How did Pitt lose last night? One simple chart:
As for why? That’s a different discussion.
How did Pitt lose last night? One simple chart:
As for why? That’s a different discussion.
Final game at the Pete for the season. Aaron Donald will be there.
Game is on ESPNU at 9pm. Mike Patrick and LaPhonso Ellis calling the game.
Not sure what kind of effort will be coming from the Wolfpack. Obviously not the effort they gave versus UNC last week. Or Syracuse the week before. They likely won’t be as pathetic as they were in the games immediately after those losses.
N.C. State (17-12, 7-9 ACC) will play at Pittsburgh on Monday after a sobering letdown in an 85-70 home loss to Miami on Saturday.
The Wolfpack poured everything into Wednesday’s game against North Carolina, an 85-84 overtime loss, but couldn’t duplicate the effort against the struggling Hurricanes.
Gottfried understood those challenges before the season. He had talked to his team about the danger of Saturday’s game with Miami.
He saw the same pattern after a difficult loss to Syracuse on Feb. 15. The Wolfpack couldn’t avoid some of the same issues that cost it a 73-56 loss at Clemson after the Syracuse game.
At this point, the goal for NC State is to finish at .500 in conference play. They end the season at home against BC, so this should be a big deal for them.
Shortly after I finished watching the game, my son looked over at me and asked, “Did Pitt lose daddy?”
“No, Kian they won.”
“Then why are you lying on the floor?”
I uncurled from the fetal position with no really good answer other than, “It’s Pitt, son. It’s Pitt.”
Had to DVR delay the Pitt-ND game. Which may have been for the best in terms of avoiding the community meltdown with 2.8 seconds left in regulation. But I’ll get to that.
The good news about that game, other than the win. No “burn” offense from the Irish.
2 pm on ESPN2. Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke on the call.
Even if Pitt wasn’t struggling and a bit beat up, I’d be worried about this game. Losing five straight to a team will do that to you.
It just seems that much in the same way Pitt matches up well and knows what to do against Syracuse, Notre Dame does the same to Pitt.
“Whenever we play against Pittsburgh, it’s one of our biggest games of the season,” said Atkins, who leads Notre Dame in assists and steals. “I don’t think it’s going to be any different, another tough game on Saturday.”
Asked about Notre Dame’s success against the Panthers — Pitt hasn’t beaten Notre Dame since January 2009 and hasn’t won in South Bend since March 2005 — Atkins credits coach Mike Brey’s game plan.
Last season, Notre Dame limited the Panthers to 34 percent shooting and won the rebounding battle, 40-25. No Pitt player scored more than 11 points.
“We do a good job of scouting them and trying to take away their easy looks for their better players,” said Atkins, who contributed 10 points and seven assists in last year’s victory. “Also, limiting them on the backboards because they usually beat up teams offensive rebounding.”
Their defense has been solid, but the problem has been dealing with their offense. The Irish aren’t too far from Pitt’s adjusted tempo, but when they play Pitt they take it to the next level down.
Or at least serves as a masking agent.
Shortly after halftime, the nasty bug that has been running through the household finally hit me. Overall, February has truly, deeply, unequivocally sucked.
It’s been years since Pitt and BC faced off in basketball, but it’s nice to know somethings just don’t change. Things like the local media barely noticing them to the point where the Boston Globe just used an AP wire story rather than having a beat reporter.
Something else that hasn’t changed, Pitt notching a win in Chestnut Hill. The last time Pitt lost a game at Boston College, Ralph Willard was coaching the team.
Frustrating as the season is going, there is always the hope of the future. Pitt is still recruiting for the 2014 class, despite appearing to be filled. It may be that they don’t know if Detrick Mostella will get his grades in order. It may be that they think someone might leave. But, Pitt is still pursuing Kobie Eubanks with a vengeance.
Eubanks is a high 3- to 4-star guard and teammate of 2015 commit Damon Wilson. He’s going to be waiting to the end of the last recruiting cycle to make his decision, but based on his visit choices Pitt is in the final mix.
The 6-foot-5 Eubanks will trip to Wichita State (March 1), Pittsburgh (March 3), Missouri (March 5), Baylor (TBA) and Minnesota (TBA).
Last Sunday, Eubanks told SNY.tv Pitt was working the hardest. His teammate, Damon Wilson, is committed there already for 2014.
“Kobie Eubanks is as good of 3-point shooter,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “He has a picture-perfect stroke and shooting remains basketball’s EZ Pass. He can really shoot the ball.”
It’s still a tough group to beat. Frank Haith at Mizzou may be a “meh” coach, but he has been a tremendous recruiter. Same with Scott Drew at Baylor. Minnesota now has Richard Pitino running things, and he does seem to have his dad’s gift in recruiting.
I’d like to think that anyone who can shoot a three with any consistency has moved up in priority this season.
I’m still trying to figure out what the hell Zanna was thinking when he launched that three.
There’s that part of my brain that tries to rationalize it. Yes, Pitt isn’t as good as it appeared at the beginning of January. But they still were pretty good. All the losses. Close games except for one. All against teams that are/were/will be ranked in the top-25. And so on.
But last night was a popper. Pitt could not beat a team they definitely were better than at home. It wasn’t an off night. It was just more of the same in how Pitt has been playing.
The inability to finish at the rim. The tentativeness at both ends. Defense that could not find any consistency. And up and until that meaningless flurry of threes, little from the perimeter shooting.
This isn’t Pitt’s final home game but it is the last one on a weekend. Hence, time to honor the seniors Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna. Fifth year seniors who already have their undergrad degrees and have been taking graduate level classes this year. And both who needed this eight-day break to try and get closer to healthy.
