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February 12, 2018

0-ACC looks more likely every game.

Sorry about the lack of open threads. Big family visit this past week into the weekend. Upside is that I didn’t get a chance to watch either game. More then a little bit of an indictment of the state of Pitt basketball when they guy running a blog devoted to Pitt football and basketball had no urge or desire to carve out time to watch two Pitt basketball games. Didn’t DVR it. Not even checking the phone for updates.

Two weeks ago I would have (and even might have) said that Pitt can’t/won’t fire Kevin Stallings after two years.

The buyout is too high. It has a higher potential of making the program worse. It would make it harder to attract a quality coach, when you pull the trigger that quickly. The arguments that are still valid and looming.

Yet…

The fan apathy is below the sub-basement at this point. There’s no feeling of hope. No energy. The anger that was there after the first few ACC losses, is no longer present. It’s gallows humor and/or resignation.

You watch the kids play and see the effort, but no steady improvement. There are some nice players. Some potentially good players. But no real team. No cohesiveness.

The latter falls on the head coach and his staff.

Stallings has been far worse then anything that could have been predicted. Honestly, the mediocrity I expected from is completely out of reach.

The youth and single injury are not enough to explain the complete inability of this Pitt team to even compete in the majority of ACC games is simply not acceptable for any Power 5 conference program. This is Jerry Wainwright/Oliver Purnell DePaul basketball bad. Or since we are now in the ACC, Sidney Lowe’s NC State basketball bad. Or maybe Jeff Bzdelik at Wake Forest. Nope, those would be really bad, but that doesn’t even do it. Has to be Boston College under Steve Donahue.

And even any of those didn’t see the complete and utter cliff-dive that has been Pitt basketball. They were rapid descents but not a 1929 stock market crash.

I’m not sure Pitt can afford the buyout to fire him. But at this point, that is the only reason left.





21 comments

the discussion on the Fan 93.7 this morning is that maybe Heather has to fire KS in order to keep her job.

Also, Filliponi thinks KS should stay … so if there was ever a no-brainer decision, it is that KS must go

Comment by wbb 02.12.18 @ 9:48 am

I have really tried to keep an open mind and keep expectations really low but even a super young team should be showing signs of improvement at this point in the season. Simply saying the other team is bigger, stronger, faster etc is garbage. They probably should not be winning these games but getting blown off the floor early and often is not a sign of any light at the end of the tunnel. Poor Bobby Cremins doing the game yesterday was practically begging for Pitt to just look respectable. Just downright sad at this point.
I guess the question is what is the price of alienating an entire fan base – right now it seems to be less than $10 million until we hear otherwise.

Comment by The Ghost of Billy Gaines 02.12.18 @ 11:56 am

all good points. this will be a difficult off-season for Lyke. these guys are young and inexperienced at the P5 level; however, they now are 26 games older than what they were on Nov 9. sure, that is a limited slice of time but, they don’t seem to be improving. i think a lot will depend on how we do against BC and Wake and the first game of the ACC tourney.
If there isn’t at least one win in that mix, Lyke may need to pull the trigger. H2P !

Comment by Tomas 02.12.18 @ 11:59 am

Pitt BB is so low that I’d rather talk about the new seating for students Heinz Field for next season. In a nutshell the students and band will occupy the entire lower bowl on the end they currently sit…The previous thread contains some passionate remarks on the subject…All change creates winners and losers…I think this is a good change because it recognizes that the students are an important part of the game day atmosphere…And maybe with the bands acoustics being improved by playing out of the end zone they will feel less need to blast bad music between plays from the stadium loudspeakers!

Comment by HbgFrank 02.12.18 @ 12:28 pm

I think the argument that we will scare away coaches if we fire him after only 2 years is bunk given what we have seen…coaches will get it…Pitt will have tolerance as long as you win A FEW games…but do what KS did this year, and yeah, any coach would agree, that deserves being let go.

At this point I think it might need to be situational: Will there be some coaches you REALLY want to go after this year? Then do it. If not, then wait. As much I would hate to wait.

Comment by DD 02.12.18 @ 1:09 pm

Combine KSs conference record from last year and this year and the decision is a lot more justifiable.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.12.18 @ 2:46 pm

link to cardiachill.com

Pitt hired Dave Borbely as the O-line coach…

Comment by NickC 02.12.18 @ 3:14 pm

DD @ 1:09 pm. I agree that “coaches will get it”; however, they might not like it and it could reduce the potential pool of candidates.

Even if you assume that KS is 100% responsible, i.e., this group of players (and next year’s 2 recruits and grad transfer) can and will win under someone else, you need to get that coaching candidate to buy into that logic as well. How likely is that scenario ?

Sure, these guys all have egos and probably feel they could do better … but that doesn’t guarantee results. How much time does a new guy get .. 2 seasons, same as KS ?

Comment by Tomas 02.12.18 @ 3:34 pm

Hopefully we hire a new coach that is not afraid to demand at least 1 conference win from his team at least by his second year. If a guy is afraid to take a job because he’s concerned he will go winless in his second year and get fired, well then, let’s just remove his name from the pool right now.

