December 1, 2017

Hey, It’s City Game Night

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:28 am

I swear, if Pitt basketball ruins 13-9 Day for me… Well,  I’ll rant and complain so uselessly…

It’s been a while since I got around to — well, much on this site. But especially basketball. In that time, Pitt has gone 2-2.

After bottoming out against Penn State (I recognize the words, but not the arrangement), Pitt played better against Oklahoma State — but still lost. They seemed to be showing improvement by handling Lehigh relatively close to how they should. Then fell back a step, struggling to close out High Point.

The problems that plague Pitt are glaringly obvious — turnovers and offensive rebounds. Lord, I think someone just walked across my soul as I typed that.

Against High Point, Pitt shot 55% overall. 42% from behind the arc. Hell, they were 19-22 (86%) from the free throw line.  High Point was held to 38% shooting, 18% on 3s and 73% (11-15) on their free throws.

When you commit 22 turnovers and only get 6 offensive rebounds, however, High Point was able to get that volume discount on attempts. High Point attempted 27 more field goals then Pitt. 27.

I shouldn’t be surprised. It is fairly consistent with what this team is like to this point. Ineffective on the offensive glass and way too casual with the ball. Yes, hallmarks of youth and all. Still, doesn’t make it easier to watch.

Tonight it is Duquesne in the 86th annual City Game. A game that features a cast of players who generally speaking know and really care nothing for the history of the game. Including the coaches.

Neither coach is putting excessive importance on the City Game.

“I hate to sound like a coach,” Stallings said, “but it’s really important (because) it’s the next game. We really, really, really want to win the game. We really do. But we have a game on Tuesday no matter what happens Friday.”

Pitt seniors Ryan Luther and Jonathan Milligan were part of the Panthers’ loss to Duquesne last year, and they both remember what it felt like. Luther was recruited by Duquesne and his father went there, so he recognizes the buzz surrounding the game.

“There’s no denying it,” he said.

“We have a bunch of new guys who really don’t know anything about the rivalry,” Milligan said. “Ryan and I, we probably have a little more of a chip on our shoulder just because of what happened last year.”

This is where I go off on a tangent about Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot. A hell of a good hire for the Dukes that emerged out of a complete shambles of a coaching search. Dambrot turned down Duquesne initially. Choosing to stay at Akron. Duquesne was rebuffed numerous times and the search seemed to be spiraling completely into farce. Then they somehow were able to convince Dambrot to reconsider to everyone’s shock.

As much angst as there can be over a coaching search, it’s the final hire and results that matter. Dana Altman was hired away from Creighton by Oregon after over a month of the Ducks getting rebuffed by every other coach they pursued. At Creighton, he was not necessarily on the verge of getting fired, but the fans weren’t crying when he left because he seemed to have peaked there a few years back — plus that whole going to Arkansas for a couple days before running screaming back to Nebraska to escape that insanity.

Tennessee football may be on the verge of falling ass-backwards into hiring Mike Leach after nearly settling for Dave Doeren. I don’t even pretend to understand how they are doing this.

Back to the City Game for a moment. It’s down at the Paint Place and the streaming tonight is on Facebook. Oy.


IMO it’s extremely hard to get an offensive rebound when all Pitt players are on the perimeter. They rarely post low nor do they even try for an offensive rebound. This is why Pitt, over the past year, has endured incredible long streaks of going scoreless. There is no back-up plan …. either they make a shot .. or it’s one-and-done.

Comment by wbb 12.01.17 @ 10:09 am

as far as coaching searches go, most people have their price. Leach has done well at a school that has is not known for FB and not situated in a recruited area. Further, Leach makes $3m, Butch Jones made $4.1m.

BTW, HCPN makes the 2nd lowest salary ($1.87m) in the ACC .. only about $300k over 1st year HC at Wake Forest. And there are only 2 other Power 5 teams that make less .. and one is an interim coach.

Lastly, Altman was finally lured no doubt to Ore by the deep pockets of Phil Knight …. after he was unable to reel in Dixon.

