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December 20, 2014

The change in the Athletic Department and the football coaching search has all the oxygen. Pitt basketball has won three straight. They may not be rolling, but they are improving. Yet, I haven’t even had a chance to recap a single game.

Today it is a 4pm game that gets wide RSN distribution and ESPN3.com. Root, NESN, YES, multiple FoxSports directionals and states (hey, FS Wisconsin is on the list). You should be able to catch this game if you want to. God knows you should be doing everything you can to avoid going to a store this weekend.

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December 17, 2014

Open Thread: Manhattan-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:39 pm

Basketball? Anyone? There’s nothing else happening at the same time as far as I’m concerned.

I wish I could tell you more about this game, other than the cursory stuff you can read for yourself in the local media piece from today. Just been a bit preoccupied.

Game tips at 7pm. Curses that it is online only on ESPN3.com.

December 13, 2014

Open Thread: Bonnies-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:11 pm

2 pm ESPNU

St. Bonaventure is off to a strong start. Coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance last year, they are 6-1 with a nice road win over Ohio U. It’s a team with a good deal of confidence. They are run by former Robert Morris head coach Mark Schmidt.

Pitt, meanwhile, gets their first game back at the Pete in a month. Not to mention a healthy Cameron Wright. Coach Jamie Dixon isn’t fooling around on making sure the players know there is some pressure to play well from the start.

In his mind, there might be legitimate reasons the Panthers have struggled to start the season, but they aren’t relevant now — especially since they got their most experienced player, Cameron Wright, back in the mix after he missed 10 weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

“We need to get right into this,” Dixon said. “I mean, we can make all the excuses we want, but we have to get right into it and get going. We have had five practices, we can’t have any more excuses.

“We can’t have any more reasons for coming up short; we have to figure it out. I think we are fine. It can’t be a thing of ‘Well, we aren’t playing good because Cam has only been playing with us for five days.’ That can’t be a thought, a reason — it can’t be an excuse, it has to be seamless.”

A little more public bite from Dixon this year.

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December 5, 2014

Open Thread: City Game 2014

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:42 pm

Well this is as close to a home game Pitt has had in almost three weeks. Down at the Con for a 7pm start on ESPN3.com. Not even a FullCourt TV option.

When Cam Wright was hurt before the season, this was believed to be the return game. It now looks like extra caution is being used — and I don’t have a problem with that — and his return will probably be next Saturday. As much as he is needed to help on perimeter defense — especially against a Dukes team that shoots a lot of 3s — it is best to have him all the way recovered and not mostly recovered for the purposes of the entire season.

 

 

 

November 29, 2014

Early Open Thread: Pitt-Miami

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:27 am

Four basketball games in six days. Thanksgiving thrown in. No wonder it’s been a while since there have been any football posts for a while.

Today’s game decides whether the football posts for the rest of the year are only about recruiting, speculation on which assistant coaches will be pursuing other opportunities and picking apart all that went poorly this year. Or whether there gets to be some discussion of one more opponent, whether the extra practices and such are a good thing or just coach/teamspeak, the bowl system and complaints of too many bowl games tossed in as well.

I’m hoping for the broader range of topics, but I’m not overly optimistic.

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November 26, 2014

If you are a major conference program, you don’t accept/wrangle/beg for an invite to an early season tournament with the expectation of losing. You (and your fans) believe there is at the very least a chance. Things may not play out that way — isn’t that right UNC — but there is always that possibility.

Two years ago when Pitt to the Maui invite, that was exciting news. Then this year rolled around and things haven’t gone as hoped. Now it is salvage time for Pitt and Kansas State.

This could be interesting. Neither team is exactly a defensive juggernaut. K-State relies on scoring to win. They don’t rebound well. Like Pitt they are 3-2 with a road loss to a low mid-major. They played Arizona tough last night, but could not quite get there.

Given the way Pitt has played in Maui, I don’t exactly know what to expect without sounding negative.

7:30 on ESPN2.

November 25, 2014

Pitt-San Diego State. The Aztecs are a very good defensive team that struggle with scoring. In past years, we might call them the mirror image of Pitt. Pitt is a team that has more offense than in past years, but will it be enough when the defense has been so porous? I don’t know.

Over the years with Pitt, the strong defense has usually prevailed — at least before getting to the NCAA Tournament. Especially when the team that relies on offense is not a clear juggernaut.

For Pitt to win this game, the three-point shooting will have to be there and the rebounding will have to at least match the effort shown last night.

