March 5, 2017

Over Before It Began

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 11:02 am

When Pitt Men’s Basketball tweeted out the starting line-up, there was no way this game was going to end with positive feelings. Whatever slight, sliver of optimism that Pitt could repeat the stunner of UVa was done. Milligan and Luther were in the starting lineup in place of Artis and Young.

This, barely 24 hours after it was announced that Justice Kithcart was dismissed from the team. As the news trickled out during the opening minutes of the game. It went from the players (and roommates) being late for practice to them being 10 minutes late to the team breakfast that morning. Coach Kevin Stallings held them out of the game for 10 minutes.

By the time Artis and Young saw the court, Pitt was down 19-2. Yet to score a basket. The only thing left in the half was the question of whether Pitt would crack double-digits before halftime. (They did. Yay?)

I have such mixed feelings about all of this.

This has been a long time coming for Artis and Young. Artis was already suspended a game once this season. By unverified accounts, both players have been pushing things for the last few months off the court. On the court it was apparent with their unwillingness to play defense while crowing about being able to do what they want on offense.

Whether it was feeling safe in the fact that they were the best players on the team and seniors, or simply not respecting the new coach. (You’re not my real dad!) You can reasonably say, that this was a long time coming, and just the breaking point for Stallings — which he seemed to suggest in the postgame interview.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened. I have no way of knowing and don’t really care. My job is to uphold the integrity of the team and do things that are right by the team. That’s what I do. We struggled to score at the beginning of the game. It wasn’t like we closed it down once they came in. We didn’t all of a sudden threaten them because we had other players in the game. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that you deal with sometimes.” – Kevin Stallings on whether Young and Artis’ tardiness is part of an overall pattern of behavior.

On the other side, this feels so hollow and empty in the final game of the season. On a road game against a far better team that was almost certainly going to beat Pitt. That Stallings let stuff go for so long that he had no one else to blame but himself — and he just doesn’t do that.

And we are talking about being late for a team breakfast. Not even a practice. Artis and Young may be seniors, but no one has ever called them team leaders. Even now. This seems like a really small thing to be the breaking point.

Ultimately, this wasn’t a message to Young and Artis. Or even a punishment — outside of costing Mike Young the ACC Scoring title. (Luke Kennard edged Young out 20.1 ppg to 19.9 when he finished with 28 points while Young had only 14.)

Not at this point. It was a message to the remaining players, but because it came so, so late. I just don’t see how much of an impact it really leaves.

“We’re trying to establish a culture here of doing the right thing and having accountability and being responsible and committed to doing the right things for your teammates. Sometimes, even when it’s not the opportune time, you have to try to uphold that and enforce that.” – Stallings on sitting Young and Artis.

“I don’t know that I’ve got any magic that’s going to shift their way of thinking. I think when things go bad, there’s a reason they’re bad. The first thing you do is you try to fix what’s making it bad. If guys are unable or unwilling to fix those things that are bad, all the motivational speeches in the world aren’t going to do a lot of good. I’ll think about that as we get together tomorrow. Right now, as I’ve been doing and will continue to do, I’m trying to help guys get better and try to help them understand the right way and wrong way to do things and hope the message hits.” – Stallings on Pitt’s approach heading into the ACC tournament.

The loss drops Pitt into a tie with NC State for 13th place in the ACC. Because Pitt lost to NC State, Pitt will be the 14th seed in the ACC Tournament. That means facing Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 7pm in Brooklyn. The winner gets the #5 seed… Virginia.

Pitt has finished with its first losing season since the first year of Ben Howland. And a feeling that the program is in as much disarray as the last year of Ralph Willard.


sending a message on the final game. Even later than his calling of timeouts.

Comment by wbb 03.05.17 @ 11:56 am

HCKS appears to be lost and grasping at solutions that he heard may work.

It reminds me a a monkey trying to remove a screw using first a ratchet, then a box end wrench, and finally a hammer.

Clueless attempts to show the team HE’S the one charge while taking no responsibility for the teams losses.

He is an awful human being, and he shouldn’t be in leadership position with grown adults let alone young men.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.05.17 @ 11:59 am

Four ACC wins with four seniors. A travesty in coaching. This guy is totally clueless. Pitt admin, please admit your mistake, and fire him today. Show everyone that you give a damn about Pitt Bball and have a little pride. Barnes should have been escorted out of the building as soon as the Oregon offer was accepted. Show some courage, do not accept failure as the norm. Why should fans show up if Admin doesn’t care. Their empty seats showed that they checked out a third of the way through the season.

Comment by gc 03.05.17 @ 1:02 pm

Stallings embarrased his team, his University and mostly himself in Virginia, trying to blame his players for his disgusting performance this year. I never could understand the teacher that punished the whole class for the act of an individual(s).

To what end? If he isn’t a good enough coach to engage his team in a common mission, during the course of a year, ridiculous to make a dumb stand on the last day of the season.

No wonder his career average is less than .500. His ACC career will finish at less than .300.

Comment by gc 03.05.17 @ 1:14 pm

The first act of the new AD must be to fire KS. Anything less means the BoT and Gallagher are not committed to excellence and having a coach that represents the university well. But the BoT and Gallagher are as leaderless, gutless, heartless and mindless as Pitt’s seniors and their POS coach.

Comment by TX Panther 03.05.17 @ 1:22 pm

Tony in Harrisburg, I hate to say it, but ‘a monkey trying to use a hammer’ to tighten the screws is about as good of a summation as I’ve heard to date. I was really hoping KS, based on his long history, would be at least an average coach that could hold things together for the next 3+ years, and maybe he will be just that, but from what I’ve seen I’d venture to guess that his ‘average’ record/performance is the result of playing in a crappy conference.

