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April 22, 2017

I Need a Miracle Everyday

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 3:51 pm

Is Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings trying to test the conventional wisdom of colleges coaches being reasonably expected to get three years, or is he just that bad that no one could fault Pitt for pulling the plug after two years — crap, still 11 months to go?

That someone who has been (at least by the fringe) called a Stallings apologist — for not demanding his firing within 12 months of his hiring —  needs to think aloud if all conventional wisdom and logic needs to be tossed out the window. That Pitt just needs to make the break in the midst of the late signing period and while grad transfers are considering their futures. That’s just not a good sign.

In case you missed the late news on Friday, the best incoming freshman guard in Pitt’s class was released from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to Pitt.

Now, that list of past Panthers includes his very first recruit.

Guard Aaron Thompson, regarded as one of the top players in Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class, was granted a release from his national letter of intent, the school announced Friday. Thompson committed to the Panthers in May 2016, about five weeks after Stallings was introduced as the program’s new coach.

Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Thompson (6 feet 2) averaged 10.9 points per game for a talented squad at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va. His performance earned him a spot on The Washington Post’s All-Met first team.

Thompson had had a great senior season and had been elevated in recruiting rankings to a 4-star and in some instances a top-150 national recruit.

He was also a high school teammate of Cory Manigault– formerly a freshman at Pitt and now a kid in search of a new school. How much that had an impact is unknown.

On my list of things to do since March is a post on where Pitt basketball stands, overall. Keep having to trash posts because the basic tentpoles of the team keep leaving.

In addition, Pitt just lost out on Longwood University graduate transfer Khris Lane to VCU. This is where you wonder. I mean, wonder with concern and a touch of panic even if you are the guy talking poeple off the ledge.

Jeremy Ballard, who had been a VCU assistant before moving to Illinois St for a year, and then hired at Pitt. But after only one season, jumped (down/back?) to VCU at the same position as he was at Pitt. Now, Pitt loses Thompson from the DC area and a grad transfer Pitt pursued with the ardor of a hop head for an Alchemist Heady Topper… well, there are concerns issues fuck it, panic.





None of us thought it was good hire. I wanted to see Pitt hire an energetic up-n-coming mid-major coach. The press conference that Barns had for Stallings’ introduction was a disaster,because no one liked it.
After it was done and season started we hoped that we might be wrong. After all, the Panthers had a veteran squad returning and they made it to the NCAA Tournament the year before. We all thought they would be ok this year. The issue was next year. This has become a situation not unlike Pitt football was left with after Paul Hackett.

Comment by Justinian 04.23.17 @ 9:54 pm

Chas- I opened the blather this morning planning to review the comments since the last time I was on. But only one comment was viewable,I assume the most recent. I hope you can get this fixed. Thanks.The Blather is my go-to source for info on Pitt sports.

Comment by Dinosaur 71 04.24.17 @ 6:15 am

Let’s just get back to all football talk.

Comment by Tackle Made by Hugh 04.24.17 @ 8:08 am

Man if they win 1 game in the ACC we will all be shocked I just can’t remember a time when this basketball program has had so much negative attention on it since Stallings took over. He came in with a team that could of done so much more than what they did it’s just he couldn’t coach these guys and they all lost interest in playing for him now the word has got out and nobody wants to play for him and we will suffer terribly the next 5 years from this hire. What a disaster thanks BARNES. I hope that Lyke can make these decisions fast get rid of this coach I actually have faith in Lyke making the right hire she probably is already on it with a handful of coaches in mind because she knows after next season they will be firing HCKS and the rebuild will start.

Comment by PittPanFan 04.24.17 @ 9:02 am

Despite the disaster that has been KS, I actually liked the roster he was putting together for the upcoming season… then the departures of Cam Johnson and now Thompson inexplicably decimated an already thin roster. I hate to say it, but Chas is right, it is perfectly reasonable to panic at this point. By the way, the other guy I really liked a lot was Lane, but now in Dixon-like fashion (no offense him personally, I loved Jamie), we lose out on Lane to VCU. VCU….

If they care at all, its the ADMIN (AD, Chancellor, etc.) that should be should be panicking right now, not the fans. I believe most fans will bail completely, which is why the admin should panic. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think KS will be replaced, I’m just saying that’s what needs to be done imho.

Comment by 1618mt 04.24.17 @ 12:48 pm

where are all the comments?

Comment by Will 04.24.17 @ 12:49 pm

Ohh, Love a mystery – What happened to the missing blog comments. Based on looking at Chas blog posts back to 3/17, I noticed the following:

If <=50 all comments are intact
If 51101+ only comments 101 to + are present

I’m not a programmer but looks like something changed in the settings.