Comment by wbb 12.01.17 @ 10:18 am

wbb – In my opinion, this is a very good observation, with regard to rebounding. I’m a huge hoops fan, and prior to last year, Pitt basketball was my favorite thing to watch of any sporting event, followed by Pitt football, then the Steelers. (today it’s Pitt football, followed by the Pens). In my opinion, Stallings ball has been unwatchable to date, not just because of a lack of talent, but because of the WAY they play; it’s frankly disheartening, and I’m talking about giving up uncontested layups and moreso horrendous rebounding results. To your point, this year I’ve been shocked by how many times Pitt has taken a perimeter shot, with NOBODY even in the vicinity of ‘under the basket’, and normally followed by the entire team heading back on defense without even trying to rebound. It would be very hard to convince me that these guys are being coached properly.

Comment by 1618mt 12.01.17 @ 12:01 pm

1618…nothing has changed. This is exactly how Stallings teams played at Vandy. If they make 3s, they win, if not..lose.
This is not a team at Pitt. It is a myriad of players that could not get recruited by any other D1 team. No center or big man at Pitt is fatal.

Dukes 78 – Pitt. 55. Pitt has no chance to win this game.

Comment by Dan 72 12.01.17 @ 4:00 pm

1618…nothing has changed. This is exactly how Stallings teams played at Vandy. If they make 3s, they win, if not..lose.
This is not a team at Pitt. It is a myriad of players that could not get recruited by any other D1 team. No center or big man at Pitt is fatal.

Dukes 78 – Pitt. 55. Pitt has no chance to win this game.

Comment by Dan 72 12.01.17 @ 4:00 pm

Dambrot will out coach Stallings tonight. The Dukes will beat Pitt Lyke a drum.

And the beat goes on…

Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 4:13 pm

Unless the motion offense of raining threes that actually go through the net.

The offensive rebounding will be in the 5 or 6 range and turnovers around 20.

Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 4:16 pm

I’m going to go with pitt tonight

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 12.01.17 @ 4:51 pm

Jimbo Fisher resigned at Florida St. to go to Texas A&M. Remember when they did this to us?

How does a military college get this kind of money? FSU isn’t small potatoes either.

Comment by Jackagain 12.01.17 @ 5:53 pm

For 10 year $75 million…fully guaranteed. WOW.

Comment by Lastrowofsection4 12.01.17 @ 7:04 pm

Pitt taking it to the Dukes. 16-5 start with 1 turnover.

Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 7:22 pm

Pitt will win. Going well so far.

A&M is a very large ‘state’ school. Its not military. And it has many wealthy alums in the oil business. Plus their alumni donate like crazy. They could pay $10M per year for a coach and not blink. They are one of the richest programs out there.

FSU reminds me of UCLA. Always under-performing given the resources at their disposal.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.17 @ 7:23 pm

well the same could be said for A&M 🙂

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.17 @ 7:24 pm

Pitt with an 11 point lead at the half. Much improved effort and very few turnovers.

Let’s see if they can string together two halves to win the City game.


Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 7:50 pm

14 point lead down to 4 with under 14 minutes to play

Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 8:15 pm

WF is ice cold…

Comment by Jackagain 12.01.17 @ 8:25 pm

Lead back up to 11 with 4:46 left to play. Turnovers under 10 but losing the rebound battle.

Should exit the City game with a win.


Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 8:35 pm

Luther playing strong and ball control looks light years better than anything I have seen from them this year.

Comment by tvax1 12.01.17 @ 8:39 pm

Good game Panthers prevail

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 12.01.17 @ 8:50 pm

New Poll: Will the BB team get twice as many wins as the FB team?

Comment by Jackagain 12.01.17 @ 8:53 pm

Couldn’t watch it, but sounds like a better game out of these young Panthers, good for them!

Comment by 1618mt 12.01.17 @ 9:13 pm

Jack – only 3 “cupcake” Lyke teams left on the schedule before ACC play, plus wvcc.

If we win those 3 we are only at 7 wins. The win total will probably stay single digits.


Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 9:17 pm

Women’s volleyball team beat VCU in opener for the NCAA tourney –

link to


Comment by Erie Express 12.01.17 @ 9:19 pm

True freshman Carr, Chukwuka, Stewart, Davis, and Stevenson were a combined 20-27 from the field tonight

Comment by Steve h 12.02.17 @ 12:55 am

Pitt played better in the City game than any other game yet this season. Except for JWF as he was 1-9 shooting and disappeared. All the while Pitt shot 53% as a team, including JWF. Does this change the outlook Pitt fans have going into ACC play? I applaud the effort, but need to see a string of non-conference games Lyke this. Hanging with the Hoopies would be a sign of real improvement.

The outlook for the Panthers in conference play is absolutely bleak. KenPom expects Pitt to go winless in the ACC and Sports Illustrated more charitably predicted a 2-16 conference record for the team in its ACC preview.

Comment by Erie Express 12.02.17 @ 6:44 am

Last night was a treat and fun to watch. I would love to see them maintain the improvement in TO’s. I actually am adjusting my projections and see the chance for a conference win and dare I say 2 so maybe they get to 10 wins which after the first 2 games I thought 7 or 8.

I would be very happy with 9 and ecstatic if they pull a big upset somewhere along the line ala Pitt football. WVU unlikely but I would take anything in the ACC other than WF which is the game I am “counting on”. 🙁

Comment by tvax1 12.02.17 @ 7:26 am

EE, Duquesne may be the only team to challenge Pitt this year in inexperience. They have 5 transfers sitting out a year.

While Pitt certainly is playing better, I think 2-16 ACC record still may be too optimistic …. I hope not

Comment by wbb 12.02.17 @ 8:42 am

tvax1, the big test in turnovers will be versus West Virginia. They play 40 minutes of pressure D.

I put the over/under of Pitt TOs for that game to be 27 …. again, I hope not

Comment by wbb 12.02.17 @ 8:44 am

Rumor has that Heather will get to test market hear tarp idea at The Pete this season

Comment by wbb 12.02.17 @ 8:47 am

Although out-rebounded, Pitt was fighting for position and looked better in their effort to get rebounds. At least 3 were lost because JWF could not squeeze them, and went OB off of him.
It was great to see Kene get two put-backs on his two ORs.
When a team shoots 62% from 2, there are not many chances for ORs.
It may be because of the level of competition over the last 3 games, but Pitt has shot 65% (2s), 40% (3s) and 81% (FT). Looking back to OKSt, which was a bad 3 point shooting game (20%), the 2 pointers were shot at 70% (23/33). This shows me that the motion offense that Coach Stallings is running is starting to be effective.
Hopefully, once the team starts to get a feel for from where and when the shots are taken, players will be in better position to rebound.

Many may not have noticed, as the clock was winding down, last night, Carr had the ball and was fouled. The ref did not call it. So, the defender fouled him twice more, still no call, as time expired. Carr was pissed (rightfully so). Carr showed poise, but the ref should not have allowed that to go on right in front of him. Carr and the ref exchanged words after the buzzer.

Comment by xfmrman 12.02.17 @ 11:09 am

For those of you who did not attend the City Game, what may have been the most lopsided victory for the Panthers was the “dance off” between ROC and the Duke’s mascot, before the opening tip.

It had me in stitches, and it alone, was worth the price of admission!

Comment by xfmrman 12.02.17 @ 11:16 am

Future Pitt opponent, Towson (who is coached by former Pitt assistant, Tom Skerry) beat LaSalle, yesterday in Belfast, NI. They play Manhattan at noon.
Towson looks like a team that will give Pitt fits. They appear to go deep into the bench and play a tough defense.
They play at good Oakland team 2 nights before they get here. Hopefully they are worn out.

Comment by xfmrman 12.02.17 @ 11:33 am

Pitt volleyball hanging with #1 psux by winning the 2nd set 25-23 to tie the match at 1-1 in round two of the NCAA tournament.

Comment by Erie Express 12.02.17 @ 8:10 pm

it’s amazing how far Skerry brought that team. They were winless the season before he got there.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.02.17 @ 8:14 pm

Both Chris James and Ibrahim play for Whisky. Guess they like Paul.
Beat OSU!