Comment by 1618mt 03.05.17 @ 1:51 pm

So what kind of clout do Coaches from various high profile ‘Coaching Trees’ have ?

Comment by Emel 03.05.17 @ 2:05 pm

Almost seems like Pitt was ‘obligated’ to take this turd.

Comment by Emel 03.05.17 @ 2:07 pm

Is the season over yet? When does spring practice start?

Comment by alcofan 03.05.17 @ 2:43 pm

I say let the players do what they want, respect know one break all the rules and throw tantrums and pout

Again, can’t wait for next years entirely new squad!

And I’ll even make a prediction, Pitt will have more wins next year than this year

Comment by Keith 03.05.17 @ 3:03 pm

No chance Pitt has more wins next year. Stallings repeatedly failed by blowing huge leads all year long. This was a year that he maybe had a shot at being successful with 4 seniors and a lot of talent on the offensive end. I don’t want to hear it was about the players. He’s the coach, if players repeatedly blow double digit leads, then he can play other players. He never did that. His substitution patterns were chidish.

We are screwed til this clown leaves. And to think I was excited a year ago for him.

Comment by ShorePitt 03.05.17 @ 4:23 pm

isn’t it something that Mike Young became such an alleged bad apple in a little over a year. Wonder what changed?

link to

Comment by wbb 03.05.17 @ 4:28 pm

MY named 3rd team ACC and Ole Artis named HM.

link to

No Pitt player named to the All-ACC Defensive Team (ikr)

1st year coach Josh Pastner named ACC Coach of the Year (how’d we overlook him?).

Comment by Erie Express 03.05.17 @ 4:37 pm

Pitt hired Stallings on March 27, 2016

GT hired Pastner on April 8, 2016

And Josh Pastner is from the Lute Olsen and John Calipari coaching trees.

Former AD Barnes didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Nor did the search firm he snookered Pitt into hiring.

Sir Patrick G – you have had better days!

Comment by Erie Express 03.05.17 @ 4:44 pm

Missouri has a similar story to Pitt’s men’s BB hiring. The fans knew it was wrong three years ago. Today, Kim Anderson was fired after three miserable years.

link to

Now, Missouri’s AD must “search” for his replacement. An SEC cellar dweller looking for a coach who can bring them up from the bottom.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Comment by Erie Express 03.05.17 @ 5:33 pm

Mike Young and Jamel Artis are fine ACC level players, the problem has been, that is it. No one else can play at that level, night after night. You need 5 quality starters and two or three competent guys off the bench to compete at this level.

You also need a coach that gets the most out of what he has.

Sorry Keith, but it will almost assuredly be worst next year.

Comment by gc 03.05.17 @ 6:14 pm

The depth thing is overrated. Kansas’ top 7 have played all but 5 minutes in Big 12 play. A properly conditioned team would be fine.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.05.17 @ 6:37 pm

TT, I said the starters plus 2 or 3 off the bench, isn’t that the same as 7? But Kansas always gets elite players, you need less depth when your starters all have pro potential.

Comment by gc 03.05.17 @ 6:43 pm

gc – I didn’t mean to criticize your post. Stallings and others have used depth as an excuse but if you have 7 players that contribute you’re fine. I understood what you were saying and agree. I’m just tired of hearing this team had no talent. They lost one guy, albeit the PG and a pretty important player, but still it was one guy and one who is generally considered to have underachieved while at Pitt.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.05.17 @ 6:54 pm

Pasteurs was available. Our fans said he sucked and this fuckbag was better. Drew from Vandy was available also. Lost 2 nba players and did better than brokedick pappy rockport

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.05.17 @ 7:47 pm

Illinois not happy with their men’s BB coach –

Just when things were going so well, John Groce’s Illini wrapped up the regular season Saturday with an airball. A 62-59 loss to last-place Rutgers snapped Illinois’ four-game winning streak and, barring a four-wins-in-four-days effort at this week’s Big Ten tournament in Washington, D.C., all but assured that it will miss the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year. (The last time that happened? The early Lou Henson years — 1977-80). It also renewed calls for a coaching change from flustered fans on WDWS’ postgame show and social media. At major programs like the UI’s, that means opening up the vault. From hiring a search firm to paying buyouts to courting candidates, the process is an expensive one. –The News-Gazette–

Comment by Erie Express 03.05.17 @ 7:57 pm

Big-headed Herman has to be a smooth-tongued magician to make Gallagher and the BOT believe he was competent, because those of us in the peanut gallery quickly realized he wasn’t suited to clean toilets at Kennywood.
And, they interviewed FIVE other candidates. Were the others sporting fresh lobotomy scars and heroin needles?
I can stomach shoeshine-man trying to right the ship (Pitt ain’t gonna fire him anyway). But if they bring in another mutated dimwit to run the athletic program, then they will set All athletics back at least a decade!

Comment by Gasman 03.05.17 @ 8:00 pm

I want him gone Gas. Back to Bon Ton and make a ststement that not only will atrocious coaching not be acceptable but being a fucknut and losing his team and have less leadership skills than a varmit.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.05.17 @ 8:08 pm

gc, Undoubtedly. Tossing, was far as I’m concerned Pitt had two really good players and considering last year’s finish, should have done a lot better. If you needed to bring in a point guard then you go our and get a Juco guy. You had plenty of scorers with Artis, Young Jeter and Johnson. What we needed was a solid distributor and someone to or castrate everything. A guy to pull the ball out at the end of games and to draw and make foul shots to secure wins.

Comment by Justinian 03.05.17 @ 8:19 pm


Comment by Justinian 03.05.17 @ 8:20 pm

I have no problem giving him the boot…but ain’t gonna happen.
Herman gave him a 6-year contract (who approved that?).
Pitt, without an AD , will never fire him.
And, without an AD, what decent coach would come here?

