November 13, 2017

7pm radio or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Feeling better. Very low key weekend of nursing being sick to maximum sympathy; and to be left alone with sports on TV all weekend.

Let’s start with a lookback on the opening loss at Navy.

If you were hoping this was a young team of old souls, this game should have disabused you of that.

This is a young team. Period.

They struggled defensively. Their shooting was painfully streaky. Rebounding was atrocious. A player lost his cool at the end of the game.

And yet…

Only an idiot was going to expect this team to come out and light it up and be a sound team. There was a relaxing freedom in watching this Pitt team play without expectations. To look for the potential. To consider the possibility of hope down the line.

Jared Wilson-Frame is a pleasant surprise to me. As a JUCO, he was going to be needed to take the load early and he has embraced it. There’s an energy and enthusiasm to him that is infectious. He’s not the point guard, but it was immediately clear that he is a team leader. Now, he just needs to get after some rebounds.

Marcus Carr is this team’s point guard. And he can shoot the 3. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that from a Pitt point guard, so you will have to give me some time to adjust to that (still love you J-Rob).

Parker Stewart is enthusiastic and fearless… And hasn’t hit a damn thing yet. He needs to settle to be the shooter the coaches say he is in practice. Khameron Davis looks good, but that heel/plantar fasciitis issue will limit him for much of the year.

Ryan Luther was much better — at least against Navy. Stunning not to see him pick up a foul until late in the first half.

Jonathon Milligan and Monty Boykins have yet to do anything, which is really disappointing. Simply because they are seniors and really needed to provide some depth and productive minutes.

Shamiel Stevenson looks to be Pitt’s grit guy. Works hard all over the court. Fights for rebounds. And does not like losing. He also needs to control himself. That purposeful elbow to the head of a Midshipman at the end of the game is inexcusable.

The game against Navy could have been Pitt’s if they hadn’t gone completely ice-cold for the first 10+ minutes of the second half. 1 point. 0 field goals. The only thing keeping Pitt in it was Navy was hardly able to light it up. But Pitt took too long to find the offense, and Navy kept control.

Tonight Montana.

Middle-of-the-pack in the Big Sky. They have a good, experienced back court in Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Ogiuine. Rorie was an Oregon transfer from a couple years back and they add another P5 transfer this year in forward Donaven Dorsey from Washington.

Montana is 1-0 after beating the Whitworth Pirates(?). Sure. A D-III school based in Spokane, Washington.

Chas, thanks for still following this season even though not too many people care. I am pumped to watch a win against the Grizzlies tonight on ESPN 3. This team so far seems exciting and hardworking.

Comment by AJ 11.13.17 @ 9:37 am

AJ – I think people care. Caring and spending money are two different things though. Pitt has an uphill battle in attendance for the foreseeable future. Football and basketball.

In an urban center like Pitt, you have to consistently roll out winners … and with a franchise like the Steelers dominating the area, you have to appear competent. Pitt and competence are not synonymous.

In football, that means 10 wins seasons. 6-7-8 wins do not count as winning. In basketball it means winning 25 games.

With so many Pitt fans being Steelers fans, it will always be hard to get Pitt fans to buy season tickets to both. There’s just not enough time to allow for both. Basketball season competes with the beloved Pens. How do you convince people to buy season tickets for both?

That’s the advantage that the Penn State’s and Ohio State’s, and these big state schools, have … they don’t compete with professional sports entertainment dollars. Some will call it an excuse but it’s not. It’s reality. Pitt offers a different experience than state schools and you have to sell kids (and fans) on that.

That’s just where Pitt is right now … and has been for decades. Having said that, we are in some uncharted territory not seen since the mid-90’s. The football and basketball programs being this low at the same time hasn’t been seen in a while.

The turnover with coaches, AD’s and the lack of success on the court/field has hurt Pitt’s reputation significantly.

The negativity is overly-dramatic but it’s not unjustified. There are reasons, and most are pretty legit, for why Pitt can’t get butts in seats. Most of the damage is self-inflicted which makes it hard.

I rally against the over the top negativity, and in a sense come across as the polar opposite because I over-compensate with positivity. In reality I’m more in the middle. A bit disenfranchised. For example, I was supposed to attend the UVA game but I let the weather dictate me not making the 4 hour trip with friends and kids to see the game. If Pitt was winning, I would have roughed it out. Same goes for basketball last season. I decided to skip out on a trip to UVA to watch the basketball team in March. The 90 minute trip didn’t excite me.