Comment by PITT-cocks Fan 04.24.17 @ 1:44 pm

Somehow a line was missed. Basically, Only 50 comments at a time are visible.

Comment by PITT-cocks Fan 04.24.17 @ 1:48 pm

If >2 UPitt comments and 1 1618mt comment, delete previous 50 comments otherwise post all comments except for….

Comment by TX Panther 04.24.17 @ 2:10 pm

TX Panther, actually, that’s what i was wondering, if things keep getting ‘cleaned’ due to due to negativity toward the Stallings situation. Most of the really negative posters have moved over to the other board though. I for one have never commented about KS personally, relative to how he looks, dresses, etc., in fact I never said he was a bad coach either (I said maybe average or slightly above), but I think the situation speaks for itself, he seems to be a really bad fit here. Conversely, I have defended Gallagher because it’s too soon to be too critical in my opinion, plus as I’ve said, I feel some really good things have been done on his watch.

But whether negative comments re KS are edited or not, there is some scuttlebutt suggesting that things have gotten so bad that its negatively hurting recruiting, etc. Of course, it doesn’t help that it’s the off season, so no football to cover over things…

Comment by 1618mt 04.24.17 @ 3:51 pm

I dont believe theres any ‘editing’ going on. Theres ghosts in the machine or gremlins wreaking havoc. Probably the minions of KS trying to erase what Pitt fans really think of the turd.

Comment by TX Panther 04.24.17 @ 5:21 pm

Tx Panther – I dont think it’s KS’ minions. I heard they’ve left him, as well

Comment by Savannah Panther 04.24.17 @ 6:55 pm

We saw KS publically throw his kids under the bus (more than once); swearing at one of his players during a game (caught on TV). I keep wondering what his practices were like! Must have been hell for the players – must be why they left in droves.

What I can’t figure out is, how did he last 17 years at an institution like Vanderbilt? Surely they wouldn’t put up with such boorish behavior for that long. I wonder what (if anything) has changed for/to him. I can see that following a coach like JD would impose some pressure on a guy (of course, JD’s performance over the last 4-5 years would certainly lessen that pressure!).

I excused his W/L record, because he had a teamful of players recruited for an entirely different type of game than he runs. And playing without a good point guard AND a good center in the ACC is a recipe for disaster. I had no expectations of a good season this year – or until he got his type of players in to Pgh.

But his behavior on the sidelines (which must, by definition, be an extension of his behavior in practices (“you play like you practice”is for coaches as well as players) is inexcusable. I was willing to give him time, but his public antics, and his loss of players has defined him as a liability to the university.

I know we are strapped with him for a couple more years – unless he comes to his senses, and quits- but all I can do is hope I’m wrong, and pray – like Chas – for a miracle!!

Comment by Savannah Panther 04.24.17 @ 7:30 pm

Savannah Panther, maybe he was a cutie when he was younger at Vanderbilt. Who cares why Vanderbilt kept him. He was a bad choice for PITT. It is turning poorly for Stallings himself.

He jumped from one hot tin roof to another. There is no future for him. He backed himself in a corner. But of course he still has $5-9 million coming to ease his nerves.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 04.24.17 @ 8:48 pm

I ask Heather to grow something none of our past AD’s had and get rid of KS before a once proud basketball program turns to a garbage heap.

Knowing that its easy to be an armchair QB, if I had some gonads myself, I would force a buyout. Bring in Brandon Knight as temp coach. Tell him he’s auditioning for a job. Send out feelers throughout the year. Bring in 3 other candidates and interview them once season ends. May the best man win.

Comment by TX Panther 04.24.17 @ 8:54 pm

I think he will start the next season. When he posts no meaningful wins in the non-con (I put the o/u for non-con wins at 5), he will be gone before ACC play begins.

H2P!!!

Comment by Pitt Dad 04.25.17 @ 8:54 am

When the unthinkable happens this year, and unfortunately, mark my words, sadly, depressingly, IT WILL…I hope and pray those in power finally say enough is enough and decide right then and there to find a new head coach.

Of course I am referring to losing to Penn State….IN BASKETBALL.

Comment by DD 04.25.17 @ 9:03 am

PSU/Pitt basketball, as it stands now, could be very ugly for Pitt. No way they fire him mid-season. If he’s our coach going into the season, he’ll be the coach exiting the season. Things are bad now, just wait until we lose to Duquesne and PSU and WVU …

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.25.17 @ 10:04 am

KS did two things wrong this past year:
Call out his players publicly and evaluate and use the talent he had incorrectly.