Now, explain to me who would give a six -year contract to an old coach who never won dick?

Comment by Gasman 03.05.17 @ 8:25 pm

There’s no doubt that given the talent on this team and number of seniors, this team under achieved. It wasn’t a great roster, and was the product of poor recruiting and years of decline, but it was better than a 4 win ACC team. Poor coaching is hiding behind poor recruiting. If I was getting paid over $2M/year and produced the results that Stallings just did, and got fired as a result, I’d say ‘what took you guys so long’ and thanks for the $2M’.

Comment by 1618mt 03.05.17 @ 8:39 pm

Fat Fuck Herman from Utah who used his ex boss as the search firm to crony up the whole system.

1 person is responsible for this. Gallagher. He acted like he wanted to involved in aathletics and he failed miserably with hiring pirate dick barnes from Mongolia and a 70 year old looking never been.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.05.17 @ 8:41 pm

I agree Barnes is responsible for the hiring, but KS is the coach. When you’re making that kind of money, you should be held to a standard. Enough blaming others for your lap of performance

Comment by 1618mt 03.05.17 @ 9:16 pm

That’s our culture today. It’s not my fault, it’s the players, it’s the lack of support, it’s bad luck, etc. You get paid $2M? Win some games and stop bitching

Comment by 1618mt 03.05.17 @ 9:18 pm

He is a pussy and blames others. He was a dick with Jeter thing and 99 out of 100 educated people would not fat fuck Herman and Stallings were used car salesman turds.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.05.17 @ 9:51 pm

Get a cheerleader $$$to have sex with him.. someone take pics.
Problem solved!!

Comment by Dan 72 03.05.17 @ 10:25 pm

He looks 80 and no one would believe it

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.05.17 @ 11:23 pm

Pitt is playing Pasteur in the opening round and he never lived up to expectations at Memphis. Last years coaching pool sucked except Enfield. I know people like Bryce Drew but you don’t replace Dixon with a coach like Drew. Although they one upped that with Stallings. Still blows my mind they replaced a successful coach needing a change of scenery with a less successful coach needing a change of scenery. Who does that? They should have tossed $4M at Archie and been done with it … then tossed another Mill at Narduzzi to keep him satisfied.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.05.17 @ 11:39 pm

Tossing – He told them no. They wanted him but he nixed it at talking phase. Zero interest. He ends up at NC ST.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 12:40 am

Well the thing with Memphis is; they had damn high expectations there, since Calipari was there before Pastner er I mean Louie Pasteur.

Sheesh they had been to 3 straight Final 4’s & all 3 of those were the National Championship game.

Calipari’s last 4 years there he won:

33 games
38 games (38-2)
33 games
33 games

Nobody could have come into Memphis and lived up to those expectation, except maybe the Ghost of John Wooden.

Paster wasn’t great at Memphis, but one of his teams won 31 games, more than Grandpa Loser ever did in his Lifetime of being HC.

Loser’s best year was 26 wins. Where Vandy was promptly bounced out of the NCAA’s by a 13 seed.
Game wasn’t even close, Siena crushed Stallings Vandy team (a #4 seed) 83-62.

Agree they should have tossed the money at Archie instead of wasting over $2 million on Grandpa Turd.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:19 am

Enough 33’s there to make 3 Tony Dorsett’s.

And to think Calipari really wanted the Pitt job.

We would have been to several Final 4’s and possibly won a Title or two by now.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:22 am

Grandpa Loser had one other #4 seed NCAA team (that being his highest seed), that being 2 years later than the one mentioned above.

That Vandy #4 seed also LOST to a #13 seed. Powerhouse Murray State (no not Murray the cop from the Odd Couple)

So I would imagine without looking it up, Grandpa owns the record for a coach with #4 seeds, losing to #13 seeds.

Another indication of a LOSER !!!

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:31 am

Nobody at Pitt (except Herman maybe) even bothered to look at this stuff.

Loser had an overall losing SEC conference record in 17 years at 138 wins and 142 losses.

And nobody looked at his classic underachieving record and teams in the NCAA’s.

And when nobody looks…’s totally CRONYISM.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:36 am

hOW you hire a guy managing a program in the 4th best bball conference, and that program is clearly on the slide under this guy is just GROSS NEGLIGENCE.

His ONLY NCAA appearance in the last 4 years of his tenure there was as a freaking Play-In Game, where they promptly got CRUSHED by 20.

Last 4 years at Vandy Loser was:


AGAIN TOTAL NEGLIGENCE ON PITT’S PART, for anyone that picked apart this turd’s tenure at Vandy could figure out, this was NOT a GOOD HIRE under any Circumstance. Let alone for a school that had invested so much moolah (upwards of $200 million) on their bball program.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:44 am

Ok my rant is over ! Go to sleep.

Pitt was totally asleep at the wheel on this one.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:49 am

Emel +10000

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 2:11 am

What does it mean when you say they have been pushing things off the court for the last few months?

Comment by New York Panther 03.06.17 @ 7:04 am

All this “blather” about throwing out Kevin Stallings after one miserable season is completely understandable. I was never a fan of his hiring, thought it was uninspired from the get-go.

But unless you know who you’re gonna get to replace him, due respect, it’s kinda pointless. That same lack of downrange planning is exactly how Stevie-P ended up hiring Mike Haywood after Wanny.

The only sure bet — Sean Miller — already told us “not just no but [heck] no.” And that was before Pitt became a dumpster fire. At this point, next year is lost anyway, may as well see how KS does with his 7-8 incoming freshman.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.06.17 @ 8:11 am

Besides, no coach worth hiring will be seriously interested until he knows who he’s working for (i.e., who is Pitt’s AD). I remember that’s exactly why Skip Prosser turned down the job way back when, and we promoted unproven Jamie Dixon instead.

