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January 24, 2018

9 pm.

Various RSNs and ACCDN/WatchESPN.

This week has sucked the life out of me, and it is only Wednesday. Oh, and it’s a 9pm game of seeing if Pitt can break 60 in an ACC game (baby steps, right?)

Craig Meyer at the P-G had some hellacious numbers on just how bad Pitt has been. Historically and analytically.

 It isn’t just that Pitt isn’t competitive; in conference play, it hasn’t really ever been in a position to win. In the second half, when most games are decided, it is far too often too far behind. In those seven ACC games, it hasn’t ever held a lead in the second half and was tied for just 11 seconds of a possible 140 minutes (with about 12 minutes left in an 81-67 loss Jan. 6 at Virginia Tech).

The Panthers, through seven conference games, are last in the ACC in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, which measure the number of points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions, adjusted for the difficulty of their competition. Since began tracking those figures, the 2001-02 season, only one ACC team — Wake Forest in 2010-11 — finished a season last in both categories.

Thank god for Cal this year. The Golden Bears are still below Pitt in the KenPom rankings for worst Power 5 conference team.

Coach Kevin Stallings can look for the positive, but I want to see the growth. I’d say this is the most disturbing thing about this season. The lack of development of the majority of the players. Talk about the youth. Talk about the toughness of the conference. Talk about the loss of Ryan Luther. All valid points and fine. The problem has been that this team has not noticeably improved.

Parker Stewart has made strides as the season has progressed. He looks like a legitimate player. Terrell Brown and Kene Chukwuka are raw as hell, and in an ideal world would have played lightly to redshirted. But they have shown real potential with every game.

After that, though, I have a hard time saying anyone else on the team has taken steps forward  in conference play. They may flash for a half or even one game, but the overarching growth in their game has yet to materialize since the end of the non-con.

I’m not looking to be negative. Really. This was going to be a rough season. And certainly every kid who is playing major minutes wasn’t going to be doing so in two or three years. But the number of players who have looked overmatched is more then worrisome.

The team defense is weak, and there is no confidence showing on the offense.

Thank god, Hopslam and Nugget Nectar were released last week.

Can we do it?..can we protect a 10 point lead at home???

Comment by Keith 01.24.18 @ 9:46 pm

Holy cow! Pitt up by 10 and no comments. I didn’t watch the Duke game because of the inconvenience of watching it on the computer. At least with the NC game on TV I can watch in the background and get some work done at same time. Pitt giving NC all they can handle right now. Can freshman hold up all game?

Comment by AnotherClancyRebound 01.24.18 @ 9:47 pm

Keith -your comment came right in front of mine. Nothing much gets said about Cameron Davis but he looks like a player -moves smooth. none of this takes away from all the issues with Stallings and the state of Pitt B Ball but it’s nice to see them winning.

Comment by AnotherClancyRebound 01.24.18 @ 9:51 pm

The Panther Fandom here is amazing. LOL

No one cares. How many tonight to watch this 1450 people?

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.24.18 @ 10:08 pm

UPitt -as you could see in my post, I put the game on in the background while I did some work. I’m enjoying the kids play hard and winning for once -at least right now. It doesn’t change the big picture, it’s just a nice moment. If no one cares why bother commenting?

Comment by AnotherClancyRebound 01.24.18 @ 10:24 pm

So, no is the answer..ugh

Comment by Keith 01.24.18 @ 11:03 pm

Another el foldo…

Comment by Jackagain 01.24.18 @ 11:19 pm

Clancy – I wasn’t talking about you or Keith. You aware these blogs use to have hundreds of posts. The blog hasn’t changed but no one watches or cares. 1500 people tonight. Our only hope to have Heather fire this bum is if he loses every ACC Game.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.24.18 @ 11:38 pm

UPitt -I knew you weren’t talking about me and I know the Blather used to have many more posts. I check in most days even though I don’t write often. I was just enjoying the moment of these young kids winning -and of course they couldn’t maintain it. It’s incredibly difficult for freshman to win or even play with any consistency. Kentucky just dropped out of the top 25 with most of the top freshman in the country (the other few are at Duke). No team of freshman is going to consistently win in a power 5 conference. I liked Jamie Dixon and think he was the best coach Pitt ever had. For many various reasons, he’s gone but he really left the cupboard bare. I don’t like Stallings, didn’t like him at Vanderbilt and hope they fire him, but he did bring in some decent kids who have a chance to be good if they don’t get crushed in the process. I like some of these kids and I think we would view some of them differently if they were role players instead of having larger expectations thrust on them than they are equipped to handle. I just wish someone else were coaching them. Lyke has to have a chance to see what’s going on and what she can do about it. Anyone moving into a major position in any profession should take some time to determine the best way forward, what people you keep, who you show the door, etc. I want Pitt to be competitive and I don’t think beating Duquesne is the standard we should be striving for. Tonight’s game was at least entertaining.

Comment by AnotherClancyRebound 01.25.18 @ 12:05 am

I have always believed that in college basketball, EVERY team has at least one game where they play out of their heads. They get another game where the other team plays their season-worst. Every team, literally at random, will win one or two because of that. It is the beauty of the upset…college kids are not consistent enough. Random variation in science states that one out of 20 times, a large outlier occurs.

Welp, last night was going to be our outlier. And yet we still lost. To me, this is really telling. We cannot even squeak away the outlier game, hell, or even just keep the outcome in question until the last minute.

If our young freshmen really had core talent to become a middle-pack or better ACC team, the outlier game would happen. If not 3 times. Yet we cannot even see one of them. To me this says, no, these kids, and I really like them all they seem great kids, are not “just freshmen” waiting to learn to win. They are who they are and Stalling is who he is.

We might end up with that outlier game at some point this season. But even if we do, for me, well, I will be happy for the kids, but it won’t mean a thing with regard to the future of Pitt basketball. It is grim. Lets not put lipstick on a pig.

Comment by DD 01.25.18 @ 7:54 am

Most of these kids are role players. Sorry there is not a star in the bunch. Carr could be a decent point guard at some point but he needs work, Stevenson could be a decent power forward in a year or two, Stewart has the most upside. All of them need coached up I’m not sure they look any different now then they did in preseason. The reason for my lack of interest, Stallings is an asshole and that’s not gonna change.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 01.25.18 @ 8:43 am

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