January 18, 2017

Rebounds Kill Pitt

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 7:24 am

Rarely does a box score show as simply how Pitt lost as the one from Pitt-NC State. Pitt shot better than NC State. From inside the arc, outside and the free throw line. Pitt had a slight edge in turnovers, but it was essentially even. Pitt even blocked more shots.

It was all offensive rebounds and the extra shots they produced. NC State got 18 offensive rebounds to a paltry 6 from Pitt. Their young Turk, Omer Yurtseven had more offensive rebounds (8) than the entire Pitt team. Those offensive rebounds became the extra possessions. The extra shots the Wolfpack needed.

So Pitt could have the slight edge in free throws and threes made, but thanks to 14 — 14!!! — more shot attempts, NC State won on volume.


January 17, 2017

7pm, ESPNU

I’ve had to do some work overnight for the past two nights. As such, sleep has been completely disrupted. I spent 10 minutes staring blankly at my computer before realizing I hadn’t turned it on.

So, I’ll keep this brief and possibly coherent.

Both Pitt and NC State are 1-4 in ACC play.


January 14, 2017

Open Thread: Miami-Pitt, Must Win

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:35 am

12 pm, RSN (ROOT, various FOX, etc.) and ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Miami is somewhere in the mushy-middle of the ACC with Pitt (yes, I still think of Pitt as a middle-of-the-pack ACC team, but consider that middle of the pack in the ACC likely encompasses roughly 6-13). As such, this is a game Pitt can win.

Should win? Arguably.

Must win? Absolutely.


January 12, 2017

Plenty of Artis, Not Much Else

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:54 pm

[Editor note: drafted this in the morning after. Thought I might still be a bit too annoyed and maybe unfair on the read through. Sat on it for the day and evening to see if I mellowed a bit. Nope.]

This performance after what happened in Syracuse was not dispiriting. It was the kind that pisses me off.

After spending the first 15 games establishing a pattern of racing out to big leads and then holding on in the second half, Pitt has changed its approach the last two games. They get buried and then spend the second half trying to dig out of that hole. Hasn’t worked yet, but I’m sure they will get there eventually.

No one has epitomized that more then Mike Young. All through the non-con and first couple games of conference play, Young was a first half force. Scoring big in the first half to pace the team and open things up for everyone else. He would drop off in the second half, as Pitt’s leads diminished. But, that could be chalked up to doing so much in the first half, and being a bit worn down.


January 11, 2017


RSN (Root, NESN, YES, various FoxSports) or ACC Network Extra/ESPN3

Broke losing streak to Virginia. Broke winning streak versus Syracuse. Have an 8-game losing streak to Louisville. Let’s see if things continue.

Since there is a lull in scandals at Louisville, the focus for this game is really on handling the press. Specifically, how will Pitt handle it with Jamel Artis as point-forward?


January 9, 2017

Predictable Inconsistency Continues

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:43 am

In hindsight, the only real shock from the Syracuse game on Saturday was how overwhelming that barrage was in the first half. That Pitt would go out and not shoot as well. That their defensive effort was lacking (to say the least). That they would be disjointed and appear to come unglued.

Well, all of that we saw a little over a month ago. Right after a big road win over Maryland. Pitt followed it up with a complete falling apart against Duquesne. Producing their worst offensive output of the season and a defense that barely tried. Something we could kind of sort of paper over with Jamel Artis’ suspension (at least as far as the scoring goes).

Guess what? After the big win over Virginia, Pitt repeated history and had their second worst offensive output of the season.


January 7, 2017

12 pm, ACC Network Syndication (bastards) or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

In the Cleveland area, you would think that ACC games would be shown fairly regularly when its ACC Network Syndication. What, with Raycom actually owning two channels (CBS affiliate and a UHF channel). It is true at least in football season, but basketball is a bit more spotty. Today it is nothing but infomercials, which leaves me with streaming the game. Streaming is much better, but still not as good as broadcast.

Today is Pitt’s second true road game. Pitt is 3-2 away from the Pete when you include neutral site games. Not really much of a sample size.

Syracuse is 9-6 overall, and 9-2 at home. They just came off a surprising blowout win over Miami. Worth noting that Syracuse is 0-4 this season against teams that they used to call conference mates in the Big East. No, wait, technically 1-4 with the win over Miami, but no one really counts them as Big East basketball.


January 5, 2017

Pitt Regroups to Pull Home Upset

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:43 am

Both in terms of the gut punch loss on Saturday and giving up a three to send last night’s game to overtime.

Credit to the team and Coach Kevin Stallings. I think most Pitt fans had about given up when London Perrantes was not fouled, and allowed to shoot in rhythm to drill the transition three to send the game to overtime.

