggest fault was not having that one superstar come NCAA time. How many did Syracuse win without Mello?? 30 win seasons get you spoiled, and critics started on soft OCS, but much like the SEC in football, you get killed playing in probably the best conference in the history of the sport, and he did very,very well there.
So in cones KS. A journeyman at best. He simply pales in comparison ronthe past 2 coaches. JJ, his history shows he has never,ever, been a top level coach. They are right, if he can’t get over .500 in the SEC what in Gods green earth makes you think he can do it in the ACC? Letting these chuckleheads play “fun bb” is like giving Upitt access to a goat, what do you think is going to happen?
And BTW, the incoming class is rated higher due to quantity, not quality.

Comment by JoeKnew 03.01.17 @ 6:10 pm

Having watched all of our BB games this year, I have never seen a Pitt BB team lose so many games in the last 5 minutes. Is it, playing not to lose, out of gas, scared to take the last shot, dumb plays, etc. So we march on to a losing record at UVA.

Comment by Frank MD 03.01.17 @ 6:56 pm

i thought the williard years were bad

ks will bring more pain than that stretch

Comment by TX Panther 03.01.17 @ 7:00 pm

Frank MD – the answer to your question is all that you listed.

My wife and I watched President Trumps speech instead of the Pitt BB game. Glad I made the change – when the speech was over, Pitt was already falling to a 13-2 GT run and Stallings was hanging in to his TO’s.

I’m a better man for taking that game off…

Saturday, hopefully I’ll be on the golf course when Pitt falls to uva.

Comment by Erie Express 03.01.17 @ 8:14 pm

I could win with this Pitt Basketball Team.

And I’m not alone!

Comment by PittofDreams 03.01.17 @ 8:27 pm

Of course, Kithcart would not see the floor.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.01.17 @ 8:30 pm

Seems to me as Stallings imprinted himself on the team more as the season went along, Pitt got worse.

Pitt was 13-3 at one point and only won 2 more games….while losing 12.

Maybe he should coach (?) from the press box.

Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 9:25 pm

Last years class looks to be a total wipeout, all of them look lost and overmatched.

A coach with 25 years experience should have known he needed to bring in some more experienced bodies with that recruiting class.

As in immediate help JUCO players, grad transfers, etc.


Comment by Emel 03.01.17 @ 9:29 pm

Spot on Emel. I can’t get past the fact that no juco or transfer came in to fill two HUGE needs…Point and center.

Comment by Lastrowofsection4 03.02.17 @ 4:20 am

Officially… James Conner 6-1… 233 lbs.

Not quite the 6-2 from the Pitt Program.

However, considering how LEAN Conner has gotten himself in order to run his best forty at the NFL combine, his current weight of 233 means he likely played most of his downs at Pitt at 245 or more.

Pretty impressive.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.02.17 @ 6:32 am

As for Rushel Shell… Officially 5-10… 227.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.02.17 @ 6:36 am

We’ve become a nation of liars and cheats…PoD

From the Top down.

Comment by Emel 03.02.17 @ 7:49 am

Tony, I was gearing up to make a similar point…but you made it so well!

Personally I hve seen enough I wish Pitt would cut bait here…KS can do none of the things you mention.

I think bball has changed in the past decade…good high school players come in with fewer fundamentals and a lower desire to commit to rigor in the game. College coaches perhaps do not have to be a uber-controlling as Dixon, but really, you need to be in the ballpark, today more than ever. It might not be apparent given having like 4 perpetual McY D’s AAs on a team but the Pitnos of the world absolutely make their players commit to structure. Schools one level down from the blue bloods need coaches that impress structure even more (aka Virginia, etc). I just dont see KS having the ability to do that.

Comment by DD 03.02.17 @ 8:28 am

Assume Pitt cuts HCKS loose and further assume that Pitt is still considered a destination for coaches, who would you want from all the D-1 coaches (leaving out those who are institutions at their respective institutions)?


Comment by Pitt Dad 03.02.17 @ 9:38 am

Jamie had great success because he was able to keep players for four or five years and teach them how to play his system It starting falling apart when Montreal’s Gift, who was a freshman starting at center decided to go, then two years later Adams goes pro, and Jamie and Co. could not recruit a decent guard or center. The guy did much more with less talent, beating the likes of Syracuse, UConn, Villanova, Georgetown and others with decidedly less talent. He did very well the year he had two future marginal pro players.

So it really remains to be seen whether anyone can recruit elite players to come here. It has never been done before other than the Charles Smith years.