10 pm on ESPN.

November 24, 2014

Open Thread: Pitt-Chaminade

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 8:32 pm

Okay, so that first game in the 5oth state didn’t go as planned. Not in the least. If you are looking for the silver lining — and admittedly you really have to look — losing that way probably made the point about needing to play defense better than any lecture, practice session or film session could have. Not that Coach Dixon didn’t emphasize the film session.

And it was lots and lots and lots of film watching. And then when there was a little more film to watch before the day was done. It apparently was an all day affair in the video room as he tried to, as he said “get them to see the things we need them to do that they aren’t doing defensively. Each team had a designated practice time at the gym but Dixon opted not to use it and again, instead had a very long and at times, unpleasant, film session.

Hopefully things can only go up from there. Tonight Pitt takes on the Chaminade Silverswords.Which is just awesome to type. The game is on ESPNU at 9pm.

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November 21, 2014

Open Thread: Pitt-Hawai’i

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:02 pm

No TV. Just radio or watching a gamecast refresh on your computer. The tip-off is midnight — which is Saturday — but they kept it confusing by saying Friday repeatedly. Turns out they were doing that by claiming the tip was at 11:59.

Either way, I’m not staying up to listen to a radio stream. TV or ESPN3.com and I might have given it a go. In this case, I’m just going to get some rest. I’ve gotten old and soft.

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November 16, 2014

Open Thread: Samford-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:30 am

I was starting to work on a recap rant diatribe review of the football game yesterday, but decided I didn’t want to start drinking that early on a Sunday morning when it doesn’t involve a tailgate.

So, instead, let’s get ready for Samford.

The game is at 1pm and is part of the Maui Invitational package. No, really. The game was set up for Pitt by the Maui organizers.

In the Pittsburgh area, it is on ROOT, but since it is a syndicated ACC Network/ESPN game you can watch it on line at ESPN3 and plenty of other outlets including the ESPN FullCourt package, FoxSports West, FoxSports South, Sun Sports and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

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November 15, 2014

12:30 pm on the syndicated ACC Network.

Which ever team loses will have a fan base barely holding on to a shred of hope for a very minor bowl. Well, I’m sure UNC could turn to basketball as they usually do. Albeit with the academic/athletic scandal seemingly creeping closer and closer towards impacting their sacred cow ram.

In a way this game is a simple and cliched one. For Pitt to win this, they have to disrupt UNC’s offense. They cannot let them get into a rhythm on offense. The tempo of the UNC offense depends on them moving the ball. They don’t simply come out and try to run all the plays at a speed pace. They increase the tempo and pace as they get success and confidence. That is why their heavy volume of penalties this year has been such a problem. Self-inflicted disruptions and slowed pace.

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November 14, 2014

Sorry, literally and figuratively buried the last two days with work and snow. Oh, so much snow. Way too early.

Season opener. The game is on your computer at ESPN3.com starting at 7pm.

Pitt faces a Niagara team that was not very good last year. This is probably good, as Pitt’s defense has been suspect in the first couple of exhibition games. Not having Cameron Wright available has the perimeter D a bit weak. Much to Coach Jamie Dixon’s chagrin.

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October 25, 2014

Open Thread: Homecoming 2014

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:00 am

Pushing this out early, because with the 3:30 start time that means some actual time to tailgate. That means pushing this post out and hitting the road to Pittsburgh almost as early as a 1pm start.

Thankfully they don’t administer sobriety tests on the way to the pressbox. I’m not saying I’ll be intoxicated, but this game does offer that possibility.

Fast links:

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October 16, 2014

Open Thread: VT-Pitt on a Thursday

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 3:11 pm

Love Thursday night home games… in theory.

The reality of them sticks me at home, as I am perpetually unable to make the trip to the game — the need to take off early on Thursday and likely Friday. Or trying to drive the 2+ hours sometime after midnight. That no longer seems like fun.

Justin will have the birds eye view from the press box in my stead.

I’ll be on my couch with a fresh growler of beer watching and tweeting all game.

Pitt needs this game.

Final Run Through For The Hokies

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:17 am

Okay, do yourself a favor and read these two posts from over at The Key Play. Further confirming my view that neither side is going to do anything too out of character for this game. Both teams have coaches that have their game plans. Know what the identity of their respective teams should be, and will not deviate far off the script. I will note, that if there is any way to sneak Walt Harris onto the sidelines for the game, do it. I think it would give the Hokie collective severe heart palpitations. Anything to further mess with their heads.

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