That worked out for the best, especially with Skip’s untimely death. But it certainly could’ve gone the other direction.

My point: hire the AD first. Then let him/her focus on fixing hoops. Maybe by then Stallings will have recruited a roster who’ll play for him.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.06.17 @ 8:17 am

Just to level set.

There is no question Barnes was given marching orders to reduce expenses, primarily in the form of Dixon’s contract. He obviously sold the BOT on his plan to accomplish that without sacrificing revenue.

This, IMO, is where both he and the BOT misread everything, including the market. He told them, and they believed, that Pitt was a destination job that would result in a bidding war among candidates, if you will, which would both drive down the price of Jamie’s replacement and improve quality in the form of a less experienced (but potentially more successful) up-and-comer.

Barnes even bragged that he had his infamous “list in his back pocket”.

TCU did Barnes’ heavy lifting for him on the first challenge. He barely broke a sweat, except when prancing around gleefully touting how he “fulfilled his……..fiduciary responsibility”.


Then came reality, aka, the hard part.

Now Barnes had to deliver the goods. Cutting costs is always the easy part. Maintaining revenue, while improving results, not so much.

I have little reason to believe Barnes didn’t make the calls. There is, however, every reason to believe nobody returned them.

Uh. Oh.

So, having shot his mouth off, Barnes did what every compromised salesman who just over promised would do. He panicked.

What he should have done is stepped back from the ledge, reassessed the landscape and counseled with the administration by leveling with them on the market. But he could not do that and save face at the same time. Given that he had zero concern for what it meant for Pitt, focusing on self preservation, he put lipstick on a pig and sold the BOT on Stallings (the spin machine being that at Vandy, he never had a chance – wait until you see what this guy does in the ACC. This guy is an offensive genius who can flat out recruit, and the fans will go crazy with his up-tempo style!).

Barnes knew he screwed the pooch, but he did buy himself some time.

My guess is the Duquesne game was his “oh shit” moment. Shortly thereafter is when his mother ran out of Depends.

That is when this scumbag revealed his true character by cutting and running, leaving Pitt holding the bag. The rest is history.

And the astonishingly clueless BOT (and Gallagher) presided over all of this.

Seriously, how can anyone envision a course correction when there is a paucity of accountability at Pitt.

Stallings blaming the players? Look who he works for!

Comment by wally 03.06.17 @ 8:37 am

Upitt – they said no because Pitt wouldn’t even get in the game with a $4M contract. He won’t end up at NCST. He’s waiting for a bluechip school. The AD at NCST is a horrible person. They will have a hard time filling it with a legit coach.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 9:03 am

Sean Miller would take about $5M per year and he’s worth it. He’s making $4.5M at Arizona plus other incentives. Pitt would also have to properly compensate his assistants.

The problem is that puts Narduzzi in an awkward spot. If football is the front porch you can’t pay the basketball coach more. That’s the conundrum with being good at both sports. When you have a tenured coach like Boeheim or Izzo it’s less big a deal. When you’re bringing someone new in it becomes a political game.

Since Sean Miller is established as an elite coach the market will tell you he’s worth more than Narduzzi but Pitt would still probably have to bump Narduzzi up to $4M to make him happy.

Both moves are worth it IMO. Both moves would also dictate that Pitt is serious about winning in both sports.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 9:13 am

Except that Pitt isn’t interested in winning….never has been.
The Gallagher/BOT consortium is in shock that they’ve paid Narduzzi so much!

Pitt’s only interest is giving alumsfans faint hope…that’s it.

Comment by Dan 72 03.06.17 @ 9:21 am

Dan_72 – no doubt. That was all hypothetical. LOL.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 9:25 am


What does it mean when you say that Young and Artis have been pushing things off the court for the last few months?

Comment by New York Panther 03.06.17 @ 9:28 am

Two names we passed over last year had good seasons again – UNC-Wilmington’s Kevin Keatts (former Louisville asst) and Monmouth’s King Rice (former UNC PG).

Both young – 40’s

Both finished their regular seasons somewhere around 28-4.

Comment by Erie Express 03.06.17 @ 10:14 am

If we fired Stallings, I feel like we could make a run at the finals this week. GT in the first round, followed by UVA and ND. All teams we’ve shown we can compete with (at least with Artis and Young on the floor). Stallings will find a way to muck up the easiest path we’ve ever seen to a tourney championship.

Comment by ShorePitt 03.06.17 @ 10:14 am

Erie – I liked Keates but if I recall he was too closely connected to the prostitute scandal at Louisville. I really can’t fault any school for not getting over that. On paper, he would have been excellent though.

I don’t remember Rice.

There were rumors that Enfield entered contract talks with Pitt but Pitt didn’t put enough money on the table. With the way the Stallings hire went down, I don’t really believe the rumors. It seems like Stallings was the chosen one from the get-go.

I really didn’t care for Drew. I find him and his brand of basketball very bland. No history of great recruiting and not a big winner.

I liked Enfield and Keates but I didn’t love them or the pool of candidates.

Pitt really should have had someone lined up before allowing Dixon to leave so easily.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 10:39 am

Pretty well documented that Miller will not come to Pitt he has a great recruiting area in Southern California money isn’t the issue it’s the recruiting potential or lack of.

Stallings will be here 2 more seasons they are going to give him an opportunity to bring in his recruits because there is no one left on this roster after this season that is ACC caliber. If he can recruit and win he will survive otherwise he will be gone in 2 seasons.

Could you imagine this years team without Young and Artis?

Besides those 2 there is very little promise on the current roster.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 03.06.17 @ 10:44 am

Let’s say the “buyout” is too expensive to terminate the contract of coach Stalling’s right now. None of us really knows that for sure – But, please consider this option:

The University of Missouri just fired their Head Coach, Kim Anderson over the weekend. Introduce coach Stalling’s name to the Missouri AD as an option for their vacancy. A return to the SEC could be an attractive option for both parties.

