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April 23, 2014

The ACC released the match-ups in basketball for the next two seasons yesterday.

Here’s what Pitt looks like in graphic format:

PittBBSked2015-16

Syracuse and Louisville are Pitt’s permanent “rivalry” games. That works for me. Both very good teams. I like that Big East connection and history. Yes it means Pitt will always have a tough ACC schedule, but that isn’t a bad thing.

The next pair are the home-and-homes for the season. I assume that they are planning on rotating the pairs to some degree. Which means it could well be five years before we see a UNC or Duke home-and-home.

The next group of five are the home ACC games. Then the last five are the road games. The ACC knows Duke and UNC are still the glamor programs that will draw the crowds. Every ACC team has UNC and Duke split as home-away each year.

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February 5, 2014

The Numbers Are Stable

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 12:50 pm

Last year, there was a wide variance on Pitt’s recruiting class in terms of where it ranked against other programs. From 20 to greater than 40.

This year, the consensus is far less spread out. ESPN.com once more has Pitt outside their top-40 (and 9th overall in the ACC). Scout.com says #42. Rivals.com #43 and 247 at #44.

The loss of Wade Freebeck probably dropped Pitt anywhere from 1 to 3 spots in the rankings.

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January 27, 2014

Slight anticipation. Bit of excitement. Hard ticket to get.

Pitt got through their road game with Maryland. Duke throttled Florida State on the road.

Briefly, I’ll get some thoughts from the Maryland game out of the way, first.

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January 24, 2014

Thoughts on Playing AT Maryland

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Bloggers — Mike Zimmerman @ 6:22 pm

Good evening all.

My name is Mike, and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be joining Chas as a writer here at Pitt Blather. I’ve spent many years here, first as a casual reader and in more recent years as an active poster. You guys are a vital part of this great community, and I look forward to continuing the standard of excellence that the Blather has come to know.

As always, I will remain active in the comments section. Ultimately, the backbone of this site is the tremendous dialogue, and I wouldn’t give that part up for anything. If you like what I have to say, that’s great; if you don’t like what I have to say, that’s great, too.

Now, with introductions out of the way…

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January 23, 2014

2014 Schedule Thoughts and Etc.

Filed under: ACC,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 8:39 am

Here’s the one thing that must be kept in mind for the 2014 schedule. There was no way it was going to match 2013. Not with the excitement over the ACC in the first year. Not with FSU and ND on the home slate. To say nothing of the Labor Day extravaganza to kick things off. So, if that was your benchmark, you will be disappointed.

It’s a better schedule for Pitt, though. Iowa is a solid non-con. There was a bit of shifting and scrambling with the non-con because of the changes with the ACC and ND. So, that removed the road game to South Bend that was supposed to take place.

As noted, the bye weeks work out a lot better.

The Thursday night game at home with VT is a mixed bag, personally. Thursday night is a showcase night and Pitt should be happy to get to host a big one like that against the Hokies. The flip side is not many out-of-towners like myself can attend the game.

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January 22, 2014

ACC 2014 Is Now

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 3:08 pm

acc2014coming

Sure, Pitt. I get it. You don’t leak. Not like FSU. Not like Duke. Not even Syracuse. No. You have to keep it under wraps until the 3pm time. Fine. You don’t want to share early. I get it.

You miss that early bounce and overreactions. Let people wait, only knowing that Pitt will go down to Miami for Thanksgiving weekend.

So we waited. The interminable minutes ticked by.

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December 4, 2013

In a shocker to no one, Aaron Donald has been named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Here’s the official announcement:

http://www.theacc.com/#!/news-detail/Florida-State-Winston-Named-ACC-Player-Of-The-Year_12-04-13_suwf6m

Donald received 44 of 65 votes and also recieved four votes for the overall player of the year, which went to Jameis Winston.

December 2, 2013

Aaron Donald On All-ACC

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Honors — Chas @ 8:32 pm

The ACC announced their all-ACC teams today. No shock that Aaron Donald was on the first team squad. What I found mildly surprising was that he wasn’t a unanimous pick. The only unanimous pick was BC RB Andre Williams. Even FSU QB Jameis Winston or UNC TE Eric Ebron couldn’t get all unanimous picks. Rough crowd.

Tyler Boyd was second team All-ACC. Devin Street was on the third team. Offensive guard Matt Rotheram and safeties Jason Hendricks and Ray Vinopal were all honorable mention.

November 14, 2013

All the other Pitt basketball links not tied into the game.

Early signing period for the 2014 class started yesterday. Pitt was drama free with both Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther signing their NLIs. Welcome. (No official press release yet, but recruitniks have tweeted out that both signed.)