Stallings was hired because some believe he can recruit elite players to come to Pitt. He will get his chance to do it or not. It won’t be easy, it has never been done before, but is a must, by him or someone if we are ever to raise any banners in the Pete. Duke, UNC, Syracuse, and Louisville can reload with elite players every year. Most other ACC teams pick up a few high quality players every year.

IMO, I think the Stallings years will prove to Pitt that they are going to have to spend serious cash if they really want to compete at the highest levels. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is that important to them.

Pitt is one of the largest recipients of research grants in the country. My theory is that Gallagher is spending all of his time in Washington attempting to keep that spigot flowing with the new administration. That is why he hasn’t been seen at the Pete, and why athletics is not at the top of the priority list right now. If Pitt loses a big percentage of that research money, Football and Basketball will be the least of Pitt’s problems.

Comment by gc 03.02.17 @ 10:21 am

If Pitt had hired a flat bellied up and comer and we were sitting here with the exact same record, while fans would be just as disappointed, I just don’t think there would have been the degree of vitriol and disenchantment. The problem is once the well is poisoned, it is difficult, if not impossible, to reverse a negative PR trend. And that is on Barnes.

The infamous presser was a seminal moment for Pitt BB. Barnes blew it big time with his arrogance and condescension. Stallings came away that day and never stood a chance. And, IMO, it could have been avoided. Imagine for a moment that Barnes opened up with the following statement:

“We are excited to be here today to announce the next basketball coach for your Pitt Panthers. I have always been amazed at the passion fans have for this program. In fact, it is one the things that attracted me to take the job as athletic director. Chancellor Gallagher and I are committed to harnessing that energy and passion to help take Pitt basketball to the next level. To accomplish that, we are convinced we need to not only maintain traditions and celebrate the achievements of the past, but we need to improve upon every aspect of our program. That means bringing the Pete in line with modern facilities including optics, technology and fan experience. That, in turn, will help us recruit excellent student athletes who will be excited to play exciting, energetic basketball in the premier basketball conference in front of our Zoo, which is nationally recognized as one of the foremost student support contingents in the world.

To accomplish this, we gave consideration to the challenge any coach would have coming here. Let’s face it. Jamie Dixon did Pitt proud while he was here and left some pretty big shoes to fill. We felt very strongly that we needed to bring in a steady hand with a level of maturity, gravitas and seasoning that would allow him to hit the street running. We needed someone who, frankly, would be energized and focused day one on competing against the best, on game days and in the recruiting wars. And, we think we have found our man in Kevin Stallings. You have seen Kevin’s bio which clearly meets the criteria we laid out. Couple that with his high level of energy and commitment and we are confident we are on the cusp of even bigger and better things ahead for Pitt Basketball.

I know Kevin and his family are going to love Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh. I am asking you all as Pitt fans to open your arms and give Kevin and his family the same magic Pittsburgh welcome that you afforded me and my family with an equal measure of continued support and enthusiasm as we move forward together to bring championship basketball the Pitt.”

Comment by wally 03.02.17 @ 11:46 am

@Wally – “high level of energy”? In your scenario, were they giving him amphetamines too? LOL


Comment by Pitt Dad 03.02.17 @ 12:07 pm

Pitt Dad, LOL

I didn’t say it was true, I just said Barnes would have been better off saying that than “hey, Noise, take your medicine and get over it”.


Comment by wally 03.02.17 @ 12:16 pm

I don’t think that there is any question about whether Pitt is a basketball or a football school. On that note, there have been a lot of positive comments from recruits about Pitt’s South Side football complex being next door to the Steelers. I think Pat Narduzzi and his staff recognize that it a positive in their favor. As much as I loved Pitt Stadium, Heinz Field is where where the Panthers play and we need to look at it as an asset, rather than a liability. I’m excited about the job they are doing on the recruiting trail. This staff is being aggressive and they are going after the best athletes where ever they are. That’s evidenced by the players from Florida in this recruiting class. Looking forward to next few football seasons.

Comment by Justinian 03.02.17 @ 1:46 pm

@wally That’s a great start. In this alternate world if Barnes had provided a few more reasons about why Stallings was the perfect guy for Pitt and competing in the ACC and I may have renewed.

Sadly, in the real world Barnes alienated many and did Stallings no favors. Then Stallings compounded it by confirming the contentions of the “noise”.

Comment by Barvo 03.02.17 @ 1:50 pm

Chas, you’re an attorney. Can we start a class actin lawsuit against Barnes for collusion pertaining to the KS hiring? I mean we even have documentation from national sports writers who immediately called out the hiring as being fishy.


Pitt Dad @ 3:36 yesterday

I see two sure losses (Mars and New Castle) plus possibly a couple more

Comment by wbb 03.02.17 @ 2:32 pm

Right wbb…..If Pitt played dumb (imagine that) they might be able to use the collusion lawsuit in order to worm their way out of Stallings 6 year abomination.