Then, Pitt lines up to hire Keatts or King Rice. Both young winning coaches.

With Pitt not having an AD right now, I’m starting to think we may be stuck with Stallings for a few losing seasons…

Comment by Erie Express 03.06.17 @ 11:03 am

Knowing the way Pitt operates, does anyone really think Stallings will be sent walking with YEARS left on his contract?

Comment by PittofDreams 03.06.17 @ 11:05 am

Miller’s roster consist of players from NY, GA, AL, NC, Finland, Serbia, CT, and VA. He has 1 kid from AZ, 3 from CA and one from NV. Not really taking advantage of that SOCAL recruiting ground.

He has no interest in Pitt because Pitt cannot give him the money the wants and he won’t give Pitt a hometown discount.

Roster … link to

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 11:11 am

Miller is not coming to Pitt!!!!

This is a huge problem with pitt fans..unrealistic expectations!!!!

Jeter was asked if the punishment was acceptable for artis and young, and he said..probly…young and artis killed this team this year!

Imagine if they embraced being seniors instead of being the teams cancer!!!

Comment by Keith 03.06.17 @ 11:23 am

Keith – I’m not saying he is coming to Pitt. Ever. Pitt cannot afford him. Paying him would also mean a pay raise to Narduzzi. And a buyout from Stallings. And a bidding war with AZ for his services. Pitt just cannot compete on that level.

The reason he’s not coming to Pitt isn’t because of a fertile SOCAL recruiting ground though. Most of his west coast recruits are just as far from AZ as VA, MD, NC and DC are from Pitt. He recruits nationally and Pitt is close enough to basketball hotbeds that he’d be fine here.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 11:37 am

UPITT – “brokedick pappy rockport” LOL!

Comment by Pittastic 03.06.17 @ 11:53 am

TT – I’m glad someone finally put some sanity into the “fertile recruiting ground myth”; very few (if any) top programs need to recruit locally in hoops to be successful (football is different for obvious reasons).

Regarding Miller, his strength is his ability to recruit moreso than coach, but that’s a much bigger part of college hoops than football as well. I personally don’t care whether or not Miller ever comes back to his alma mater, I’m just looking for a good coach. Erie Express provided good examples of what I thought we’d get, and the direction we were led to believe we’d go.

Comment by 1618mt 03.06.17 @ 12:06 pm

CITY LEAGUE. Pitt signs former University Prep player Troy Simons today. He’s a juco from Polk St. in florida coached by former RMU coach Matt Furjanic. He’s got 2 yrs of eligibility left.

Comment by alcofan 03.06.17 @ 12:32 pm

fertile recruiting applies more for football and to the BB schools who can’t recruit nationally … and even then, the average recruiting class is usually 3 or 4 players at the most.

Comment by wbb 03.06.17 @ 12:34 pm

Simons ia 6ft guard averaging 24 pts a game ,leading all juco scorers.

Comment by alcofan 03.06.17 @ 12:39 pm

Pitt, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M in next season’s Legends Classic Nov. 20-21 at Barclays Center. Pairings still TBD.

The sub-regional teams are Pepperdine, Montana, Oral Roberts, and UC-Santa Barbara. Pitt will play 2 or 3 of them prior to Brooklyn.

So these plus the B1G Challenge will likely account for 4 or 5 pre-season losses. (Not being sarcastic — next year’s team is bound to struggle with all of its youth.)

Comment by wbb 03.06.17 @ 1:19 pm

Nonetheless, I am all in favor of competing in these pre-season tourneys where you will play at least 2 quality teams on a neutral floor.

Comment by wbb 03.06.17 @ 1:22 pm

Alco – Juco hoops is a step up from high school.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 1:22 pm

This idea that you can’t recruit to Pitt is total nonsense.

Now you can’t recruit if you can’t close, that is a given.

But saying Miller won’t come to Pitt because of recruiting is just, ridiculous.

Sean recruited at Xavier just fine.

Heck Dr. Roy Chipman recruited at Pitt just fine.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:26 pm

Let’s step back from the ledge for a moment and re-evaluate.

Again I say, the Stallings hire was uninspired, and the entire process was hinky.

But looks like dude can recruit a little: Last I heard, he has something like 7-8 guys coming in next year. That’s nearly two rotations, not bad for the year we had on the court.

And the team does play a more exciting brand of basketball, especially on offense. Can’t hurt.

And Dixon did leave the cupboard pretty bare in crucial areas. Hard to win anywhere, let alone in the Murderers Row that is the ACC.

I have no idea where or how Stallings lost the team, but it happened early and metastasized quickly. The most surprising part of that is guys were carping about being stifled under Dixon’s rigid system for years, so Stallings shudda been a breath of fresh air for them.

Let’s see how he does next year — and especially the year after — with a roster full of guys who WANT to play for him.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.06.17 @ 1:27 pm

The cancer on the team is Loser.

As he was a cancer on his losing conf teams at Vandy as well.

Worse underachiever than Dixon in the NCAA’s.

Two #4 seeds…in his career….both times he couldn’t even get his team up to beat a #13 seed in the very 1st Round.

This is who this idiot BoT Ok’d to what …..take Pitt farther in the NCAA’s ?

How about no NCAA’s !

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:30 pm

^^^ Hard to win anywhere, let alone in the Murderers Row that is the ACC, without a point guard and big man.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.06.17 @ 1:30 pm

He had 2 NBA #1 draft picks on his last Vandy team.

How’d that work out…Imma Man ?

A play in game loss by 20 points.

