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December 9, 2017

8pm ESPN2

I should be looking forward to this game more then I am.

I love games between Pitt and WVU. The natural, good hate that bubbles around the teams and the fans. This should be the kind of game where you hear the cliche, “You can throw out the records when these two…”

Except you really can’t. Not tonight. These teams haven’t played in five years. The overwhelming majority of players have no real connection to the Backyard Brawl. Pitt has a coach that has no familiarity with it.

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December 6, 2017

Pitt Survives Its Lack of Defense

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:39 am

Clearly, I underestimated the ability of this young Pitt basketball team to play down to the level of its competition.

Pitt may have won four in a row, but there is an inconsistency even in these wins, as this one and making it past High Point illustrated. Whether it is effort, coaching, youth and/or talent.

Mount St. Mary’s was as close to assuming a gimmee even for Pitt this year. The Mountaineers are the worst team on Pitt’s schedule to this point. Yet, Pitt gave them a huge opportunity to get the win.

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December 5, 2017

7pm, ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Have to admit, I like Pitt’s chances tonight. The — Google’s “Mount St. Mary’s mascot,” double-takes, clicks a few links to verify, well, okay then — Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Oh, my. Their mascot is one, “Emmit S. Burg.” Oh, and let’s not get started on drowning bunnies.

Sorry, definitely went down a rabbit hole.

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December 1, 2017

Hey, It’s City Game Night

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:28 am

I swear, if Pitt basketball ruins 13-9 Day for me… Well,  I’ll rant and complain so uselessly…

It’s been a while since I got around to — well, much on this site. But especially basketball. In that time, Pitt has gone 2-2.

After bottoming out against Penn State (I recognize the words, but not the arrangement), Pitt played better against Oklahoma State — but still lost. They seemed to be showing improvement by handling Lehigh relatively close to how they should. Then fell back a step, struggling to close out High Point.

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November 20, 2017

9:30 pm, ESPN3– It’s WatchESPN.

I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready for this.

This past Saturday was rough enough. And for all the the supposed acceptance of Pitt not being anything close to a good basketball team this year. For already seeing them lose to a team coached by Ed DeChellis. For losing to Montana, while this other team won by 13. And now to be a 10 point underdog to Penn State?

You’re asking a lot of me.

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November 16, 2017

The Dream of A Perfect Season Is Dead

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 12:52 pm

Phew. That nightmare scenario is done within the first week of the season.

Pitt finally notched its first win in basketball last night. I would go with some cliche about how it wasn’t pretty, but let’s face it. Nothing about this season is going to be pretty.

I missed the first half (apparently this was a good thing), where Pitt continued to show no awareness on defense and left shooters on the perimeter alone. To the tune of UCSB going 8-15 on 3s.

The lack of defense on the perimeter coupled with no fear of the frontcourt defending the rim has led to an all-hands-on-deck approach. Redshirts be damned.

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November 15, 2017

Open Thread: UCSB-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 5:39 pm

7pm ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Aw, hell I don’t know.

UC-Santa Barbara is in the Big West. They went 6-22 last year and fired their head coach. Joe Pasternack is now the guy. Pasternack had been the head coach at the University of New Orleans. Succeeding some guy named Buzz Williams. UNO folded their basketball program in 2011, and Pasternack became an assistant at Arizona under Sean Miller. He was also the associate head coach there.

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November 14, 2017

Big Sky Problems

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:46 am

Oh, boy.

That new team smell wore off real fast.

83-78 in OT. In front of a home crowd just north of 3,000.

The backcourt of Montana — their admitted strength — just destroyed Pitt. All game long. On offense. Forcing turnovers.

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November 13, 2017

7pm radio or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Feeling better. Very low key weekend of nursing being sick to maximum sympathy; and to be left alone with sports on TV all weekend.

Let’s start with a lookback on the opening loss at Navy.

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November 10, 2017

9:00 CBSSN (it’s a real channel, dammit).

I’m sick. Have that whole mucous running down the back of my scratchy throat, stuffed nose, bloated head feeling. It’s probably just a cold that has been long overdue.

