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April 14, 2014

It seems assistant basketball coach Barry Rohrssen has been the rumored target to replace Orlando Antigua on John Calipari’s Kentucky bench. Granted it has been a slow week-long rumble, but everyone is presuming it will happen (and thank you KSR comment kids for demonstrating that Kentucky fans have little basketball knowledge outside their own team).

For Rohrssen it is almost a no-brainer. Kentucky is a blue-blood job with huge exposure. No, John Calipari assistants haven’t had the greatest success rates, but they get opportunities. Rohrssen obviously wants another crack at being a head coach. His odds increase being on a staff like Kentucky  This may shock some, but the money may have very little to do with it.

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April 1, 2014

Good Runs

Filed under: Football,Players — Chas @ 7:03 am

A year ago the running back position was a mess. Rushel Shell had thrown his tantrum and was in the midst of deciding where he would consider transferring. Pitt only had two backs in Malcolm Crockett and Isaac Bennett.

None of the guys coming in as freshmen seemed like anything close to saviors. Heck, it really seemed the plan was for either if not both James Connor and Rachid Ibrahim were ultimately to be on the defensive side of the ball. Basically the running back position was a complete mess.

A year later it feels like there is real depth and lots of talent at the spot.

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January 16, 2014

Nothing New With “Next Man Up”

Filed under: Basketball,Players — Chas @ 8:34 am

Primary stories on Pitt basketball focus on “character” and “resilience” of the team with Durand Johnson gone for the year.

They are nice stories. Positive stories. And nothing I really disagree with them.

At the same time, this is nothing new with Pitt under Coach Jamie Dixon.

We’ve seen the team handle the loss of Mike Cook and Levance Fields in one season. They weathered early issues when Gil Brown had to sit or Jermaine Dixon.

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January 14, 2014

Ranked, Honored and the Road

Filed under: Basketball,Honors,Players,Polls — Chas @ 8:26 am

Welp, Pitt finally cracks the AP and Coaches Polls. Coming in at #22 and #21 respectively. Huzzah!

Lamar Patterson was named ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season. It oddly feels like his performance is being taken for granted. We acknowledge he is playing really well. That this team would be in big trouble if he hadn’t raised his game — which is really impressive when you think about the steady improvement he has shown in the past three seasons. Each year, getting better. Improving facets of his game and his conditioning. And the improved maturity. And versatility.

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January 12, 2014

No, Durand, No!!!

Filed under: Basketball,Injury,Players — Chas @ 4:17 pm

This sucks. This really sucks.

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January 8, 2014

Morning, everyone. The deep freeze may be coming to an end but a third day of no school for the kids further disrupts life.

Amidst the hoopla for the last BCS Championship game, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) released their Freshman All-American Team.

Tyler Boyd made the squad, so one more accolade for him and this Pitt squad.

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December 13, 2013

Congrats Donald

Filed under: Football,Honors,Players — Chas @ 8:18 am

All The Awards

Amazing.

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December 12, 2013

The Lombardi Is Donald’s

Filed under: Football,Honors,Players — Chas @ 8:37 am

Among some other things.

The Lombardi Award — for best offensive or defensive lineman — went to Aaron Donald as expected. He also had a chance to speak to Pitt’s other Lombardi Award winner, Hugh Green.

Yesterday he was also named to the All-ACC squad (1st team) and named ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the ACC Coaches. The only shock is that at least a couple coaches did not vote him #1 at DT.

Additionally he was named to the USA Today All-American 1st team.

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December 11, 2013

Running late on this, I know.

On Monday Aaron Donald picked up the first of what has an excellent chance at being several more awards for everything he did this past season.

The Pittsburgh senior defensive tackle won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation’s top college defensive player.

The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald was presented the award at a ceremony Monday night in Charlotte.

The ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Donald averaged 2.2 tackles for loss per game while ranking 10th in forced fumbles and 13th in sacks per game.

He had 28½ sacks for his career with one game left to play.

