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March 19, 2012

Didn’t see a Q&A with Princeton coming, did you?

The CBI resumes tonight. Pitt remains TV free for this as HDNet has opted to air the Penn-Butler game tonight. Princeton and Pitt square off at 7pm. If you are looking for free radio feed on the net, check out Pitt’s radio station, WPTS.

Jon Solomon, the editor of PrincetonBasketball.com, and I exchanged some questions. Unfortunately my responses are behind a paywall. So what I said remains a mystery. Not that I said anything you haven’t really read from me before, so you aren’t missing much.

After the jump, you can read the responses from PrincetonBasketball.com

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March 7, 2012

Not exactly a lot of time to do hard-hitting questions and answers, but since the last Q&A exchange (man, I was really down on J.J. Moore at that point of the season) was followed by a Pitt win why not. I’m stunned by how spooked the Hoya fans are by Pitt because of the recent history. It would be nice if the players were equally spooked.  Casual Hoya wanted to have another go. You can see my responses here.

Seriously. What the hell happened in the last meeting? I still can’t figure it out. [Editor note: Check the box score. It really goes against much of what we have seen most of the season. Pitt dominated so much inside, while getting nothing on the perimeter. Nas and Zanna even hit 7-8 FTs.]

Thank goodness! I thought it was just me! Georgetown was off defensively in that game and I’m not sure why. Henry Sims and Nate Lubick were getting beat to their spots down low and Pitt had a bunch of backdoor layups and alley-oops when the Hoyas were forced to help and double. In fact, Pitt looked very Georgetown-like in that game. Georgetown’s defensive lapses ultimately prevented the Hoyas from clawing all the way back from what was a double-digit deficit, but they did show signs of life in the 2nd half and I have to think (read: hope and pray to the high heavens) that the result won’t be the same again.

 

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February 17, 2012

Vote or Not

Filed under: Bloggers — Chas @ 10:39 am

Sean’s Ramblings is doing his annual Pittsburgh sports blog tourney. The voting is now open, and I’ve been told I’m trailing in a 4-5 match-up.

January 27, 2012

Talking Georgetown

Filed under: Basketball,Bloggers — Chas @ 9:55 am

Haven’t done a Q&A exchange for a while with another blogger, but the folks at Casual Hoya reached out — possibly because they were bored with nearly a week off before tomorrow’s Georgetown-Pitt game. Here’s where you can find my response to their questions along with Cardiac Hill’s.

As you can imagine, this is a super-serious discussion by super-serious people.

1.Considering the raging disappointment of Georgetown since 2008, whether it was opening round flameouts or finishing 11th, 7th and 8th in the Big East. Maybe you could offer some advice to Pitt fans when you hit a rock-bottom season like this? I guess that 2008-09 season would be a close analog.

I wouldn’t really consider the Georgetown seasons post-2008 to be “raging disappointments”. 2009 was horrible, yes. But our in the last two seasons our team has been severely hampered by late illnesses and injuries. In 2010, Austin Freeman was diagnosed with diabetes, you know, real world problems. Not like Cuse where Fab Melo cheats on tests. And in 2011, Chris Wright went down with a wrist injury. Sucked. We move on. I feel like Pitt fans are already used to disappointment, just review how your last two seasons ended.

 

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October 21, 2011

The trip was far too short, but it’s not like the wife could take a second straight day off from work just so I could get a night in NYC drinking. That gave me a little less than 15 hours in NYC. It was hectic, busy, and a lot of time spent in airports waiting for flights — in fact I spent more time in airports coming and going than I did at Big East Media Day. Well worth it. If this post feels disjointed and without flow, then I am effectively conveying that day.

To explain. Volvo is a corporate sponsor for the Big East. Last year they did a “Biggest fan in the Big East” contest for the first time. They brought it back for this year. I was selected to be the Pitt representative and got this paid trip to Big East Media Day to help kick things off.