Besides that, this all goes back to Gallagher and the BOT for letting Barnes F this up in a big way. Dixon takes some blame for zero recruiting.

Can’t fire the dude now. A new coach wouldn’t be able to fill the roster for next season because he would have to start recruiting too late. They have to let Stalling try to get the best players he can in for next season.

At this point, he has to pull a rabbit out of his hat. What the hell is left out there?

Comment by notrocketscience 04.25.17 @ 12:43 pm

@notrocket – will the rabbit play strong in the post?

H2P!!!

Comment by Pitt Dad 04.25.17 @ 1:05 pm

The rabbit is only 12 inches tall..but luckily he’s got a 10′ vertical leap!

Comment by DD 04.25.17 @ 1:18 pm

I still don’t understand how Dixon takes heat for this season or next. It was a tourney team the season before with essentially the same team and he would have had an opportunity to rebuild this season with a better budget for recruiting and assistants. Stallings is the one who decided to go with Artis at point. Stallings is the one who didn’t go after a grad transfer pg or close one to come to Pitt. Who knows what Dixon does last offseason or in recruiting this year to replenish the 4 seniors leaving.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.25.17 @ 1:28 pm

Tossing, I agree

Fact: Pitt was a NCAA Team last year and had 4 starters and 6 of their 7 scorers returning

Fact: Last year Vandy won 19 games with a team that had two #1 NBA picks. This year they won 20.

Comment by wbb 04.25.17 @ 1:34 pm

Drew is a 1000000% better than Slap Dick Stallings. Vabdy AD is laughing to the bank that Herman paid a buyout for the Turd Stallings.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.25.17 @ 3:14 pm

Upitt – Bryce Drew would not have been an inspiring hire either. Pitt chose a really bad year to be in the market for a new coach. It just wasn’t not a very good coaching pool to select from.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.25.17 @ 4:21 pm

I don’t overly disagree but he is 1000 X’s better than Buster Brown.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.25.17 @ 4:50 pm

wbb – Vandy was 19-16 last year under Drew. 19-14 under Stallings.

Vandy will have a #1 pick this year. Kornet 7’2″ Third on team in 3 point shooting and an amazing free throw shooter (86%) for a big man.

Comment by PITT-cocks Fan 04.25.17 @ 6:25 pm

KS should have made the tourney with this team. But Slick Hair did him no favors.
Cornhole allowed Dixon to be without leash and accountability.
Dixon took advantage of it.
But Pitt did Dixon little favors in budget.
But Dixon failed to adapt to ACC play.
Both sides are to blame.
But where are we now?
A program on an accelerated decline.
A program that has a perception problem.
A program that could be no better that a middle of pack MAC team.
This is the ACC.
You need elite coaches to compete and elite players.
Or why bother being a member???
Please Heather fire this turd nugget and move on.
Pitt will lose $3M each year this shoes salesman is coach and will suffer tremendous brand damage
I ask Gallagher to not be involved in athletics going forward.
How is that front porch coming along???

Comment by TX Panther 04.25.17 @ 8:16 pm

Yes, Drew would have been a better selection than Stallings. I doubt he would have matched peak Dixon though and if you’re going to let Dixon walk that what you have to aim for. Pitt didn’t.

2017 was always going to be the first rebuild of the 2000’s. And that’s a good thing. The team had become stagnant and it was time for some change. I have no doubt Dixon would have come out of it with flying colors.

Stallings appears clueless with no idea what to do and is PR train wreck.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.25.17 @ 8:26 pm

It has been said here that you can’t fire a coach after one year, no one would take the risk to take his place (paraphrasing). I just don’t see it in this situation. We have a new AD and evidence aplenty that our current HC was a terrible choice on and off the field and does not represent the Univeristy well. We are ACC and have great facilities and the Zoo. Any decent AD could convince a candidate head coach that Pitt is not unstable, is not a risky proposition, that she is the new game in town and looking in fact looking for future stability.

At the end of the day, it is logical: Candidates will see all of that. And in the meantime as it has been said, the lost revenue from tickets and such is probably in the ballpark of a Stallings buyout so it just makes sense to pull the band-aid asap after the upcoming 30+ loss season.

Comment by DD 04.26.17 @ 6:27 am

J.f. goes from Vandy to psu.
psu hires a female ad.
Pitt hires KS from vandy.
Pitt hires a female ad.
Wtf, just sayin.

Comment by grizzly1 04.26.17 @ 7:35 am

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