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January 31, 2018


Various RSNs and ACCDN Extra/WatchESPN.

I kind of would prefer it, but there is a game tonight. So…

Miami has a big injury in the form of Bruce Brown.

The sophomore leads the team in minutes played, and ranks second on the team in scoring (11.4 points per game) and leads the team in rebounds, steals and assists.

Brown is out 6 weeks, after suffering an injury to his left foot in practice. Miami should still have more then enough to handle Pitt, unfortunately.

With the losing continuing, and the attendance sinking the think pieces on what to do about Pitt basketball is in full swing.

Last week Paul Zeise at the P-G kicked it off with a focus on the low attendance and how it has to be hurting the revenue… BUT Stallings has a $10 million dollar price tag on his buyout if he is gone after only 2 years on a 6 year deal. That makes it very, very likely Pitt will have to give Stallings one more year to turn it around.

I think we can all agree that Scott Barnes really, really fucked Pitt basketball.

Over at the ghost of the Trib, Kevin Gorman talks about fans being tested by watching this team keep losing.

Tim Benz asked and offered his opinion on  the question of whether Pitt will go 0-ACC (at least in the regular season). Spoiler alert: he thinks they can win a game or two before the end.

And since it is such low hanging fruit, even Ron Cook weighs in on fan apathy — including his own. I mean, I know I’m shocked that he doesn’t care about the team if it isn’t winning big. I would advise skipping it as he even manages to blame some of the downfall on Pitt leaving the Big East for the ACC.

AD Heather Lyke was asked to weigh in on Stallings. It’s obligatory, and reporters aren’t doing their job if they don’t ask. But the response was about what you would expect.

In response to an interview request made by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to discuss the state of the program in its second season under coach Kevin Stallings, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke released a statement Monday acknowledging the Panthers’ on-court shortcomings while reserving any kind of judgment on where the program is and where it may go.

“It has obviously been a challenging year in many ways and certainly no one is more disappointed in the season thus far than our men’s basketball coaching staff and student-athletes,” Lyke said. “However, it would not be supportive or productive for our team’s daily efforts to engage in a public evaluation of the program while the season is still in progress and the second half of our conference schedule still remaining.

“Like each of our 19 sports programs, our men’s basketball program will undergo a thorough review once the season has been completed. At this juncture, our focus is on continuing to support and encourage our young team and coaching staff as they continue through ACC competition.”

If anyone thought she was going to say anything, then you either think she’s a fool or you are. No AD is going to say anything during the season with that kind of buyout.

If not for the buyout, I think Stallings would be on very thin ice. I think that one other potential factor plays into Stallings staying one more year. The looming changes to transfer rules.

Athletes would be allowed to transfer schools without restriction if their coach were fired or left for another job as part of sweeping proposal that is making its way through Division I, CBS Sports has learned. However, athletes would not be permitted to follow the departing coach to their new program.

The proposal, which originated from the Big 12, would also allow athletes to transfer without sitting out a season (as currently mandated by NCAA rules) in the event a postseason ban is handed down by the NCAA as punishment to their program.

The NCAA board of directors has basically mandated Division I to change its transfer rules in the next year.

An ongoing Division I Transfer Working Group is expected to push forward one or two proposals for legislation by June. The question then would be the effective date — in time for either the 2018 or 2019 football seasons.

A source close to that situation stressed the preliminary nature of any proposals at the moment. The Big 12 proposal was finalized last month when conference officials met at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.

“Either try to accept [the process or] try to change it,” Pollard said. “But quit bitching about it.”

The Big 12 is in the process of distributing and talking up the proposal with other conferences. You can see the proposal here.

This may not be the final rule, but it there is a change coming to the transfer rule this spring. The possibilities have varied from completely opening it for full freedom to something of a compromise like this. This may be the most detailed one, and has a better chance of happening.

Firing Stallings with this many freshmen on the team would be a potential disaster. They would have been at Pitt less then a full year. With little reason to be feeling loyalty to stay. It’s not the only reason that Pitt may not be able to fire Stallings after this season. But it feels like one more reason to be forced into patience.

Ugh. Just ugh. We are finding tons of reasons “not to fire” our coach. Even though pretty much everyone has the same conclusion: it’s never going to happen for him here.

Comment by Jon 01.31.18 @ 7:06 pm

Worst D1 Team in NCAA. Gannon beats these Turds.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.31.18 @ 7:43 pm

Speaking of Gannon – hot news out of Erie –

Mississippi State: Sources tell FootballScoop that Gannon (D-II – PA) offensive line coach Jack Abercrombie has accepted an offensive graduate assistant job on Joe Moorhead’s staff.

You can cross Jack off Pitt’s hot OL list…

Comment by Erie Express 01.31.18 @ 8:37 pm

Erie – Haha. Funny how the kid from Reading, PA. Is way better than any freshman we have. Did Pappy Stallings even recruit the kid?

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.31.18 @ 8:44 pm

Actually improvement

Comment by Steve 01.31.18 @ 8:59 pm

UPitt – no, according to 247Sports – Stalling did not offer Lonnie Walker IV from Reading, PA. Villanova, Temple and psu all did.

In fact, Arizona was the front runner until the miami shoe deal came through at the last minute with the right cash.

Comment by Erie Express 01.31.18 @ 9:02 pm

Funny it can’t be just better recruiter/coach?

Steve – You are the reason this gypsy will keep stealing from Pitt.

Nothing is better. We stink. They played backups most of the game. Zero offense. Just heave 3 pointers.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.31.18 @ 9:25 pm

Wait so IF all these guys transferred next year we might not win a game in ACC????

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.01.18 @ 12:53 pm

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