Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pittsburgh 54 Louisville 57

The Panthers season continues to go down the drain and now they are dangerously close to not even making the NIT.  They drop to 15-14 with two games left.

J.J. Moore was once again the best player on the floor for Pitt and that's possible great news for the future.  This time he led the team with 16 points while adding 7 rebounds and 3 steals.

On the downside, once again the so-called veteran leaders let the team down.  Ashton Gibbs continues to ruin his legacy with 4 points.  Tray Woodall had 4 points, but also had 6 turnovers and an awful shot attempt at the end of the game.  Nasir Robinson added 8 points and 11 rebounds but missed two huge free throws at the end.

Dante Taylor started and chipped in with 11 points and 5 rebounds, but the bench, outside of Moore, contributed little with a combined 7 points in 38 minutes.  In fact, Talib Zanna played 10 minutes and John Johnson played just two minutes.

45 comments:

  1. What personnel and staff changes does Pitt need to make at the end of season? I see at least one player transferring

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  2. Epps and Barton definitely have to go. I wouldn't be upset if Wright left, too, especially if Chris Jones commits.

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  3. Why Barton and not any other coaches? I thought Barton was supposed to be a recruiter, is he not doing well in that role?

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  4. He's been here one year and they have had their worst year. Enough said. A change has to be made, in my opinion. The team horribly underachieved. And they aren't going to get rid of Dixon or Knight.

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    1. Doke -
      Where are the boosters in all of this? Sounded like they installed Chryst, but are asleep at the wheel when it comes to funding a recruiting budget or forcing needed changes on the basketball side.

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  5. Regarding basketball, it is very difficult to cut players as they need to hit APR.
    Pitt needs to manage this and get players to transfer like many other programs do.
    When you only have 13 ships... very few come in can start or put significant minutes as frosh.. so if after 2 years and you don't see them being a starter... need to cut the strings..
    Epps and Wright don't contribute.
    Wright looks lost offensively...
    With 2 more season games... I'd sit Gibbs and Robinson and see what ya got so you can determine who you want to cut.

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  6. I'm not talking about cutting them. I meant they need to convince some players that they may be better off somewhere else.

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  7. Transfer outs won't help unless impact players are coming in to fill those spots. That is not saying it won't happen but how many quality players are ready to commit to Pitt at this point?

    You have to question Johnson's minutes considering Gibbs performance. Is there more to the story? Given where the team is Johnson can only benefit from additional minutes.

    Zanna looked lost today, should have given Gilbert those minutes. At least his presence would alter some shots.

    Amazingly they stayed close enough to win. With improved decision making by both players and coaches it might have been.

    PC

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  8. NFL combine...
    Alecih bench press 19 times 225#... that is pathetic for someone 300#. So much for Grahams conditioning program... etc etc.. doubt he will get drafted... maybe 6th round.
    Lindsey did 23 reps and he weighs 250#.. that was ok for his weight... maybe 4th round... he really is an OLB in a 3-4 defense.
    Nix did not participate in the bench press which in my opinion looks bad for OL... lucky if he is 3rd round... his numbers were not special.. he is 4th or 5th round pick.

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    1. Joe D...you should apply for a job with the Oakland Raiders. They will love your grasp of combine minutia. Mike Kudla was a stud at OSU and had a pretty impressive bench display at the combine and now he's an NFL star....oh wait...no he isn't. How many reps did Mandarich do? What was Hayward-Bey's 40 time?

      You and your workout stats. "C'mon man!!!!"

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    2. NFL combines are critical...
      You want to make it in the NFL.. you need speed, strength, size, and skill. And my definition of speed is broad to encompass quickness, etc.

      Who do you want Steelers to draft as OL or DT??
      Nix... NOT
      Alecih... NOT
      Cordy Glenn did 31 reps.. OL target for Steelers.
      Poe did 44 reps!!! DT target for Steelers.

      The point was... all spring, summer, etc... all we heard about was the Graham conditioning program and the players were sore, etc.

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  9. Barton has to go. I am hopeful that Slice's presence at the game today as well as the Seton Hall game means he is coming back. Barton is an empty suit on game day. Jamie needs someone who can recruit AND contribute during game situations. Slice would fit that role nicely.

    I would be shocked if we see wholesale roster changes. Correct me if I'm wrong Chris, but Chris Jones can take Birch's scholly. Maybe Epps or Wright transfer...but not both. That's not going to happen. There have been, what, two players during Jamie's tenure to have been encouraged to leave? He's not going to push two out in the same year.