I talked about how I expect more utilization of the zone because of the rule enforcement earlier. Missed this article that makes the same point. Get used to seeing a lot of articles pro and con (and, generally a lot of bitching) about the new emphasis on enforcing the rules. Mike DeCourcy had a good one before the season started that really summed up a lot of the reasons why the NCAA decided to get tighter with the rules.

It’s the coaches who’ve injected the physicality into the game, gradually asserting their value over the past 15 or so years by instructing players to use their hands to contain penetration, to bump cutters trying to execute intricate offenses, to push players out of post position with forearms to the tailbone.

No one who is not affiliated with the teams or necessary for the competition to proceed, such as the clock operator or referees, is permitted to attend the closed Division I scrimmages teams are permitted to schedule. But there has been lots of buzz about how foul-plagued some of them have been, such as one involving Huggins’ Mountaineers and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

There’ve been some exhibition games that turned into foul fiascoes, as well. Dayton and Division II power Findlay combined for 96 free throw attempts last weekend.

There is a reason this is happening. The players are fouling.

I really don’t mind the rules emphasis. I don’t think it puts Pitt at any true competitive disadvantage. Watching the first couple of games you can see that they players are being taught to do different things in an effort to adjust. A lot more movement with the hands on defense. Trying to disrupt line of sight and get the ball out of the opponent’s hands. It won’t be pretty at times, but it was needed.

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October 17, 2013

Pitt was picked to finish sixth in the ACC this year. Seems about the right range. Upper-half, NCAA bid. Safely within two spots of where they might finish come the end of the season.

1. Duke (50)        805
2. Syracuse (3)   753
3. North Carolina (1)       668
4. Virginia            612
5. Notre Dame  608
6. Pitt    477
7. Maryland        473
8. Boston College             457
9. Florida State  334
10. NC State       332
11. Georgia Tech              311
12. Miami            224
13. Wake Forest               220
14. Clemson       141
15. Virginia Tech               65

Something that will take getting used to is that the ACC’s preseason All-ACC team is limited to just five players. No 6th man. No 2d and 3d and honorable mention. Just the projected best five players. No surprise that Pitt had no player on the list.

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October 13, 2013

That wasn’t exactly fun. The OL got their asses handed to them and Tom Savage held the ball too long. The result was a putrid offensive performance. But, the defense turned in another respectable effort. They weren’t lights out like VT’s defense was, but after the dreadful performance against Duke, the defense made sure the offense was in position to win the game again. VT has certainly struggled on offense this season, but they’re not a team severely lacking talent like Virginia or New Mexico. (more…)

October 11, 2013

My Article for Yahoo

Filed under: Conference,Football,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 9:54 am

Yahoo approached Chas about writing a column for their Battle Loyale series and he graciously allowed me the opportunity to bash Virginia Tech for somehow losing to us four times in a row. Here’s the link. It’d be great if people would tweet it, share it on facebook, etc. because it’s a great promo for the site to bring in new visitors. It’s a pretty cool moment for me to see my name on Yahoo’s website as a writer. Hopefully I don’t piss too many VT fans off with the column. I certainly was a lot more critical than the VT writer’s column where he spoke about dining halls.

October 10, 2013

Know Your Enemy: Hokies

Filed under: Conference,Football,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 12:00 pm

Chryst and company will face their first real road challenge of the 2013 season when they head to Blacksburg to face a Virginia Tech team eager for revenge. Last year’s win was a huge shock. Pitt was 0-2 with a loss to Youngstown State and Virginia Tech was 2-0 with a season opening victory over Georgia Tech. Even an eternal optimist like myself saw no chance of victory. Here we are a year later and while the Hokies are favored, no one would bat an eye if Pitt pulls off the win again. (more…)

September 29, 2013

My dog decided he wasn’t going to let me sleep in so I can post a few thoughts before I resume moving. As always, a win is a win is a win. I can’t emphasize this enough. This was Pitt’s first 3 game winning streak since 2010. If you told a Pitt fan that they’d start the season 3-1 and the loss was to FSU, I can’t imagine a fan who wouldn’t be happy. Have the past 2 wins been ugly? Absolutely. Last season, we lost pretty to Notre Dame. I’d prefer an ugly win. (more…)

September 27, 2013

First off, there’s going to be a giant rubber ducky floating around the Point this weekend. If that alone doesn’t make you want to come to the game, then something is wrong with you. But seriously, who isn’t excited for a 40ft rubber duck, LASER PANTHER, and HOMECOMING!!!???!!! For those who don’t get the laser panther reference, during Friday’s fireworks off of the Cathedral, there will be a laser panther crawling around.

On to football!!!!! (more…)

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