Comment by 1618mt 02.12.18 @ 3:56 pm

I don’t think it’s about being “afraid” it would be more about whether I should bother with a job at Pitt – it’s more like …. money may be light, stepping into a dumpster fire, moving my family, unproven AD, etc.

Comment by Tomas 02.12.18 @ 4:07 pm

Anyone with half a brain would have serious reservations about coaching Pitt Men’s Basketball. Stallings did too – I guarantee it. He knew the cupboards were bare, he knew there was no ACC talent in the pipeline, and he knew Pitt’s pockets were historically shallow. Everyone assumes the contract and the buyout was Barnes idea – that might have been the requisite sum for someone to jump into this mess. Hate on Stallings all you want – he’s no fool. All he has to do is stay quiet and keep his nose clean and he’s got $10 million coming to him win or lose. That’s a nice retirement bump in your late 50’s.

Who’s the next coach? That’s a great question. If it’s someone we’ve heard of, it’s going to cost more money than Pitt’s willing to spend – I guarantee it. I’m not talking about famous well known candidates either – I’m talking about any shmoe you can google that has had even a sniff of D1 ball. Even the revered “up-and-commer” that we all like to fantasize about is going to have serious reservations considering he can “up-and-come” almost anywhere else with significantly less risk.

Face it – Although it was a wonderful HOF speech that he gave, Pitt could be one #MeToo victim at Michigan State implicating that Narduzzi “knew” about something improper from becoming a liability to the ACC. Don’t believe me:

#MoreBizarreThingsHaveHappenedAtPitt

Strange days. Strange days indeed….

Comment by 55 02.12.18 @ 5:32 pm

Boys, at least we don’t pay our players. Think that has anything to do with it.

Comment by alcofan 02.12.18 @ 7:39 pm

Pitt basketball is a great job, the bigger question is whether or not we have the competency to pick the right guy.

Not sure what the Narduzzi bs is above, message board gossip?

Comment by 1618mt 02.12.18 @ 9:28 pm

1618, there is a possibility that in some of the pending investigations, Narduzzi’s name will come up .. and of course, that will send off an internet storm especially by his detractors. However, the issue at MSU as I understand it does not seem to be a cover-up (as at PSU and Baylor). Most, if not all, of the rapes and misdeeds at MSU were published and known (and even the NCAA was notified) … the issue was that very little was done about it. And that is the responsibility of the people at the top,

Comment by wbb 02.13.18 @ 7:32 am

note that when I refer to rapes and misdeeds, they are the ones directly related to the MSU football program … and not what happened with Nassar, which of course is outside the purview of the fb program

Comment by wbb 02.13.18 @ 7:36 am

It’s premature to sling names around at this point in that context, and ill advised.

Comment by 1618mt 02.13.18 @ 8:18 am

Pitt Sports in general are in a dumpster. Do you think FB can challenge for an ACC Title if we get the 8th to 10th best class in the ACC each year. The thought of competing with the Clemson’s Flordia State’s and Miami is unlikely.

Pitt BB say no more. On top of that the woman’s team is a healthy 10-15 and Suzie cannot even beat her old team. What is going on there. Should be 2 new hires.

Wrestling hired a new coach and the team is terrible. Baseball cannot compete in the ACC need I continue.

I am resigned to the fact that Pitt Sports will be mediocre and all we can hope for is a miracle for something to happen. Not holding my breath!

Comment by JP 02.13.18 @ 9:03 am

wbb – Why are you speculating? If it comes out that something happened, then Pitt deals with it at that time. Hopefully, Pitt is re-vetting the situation and gets in front of it … but to speculate is dangerous and, in my opinion, reckless. Narduzzi could have a heart attack tomorrow. Shit happens. That’s life.

What happened at Michigan St. should be an example for every athletic department, not just Pitt’s. Let that situation play out, independent of Pitt. This isn’t a situation like Sandusky, where allegations were swept under a rug. Everything at MSU, with regards to football and basketball, is documented and had police reports. The lack of internal and student discipline or expulsion is the root issue, not secrets.

Please don’t drag Pitt into another school’s problems. Pitt has enough of their own.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.13.18 @ 9:50 am

JP…we have 6 Penn Staters on our BOD and Susie running basketball. And we wonder why we have problems??!!

But…I’m sure they all have Pitt’s best interest at heart….

Comment by Dan 72 02.13.18 @ 11:45 am

Tossing, I’m not speculating as much as I was responding to 1618. All I said that there was a possibility that PN’s name in mentioned in one of the investigations are to take place. And I also said that the blame in this particular case goes straight to the top.

It was not a cover-up (fotball wise), it was the lack of punitive action

Comment by wbb 02.13.18 @ 1:06 pm

link to espn.com

“What happened to Pitt basketball?”

Comment by NickC 02.13.18 @ 1:40 pm

[never shared]

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