And yet…

There was this game yesterday…

I’m not saying that Pitt’s performance last night against UNC is responsible. I’m the the first to say that correlation does not equal causation. I’m just not willing to rule it out either.

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November 6, 2017

Introductions Out of the Way

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 12:25 pm

Pitt won its exhibition game over Slippery Rock 71-59. It’s a big deal only so far as it avoids any additional embarrassment and stress on the team.

Attendance wasn’t great, but not unexpected. At the end of the day it was an exhibition game and even the defending NCAA Champs couldn’t get 5k to show for an exhibition.

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October 31, 2017

You know there really isn’t much of a choice with regards to Pitt basketball this year. When Ryan Luther and Jonathan Milligan are the cover boys for your media guide by default. Every game against an ACC opponent will have opposing bloggers and message boards going there.

Hell, as Pitt fans we went that way quite a while ago.

A secret scrimmage that stayed a secret. Exhibition game with Slippery Rock this weekend. I’m at least curious.

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October 27, 2017

ACC Basketball Media Moments

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Conference,Media — Chas @ 7:26 am

The ACC Men’s Basketball Media Day was Wednesday. The talk that dominated was about the FBI probe, as coaches danced around Rick Pitino’s very existence. Don’t worry, the ACC isn’t going to simply rely on the NCAA’s own panel to examine issues. No, they are going to have their own damn panel.

Toward that end ACC commissioner John Swofford unveiled Wednesday a five-member task force to study issues exposed by recent federal charges against, among others, four assistant coaches, two Adidas employees, a financial adviser and former agent.

Outgoing Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage is chairing the five-man ACC group, all of whom are steeped in the game. Littlepage played at Penn and coached at Villanova, Virginia, Penn and Rutgers. Boston College AD Martin Jarmond played at UNC Wilmington, Florida State AD Stan Wilcox at Notre Dame. Duke AD Kevin White sits on the NCAA tournament selection committee, and ACC senior associate commissioner Paul Brazeau coached at Hartford, Boston College and Ohio State, and worked previously for the Big East and NBA.

The latest scandal “is a wake-up call, and it’s an opportunity,” Swofford said during a one-on-one interview at the ACC’s annual preseason media gathering. “If we don’t take advantage of this opportunity, shame on us collectively.”

Swofford wants the ACC task force to offer suggestions to the NCAA commission, chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and including retired players Grant Hill and David Robinson. He wants the group to canvass not only ACC coaches, but stakeholders outside the conference.

I’m sure this will do great things.

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September 29, 2017

In light of the burgeoning scandal in college basketball, the response from some corners is that if players were compensated — paying players, permitting them to cash in on their likeness (autographs, cut of jersey sales, etc.), and even allowing them to cut deals directly with shoe companies — it would end this sort of shenanigans. So would eliminating the NBA’s restriction on high school players that creates the one-and-done rule.

It’s an appealing notion. And it would reduce it a bit. Everyone would have to get comfortable with shoe companies dictating which schools would get the players. Nike deciding which blue bloods get certain players in their stable. That certainly would be what happens. Shoe company paying six-figures for a 5-star, elite player. They are going to tell him where he’s playing. They are going to recoup that money in apparel sales.

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September 28, 2017

As expected, Rick Pitino is out at Louisville. Technically, he is on administrative leave. That, though, is for contract/money reasons. He has to be put on leave for 10 days before he can be fired for Louisville to avoid paying a tremendous buyout. Again, this is more the cumulative effect. Not just for this scandal.

This will end up with lawsuits and an eventual settlement — unless the FBI is given/releases some direct evidence of Pitino’s knowledge before it gets to trial.

The somewhat surprising thing is that Louisville’s AD Tom Jurich is also out. Some reports have said he was told to place Pitino on leave/fire him, but he refused. Others deny it. Regardless, this is a big hit for Louisville as Jurich is widely credited with building the Cards into the athletic program it is today — and how they were able to get into the ACC.

Jurich’s firing also has the effect of triggering a reduction in the buyout their rather nomadic football coach would have to pay if he were to take another job. Bobby Petrino’s buyout to leave goes down from $8+ million to $4.25 million. Why, hello there, Nebraska. What’s new with you? Ole Miss, what’s happening?

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