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January 25, 2018

The Dream Remains Alive

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:43 am

0-ACC seems less unachievable then ever.


That’s the number of points Pitt scored in the second half. After exploding for 43 points in the first half with the 3s falling and just as much penetration and attacking inside. The offense for Pitt looked like a real thing.

Sure the turnovers were still there. As was the poor rebounding that allowed NC State lots of second chances off of offensive rebounds. But there was flow. Good spacing, ball movement. There was hope.

Jared Wilson-Frame kept that hope going into the second half as he rode his hot shooting into confidence of attacking and going right to the basket. Putting up the first 9 points in the second half for Pitt. Keeping Pitt with a double-digit lead through the first 4 minutes of the second half.

I can’t say I thought Pitt was in control, simply because after watching this team all season meant knowing how easily it could come undone. But, there was real hope that Pitt would hold on to this.

The other side was NC State looking like garbage on offense. After jumping out on Pitt early, they couldn’t hit much the rest of the half. Their big, talented center Omer Yursteven got in early foul trouble and Pitt took advantage of that.

But in the second half, they started making more shots. Pitt still could win, but it would mean the Panthers had to avoid the big scoring droughts that they have suffered through.


With just under 6 minutes, Pitt scored to make it 66-57. We know the story.

To cap off that turning tide, Pitt was stung in a way it has been so frequently this season. Following a layup from Kene Chukwuka with 5:54 remaining, it went the next 5:42 without a point, a time in which N.C. State turned a nine-point hole into a four-point lead.

“Our guys felt the pressure of their run,” Stallings said. “The gap’s closing so now we jump up and take a couple bad shots because we’re going try to fix this instead of grinding it out and letting it play out the way our good plays have been playing out. I hate to say it, but that’s what young teams do.”

What Stallings believed about his own team was something its opponent saw in the Panthers, as well – a young team unaccustomed to playing a peer late in a close game.

“I didn’t know if this would happen — I said if we get the game close, because they got some young guys, they may make some mistakes,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts. “I felt like they made a few turnovers at the end, I thought they rushed some shots. When you got a young team and we were down 10 or 11, I thought some of those guys took knockout shots instead of just staying the course, and obviously they let us back in the game.”

In the final 5:40, when the Wolfpack (14-7, 4-4) finished on a 15-2 run, what had been a functional Pitt offense disintegrated into a careless and directionless unit. The Panthers missed seven of their eight shots in that span. Six of those attempts came from 3, with Pitt missing each of them. It also had three turnovers, off of which N.C. State got six points on the other end.

Pitt didn’t make a 3 in the second half, while going 9-15 inside the arc. NC State’s own coach admitted that Yursteven stayed out of foul trouble because he just stopped playing defense. Yet Pitt stayed on the perimeter in those final minutes.

Coach Kevin Stallings couldn’t even explain his own brain fart of having Wilson-Frame on the bench for several minutes as it fell apart.

It takes a team effort to give a game like that away in the final minutes. Pitt was up to the challenge.

Very disappointing …. this is a game that a good in-game coach would have won. KS needed to make the correct adjustments when the final NCSt run appeared to be starting. He did not … can’t continue like this and say “this team is young and inexperienced”.

Comment by Tomas 01.25.18 @ 12:00 pm

Sadly, I didn’t want them to win..that how bad I want stallings gone

Comment by Kvah 01.25.18 @ 6:56 pm

Per usual Stallings did nothing while holding on to his timeouts & the players made decisions & awful turnovers.

Comment by Nick 01.25.18 @ 9:16 pm

How about his brain fart of not having Pitt have 6 fouls until 10 seconds to go. So w only 5 fouls Pitt could not control the possessions w time running out in a close game. W 10 seconds it was too late to get fouls #6-7. High School Coaching 101. And we pay this fraud $67,000 per game??

Comment by Dan 72 01.26.18 @ 12:04 pm

Stallings speaks like a coach who knows he won’t be around much longer. Be patient. I’m confident changes will be made.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.26.18 @ 1:17 pm

Hmm looks like the prevailing feeling in Pantherland is finally hitting the papers:

link to

Comment by Jon 01.26.18 @ 3:37 pm

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