He had the 2nd & 6th leading scorers in the ACC this year. Probably the most firepower Pitt has had from 2 players since the Brian Shorter years.

Yet he didn’t even bring in any juco or grad transfer players to supplement the lineup.
Had Pitt be able to get 10 points off the bench this year per game we would have won more than 20 games easily.

If he didn’t recognize that fact, that he needed more experienced players…this guy is a BOOB !


Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:37 pm

If he had 3 or 4, 5 star players coming in, that would be different.

He doesn’t, as JoeKnew posted a couple times, it’s only marginally rated high, based on QUANTITY…not Quality.

Not Quality isn’t going to cut it in your Murderers Row ACC.

Especially with a guy who is an ‘offensive genius’.

A genius should know in an ‘offensive type game’……3 star kids are not going to beat 5 star kids.

You have to play like Virginia to have a chance with lesser talented kids.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:43 pm

I think Jeter’s comment is very telling.
The reality of this whole mess is that Stallings is here for a while. So fans are going to have to deal with it. The whining and incessant name-calling isn’t going to make any difference. I’m sick of hearing it over and over.

Comment by JJ 03.06.17 @ 1:45 pm

Dixon knew that for 10 years and then suddenly didn’t.

Or he lost his magic or Pitt did, or both.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:47 pm

Then don’t read it JJ…nobody is forcing you.

And we don’t have to deal with it, we can vent.

Who are you ?

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:48 pm

Emel, I love boobs.

Comment by rayhpgh 03.06.17 @ 1:49 pm

lol ray….yea those kinds are nice.

Here ya go ray.

link to

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 1:58 pm

More accept it he is here to stay eat this mush from the drok squad running Pitt. Only place
That takes 5 months to hire an AD and lets the cancerous one stay on payroll and suck off Pitt’s teet. Imagine if someone for a second cares about winning and not
Looking like a total embarrassment to the National audience. Puppet Yes Men send your resumes to Pitt. No accountability. His players coming in stink. 2-3 stars. Big fucking deal. Guy sucked dog taint at Vandy and has a hairline that is inept as his coaching and leadership.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 2:21 pm

Wally – I sent two letters today regarding our beloved coach Stallings – one to Sir Patrick G and the other to Dr. Randy Juhl.

Make sure you send yours – others will as well, I’m sure.

I heard again on XM 84 College Sports Radio where Kevin Stallings was getting bashed as one of the worst coaches in D1. They were playing with his decision to not sub in the second half of a recent game.

They kept asking each other if they were tired…Then one of the guys said YES, I’m tired of where KS has taken Pitt BB. DITTO that!

Comment by Erie Express 03.06.17 @ 2:36 pm

Upitt – not true at all about JUCO’s. Buzz Williams has made a living of off JUCO players. You just have to know how and who to recruit.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.06.17 @ 3:06 pm

~ EE

Those XM 84 guys mustn’t have gotten the ‘talking points’ memo from the Coaching Fraternity.

Remember Stallings is an Offensive Genius.

Just ask the latest installment from Josh Pastner, after the GT game (aka Louie Pasteur)

Don’t know if Tony Bennett parroted the same line after the UVA game, since who watched.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 3:15 pm

Would have been a hoot, if he said it at the halftime interview on court….with Pitt standing at 15 points. ha

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 3:16 pm

Erie, mine was put in the mail yesterday but I didn’t consider Juhl. Heading to copy machine as we speak, great idea, thanks.

Comment by Wally 03.06.17 @ 3:20 pm

This season was foretold the second Barnes hired Stallings. Spoiler alert: the subsequent seasons will be similar. Hard to swallow after the success of the Dixon era. Only muscle memory from that time has all of us outraged. That will fade as will our feelings as they progress from ambivalence to antipathy. Or Pitt could correct this immediately. But they won’t. So, if they don’t care, why should I? I had already given up my tickets upon the announcement of the Stallings hire. If the attendance this year is any indication, I’m far from the only one. The only thing left to comment on is the happy horseshit people on this blog and in the local media saying don’t judge until het gets his “own players”. How desperately naive is that mentality? As if he doesn’t have a long track record to evaluate. As if these players are any different from next years? A basketball coach’s job is to coach the players he has. Stallings failed miserably this year and has never given any indication in his career that he is capable of otherwise.

Comment by Will 03.06.17 @ 3:24 pm

I moved into a new firm, took over a whole department, and turned them into a real success. In under 12 months. Leaders lead, they don’t pick their own army.

I don’t like Donald Rumsfeld at all but this quote is particularly apt:

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have.”


Comment by Pitt Dad 03.06.17 @ 3:50 pm

I never missed a game. From the Brandins teams to Brad’s teams Pitt BBall BE was a joy. The energy at the Pete and MSG was infectious. Raised my kids on Pitt Ball. Took them to games, didnt care about the hotels and the costs. They would get their homework done early so we could watch TV games together. Pitt Ball was special, an event. Georgetown, Connecticut Syracuse, St Johns. Great, tough basketball. I haven’t watched in a few years now. Even if it gets resurrected it’ll never be the same ass kicking style. But resurrection requires a stout leader. This guy is a wimp, was always a wimp. At least they should have hired a tiger, a fighter.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.06.17 @ 7:00 pm

I’m with you

Stallings isn’t going anywhere so ppl do need to deal wit th it

Pitt doesn’t have enough alumni or doners to buy out or buy a good coach

You would think pitt has a million fans thought cuz they talk shit dry well on twitter and blogs

Just don’t show up to support

Comment by Keith 03.06.17 @ 7:21 pm

Maybe you guys can sit next to each other next year and tell each other how great Stalling is.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 7:23 pm


You’ve obviously haven’t been reading anything that I’ve posted so maybe reread??