Having said that, I don’t think Pitt’s circumstances are not as dire as they appear to be. I really do think this is just a transition year in football and Pitt will rebound next season. Not 10 wins rebound but I think 8 wins is doable. And I can see a path to 10 wins in the future. Not everyone can. I certainly understand why.

With basketball, I really do like the kids brought in. I think JWF will be a nice player to bridge the transition from bottom feeders to relevance. I’m not a fan of Stallings but I’ll give him a shot to win me over. If I like the team, I can find enough story lines to bide my time … that doesn’t mean I’ll be venturing long distances to see them tho. They have to earn that back.

In my opinion, it starts with competence. Right now, Pitt does not appear to be very competent. Hopefully that’s just perception and not reality (like a lot here seem to believe) … and better times are ahead.

Otherwise, we’re just Rutgers.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.13.17 @ 10:25 am

Luther with 2 turnovers.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 7:13 pm

Stevenson with power putback.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 7:16 pm

Luther kicked in the nuts by his own man.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 7:35 pm

Two turnovers will get you that…

Comment by Jackagain 11.13.17 @ 7:41 pm

Guard Moorehead….

Comment by Jackagain 11.13.17 @ 7:46 pm

Stop guarding that kid 30 ft from the basket

Comment by Steve h 11.13.17 @ 7:53 pm

Montana’s starting 4 juniors & RS juniors and one senior. Pitt’s starting Luther and 4 true freshman. Going to be a long season.

Comment by Jackagain 11.13.17 @ 7:57 pm

Pitt…decently coached but not very talented. Like the Griz back court which will ultimately be Pitt’s demise tonight.

Et tu Tossing?

Comment by Dan 72 11.13.17 @ 7:58 pm

6 steals for the grizz, Pitt with 3.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 8:21 pm

Piss poor pass Luther.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 8:22 pm

Just started watching. Where is Carr?

Comment by xfmrman 11.13.17 @ 8:42 pm

We’re a Turnover machine…

Comment by Jackagain 11.13.17 @ 8:47 pm

Pick and roll from Pitt,didn’t see that last yr.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 8:54 pm

Who was willing to set a screen, last year?

Comment by xfmrman 11.13.17 @ 8:55 pm

Slick guard from LA with 26.

Comment by alcofan 11.13.17 @ 8:58 pm

This team will get better…Need Stewart to start hitting more of his 3’s…Disappointing loss for sure, but this team plays hard and shows heart…They definitely looked like they too were disappointed with this loss.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.13.17 @ 9:31 pm

Only saw the last 14 min of reg and OT.
A team full of young guys that have not learned how to put away an inferior team. (Although Montana is marginally better than Navy)
I don’t think we can expect Milligan to do much. Have to let Carr play through adversity.
Luther has to assert himself.
Stewart needs to keep shooting. But he really struggles on Defense.
I am still looking forward to them playing better in Feb/March. With more experience, and familiarity with each other, they can only improve.

Comment by xfmrman 11.13.17 @ 9:35 pm

LMAO. Montana kicks our ass and people see bright spots. 1966 last win against a P5. F ing jokes. Rockports stole 46K tonight. Did he earn it? Montana. Say that out loud. Heather is clueless.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.13.17 @ 9:35 pm

Pitt needed that one. Not many of these winnable games on the schedule. I was critical of Luther last game but he played well and stepped up as a leader this game. Pitt needs this Parker kid has to start making some shots for Pitt to have any chance.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.13.17 @ 9:36 pm

I would not be surprised to see the rotation down to 7 guys by mid Dec.

Comment by xfmrman 11.13.17 @ 9:36 pm

There’s that troll again. Mr. Original, himself.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.13.17 @ 9:38 pm

Troll????? Your amazing Stallings lost to Montana and Navy Captain Smarts. A troll is someone who stirs the pot when things are good. I speak facts… Montana and Navy. Oh and 3k showed up to see it. LMAO.. The Grizzlies! Go defend Rockports who will win 25 games over 3 years maybe.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.14.17 @ 12:02 am

In Internet slang, a troll (/?tro?l/, /?tr?l/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.14.17 @ 12:04 pm

Sorry TT to upset you by reiterating we lost to Montana. I’d be more upset with Rockports.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.14.17 @ 12:35 pm

Yep. Clear as day. Those that watched saw it. Redundancy is your calling card.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.14.17 @ 12:38 pm

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