masthead.jpg

October 30, 2014

Projected for Upper-Middle

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Conference — Chas @ 7:47 am

So the Media Day for the ACC Operation Basketball went off yesterday. Other than the awkwardness with academics and investigations at UNC and Syracuse, it was a typical media day. Coaches and players answered the same questions. The conference commissioner filibustered as long as he could to minimize the time allotted to the media to ask questions.

And, of course, the preseason conference poll was released. The ACC has its voting done by all the local media covering the teams (I’m sure my ballot just got lost in the mail).

(more…)

October 29, 2014

That’s right. ACC basketball media day is today. Coach Jamie Dixon, James Robinson and Cameron Wright are down in Charlotte for the day.

The ACC is doing interviews and taking fan questions on Twitter with the hashtag #ACCTakeover . I don’t see any problems when UNC Coach Roy Williams gets his turn. What could go wrong?

There will be coverage on ESPNU and on ESPN3.com all day today.

(more…)

October 21, 2014

Basketball Season Rolling Up

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 7:18 am

The Blue-Gold Scrimmage was Sunday. There’s another fan/student event on Friday night — nice tie-in for homecoming weekend. The first exhibition is on Halloween. The season opener is in 3 1/2 weeks. Time to run some links.

I’m going to skip specific preseason prognostication mags. Basically Pitt is being projected into the NCAA Tournament. The expectations in the ACC are anywhere from 5th to 8th with most putting Pitt at 6th behind Duke, UVa, Louisville, UNC and Syracuse.

(more…)

October 1, 2014

Slouching Towards Basketball

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 1:46 pm

That’s right basketball practices start to get underway. On Friday, it’s the annual Oakland Zoo Scrimmage. It actually appears to be a really fun thing for the students (and fans that can make it).

Pitt fans and the Oakland Zoo student cheering section will get their first glimpse of the 2014-15 Pitt Basketball team when the program hosts its annual Oakland Zoo Scrimmage on Friday, Oct. 3 at the Petersen Events Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the scrimmage begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $5.00 in the OC Lot.

All Oakland Zoo members are encouraged to arrive early due to pre-scrimmage festivities. Oakland Zoo tee-shirts with the new logo will be on sale in the Team Store. All students in the arena by 6 p.m. will have the opportunity to take a photo with the Pitt Basketball team for the 2014-15 team poster and pre-game intro video. Zoo members must have their tee-shirts on and be in their seats at 6 p.m. Oakland Zoo members will receive loyalty points for attendance and will have the opportunity to be a guest coach on the benches with the team.

The scrimmage will tipoff at 7 p.m. The Panthers will likely play two 16 minute halves.

Immediately following the scrimmage, the Pitt Basketball team will hold its annual pizza party and meet and greet for the Oakland Zoo on the floor.

Pitt’s media day is the day before. Thursday. The full schedule is now complete — including times and TV/Internet broadcast schedule. I’m a little relieved that the there is no internet or TV broadcast for the Hawaii game. Midnight (East Coast) start time on Thursday/Friday would be rough to stay awake and watch. Let alone function at work that day.

(more…)

September 28, 2014

Looking For Something Positive

Filed under: Basketball,Injury,Players — Chas @ 9:48 am

Maybe there’s some good news from Pitt basketball.

Senior guard Cameron Wright, Pitt’s leading returning scorer, had surgery Friday after breaking his left foot a week before the team’s first practice, a team source said.

Wright, who broke his foot Thursday, is expected to miss 10 weeks.

The Panthers’ first practice is scheduled for Friday.

/sigh

August 28, 2014

Well, the dates are all set. The ACC television is set. The times for many of the non-con games and any accompanying TV coverage are still unknown.

The ACC released its complete schedule with dates and times yesterday (PDF).

Pitt’s ACC opponents were already known, just not the dates. February is going to be brutal (PDF).

Feb2015Brutal

The week before that is a Saturday home game against Louisville on CBS. Pitt’s ACC schedule definitely has a very difficult middle. The start and ends are noticeably weaker. But that middle. Oh, that middle stretch of late-January through the third week of Februrary. It’s very likely that in that 9 game stretch ND and Bryant will be the only unranked teams Pitt faces.

(more…)

August 12, 2014

Just best to stay out of Reed’s way when he’s rolling like this.

So, just to note that while the full schedule of dates, times and TV appearances have yet to be released; ESPN did announce their Big Monday schedule. Pitt gets two appearances on the ACC slate.