Comment by Keith 03.06.17 @ 8:00 pm

I’d rather watch 2 cadavers have sex than Stallings do anything. Next year maybe 4-5k people will go to a game.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 8:12 pm


Fine by me, us poor ppl can get tix cheap and essy

Comment by Keith 03.06.17 @ 8:41 pm

Please provide proof that Herman was brought to Pitt to trim costs, particularly with respect to hoops. We receive more money than ever with the ACC contract.
I believe he fucked us out of arrogance and stupidity. He thought he could makes his stamp on the program, which he clearly did.
But I don’t see the BOT or anyone else telling him to gut the program. Rather, I think that Neanderthal big-headed douche did it on his own

Comment by Gasman 03.06.17 @ 8:54 pm

Pitt is not a destination for Miller or any other coach who is at a school that has greater BBall history than Pitt. Hail to Pitt and all…but lets be real. Sure we have an excellent stadium…er, what else exactly that makes us a destination? Our deeply dedicated BoT? How much we pay? Our fertile recruiting grounds?

Pitt needs to do its homework and make a semi-risky hire. That is what they did with Howland and that is what they did with Dixon. The key is doing your homework. Barnes sure didn’t.

Hopefully the next AD does the right thing: Fire Stallings, and don’t quit just because the two Millers do not call you back. There are good, hungry, young, disciplined, and inspiring coaches out there to be had. Do your homework and make a thoughtful hire.

Comment by DD 03.06.17 @ 9:09 pm

You know who would love this job?, Brandon knight

But does he have enough experience or clout for pitt fans??


Comment by Keith 03.06.17 @ 9:26 pm

Pitt needs a proven head coach. Brandon needs to cut his teeth elsewhere first. KS is a proven loser hired by a proven joke of an AD.

And yes Pitt is NOT a destination. It has a nice arena that is half filled now. For Pitt to be a destination, it must devote the money to beating Duke and Carolina. A young coach could create his own history at Pitt. Not much history, tradition or legacies to follow. Young coach could put his stamp on the program much like Dixon did. Dixon in the Big East. Someone other than KS in the ACC.

Comment by TX Panther 03.06.17 @ 9:44 pm

A new AD can find enough boosters to buy out this turd…if that AD’s name is Tressell.

Comment by TX Panther 03.06.17 @ 9:46 pm

Brandon would have been nice to continue on, since he was the PG and team leader when Pitt went from also ran to very good in his years when Howland was HC. A magical transformation indeed.

The problem with Brandon was he couldn’t recruit.
The same affliction that befell his boss.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 10:14 pm

This juco kid who signed with Pitt today…Troy Simons, is originally from da Burg(h).

link to

Kid avg’d 26 ppg, 41% from 3. 46% fg.

Turd might have just got a miracle from above.
Or in this case….Winter Haven.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 10:19 pm

Although we only beat out the UT-Chattanooga Mocs and Middle Tennessee for his services.

link to

At least we’ll score more than 40 ppg now, next year. Maybe even 50 on occasion.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 10:23 pm

Turd just offered him 3 days ago.

3/3/2017 – JUCO PG Troy Simons (6-1, -, 2?) has received an offer from Pittsburgh. – Per Link –

I guess right after Kithcart got sent packing.
Kithcart was rated a 3.3 * and this kid is a 2.

Comment by Emel 03.06.17 @ 10:27 pm

If Pitt fans were polled prior to the hire Stalling versus Knight they would have chosen Knight. Drew versus Stallings they would have chosen Drew. Stallings versus most young up and coming coach. They Young coach would have taken it every time.

Herman didn’t know the fan base. He didn’t want
to know it either.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.06.17 @ 11:23 pm

Emel – You would average 18 in that shit league. Kid will be average if he ever makes the grades.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.06.17 @ 11:27 pm

I remember being really upset when we hired Dixon. Seemed like we settled. Oh, pick the coach because the players loved him…what a terrible reason to pick a coach!!

That turned out pretty well.

Of course BBal is littered with examples of where it did NOT work out (hiring the assistant)…

So that said, Brandon might have been a great move…or not. Agreed he was a poor recruiter. Maybe a good motivator? Likely a good “tough love” teach them defense and grit kinda coach. Who knows what is X and O skills are…just tough to say from the peanut gallery.

Comment by DD 03.07.17 @ 6:26 am

this is the last straw. He just can’t resist to continue to blame the players while extolling his virtues

link to

Can you imagine Dixon doing something like this. He is a bigger coward than Fraud.

Comment by wbb 03.07.17 @ 7:08 am

LOL Stallings. He wants to be remembered as the guy who gave his players important lessons about…….life.


Don’t accept personal responsibility…check

When things are looking really bad and the situation you are in is out of control, run……check

Public hangings, yep that’s the money play…….check

Always remember. It is always, and I mean ALWAYS, about yourself first….check

And lastly. No matter what job you get, there will always be customers, and, um. They will always be wrong…….check

Comment by Wally 03.07.17 @ 7:26 am

Emel – dumb inference re Simons; I think you’re smarter than that.

Comment by 1618mt 03.07.17 @ 8:30 am

Hated Dixon leaving, Hated more the hiring of Stallings more.

Now he just gives and gives more reasons to dislike the guy almost daily. I can’t wait to hear about all the issues with next years players…….

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.07.17 @ 8:39 am

“But I’m satisfied with how I’ve tried to coach and educate and lead these guys.”

Beings being an absolute turd this putz is a narcissist as well.

Comment by Emel 03.07.17 @ 9:24 am

Just stating the facts..1618…and that is Simons had a lot worse offer sheet than Kithcart.

Now maybe he’ll be great….but the fact is no one offered him but two 2nd rate programs, one from C-USA, which is a shadow of it’s former self say 10 years ago and the other one from the Southern League.

