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March 1, 2015

Open Thread: Pitt-Wake

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:46 pm

I feel like I have to repeat this every time I post on basketball. The most important — and only — thing Pitt can do to make sure it gets into the NCAA Tournament is to keep winning. All bubble talk is reactionary and about “if the season ended today” speculation. That’s why I don’t worry or put much stock in the “last four in, last four out” stuff that every ESPN broadcast (and to be fair I caught similar stuff on CBS and Fox yesterday).

You can make yourself frantic for no reason by whipsawing between NC State losing to BC to BYU beating Gonzaga to Texas failing at Kansas while Boise beats SDSU meanwhile… oh, you get the picture.

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February 26, 2015

Assorted Basketball Items, 2/26

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:15 am

Not quite VT. Almost, but not quite.

The Louisville Chris Jones was suspended, reinstated and then booted off the Cardinals Sunday. Rick Pitino said he would have nothing more to say on the matter. I’m guessing he won’t be able to play that card very well in light of the news.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former University of Louisville basketball player Chris Jones on charges of raping one woman and sodomizing another.

The warrant, obtained by University of Louisville police, was signed Wednesday by Jefferson District Judge Katie King.

The warrant says that one of the women was hospitalized Sunday and able to identify Jones as her assailant. One of the women is 19 and the other 20, according to the warrant.

Ugh.

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February 24, 2015

9pm

ESPNU

Late night for those of us in the East who are getting up there in years — or have small children.

Olivier Hanlan has been very hot for BC lately. In the last three games he had 32, 32 and 19 points. He went for 18 last time they played. That hasn’t helped BC too much as they have lost 8 straight and have not won a game in a month.

9-17 overall record, 1-13 at the bottom of the ACC. Needless to say a home loss would be devastating to Pitt.

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It has been a couple decades since Pitt the waning days of the college basketball season wondering if they did/will/can do enough to make the NCAA Tournament. It has been rather straight forward for Pitt. Either they were clearly good enough that the issue was seeding. Or the Panthers were simply bad and not in the conversation. As such, the understanding of the bubble can be a bit confusing.

So, to simplify things, I’m going to put a little primer on Pitt’s situation. It’s not all encompassing, but it hits the key point.

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February 22, 2015

Remember when Chris Jones was given a late scholarship after an excellent senior season of high school? A versatile player who was clearly going to be a development project. Along the lines of Brad Wanamaker and Lamar Patterson?

Well, it might be happening.

One game does not mean he’s arrived. But what Jones has been doing in the month of February has been a couple notches above his January. Which was better than his wretched December. In other words, he’s actually been developing and improving as the season has continued.

It’s been a theme for this squad, the entire season. Young players developing. From the leap Jamel Artis has made. To Sheldon Jeter coming into his own. Michael Young’s consistent work. Josh Newk — okay, there is an exception. Back to Jones.

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February 21, 2015

It’s a nooner on ACC syndication. That’s a problem because they ACC has two noon games to syndicate. In addition to Pitt-Syracuse there is the GT-UNC tilt. Sure that’s a beat-up-on-an-old-hobo kind of game with the disparity between the two teams and it being a home game for UNC. Still, that messes things up.

What I’m saying is that my local affiliate in Cleveland is opting for the hobo beating game. Which means I’m stuck watching on ESPN3.com. Which could be tolerable with the news that DirecTV now has the ESPNWatch authentication complete. Which means I could stream it through my TV. If I had taken the time to install it earlier. If I wasn’t looking at a likely DVR delay because of all the weather this week messing things up so badly I have to do a slew of other things all morning and into the beginning of the afternoon. Oh, hey, snow today. Fantastic.

/end self-pity complaining

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February 16, 2015

It’s supposed to be a nasty evening in that region. There was actually talk of postponing the game. Pitt made it to Charlottesville, however, and the game goes on. It may be a smattering of locals and the students only, but they will play tonight. No one wants to miss out on Big Monday. That’s ESPN at 7pm.

Both teams play slow tempo. It needs to be repeated. Even as Pitt’s offense seems to have opened up, their tempo hasn’t noticeably increased. Virginia is simply one of the slowest tempo teams in all of college basketball. Counting on what can be an insanely stingy defense and offensive efficiency.

