January 24, 2017

7pm, ESPNU.

Welp, this should be… something.

After Jamel Artis put the team on his back and nearly dragged them to an improbable comeback two weeks ago, you can bet Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has his team zeroed in on making sure Artis is defended at all times. Very likely with some double-teams and trying to trap as much as possible.

In theory, this should open things up for other Pitt players on the court to have opportunities with open looks and open drives to the basket. Whether that translates to points is anyone’s guess.


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 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 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 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.


Open Thread: Pinstripe Bowl 2016

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:16 am

2pm, ESPN

The less said about the announcing crew, the better.

Hello, all. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Nice and peaceful with my family. Stayed off the computer for most of it, though, I did watch plenty of football and basketball. Sometimes it is just nice to watch games without the running commentary on twitter and elsewhere.

I have been and will be rushing about to finish work early to get home to watch this game, and probably roll right into the Marshall-Pitt basketball game tonight (there will be a separate thread for those who are also double-dipping). 2pm on a weekday sounds great when you are off from work, but when you still need to put in the time, it becomes a bit of an annoyance.


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 7, 2016

Take It Out on Buffalo

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:23 pm

7pm, ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

After the Maryland win last week, I wrote that this was still going to be an up-and-down season with frustrating losses. I just didn’t think Pitt was going to prove my point the very next game.

You can put an asterisk by this game if you want because Jamel Artis was suspended for the game, but there is no excuse to lose that game. Pitt, as a team, played a really lousy game and never seemed to care that they were. Up until the end when they realized they were going to lose and it was too late.

As a fan, there is nothing more frustrating to watch then when your rooting interest is visibly disengaged.


December 2, 2016

I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. I’ve wanted to care about the City Game as more than just another non-con. I’ve made fun of their rebranding efforts and derisively referred to them as the Stage Magicians. I’ve written a few posts about their ineptitude over the years

Moving it to the Con Paint Store, was a good effort to try and make it special. But other than the humiliation of losing to a bad team and ending a 15-game winning streak against the Dukes, it’s hard to feel any animosity or hate towards Duquesne that should go with a rivalry game.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe as a non-native I just don’t get the same impact of friends and families torn apart by their loyalties and the importance of this game within the area. The trash talking that must go on between the two sides.






November 29, 2016

7pm ESPN2.

Small sample size and all, but after six games, Pitt’s tempo is ranked 256th nationally per, KenPom. Maybe — and I’m just spitballing ideas here — the players have as much to do with the pace as the coaching style. The players always say they want to get up-and-down the court. But they also want to score and win.

Pitt can score. The offense is still one of the most efficient nationally. The defense, though, is something else.


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