Comment by Emel 03.02.17 @ 3:38 pm

wally – that’s where I stand. Stallings will never get a fair shot so Pitt really just has to move on. He has zero goodwill built up. It’s not all his fault but he certainly didn’t help himself. Had it truly been an open and fair hiring, I’d argue the coach gets 4 years. This was such a sour hire it was doomed from the beginning. Otherwise, he’s not going anywhere until his class next year finishes their Jr. year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.02.17 @ 4:01 pm

Stallings isn’t going anywhere. Let’s just hope football doesn’t go 4-8 with our great defense.

Comment by Goalie44 03.02.17 @ 4:29 pm

The same people who chased Graham out of town, need to have a little talk with Stallings.

New Ken, Arnold, Strip District…hello.

Comment by Emel 03.02.17 @ 4:37 pm

Why Pitt didn’t require Herman taking Loser with him to Oregon State, as a requirement of getting out of his AD contract is another good question.

Comment by Emel 03.02.17 @ 4:42 pm

Barney sighting in Corvallis, OR –

link to

I had fun reading a handful of the fan comments to the article…

I’m having NO fun with Pitt BB – men’s nor women’s

Comment by Erie Express 03.02.17 @ 5:19 pm

I didn’t like the hire from day one, but getting rid of Stallings now would probably be send Pitt to Boston College level.

The fact that Stallings won’t get a fair shake I don’t think is true. He has to surpass what Jamie did here, that is going to be true for any coach that would come to Pitt…that’s totally fair. You can say (like I do) that you doubt that is possible with KS, but his contract basically locks him for at least 3 more years in my opinion.

Comment by milobloom 03.02.17 @ 5:53 pm

Well Tournament week starting up in a few days….I always considered that one of the best weeks of the year…hard to get excited about it this year….guess I can catch up some shows on Netflix next week.

Comment by milobloom 03.02.17 @ 5:55 pm

Looks like Pitt going to be 14th seed in tourney and looks like could be a rematch with GT.
7:00 PM game if that holds.

Comment by milobloom 03.02.17 @ 5:58 pm

milo – if GT is our 1st round game, The Blatherites can start suggesting game strategies since we lost to them only a few nights ago.

First one could be – put a big guy on their center who torched us for 20 points – Nix played a whole 2 minutes vs GT and he is Pitt’s ONLY big guy.

Comment by Erie Express 03.02.17 @ 6:19 pm

I have absolutely no appetite to participate in any basketball polls this year. I’m just too bummed out. I didn’t even watch the Georgia Tech game the other night.

Comment by Justinian 03.02.17 @ 9:50 pm

I believe GT is a team we could beat in ACC tourney. We shot 37, 30(3s) and 50(FT) at GT. Surely we can do better.

Comment by Frank MD 03.02.17 @ 10:29 pm

Today is an interesting day for a couple of familiar names to Pitt Football.

James Conner and Rushel Shell both set to run the FORTY at the Combine.

How FAST or slow?

Erie has already cast his lot with Conner predicting what would be an AMAZING 4.9 for Conner.

I wish it were so. However…

Conner B.C. (Before Cancer) might have had a chance at 4.9 or something in the neighborhood. No longer in my opinion.

I see Conner running SLOWER than what is going to cement him in the minds of NFL Teams thinking about picking Pitt’s TD KING in the upper rounds.

My guess is 4.6. Maybe a little higher, HOPEFULLY a little lower which would be BIG for a 6-1 233 lb. Back.

As for Shell. While everyone was calling on him to be the “Next Tony Dorsett”… to me he was ALWAYS more like the next Maurice Clarett. I posted as much prior to his arrival on Campus.

My guess with Shell is that he will run BETTER than Clarett’s 4.7 PLUS which signaled a Death Knell for his NFL Career.

Similar to Conner, I see Shell running in the 4.6 neighborhood.

My head says Shell runs a tenth or two FASTER than Conner.

But my HEART says Conner steals the day with what will be a SURPRISING 5.65.

As we all know, surprise is what Conner does.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 6:35 am

Clarification… 5.6 not 4.6 above.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 6:37 am

Obviously, I should have posted after my first cup of java.

Time corrections.

Erie’s prediction for Conner 4.49.

My prediction 4.65 on the HIGH side but hoping for 4.56.

Not 5.56 which would be REALLY surprising.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 6:47 am

And Shell obviously won’t run a TENTH or two faster.

Make that 100ths.

Rough morning. Blame it on Stallings.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.03.17 @ 6:51 am

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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