Hell, given the way Pitt closes out then end of halves and games, there was a feeling of dread building when Pitt was inbounding the ball and a chance to ice the game if they scored before that.


January 4, 2017


ACCNetwork Extra/WatchESPN or Regional Sports Networks (ROOT, NESN, YES, Sportstime Ohio, etc.)

This is sort of what it must have felt like for fans of other Big East teams when Pitt was at its defensive apex in the early 2000s. A team that grinds everything to a stop. That forces opposing teams to play a different way.  Low scoring affairs that piss you off because it seems the defense got away with muggings while the announcers just heaped praise upon the fundamentally sound defense. A brutally efficient team that sucks the life out of the game.

“They try to grind you into their game,” Pitt coach Kevin Stallings said. “A lot of times, when you play them — and I say this because we’ve scrimmaged them, we’ve played them when he was at Washington State — if they get you in their grinder, you’ve got problems. You have to work to keep playing your game the way you play it and not succumb to the style they want.”

I’m not feeling terribly optimistic about this one.


December 31, 2016

2pm, ACC Network affiliates or ACCNetwork Extra/WatchESPN

I will be much happier when the real ACC Network goes on the air (provided it doesn’t end up in a stalemate with carriers like the Pac-12 Network). The Big East had plenty of faults, but at least they didn’t lean on Raycom to distribute the non-ESPN games. It was easier and more consistent always being able to find Big East basketball games on all the RSNs.

Of course, by then streaming should be even better, clearer and more reliable than they are now (and streaming has markedly improved from last year to this year).


December 28, 2016

7pm. ACC Digital Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Useless information department. This is the ninth time that Pitt basketball coincided with a Pitt bowl game.

January 2, 1956
Sugar Bowl (Georgia Tech) — Loss
Yale — Win

December 29, 1956
Gator Bowl (Georgia Tech) — Win
UConn — Loss

December 30, 1977
Gator Bowl (Clemson) — Win
Fordham — Win

December 27, 2003
Continental Tire Bowl (UVA) — Loss
New Hampshire — Win

December 31, 2008
Sun Bowl (Oregon St.) — Loss
Rutgers — Loss

January 8, 2011
BBVA Compass Bowl (Kentucky) — Win
Marquette — Win

January 5, 2013
BBVA Compass Bowl (Ole Miss) — Loss
Rutgers — Loss

December 26, 2013
Little Caesar’s Bowl (Bowling Green) — Win
Stanford — Win

Pitt football 4-4 (pending today)

Pitt basketball 6-2

Again, really useless information.


December 21, 2016

Open Thread: Nebraska-Omaha–Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:29 am

7pm, ACC Digital Network Extra/WatchESPN

Sorry about light no posting this week. Last week before Christmas/Hanukah weekend, and it has been predictably nuts. Kids going on break. Scrambling to get everything finished at work. And on top of that, a late in the game, cold that I’m trying not to let get worse.

A couple common opponents. The Mavericks have played (and lost to) Eastern Michigan and Rice. They also hung 98 on Iowa in an upset. They play very up-tempo, that counts on attacking the basket. As a result they also shoot a lot of free throws. Nearly 25% of their points come from the line.


December 17, 2016

Open Thread: Rice-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:24 am

7 pm, ACC Digital Network/WatchESPN

Big game for Pitt. A must win.

At least as far as I’m concerned. My sister and brother-in-law both got post-graduate degrees at Rice. Have settled in Houston and are big Rice supporters overall. Needless to say, family bragging rights are on the line.


December 10, 2016

2:30 PM on CBS Sports Network (hope you can find it).

Jamie Dixon looms over this game more than I want.

I’ve been doing my best to stay off that topic for a few reasons. I’d rather just focus on the season when there are actual games taking place. It’s not fair to the team and Kevin Stallings. I’m trying to give Kevin Stallings a chance to do things his way and not let too many biases influence how I see it. Constantly harping on what I think Dixon would have done. Or projecting comparisons is just not going to do any good. It’s a very polarizing topic, especially when it comes down to the players on the Pitt roster and talent. It very much has a Walt Harris-Dave Wannstedt vibe to it. Only without the hometown bias Wannstedt enjoyed.

But today. For this game. The topic is rearing its head.


December 8, 2016

Averting The Epic Collapse

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:33 am

I just don’t know.

It’s not that beating Buffalo is worse than losing to Duquesne. (Clearly, it isn’t.) It is just the way this game went down was oddly more disheartening. The loss to Duquesne was frustrating and created anger.

But this game. This game was disheartening.

To be up 26 points with under 4:30 left in the first half and end up with only a one point lead at 6:30 left in the entire game. That was some epic frittering.


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