Sixteen of us, representing our school will be “competing” for the title which includes a return trip to NYC for the Big East Tournament and a new car. There will also be a donation to the scholarship fund of the winning fan’s school. We got to observe Big East Media Day, will get a couple tickets to a conference home game (TBD) later during the season, and shot some video talking about why we are the biggest fan.

The last, was more than a little awkward for me. Trying to concisely explain why I’m such a fan of Pitt almost seems silly when you get past the basics. I just am.

I didn’t grow up a Pitt fan. I wasn’t raised on the school or the teams. I chose the school for the education and grew into being a fan. For me, being a fan at Pitt is tied to more than simply the athletics. Much of it has to do with staying connected to not just the school but the friends I have from Pitt. Sharing, staying in touch and having the reasons to get together centered around Pitt. That is only part of it. The thing I know, is that I have become a bigger fan the longer I’ve been writing about Pitt. My affection for the school and the athletics have only deepened. And that’s because of all of you. All of you who have come here to read my ramblings. Who have left comments. Argued, debated minutiae. The interaction and passion on the site and — all too infrequently — opportunities to actually meet has only strengthened my feelings for Pitt. Even when the frustrations run high, and tempers a little higher. I simply can’t imagine not being a Pitt alum and fan. Thank you. All of you.

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October 19, 2011

Rain in NYC

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Bloggers,Conference — Chas @ 8:17 am

A trip that I’d rather not discuss right now. Yeesh. It’s drizzling and gray.

Apparently the unofficial media poll was released last night and Pitt was picked to finish 4th — behind Syracuse, UConn and Louisville. The big stunner DePaul was not picked for 16th. That honor went to Providence. No irony there. Nope. Nothing to see with that.

And just to also note that 6 of the top 8 teams happen to be football playing teams. Go figure.

Ashton Gibbs was picked as the preseason player of the year.

Just a quick note before I meet the other Big East folk and the marketing guy who will be in charge of us.

Not sure how much posting or time for posting I will actually have. Twitter may be the best bet today. If you are on Twitter and don’t follow me, then why the hell not? Otherwise, just click the twitter logo in the sidebar and you can follow the tweets today without an account.

October 18, 2011

Recommended Reading

Filed under: Bloggers,Football — Chas @ 12:54 pm

I’m stuck trying to get a lot of stuff done. In the mean time, head over to Chris Dokish’s site for a nice piece on taking a step back from driving yourself more than a little insane.

For a little more perspective, check the Incline Blog’s alternate reality.

April 2, 2011

Buick’s Smart Sponsorship

Filed under: Bloggers,Marketing — Chas @ 10:08 am

I should be in Houston.

I’m sure many of you had some sort of plan in place to get there as well. Some of you probably have money sunk from the hope/expectations of Pitt being in Houston. This is the selfish, self-pitying, disappointed part of Pitt not making the Final Four. Beyond simply my love of Pitt and the joy I would take in seeing the Men’s Basketball team still playing, winning and being one of the four teams in Houston. There were selfish interests.

I was going to go to Houston for free if Pitt made it.

You probably noticed that Buick is one of the major corporate sponsors for the NCAA Tournament this season. They had a little extra money in the sponsorship budget after dropping Tiger Woods last year.

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March 28, 2011

Back From A Layoff

Filed under: Basketball,Bloggers — Chas @ 9:51 am

I know that I’ve been barely missed with Reed taking the spring football coverage to an area never seen on this site before.

It’s been one of those weeks. Kids sick all week, and then my sister and brother-in-law came for a visit over the weekend. My sister, by the way and with all the irony it entails, lives in Houston. No not at all painful to think about that. At least it was an excuse to avoid watching any game involving Butler.

I have been able to watch the NCAA Tournament this week, except for Butler games. The pain is somewhat numb at this point, but I may never be able to look at Matt Howard without muttering expletives.

Last week — after Pitt lost, but before the NCAA Tourney restarted — I answered some questions from Pittsburgh Sports Daily. You can take a look here.