ESPNU at 6 pm for the ACC Sunday night game. Carter Blackburn and Dino Gaudio will be the announcing duo.
All games are crucial at this point. As disappointed as the outcome has been in a lot of the games in the second half of the ACC conference play, Pitt is still firmly in the NCAA Tournament. It may be hard to believe when we tend to only look at Pitt, and what they haven’t done. But when you look at the other 31 conferences and start looking at their records. Their wins. Their losses. You realize Pitt is not on the bubble discussion because they are solidly in the Tournament.
At least right now. The Panthers can absolutely play themselves to the bubble if they struggle with this final five-game stretch. The final three of four being on the road.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Nice start to a Saturday morning.
On to the basketball.
CBS game at 1pm. Pitt’s lone regular season appearance on an over-the-air channel.
Not a lot of history between the two. Even less in terms of success for Pitt. But oh, that one win.
Pitt and North Carolina meet for the ninth time in series history with Carolina holding a 7-1 advantage. The last time the two schools met in basketball was on Nov. 29, 1996, an 82-62 UNC win at the Smith Center. Pitt’s lone win in the series was during the 1941 NCAA Tournament on March 21, 1941, when Pitt advanced to the Final Four with a 26-20 victory in Madison, Wis.
Almost 73 years since the last win. I think Pitt is due.
I drank. I swore. I muttered. Wandered (and at times staggered) aimlessly around the house. I felt completely shell-shocked. My head still has the dull throb of last night that no aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen can quite remove.
It doesn’t compare to the Elite Eight loss to Villanova, because that was a final loss. A gut-punch of immense proportions. But it was only one loss. Last night the effect felt cumulative
I don’t know what to say at this point. Four games lost by a total of 11 points. Three of them came on a shot in the final second.
It takes a toll. On the fans. On the players. Everyone.
7pm on ESPN.
Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke are the announcing crew, so it’s going to be all about the game.
You may have heard and will hear something about that 9-0 versus top-5 teams at the Pete. So that’s out there.
There’s also the fact that the last time Syracuse beat Pitt at the Pete was 10 years ago in a 48-45 mess of a game.
Questions abound on the overall health of the team. How severe is Lamar Patterson’s thumb injury, really? How is Talib Zanna’s ankle?
This will be the fourth straight game versus ACC teams that play at a slower tempo than Pitt. ACC purists can complain all they want about the change to their conference, but the slower tempo is really being driven by their own teams not Pitt and Syracuse.
It’s been rough couple weeks for Pitt. The losses to Syracuse and Duke. The aching misery of the Virginia game. Two OT wins that almost felt like losses because of the competition. Compound that with Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson battling injuries.
Of course it could all wash away with a stirring victory over the #1 team in the country tonight.
We still don’t know the nature of Patterson’s thumb injury. Just that he is sitting out practices and that Pattterson has claimed that it won’t need surgery.
“We’ll see. He hasn’t been put in a game-like situation, so you never know,” Dixon said of Patterson’s thumb. “It feels good when he is walking around and having lunch, but playing in a game is a little different deal, so we will have to see.”
Oh, good. I was afraid the situation might be nebulous or something.
You know all those years of Pitt teams where there was no “go to guy?” The guy on that the team looks to score. The most visible offensive threat. Kind of think Pitt has one of those this year, and the VT game was what happens when he’s not right. Still, I’ll take escaping (again) with the win.
Lamar Patterson had the tape on the right hand and thumb, and it was evident how much of a problem it was when he couldn’t aim straight. To say nothing of struggling with his handle.
It isn’t right to say Pitt is decimated by injuries, but there is a toll at the moment that is rather high. Durand Johnson’s injury has been an issue but plenty of teams can withstand losing their 6th man.
It’s the nagging injuries to Talib Zanna and now Lamar Patterson that are the concerns of the moment.
We’ve got ourselves a nooner.
Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Obviously it’s ESPN3.com or ESPN Full Court’s package. But there are plenty of other outlet options for this one. Root Sports Pittsburgh, Sports Time Ohio, YES, NESN, CSN Fox Sports South and others.
It’s been a decade since Pitt faced the Hokies in basketball, but it seems like nothing has changed. In the Big East they were a bottom feeder with rare spurts of slightly below average performances. In the ACC, more of the same.
Because of the basketball only morons of Big East history, VT only played basketball in the Big East for four years. They finished last in the conference/division three times. This year in the ACC, VT is dead last with only one conference win (Miami). But on the plus side, they did beat the Hoopies.
Their head coach was hired on the cheap and out of desperation. The new VT AD is all but being forced to declare the guy a dead coach walking for the few VT fans that actually notice they have a basketball team and not pining for Seth Greenberg.
Lots of gallows humor with last night’s Pitt-Miami game. Miami plays an even slower tempo than Virginia. And it was a slog.
Pitt escaped with the win. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t good basketball. It still counts as a win.
Pitt is struggling. The reasons are obvious. Zanna is clearly hobbled with the ankle sprain he suffered on Sunday, but he is still the best option for Pitt so Coach Jamie Dixon is playing him the same minutes.
“We fought through, obviously Talib is not 100 percent,” Dixon said. “There is no doubt about that, and we had foul trouble from a number of our guys and we had to put some guys at different spots. We had to win fight through some things to win a game against the reigning ACC champion.
“It is a win on the road, another road win and there aren’t a lot of those in conference play, and we have four of them and there aren’t too many teams that have four road wins.”
Teams are now keying on Lamar Patterson. He came up big at the end of the first half and late in the game, but he is getting no room on the court.
Part of that lack of space for Patterson is no one else stepping up. Well, Cam Wright is doing all he can. He kept Pitt going in the first half.
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