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January 11, 2018

With A Clang

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:27 am

Welp.

It’s not a good thing when the best you can come up with is, “It wasn’t the biggest beatdown in the Stallings era.”

The turnovers kept happening. The rebounding was bad. I keep trying to tell myself, that those things aren’t likely to significantly change this year. It doesn’t really work as the frustration with those things build every time I watch… but I keep trying.

Against a team like Duke that doesn’t turn the ball over and does get over offensive rebounds. That’s going to create a tremendous differential in shot attempts. Hence, why I said Pitt needed its offense to get in gear for this game.

That didn’t happen. In the worst way. Pitt couldn’t make 3s. They struggled to finish inside. It led to a beatdown. The final score of 87-52 barely scratches the surface of how bad Pitt looked.

4-22 on 3s.

13-29 inside.

15 turnovers

15 offensive rebounds

8 assists

Jared Wilson-Frame led the team in scoring with 17 points. How? Volume. Volume. Volume. 17 points on 7-17 shooting (JWF accounted for 1/3 of Pitt’s shot attempts) and 2 free thows.

Look, I know Duke is a very, very good team coupled with the annoying reality of having one of the best college coaches ever. But seeing this team unable to compete for most of the game is maddening.

So, reading Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski be sympathetic after the game and preach patience for Pitt is hardly comforting.

“It’s their first year,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re going to develop a camaraderie and a toughness and whoever else is brought in, they’ll be able to teach that toughness and all of a sudden, it will go. I know that Kevin is trying to build a program, not a team. I have a program that has to develop a team. It’s different.”

As Stallings is immersed in that trying process, though, it can be difficult at times to keep such a rosy outlook and nurse hopes of what may one day come.

“We do have a long way to go,” Stallings said. “We do.”

Also less then comforting — though, hardly surprising at this point — is the fact that Ryan Luther is no where close to returning. In fact the team is now looking into the possibility of getting him a medical redshirt.





7 comments

Just ugh. That was a horrible showing.

Comment by panther94 01.11.18 @ 12:42 pm

Ryan Luther declared out for the yr. Hoping for a hardship, to get another yr.

Comment by alcofan 01.11.18 @ 7:23 pm

Hopefully he’ll get it. That would be a good combo with the incoming freshman and transfer next year. We could be a middle of the pack team next year instead of bottom feeders.

Comment by panther94 01.12.18 @ 12:33 am

I have nothing good to say about the game. Even the fan turn-out was poor.

RE: Luther
I wish that he would move on.
At the beginning of the season, I figured that he would be coming off of the bench. He is not good on defense and has not really improved over 3 seasons.
His staying closes the door on Brandon Stone coming in 2018 and most likely 2019, too.
Another year of him taking minutes from guys who need minutes to develop will delay their progress.
Time to move on from all of Dixon’s players.

I do believe all of the reports that Luther is a “great teammate”, a “model student”, a “nice guy” and the like. But, what this team needs is an Alpha Male who will kick these young players in the ass (or drag them along). The coaching staff has admitted that they are not going to do it because they believe that the youngsters need to be brought along slowly and given positive reinforcement, so someone in the locker room must.

Comment by xfmrman 01.12.18 @ 1:14 pm

When a coach from another team in your conference says encouraging things when you are “down,” it is because they are trying to encourage that school to keep that coach right where they are: down. “Oh he is great! I want to keep playing him twice a year FOREVER!” 🙂

Didn’t Pitino say glorious things about Stallings last year? And what did he say about Stallings once he was out?

Just IMO.

Comment by DD 01.12.18 @ 1:59 pm

+1 DD

Comment by alcofan 01.12.18 @ 4:29 pm

+2 DD, but I do believe in the coaching fraternity – most of these guys try to avoid throwing each other under the bus unless there’s bad blood. As good as coach K is, he’s had some breaks, not the least of which being at a school that was willing to invest and excel in his sport. Even if its just a patient administration, that counts for something. Would K have been able to build his dynasty at NC State? Who knows…

I think coaches realize the whole “there but for the Grace of God go I..” thing. For the most part you make your own luck in this world -but some guys catch it a little better than others. Good coaches rise to the top – Coach Cal has had one hell of a career even if he has bounced between a few schools and pissed a few people off in the process. Different personality, different set of circumstances.

And just so were clear – Stallings ain’t either one of those guys 🙂 But somewhere along the line, someone was an assistant with him, or work with him at a camp, or bought him a sandwich, so the tendency is to say nice things.

The alternative?

“Yeah… Stallings… REALLY good guy. I’d trust him with my kids. I mean.. you know… cluster f*ck of a coach… seriously… complete train wreck… but… REALLY good guy…”

🙂 🙂 🙂

Comment by 55 01.12.18 @ 8:37 pm

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