Comment by Gasman 12.02.17 @ 8:25 pm

The playoff teams should be IMO –


In that order – tOSU does not earn a spot – can’t forget the blowout loss to Iowa.

USC is #5 and tOSU is #6

The B1G Joke and PAC 10 conferences sit out this year.

Comment by Erie Express 12.03.17 @ 5:38 am

Ore HC Taggart tweeted he is staying at Oregon and not pursuing the FSU opening. James from State College is next on the call in line.

I’m hoping Franklinstein stays at psu so Pitt gets 2 more shots at his poorly coached and highly talented team.


Comment by Erie Express 12.03.17 @ 8:27 am

So who gets the 4th spot? Alabama or tOSU?

I say Bama but was ambivalent on Wiscy v tOSU until the end of the game when I started to kinda hope for a Wiscy comeback. Torn because I really don’t like the automatic cred the Big10 gets so would be good with them being shut out.

Oh yeah and really hate ONE B10 team too that I would be OK if they never get into the CFP.

Comment by tvax1 12.03.17 @ 8:38 am

The committee can’t possibly put in OSU because they are exactly what PSU was last year. Won a close conference title game vs Wisc, and 2 losses, one a 30 point loss.

Bama shouldn’t be put in also. USC has a better SOS and SOR than both Bama and OSU … plus IMO and others, they look like the best team of the 3. It’s a no-brainer to me

Comment by wbb 12.03.17 @ 8:38 am

I was surprised Wisky got the #6 spot ahead of USC.

Hoping for a Pat Signal today with one or more of the Florida players committing.

Patriots vs Bill game featuring two starting RB’s from Pitt at 1pm today.


Comment by Erie Express 12.03.17 @ 1:01 pm

Not one team in the B1G Joke conference beat a top 25 team with their out-of-conference schedule.

Comment by Erie Express 12.03.17 @ 1:24 pm

The ACC has four teams that did not win 6 games to become bowl eligible with Pitt being one of them of course.

Pitt also lost to the other three – cuse, GT and unc.

Now that right there puts this past season into perspective for me – bad is putting it mildly. A lot of fans point to SOS and I believe that added to the misery. But losing to the bottom three says a lot too.

The miami win and the VT effort shows me there is hope for next year, even though the non-conference schedule has psu, nd and UCF.


Comment by Erie Express 12.04.17 @ 4:43 am

but they also played 5 teams that finished in the Top 25 CFP rankings, including 2 in the Top 10 (same as last year).

and guess how many 2018 opponents are listed in the current Top 25 CFP rankings? six

Comment by wbb 12.04.17 @ 9:04 am

@wbb, well which one will be highest ranked late in the season? We will lose to a couple of middlers and have one weak loss, then shock the world against #2 late in the season.
LOL, it could be worse… WAS worse for many of the prior 30 years. One more schollie just opened with Moss leaving.

Comment by tvax1 12.04.17 @ 9:54 am

another schollie opened. Quadree Henderson declaring for NFL draft. Good luck to him.

M Ffrench and incoming frosh Vince Williams will be candidates to replace him on returns … and Ffrench in the slot.

Comment by wbb 12.04.17 @ 12:27 pm

probably didn’t write it but sure is classy

link to

Comment by wbb 12.04.17 @ 12:33 pm

Gave us alot of thrills, and some heartburn.

Comment by alcofan 12.04.17 @ 12:48 pm

and another, Pitt dismisses Chantez Moss.

Comment by alcofan 12.04.17 @ 12:52 pm

this is interesting:

Nathan Michael Bossory?@WhosThe_Bossory

Upon extensive discussion with family, the specialists, and my psychiatrist, I have decide to forgo pursing my sixth-year. Instead, I will be training next semester while deep sea fishing and drinking cold beer in Panama. Thank you for your support! #ProudPittMan

where do I sign up?