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    1. I didn't predict Wright would be gone. I'd be surprised if he was. I just said I wouldn't be upset about it, as long as they bring in players with a high ceiling. As for not pushing more than one player out, they've never had to before. They've always had success. But after a very down season it's best for Dixon to up the talent level. I know he won't because there's no way he'll give up on Wright already.

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    2. Any thoughts on Rhorssen?

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  10. Chris,
    Who do you think would be the most likely replacements for Wright, Epps, and Barton?

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  11. Chris,

    I didn't think much of it when I saw Slice behind the Pitt bench when they played at Seton Hall caused I figured he still lived in NYC. I was surprised to see him behind the bench at today's game - a road game at Louisville. I am pretty sure he doesn't live in Kentucky. Is there something going on there behind the scenes or is this just a weird coincidence?

    Also, I have a little hope over the past three or so games that at least one positive will come from this awful season in the form of JJ Moore waking up and becoming a legit Big East swingman. Based on the past few games, him average 12-14 points per game next year does not seem ridiculous. A lineup of Adams, Taylor, JJM, Woodall, and either Patterson, JRobinson, or John Johnson is pretty good, especially with Zanna, Gilbert and whoever of those two don't start coming off of the bench. That to me looks like a team that should make the tourney.

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  12. Woodall didnt make himself available to the media after the game. He is taking after Gibbs. Could Tray end up being a cancer much like Gibbs is this year? I see that happening given his pathetic attitude issues today. What a total coward.

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  13. It is pretty interesting that Slice was there today. I'm not sure why he was there. You would think it's to help Jamie with an unbiased eye but it seems like a lot of effort to do just that.

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    1. Would you project him more a recruiter or is he also capable of game coaching?

      I think Jamie needs both.

      PC

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    2. I think he was a bit overrated as a recruiter, to be honest. But Dixon definitely needs somebody who knows game strategy because he's shown this year that he still has work to do in that facet of his coaching.

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  14. I wonder if maybe its not the player's call on who is or isn't available to the media

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  15. Does Chris Jones look like the guy for Birch's scholarship now that they have officially offered him??? If Epps leaves (which I hope is a given), will they go with someone like Jeter as a potential four in the mold of a poor man's Kevin Jones or could they hold it until next year? I know they aren't recruiting Torian Graham anymore and two pg's in the same class (Keane) seems a little redundant. Still can't see them getting the JC from Cali.

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  16. They're not even recruiting the California JC at the moment. Neither Jones nor Jeter are sure things, but they are athletes with great length and unlike Wright both can shoot.

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    1. Jeter is waiting for Pitt...
      Pitt hasn't offered because they know he will committ!!
      He will only wait so long as South Carolina has been hot on his trail going to his games last week!! and he has an offer from SC!!
      He needs to offer Jeter... and if someone else comes though... nudge out both Epps and Wright if necessary!!

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  17. Chris - Thoughts on Ashton 2.0, aka Travon Woodall, not facing the media. Fittipaldo tweeted it was a total joke?

    Tray may not be any good and next year is now a huge question mark. Patterson stinks. Why you are so high on him is beyond comprehensible.

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    1. I don't know if I'm "so high" on him, but he's just a sophomore and he's averaging 8.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.1 spg, and shooting 41.1% from three. That's better than the sophomore seasons of a lot of former Pitt stars. So while I don't think he's a guaranteed star, I think he can be a pretty good all around player.

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  18. John Johnson tweet!!!
    John Johnson ‏ @JohnJohnson_4
    What's the point in having soldiers if you don't use em

    Retweeted by ray fittipaldo

    Since someone spoke of Fitt's tweet.. I checked it out... wowow...
    If you read, everyone is questioning why Gibbs isn't taking open looks... if you recall, last year, nba workouts... Gibbs was told he can't drive, etc... so he was using this season to help his resume instead of helping his team win...

    obviously Khem Brich was speaking of Gibbs of the complainer who is not getting his shots, etc...
    Quite frankly, I'm surprised Dixon is letting this get to this point!! It's called lack of leadership...
    Love Dixon... but he needs to take control... sit Gibbs before he loses his team respect.

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  19. Dokish did u see John Johnson's tweet after the game..he said what's the point of having soldiers and not using them..thoughts? I'd have to agree given cam wright is awful

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    1. He's right. This is the time to see if Johnson can be any good for the future. Not playing him is a big mistake. But he should't have went public with it.

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    2. well i just hope he doesnt transfer thats the last thing this team needs

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  20. Do you think Epps is definitely gone? Do we at least have that to look forward to next year? Is that why Dixon is recruiting Keane, just to have a third option there in case of injury to Tra or JRob.

    Also, do you expect Durand Johnson to be a contributor next year? If he is a keeper, then I see no reason to not push Cam out and bring in Jeter, Jones, and Keane if possible.