February 18, 2011

So, this will be the first big game at MSG during the Big East regular season for Pitt since… I have no idea. Were there any during the Mike Jarvis era? Wow. Just think about that. Pitt has had some big games at the garden for the past 8-10 years. Duke, Texas, the Big East Tournament games. But when was the last time you can remember a big game there with St. John’s? Godspeed Norm Roberts.

As much as Pitt fans and the players in recent years like to speak of MSG a home-away-from-home, Pitt is only 4-7 at MSG vs. St. John’s. With two of the winscoming in the last few years. Prior to 2008, you would have had to go back to 1995 to find a win at MSG for Pitt over St. John’s. Much like the Nova streak at the Pavilion, though, this is skewed by the fact that Pitt only played 3 games at MSG vs. St. John’s between 1995 and 2008. But I digress.

I Haven’t done one of these all season, but when Pico (formerly of East Coast Bias) now part of the SBN Borg collective, contacted me there was sufficient time and curiosity. You can find my answers to his questions right here.

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August 23, 2010

Assorted Links

Filed under: Bloggers,Conference,Football,Non-BCS,Polls — Chas @ 3:12 pm

Football stuff that indirectly relates to Pitt and the Big East that are worth noting.

The AP has redesigned their poll page. It’s better, and easier to read individual ballots by voters, but Pollspeak is still the better option because of its versatility. The trump for Pollspeak is the fact that you can see on one webpage how all voters voted in a particular week for a team. That is much easier to figure out which voters hate your team or are clueless homers (I’m looking at you, Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune for not ranking Pitt, but putting ND #22).

Relating to the MWC/WAC and BYU stuff from last week, one of the things that came out near the end of the week were talks between the MWC and C-USA.

Two sources with knowledge of the discussions told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday one of the scenarios being discussed includes a possible merger of 20 teams from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA, with the champion claiming an automatic BCS bowl bid. However, the sources stated such an agreement is complex, could easily fall apart and is far from being completed.

That would be something interesting. As both conferences also have TV deals that involve CBS media (C-USA on CBS College Sports and WMC’s “Mtn.” channel has CBS as a partner), there could be something to this.

The benefits to C-USA are obvious. Keeps the MWC from raiding their conference for Houston or SMU or Southern Miss. It also gives the conference a shot at BCS bowls. Not a great shot, but far better than they have right now.

The benefit of this alliance for the MWC is less clear, other than to provide some more protection if BYU decides to bolt or TCU gets a call from the Big 12/10 at some point. For the MWC, the benefits may be more long-term.

In case you missed it, this is a fine timeline of Big East expansion rumors in history. And from the Mountain West, well-learned advice on dating Cougars.

May 14, 2010

Talking Panthers With Gophers

Filed under: Bloggers,Conference,Money — Chas @ 1:18 pm

The Daily Gopher is doing Q&As with potential Big Something expansion candidates. Today was Pitt’s turn with me providing the answers. As has become almost common, from a fan and competition standpoint we are well liked. It’s just that thing that this is all about that is the problem.

In the pecking order Pitt sits behind Rutgers but ahead of Syracuse and UConn.  Notre Dame, Texas and Nebraska would be ahead of the Panthers as well.  And then their resume is very similar to Missouri’s. At 14, I think it is doubtful but at 16 I think they are right in the mix.  Personally I think they’d be a great addition when seeing this from all angles.

But as we all know, this is all about the money for both sides. Then again, if this wasn’t about the money why would we really want Pitt out of the Big East.

May 11, 2010

So, as we all await what happens with the Big Ten and their expansion plan, it seemed a perfect time to have a little chat with still a couple fellow Big East blogging compatriots and either future mates in the Big Something or rivals to get there. Sean of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician (Syracuse) and Jon of On the Banks (Rutgers) joined me for a roundtable bit about things relating to the Big Ten and Big East.