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February 15, 2015

That Was Oddly Dominating

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 2:52 pm

If I told you Jamel Artis would be held to 11 points on 3-6 shooting. That Pitt would only go 7-13 from the free throw line. That Derrick Randall played 18 minutes, while Josh Newkirk only played 6 and was 0-2 shooting. That the Tar Heels would shoot a single basket under 50% (29-59). That UNC would hold the edge in rebounding for the game and turned the ball over less than Pitt. You wouldn’t have to look, to know…

…Well we all know what really happened.

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February 14, 2015

Open Thread: UNC-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:45 am

So, UNC has size and rebounds well.

North Carolina leads the ACC in offensive rebounds (15.1 per game), defensive rebounds (27.7 per game) and total rebounds (42.8 per game). North Carolina also is first in rebounding margin (plus-9.7).

It’s no coincidence that the Tar Heels will be one of the tallest teams the Panthers will play this season, featuring six players 6 feet 8 or taller.

Dixon said there is no secret to what he has emphasized in practices leading up to this game. He said if the Panthers don’t rebound well, they will not win.

“We have made it very clear to our players that this is a strength of theirs,” Dixon said. “They are a very good rebounding team, and we are coming off a game in which we got outrebounded. We did a lot of drills at practice that we normally do when we don’t get it done on the glass.

“We have talked about it, and we have made it very clear that we need to match their size and their intensity in going up and getting rebounds.”

Oh, and a top 3-point shooters in the country.

They also have to limit point guard Marcus Paige, North Carolina’s leading scorer.

Paige is one of the top 3-point shooters in the ACC — seventh in 3-point shooting percentage and sixth in made 3-pointers per game — but is streaky. Even when he misses, though, North Carolina’s rebounding ability allows the Tar Heels to turn his missed shots into second-chance scoring opportunities.

What could go wrong?

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February 11, 2015

It blows my mind that a conference game that involves a top-10 team gets this kind of regional distribution (not simply Pittsburgh, but all over the country). 8pm on a Wednesday, and this is it? The game is also on ESPN3.com (subject to blackout) and on the ESPN FullCourt package.

This is the kind of coverage that makes it imperative that the ACC gets its own channel in the next five years. Still, it could be worse. It could be the Big East on FoxSports 1.

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February 10, 2015

Slim.

 

 

Oh, you want more detail?

Mostly slim.

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February 7, 2015

Yes, it’s a “blackout.” For which, Jamie Dixon speaks for all of us older curmudgeons.

“Everything’s about gimmicks and promotions nowadays,” Dixon said. “Fans are excited. Our players are excited. You’ve got to do things that excite the players, excite the fans. I wouldn’t notice the difference, I guess, until it got pointed out.”

Preach it!

Rebuttal:

“I’m excited,” sophomore Jamel Artis said. “They’re great uniforms.”

“The jerseys are dope,” senior Cameron Wright said. “The student section will be popping.”

So, opinions vary.

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January 31, 2015

Oy.

Aron Nwankwo is out with a torn labrum. Technically it isn’t season ending, but it is probably darn close. That sucks.

Chris Jones will not start. Instead Josh Newkirk will get the start. Maybe switching their places will jump start both of their shooting. Both have been lousy lately. I know, make your own shuffling deck chairs jokes.

This has been a rough season. Everyone’s more than a little salty at this point.

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January 27, 2015

For us anyways. Buzz Williams made the surprising jump to VT last spring. As well as VT making the surprising financial commitment to him. As tough and miserable as his Marquette teams have made Pitt at times, he will always hold a special place in my heart for pissing off WVU fans by dancing a bit to “Country Roads” after knocking off the Hoopies.

7pm on ESPNU. I’m just getting home in time.

Artis and Young have been relatively consistent offensively. Let’s see if more than one guard can help with the offense tonight.

January 25, 2015

Open Thread: Louisville-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 2:55 pm

CBS on a Sunday at 4pm.

It’s kind of simple. Whichever team can shoot from outside today will win. I hate typing this, but Pitt needs to drain 3s to win this game.

Both teams struggle with scoring. While Louisville has more size inside and guys who can attack the basket, they don’t plain just don’t do it enough. Preferring to jack up shots.

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