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    1. No, I don't think Epps is definitely gone. Duran Johnson should definitely be in the mix next year.

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    2. Not exactly what I wanted to hear - don't see any upside to a 21 year old redshirt freshman that couldn't see the court much at all even when the team was desperate for a point guard. How much better is he going to get at 21 and already with two years in the program???

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  21. I've said it before, a teenager's tweet should be ignored. To me it's a bigger indictment on the upperclassman on this team for letting the younger guys believe that an angry tweet is an acceptable response to playing time. Cam Wright is not awful, he can be a good role player and has a chance to be a lock down defender late in games...this team just can't get or keep a lead. His offense is limited but he has 3 more years left in the program to develop. I still have faith that Dixon can develop players. I hope their are some staff changes as well. It was nice to see Taylor start and have a good game. I liked Gilbert in limited playing time as well. Woodall is still hurt and I wouldn't look too much into his numbers right now...decision making has been questionable but it may be a byproduct of not practicing as much. I'm looking forward to a Gibbs-less team next year.

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  22. When will this staff realize we do not have a ball handler who can break the press with the dribble. It is easier to break the press by having someone fill middle and then break up the court and pass the ball. This is grade school stuff. But Dixons teams constantly dribble into traps and pick up their dribble all the time and get into trouble. I am a Dixon fan and will not turn on him in one bad season but I do question some of his decisions with game plans. He never presses and sometimes you need to just to change the pace of the game. We never use any trapping defenses either. I mean when I played ball in high school we had 3 different presses, a half court trap, numerous zone defenses that did different things, and an in your face deny the passing lanes defense. Pitt never pressures the ball and very rarely denies the passing lanes. I don't understand it I always figured that teams all had this amount of change up defenses in their arsenal. I understand coaches have their bread and butter schemes but sometimes you need to change once in a while to confuse and surprise your opponents. We just allow our opponents to get into a rhythm with the same old shit.

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    1. They can't press because starters are playing tooo many minutes and he doesn't sub that much!!
      ala.. John Johnson tweet.

      Seems like what Khem Birch had said it TRUE!!!

      I'd would limit Gibbs and Woodall to 20 minutes/game the next 2 games and see what Johnson, Epps, Wright, etc can do. Let's get ready for next year.

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    2. Joe D, I am not talking about 40 minutes of hell like Arkansas used to use. Just use it once or twice a half to throw a change in there. Or a 1-2-2 half court trap once in a while. They use man to man and 2-3 zone that's it. How hard is that to game plan for?

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  23. I do not think Wright is leaving. Jamie likes his length and D. He was the same way with Wannamaker when he was throwing balls up all over the place. Epps seemed to get better, but he seems to be a poor shooter and an avg ball handler. He might have a chance to transfer, but I do not think he will. Barton will not leaver either, Jamie will not force him out. The lack of anybody having driving ability to the hoop with size is killing us. JJ can do this, but the one issue that I have with Jamie, is that he does not let players with potential play through their mistakes. He did with JJ and he has done it with players in the past. In the end it comes down to Jamie to right the ship and I still think he will get it done, just not this year.

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  24. I also think next yr Johnson at 6'6 can shoot lights out. He is nto a great ball handler, but I believe he will be the biggest improvement next yr besides Adams.

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  25. Nate Snodgrass is better than any of the current Pitt guards. Or at least better than those who get playing time.

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  26. Somone help a fellow out: who is "Slice"? Sounds like a nickname?

    Thank you!

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  27. Something to think about: Colorado starts guards who are 6'-3 and 6'-5. Same size as Pitt's forwards.

    Point being, Pitt has a high-school sized lineup this entire year. And a flawed one to boot. Which would be great if we were playing in the WPIAL.

    Our 6'-3 "power forward" gets stuffed like a holiday turkey, but can't make a free-throw to save his life. And the only reliable shot in his arsenal -- the hook yesterday a rare exception -- are 2-foot put-backs. And he thinks he's playing fullback. Dude's killing us.

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  28. Slice = Barry Rohrrsen...used to coach our Centers (Aaron Gray & Chris Taft)...and recruited NYC

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  29. I know very little about strategic basketball, but I do know there is something very wrong in Pantherland. These guys play dejected and with little enthusiasm. Something is very wrong and it would be nice to get the inside scoop on the heartless level of play and stupidity of certain shots taken at certain times. This team may not be very good but from what I have seen there is no doubt they have tanked it on the floor and have outright quit on there team.

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  30. The future is JJohnson? Then Pitt is screwed. The next time he plays defense will be the first time.

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