Again maybe he’ll be great, who knows, maybe he was destined to play for Pitt since he grew up there. Maybe he’s going to play a part in Pitt not being totally embarrassed in games next year.

Let’s hope. Stallings is another matter altogether though.

Comment by Emel 03.07.17 @ 9:30 am

Here’s a look at all of Pitt’s recruits, their rankings (if they have any) and their composite ratings.

And who we’ve offered.

Highest rated player we got coming in is Aaron Thompson who is a composite 3.7

The rest are 3.0 and below.

link to

Comment by Emel 03.07.17 @ 9:40 am

Emel – the inference is wild speculation based on a very inexact ‘science’. I’d take a chance on Simons given his stats over some of the 3 & 4 star duds we have on the roster right now, any day. He may or may not be a good players for us, but this is a good pickup at this stage of the game. Any whiny negative assumptions about him at this point are premature to say the least.

Stallings, on the other hand, is making $2M+/yr, presumably, and is fair game.

Comment by 1618mt 03.07.17 @ 9:46 am

Emel, the day you step on the your college field or court, your high school rating becomes meaningless.

Comment by rayhpgh 03.07.17 @ 10:03 am

Emel @ 9:24, Takes gigantic balls for Stallings to be satisfied with his coaching. If the blame goes to the the two seniors … then why did Pitt go down 19 to 2 without them in 10 minutes? The ‘others’ neither played good offense or good defense (against one of the lowest scoring teams.)

Don’t get me wrong, I expected the team to suffer w/o them … buy 19 to 2? Remember, with Jeter, Jones, Luther and Johnson, there was still plenty of experience and talent (all 4 of them have had games when they scored 20 pts or more in their career.)

Comment by wbb 03.07.17 @ 10:33 am

WTF is this???

link to

Stallings acknowledged he made mistakes this season and he would make some minor changes, if given a second chance.

“But not that many, surprisingly for me,” he said. “I’m not satisfied with the record. I’m not satisfied with some of the dysfunction, maybe, that we’ve had.

“But I’m satisfied with how I’ve tried to coach and educate and lead these guys.”


We have the worse conference record in 40 years and he can only think of some minor changes?


Leave Stallings,

Leave now.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.07.17 @ 10:34 am

He shouldn’t be able to sleep at night let alone be remotely satisfied with anything in this program at this time.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.07.17 @ 10:35 am

There are no easy wins in the ACC. That is why we have 4/18. In the SEC, unless it was Kentucky or at times FL, LSU and a couple others, lots of low hanging fruit every year. Add to that a school never known to care about athletics, no wonder Stallings lasted 17 years.

I was OK with Jamie leaving, he had lost the fire, hadn’t recruited well and left on his terms and his decision. I was not happy with the Stallings pick, how it happened etc., but thought it only fair to give him a chance.

I see nothing in what he showed this year to make me think he has any chance for even marginal success.

As for Knight, there is a strong correlation between Jamie’s bad years and Knight being his top assistant. Let’s see how he does at Rutgers.

Barnes was supposed to be a basketball guy, someone who could find the young up and comer, instead he saddles us with the “Never Has Been”, and I’m comfortable saying, “Never Will Be”

Bringing in a bunch of borderline guys just won’t cut it in the ACC.

Comment by gc 03.07.17 @ 10:36 am

Emel, It is hard to recruit to Pitt, you mention Chipman, but don’t mentioned he was canned almost immediately for how he got those guys. Rohrsen and Antiqua had some success in NYC, but the few real stars that came to Pitt, Billy Knight, DeJuan Blair were local and Adams was due to Jamie’s personal relationships in New Zealand.

The vast majority of elite players go to the traditional elite schools with the elite coaches. Few schools have broken into that mix, Gonzaga, Butler etc.

Unless Pitt can get a guy on the way up, it just won’t happen. They will never pay for a real elite guy. For now we are stuck with a guy, that all the announcers and coaches say “Has Pitt in Good Hands” Really?

Comment by gc 03.07.17 @ 10:51 am

Here is that has come to be, forecast by Mike DeCourcy the day of the hire.

link to

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.07.17 @ 11:03 am

Stallings has certainly proven himself to be a Piece of Work.

But with the NEW Guard just added and the others prior… he and/or his STAFF have an eye for identifying TALENT to recruit.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.07.17 @ 11:13 am

Tony in Harrisburg, A copy of that article should be sent to Gallagher, Juhl and EJ, every day.
Rather than escort him out of the building, they let Barnes earn more salary, Who does That? Once again Pitt is clueless.

Comment by gc 03.07.17 @ 11:34 am

link to

Pitt QB Max Browne uses USC departure as motivation…

Comment by NickC 03.07.17 @ 11:44 am

I don’t know if anyone feels like being optimsitic right now, but we are favored tonight. I bet not many teams want to play us either with the potential of young artis jeter or johnson going for 25 on any given night.

Comment by ShorePitt 03.07.17 @ 12:25 pm

Tony, that article is a “must read” for the few remaining hold outs with their rose colored glasses intact. It’s actually haunting how prescient the author was. The Blather is a therapeutic outlet, as Emel pointed out, for those of us who care deeply and need a place to vent the related frustrations. In retrospect, we could have simply accepted our plight outlined therein last March, put Pitt BB in our rear view mirror and moved on thus avoiding a lot of stress and ulcers.

Comment by Wally 03.07.17 @ 12:34 pm

What’s interesting if you take a look at those composite ratings of the older Pitt players and you do that by just mousing over their names on VerbalCommitts is:

They are almost spot on with their composite ratings.

Out of the whole group on Michael Young was rated a composite 4 star.

The rest of them pretty much played up(or down) to their composite rating. If you’re honest with yourself and take off the homer glasses.

Comment by Emel 03.07.17 @ 1:39 pm

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