Comment by wbb 12.04.17 @ 2:05 pm

Well, if someone with a year like QH decides to go, what are the chances that BO and JW go? That would concern me more. Yet I wish them the very best.

QH was tons of fun, mostly last year. Needs to add a few ounces.

Comment by tvax1 12.04.17 @ 4:32 pm

Of course, looking at this year’s stats can’t tell much with any Pitt receiver considering the pitchers used and offense overall. QH wasn’t the answer but frankly not sure it was a fair question. No, I am sure, it was not a fair question.

Comment by tvax1 12.04.17 @ 4:40 pm

QH is in an interesting position. He was hot last year but his stock cooled this season. The argument is he can bounce back next season but what if he gets hurt or has another down year? Then he’s two years removed from a great one. Easier to write off this down year than back to back ones. I think it’s a smart move. There will be a roster spot for him somewhere.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.04.17 @ 4:55 pm

switching back to the very beginning of this thread….
I read in PG today that DeJuan Blair had 195 offensive rebounds in 09, while the current Pitt team is on pace for 220 for the season

Comment by wbb 12.04.17 @ 6:04 pm

wwb – how would this current team look if we had Blair in the 5 spot? Now that would be fun, I think…

Carr PG
Stevenson SF
Luther PF
Blair C

Parker 6th man


But it shows how weak recruiting has been at the 5 since Adams.

Comment by Erie Express 12.04.17 @ 9:39 pm

I always wished that Adams would have come back for his 2nd year as he intended until his family talked him out of it. Without him, they had 26 wins and made it to 2nd round in NCAA.

C- Adams
F- Zanna
F- Patterson
G- Wright
G- Robinson

Bench- Young, Artis, Newkirk

I think they could have made a good run, especially with a better NCAA seed than 8th. Who knows .. if they would have made a deep run, recruiting may have picked up a bit and ….

Comment by wbb 12.05.17 @ 8:31 am

Wow, Arizona State does a Barnes. Hire a bad coach because he and the AD are buddies. Man, ADs are stupid.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.05.17 @ 8:38 am

Why the heck isn’t KS playing the only 6’10” guy on the team? Brown needs experience and development time. Are they going to redshirt him?

Agree on the rebounding. As soon as a shot goes up, the team is heading in the opposite direction instead of crashing the boards. It is so obvious.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.05.17 @ 8:41 am

Arizona State is re-writing the coaching manual where the HC will act as a GM and will let the coordinators (Billy Napier OC and Phil Bennett DC) in complete control of their units. Edwards is a figure head but allegedly will add cred due to his notoriety and NFL HC background. That is the plan anyway.

Note that Fraud was paid $12M to leave, but both coordinators were retained. My guess he is that he just wears thin on the admin.

Both coordinators were brought in last year to improve the program, and they were 2 wins better. Bennett, of course, was Pitt DC from 08-010 … and allegedly Narduzzi wanted to hire Napier this past year but I assumed ASU outbid them.

It will be interesting to see how this goes.

Comment by wbb 12.05.17 @ 8:56 am

Moss is a surprise departure, was it for cause. Thought he looked very good at times but suddenly lost on depth chart. With Sibley and Davis and QO and Hall returning likely wont be missed.

QH terrible decision, but wish him luck. His receiving skills are very limited. Ford will replace him on punts and kickoffs is my bet.

Comment by Taxing Matters 12.05.17 @ 1:31 pm

Any word from O’Neill and Whitehead?

Comment by Taxing Matters 12.05.17 @ 1:34 pm

By the way, I watched the Pitt/PSU NCAA volleyball game the other night on the BIG network. A great competitive match, but the highlight was the somewhat overweight guy who was front and center behind the PSU bench, right in front of the camera, in his bright mustard gold T-Shirt with blue script lettering that said….
“Shitt on Pitt”

No, there’s no rivalry.

Comment by KeyboardKev 12.05.17 @ 2:15 pm

Taxing, Moss was suspended twice during the season and was ultimately dismissed. The good thing for him is that after sitting out next year, he will still have 2 years eligibilty.

Comment by wbb 12.05.17 @ 6:10 pm

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