Actually the questions were asked prior to the past day’s spurt of rumorism, so it may already be moot. Who can say anymore.

Both have their own questions and the roundtable will be moving to On the Banks (OTB) for Wednesday and then finish up at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician (TNIAAM) on Thursday. By then, of course, the Big East could well be disbanded. the Big 12 swallowed by the Big Something, the Pac-Whatever and SEC Magnum edition.

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February 26, 2010

The pain had barely started to set in for St. John’s after an OT loss to Marquette off of an off-balance jumper at the first buzzer by Jimmy Butler, whenPico Dulce at East Coast Bias contacted me about a short follow-up exchange (here was the one from last month). I think he just wanted to get me at a weak moment following Pitt’s performance at ND.

So here’s his responses to my questions. My answers to his questions are here.

1. You seem resigned to another year of Norm Roberts. Is it strictly the money at this point or is there some glimmer of hope?

I don’t know that the team is resigned to another year of Norm. No one knows, really. The money issues at college campuses all over will impact decisions made, and there is no guarantee that fans and donors will open their pockets right now. I don’t think there is a hefty (relatively) buyout, but St. John’s is buying out faculty and staff to cut costs. An attempt to save enough for a new coach, or a sign that the belts are really tight? I don’t know. There is speculation – not hope, yet.

2. The Johnnies have actually won 3 of their last 5. A blowout of Louisville and road wins at USF and ND — the latter two being games Pitt failed to win. Not to mention the excruciatingly painful loss in OT to Marquette. Is there any common theme to those games?

The team is just playing better and with more aggression and confidence. Malik Boothe, in particular, has been more aggressive and hitting jump shots – something the fans never thought they would see. Justin Burrell has been more active and involved in scoring and on the glass. Also, admittedly, all of those teams have flaws. But St. John’s has really attacked the teams’ weak points (except for Seton Hall. That was a disaster.) – Louisville is weak if you break their press, Notre Dame’s defense is soft like a pillow, USF is dependent on getting to the foul line and Dominique Jones getting the ball in his positions, Marquette is dependent on the 3-ball and small inside. I don’t know what Pitt’s weakness is (besides scoring), so I am less confident that they could pull something out against the Panthers (if you know, please illuminate me).

Mind you, they could definitely be better, and I think the opposition has been part of the recent surge.

3. NIT or CBI? Any feeling of optimisim?

NIT? (cue Jim Mora’s “playoffs?” rant)

I dearly hope they won’t prolong the season with the CBI. It’s hard to get excited about, difficult to follow, has no cachet and little reward. The NIT, I think, is far from this team. I think the league should get 7 teams in the NCAA Tournament (they’ll probably find a way to squeeze in U Conn or someone will go on a tear in the tourney). After that, you have Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Cincy, and likely USF in the NIT. I suppose I could see St. John’s getting in… but the NIT should be filled with the Pac-10 and flopping SEC teams.

And if they go to the NIT, that might be the progress that brings the current staff back. So if they go, it’ll be bittersweet; and since it’s the NIT, not that much of the “sweet.”

The game with St. John’s will be airing on Big East Regional on ESPN FullCourt, MSG, MASN and FoxSports Pittsburgh.

February 20, 2010

Those Villanova bastards had nearly a week to think, plan and get ready for Sunday’s games. To say nothing of  putting last year’s Elite 8 game on loop and sitting down in a dark room with some lotion and a box of tissues. But, I’m not bitter.

Anyways, I was contacted early by two fine ‘Nova blogs: I Bleed Blue And White (which I imagine confuses and pisses off a lot of Penn State fans once they realize it isn’t for Lions) and Villanova Viewpoint. They had nothing better to do since the Wildcats had the rest of the week off.

You can find my answers to their questions here and here. Some of my answers are probably shorter than they should have been, because I had some 13 or 14 questions in total to respond to with very little time. For that I apologize. Here are their responses to my questions.

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