“I’m just so excited,” Donald said. “I think it is a great way for my father to celebrate his birthday. And I think it’s huge for the University of Pittsburgh. There were so many people wishing me well.”

Tonight is the presentation for the Lombardi Award — best lineman or linebacker. On Thursday night, it’s the ESPN-centric extravaganza of college sports awards where Donald is up for the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) and the Outland Trophy (best offensive or defensive interior lineman).

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December 8, 2013

As expected, Pitt is headed to Detroit, Michigan for the Little Caesars Bowl. Their opponent? MAC Champion Bowling Green.

While obviously this isn’t the most exciting bowl game, it’s a bowl game nonetheless.  (more…)

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.

November 30, 2013

When you spot a good opponent 14 points and you miss an easy FG, you won’t win many games. Those mistakes gave Miami a 17 point cushion and the final was only a 10 point difference. It’d be infuriating if it wasn’t so common. For some reason, this program likes to start games slow then try to crawl back. Unfortunately, they just aren’t good enough to do that. Maybe in a year or two they will be, but not yet. There were some positives and many negatives, but let’s look at both. (more…)

November 25, 2013

Ever since the game on Saturday, I’ve been tossing this over in my head. Coming up blank at this point, because what Aaron Donald has been doing for Pitt has been beyond anything you expect or is within the norm for a defensive tackle.

Outside of the quarterback position, football is a game where you really, truly cannot declare one player is capable of taking over a game. There are special teams, offense, defense. Calls by the coaches. Too many facets. Too many players. Beyond the hyperbole and tremendous gaffes at some point, it is simplistic to declare one player that much of a difference maker. Especially when it comes to the defense.

Yet, what Aaron Donald has done all season. What he did against Syracuse. It has been nothing short of amazing.

Donald, who is a strong candidate for five national awards, recorded nine tackles — 3 1/2 for a loss to give him a nation-leading 26 — and blocked an extra-point try that was the difference in the game.

Chryst, who rarely praises his players, stepped outside himself briefly to talk about the effect Donald had on Pitt’s second victory in the past three weeks.

“Your eyes go to him, and he sees it and he gives you the nod,” Chryst said. “And more often than not, he comes through. That’s the mark of a great one.

“I think right now he is playing at that level. He impacts the game in such a big way. It’s pretty special to be around.”

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November 22, 2013

Everyone Likes Aaron

Filed under: Football,Honors,Players — Chas @ 11:38 am

Aaron Donald will almost certainly be a 1st team All-American by the end of the season. His numbers have been eye-popping. Anyone who has watched him face double-teams and occasional triple-teams comes away impressed and amazed by how he still manages to be disruptive.

Donald wreaks havoc on opposing backfields with his remarkable first-step quickness, yet displays enough strength and power to win with physicality. With few offensive linemen capable of dealing with defenders with diverse games, Donald has consistently delivered disruptive plays for the Panthers’ defense. He leads the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss and is tied for sixth in the country with 10 sacks. Those numbers are impressive for a pass rusher, particularly an interior defender rarely given free runs to the quarterback off the edge.

His performance this year has him drawing NFL comparisons to Geno Atkins and there is no longer draftnik talk (for the moment) about how he will fall in the draft because he isn’t the prototypical DT size.

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November 20, 2013

Lehigh’s Back

Filed under: Basketball,Opponent(s),Players — Chas @ 8:42 am

Well, not in a competitive way. Just, you know, the second straight year of having them come to the Pete. Once more in the guise of an arranged game in the Progressive Legends Classic. Last year it was for the NIT Tip-Off Classic. The common thread for Pitt is that these preseason tournaments put Pitt in the NYC area. Something that Coach Jamie Dixon wants every year. Both for alumni support in that area and recruiting.

Lehigh is not as good as they were last year with C.J. McCollum graduated. Sporting News picked them for 3d in the Patriot League, and honestly, they haven’t looked that good. They lost to Minnesota, Fordham and recently to potential Legends Classic opponent — Houston.

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