January 19, 7pm at Duke

February 16, 7pm at Virginia

Disappointing not to get a home Big Monday game, but Pitt is featured in 2 of the 8 ACC Big Monday games. The same number of appearances as Duke. UNC and Virginia each have three appearances. Louisville and Syracuse make only one appearance each. Not too bad for a team that will be considedred 6th to 8th in the ACC preseason polling (some combination of Virginia, Louisville, Duke, UNC and Cuse will be most prognosticators top-5).

(more…)

August 7, 2014

Maui Bracket Set

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 6:50 am

The bracket was released for the 2014 Maui Invitational Classic. Since Pitt will get there a little early to play Hawaii, they get an extra game. Pitt gets to start it out against the host — Chaminade. Assuming no upset (yes, yes, we all know: 1982. Virginia. Ralph Sampson. Yada, yada, yada.), Pitt moves on to face BYU or SDSU in the semis. Given the recent past, I would expect it to be SDSU.

I’m not sure if it is just a few people getting negative or just a conditioning thing, but I actually saw some complaints about Pitt’s bracket on Twitter and message boards. Mainly that it is a negative to have the game against Chaminade because it hurts the RPI. And a little unfamiliarity/little too casual in dismissing a team like SDSU. The Aztecs have been one of the best teams in the Mountain West. They were a #4 seed last year, going out in the Sweet Sixteen to Arizona. Odds are, if it is Pitt-SDSU in the semis, SDSU will be considered the favorite.

(more…)

July 17, 2014

Regardless of the ability to help Pitt, can we at least agree that the best thing in the long-term for Joseph Uchebo was coming to Pitt and getting better medical help for rehabbing his knee.

In moments like these, it’s easy to forget Uchebo is still recovering from a devastating knee injury that put his basketball career on hold for almost two years.

But then he runs up the court with a noticeable hitch in his step, a clear reminder that his battle to get back to full health is not over.

“It still hurts,” said Uchebo, a native of Nigeria. “Sometimes when I’m running I feel the pain, but not like it used to be.”

The pain was so bad in the weeks after Uchebo collided knees with an opponent while playing for Chipola Community College in Marianna, Fla., that he could barely sleep at night.

But Uchebo said he continued to play for about two more weeks on the recommendation of team doctors.

“They told me it wasn’t that bad and I was happy to hear it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “But it was that bad; they just wanted me to play.

“As time goes, the truth starts coming out. You know, I was so [angry]. Like, is my basketball career going to end just like that? I was thinking about that every day, every night.”

Uchebo had to go through two microfracture knee surgeries. As fast as players come back from ACL tears, microfracture surgery is a far different animal. It is a much slower process, and a lot more time is involved. And there is no doubt that misdagnosing it back at the community college made it that much harder now to heal.

(more…)

July 10, 2014

Basketball Notes, 7/10

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 6:29 am

Just going to run through a few things to clear tabs.

Arizona big man, Taleb Tarczewski hasn’t been in Arizona taking classes and working with the coaches and teammates there. Instead, he’s been back in Massachusetts working there. Including private sessions with Bobby Martin.

What made you choose to work out with Bobby Martin?

He was college teammates with my coach [Sean Miller] at Pitt, so I know that he is really good at what he does and a really good guy. What I love about him is that he is all about footwork – he’s really broken down my low-post game and built it back up, we go over everything and I find myself learning so much about the low-post that I never knew before.

It seems Martin has been carving out a career teaching big men.

(more…)

July 9, 2014

At Last, The Completed Non-Con

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 6:43 am

I’m back. A bit of traveling for the holiday week(end). Try to get back into things Monday night and the storm that ripped through our area knocked the power out for a good 12 hours or so. The power outage wasn’t the worst — except to my 12-year old daughter who found her tablet useless without wi-fi. Especially since it happened at night and we were able to sleep through half of it.

The worry was all the contents of the fridge and freezer. Well, it was the worry of my wife. Within the first hour of the outage, she’s ready to declare everything in the fridge is doomed. Followed by the ice cream in the freezer. By the morning, she’s planning to toss everything from the freezer. Lose power for more than 24 hours and she is considering a new refrigerator, because who knows what may linger in the old one.

Keep in mind that the minute we lose power, she all but padlocks the doors to the fridge so none of the precious remaining cold escapes.

My only concern was how soon the water from the storm would get into the ground and into our basement. Every time there’s an outage I think about how I really need a battery back-up for the sump pump. And every time the power comes back I put off the move.

Anyways…

(more…)

June 28, 2014

Basketball Notes, 6/28

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:56 am

Mustapha Heron is still a Pitt verbal.

“I’m able to focus on my game, working on my game to fit into Pitt’s system,” Heron said at the NBPA Top 100 camp. “I don’t have to worry about who’s watching me, what type of letters are coming in, what type of calls are coming in. I can just play freely.”

With that said, the departure of assistant coach and ace recruiter Barry “Slice” Rohrssen to Kentucky has had the rumor mill whirling once again. In fact, all six predictions in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball have Heron going somewhere besides Pittsburgh.

In Virginia, Heron addressed the rumors.

“I don’t pay much attention to it,” he said. “Right now I’m just working on building a relationship with coach [Jamie] Dixon, and that’s going really well.”

Is it possible he could decommit at some point?

“That’s just something I would have to talk to my family about,” Heron said. “But as of now, no.”

That’s really all he can say. He could make absolute declarations of fealty and they would still be taken with the same meaning. The fact is he has not decommitted. He has not reopened the decision and he has not gone around on even unofficial visits to other schools.

He’s heading into his junior year of high school. He cannot sign a NLI until November 2015 at the earliest. I’m not saying he won’t change his mind. I’m just not going to spend the next year plus angsting over it.

(more…)

June 27, 2014

Patterson Goes to Atlanta

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA — Chas @ 6:58 pm

I’m thrilled to be wrong. Lamar Patterson got drafted a bit earlier in the second round than even the few mock drafts that still had him listed.

University of Pittsburgh senior forward Lamar Patterson (Lancaster, Pa./St. Benedict’s Prep, N.J.) was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the No. 48 pick in Thursday evening’s 2014 NBA Draft. Seconds later, ESPN announced that Milwaukee traded Patterson to the Atlanta Hawks.

Patterson is the second Pitt player drafted in the last two seasons as Steven Adams was taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 12 overall pick last June. Patterson becomes the sixth Pitt player selected in the NBA Draft in the last 10 years: Chris Taft (2005), Aaron Gray (2007), Sam Young (2009), DeJuan Blair (2009), Steven Adams (2013) and Lamar Patterson (2014).

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Patterson helped guide Pitt to three NCAA Tournament appearances, a 122-49 combined record, five consecutive 20-win seasons and a 78-17 record at the Petersen Events Center. An all-around player, Patterson became just the third player in school history to surpass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in a career (the other two players were Carl Krauser, 2002-06 and Brad Wanamaker, 2007-11). He set a school-record for most career games played (148), started 106 games, scored 1,410 points, grabbed 588 rebounds, dished out 427 assists and hit 171 3-pointers over his five-year career.

In Pitt’s basketball history, Patterson is just the 29th player drafted to the NBA or ABA.

(more…)

June 26, 2014

Draft Night for Patterson And Zanna

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA — Chas @ 6:37 am

Talib Zanna is not going to hear his name called tonight. He will get a chance in the NBA summer league with the possibility of a free agent signing, but he is likely heading overseas.

Lamar Patterson has a shot at the end of the second round.

What do the mock drafts say?: For what it’s worth, Patterson’s stock seems to have dropped a bit by this standard. In April, NBAdraft.net had Patterson going to Miami with the 57th pick. Draftexpress.com had him 59th to Toronto and CBS Sports’ Matt Moore, 45th to Minnesota.

Patterson did not show up on any of the current mocks of those three as of Wednesday night. He does show up on two of the four “final” mocks at BasketballInsiders.com, Steve Kennedy’s (to Indiana, No. 57) and Steve Kyler’s (Denver, No. 56).

The NBA Draft has very, very few sure things — even in the first round. Here’s a quick review of the last 19 drafts. So many of those picks weren’t mistakes. They just never translated.

(more…)

June 24, 2014

Unleash the Irrational Optimism

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 6:27 am

Don’t lie. You read the articles on the pro-am games last night. You try to tell yourself to take it all with a grain of salt. To keep perspective. And yet

Derrick Randall looks different.

He’s got a different aura about him this June. Physically, he’s night and day from last summer with a stronger, leaner frame. The rising senior has more energy as he sprints up and down the floor.

But it’s more than just the physical appearance, because Randall has a different feeling about him. He walks upright with his head held high and a smile on his face. It’s a far cry from the quiet, reserved – at times isolated – junior from last summer.

It has showed on the court, too.

Randall recorded his first double-double of the summer Monday night when he played opened at the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league at Montour. His 22-point, 15-rebound performance keyed a PGT 110-87 victory over Shaler Attorneys.

Teamed with Josh Newkirk, who had 34 points and 8 assists, they were a force.

(more…)

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com