Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Top 20 Pitt Basketball Players of the Big East Era

In order, these are the top 20 Pitt basketball players of the Big Era, in my opinion.  While I talked to various former sportswriters who followed Pitt or the Big East over the years, this list is my opinion alone.  




1.  DeJuan Blair- It's pretty obvious to me that despite playing just two seasons, Blair has surpassed Charles Smith as the best Panther player since Billy Knight almost four decades ago.  He was Pitt's only consensus First Team All-American in modern history and he did it as a sophomore. Only Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, and Troy Murphy have done that in Big East history.  He was tied for second for National Player of the Year with college legend Tyler Hansbrough, and only behind current NBA superstar Blake Griffin. 


He started his career as the Big East Freshman of the Year then followed that in his second year as the Co-Player of the Year in the Big East.  Led Big East in rebounding as a sophomore.  Only player in team history with two 20/20 games (points and rebounds), and that was against Duke and UConn.  Led team in steals both years.  His 116 steals are 16th best in school history, remarkable considering he only played two years and was a rather robust 6’5” and 280 pounds.  His 1.6 spg is the 6th best in the Big East era and is better than Carl Krauser, Sean Miller, Jason Matthews, Sam Young, Julius Page, Levance Fields, Darrelle Porter, and Jaron Brown.  In fact, in his two years he actually accumulated more career steals than four year players Young, Matthews, Page, and Miller, and had just five fewer than Fields despite playing 59 games.  


He was also on pace to not only score 2,000 points in his career, but also to have over 1,500 rebounds which would best Tim Duncan for the modern day NCAA record.  Bottom line, in two years he accomplished national heights that Smith didn’t reach in four years.  In my opinion, it’s ridiculous to penalize him for being good enough to leave after two years.

2.  Charles Smith- Excellent player, who at 6'10" had such a vast array of skills that he was chosen 3rd in the NBA draft.  Freshman of the Year in Big East and only Panther to be a four-time all-Big East performer.  Member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team.  By far the best shot blocker in school history (346 total and 2.8 bpg), and twice tied school single game block record with seven. Most Big East points (1,047) and most career points (2,045) in school history.  Most FTs made and attempted in school history.  Most total rebounds in Big East era and most career Big East rebounds.  Had four games of 30+ points. One of four players in Big East era to lead the team in scoring three times.  Second most games of 20+ more points for Pitt in Big East era (41).  Amazingly he was never a consensus first or second team All-American despite being considered amongst the top twenty players in conference history.

3.  Brian Shorter- After missing his freshman season because of Prop 48, he came back to win the Big East Newcomer of the Year, beating out the likes of Billy Owens and Alonzo Mourning. In that season he averaged 19.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg.  Followed that up in his junior season with 20.6 ppg and 9.4 rpg, which helped him achieve the best two season span in Pitt's Big East era.   Sadly, his senior year was marred by a viral infection that sapped him of a lot of his strength.  


Set Pitt single season record (minimum 300 attempts) of 60.0 FG% and 59.9 FG% in Big East play.  Most free throws made in a single season and in Big East play (along with Charles Smith).  Also most attempted in a season and in Big East play.  His 18.5 ppg in Big East play is second best in Panthers history.  Twice had seasons of over 500 points and 250 rebounds (only Clyde Vaughan with three had more and nobody else had two).  Had four games of 30+ points (all major opponents- Oklahoma, Providence, Syracuse, Villanova).  His 1,633 points is 11th best in school history and 8th best in the Big East era, despite only have two healthy years.  His 17.8 career ppg is 5th best in school history and is second best in the Big East era. To show you how good he was, if he wasn't ill and merely matched his junior totals, he would have accumulated 1,865 points and 882 rebounds in just three years for career averages of 20.3 ppg and 9.6 rpg.  Also, despite only playing three seasons he is tied for 3rd most in the Big East era with 33 games of 20+ points and tied for second most with four 30+ games.

4.  Clyde Vaughan-  Not only one of the most underrated Panthers of all-time, but he is also one of the most underrated players in Big East history. Played just two seasons in the conference but what a two seasons it was.  In those two seasons, the Big East had perhaps more star players than it ever had, but Vaughan routinely torched powerful teams like Georgetown, who featured  Patrick Ewing, and St. John's who featured Chris Mullin and Walter Berry.  In Pitt's inaugural season, still with Eastern 8 talent, Vaughan led the Panthers to victories over Georgetown, St. John's, and Syracuse, all top 10 teams.  In those three upsets, Vaughan averaged 23.3 ppg.  


Has the distinction of being the only Panther to lead the Big East in scoring.  His 37 points at Boston College was the most in a conference away game for a Panther.  Holds the Pitt record for most points in a Big East season (375), and Big East scoring average (22.0 ppg).  Second leading scorer in Pitt history with 2,033 points. His 19.5 ppg career average in Big East games is the best in Pitt history.  Only player in school history to have three seasons of at least 500 points and 250 rebounds.  One of only four (Don Hennon, Billy Knight, Larry Harris) to have three 500+ point seasons.  One of five Pitt players in Big East era to lead the team in scoring three times. And in case people think his career totals are bloated by playing two years in the Eastern 8, his two year Big East average was 21.4 ppg and 8.7 rpg.  Most games of any Pitt player in Big East era with 20+ points (48) and 30+ games (5).  Third most rebounds for Pitt in the Big East era (922).  




5.  Jerome Lane-  Consensus Second Team All-American, one of only two consensus All-Americans in Pitt's Big East era.  Shortest person to lead the country in rebounding in three decades.  Led the Big East, and the nation, in rebounding in both his sophomore and junior seasons.  Team single season record of 444 rebounds and a single season Big East high of 14.0 rpg. To put it in perspective to just how good of a rebounder he was, Blair seemed to get nearly every rebound  possible in his sophomore year and still had 12.3 rpg compared to Lane's sophomore average of 13.5 rpg.  


He was often accused of missing easy shots to pad his stats, but in his miraculous sophomore season he shot 56.8% from the field.  Also an excellent passer and was once the subject of an ill-advised position switch to point guard (when he was recruited he made then coach Roy Chipman promise that he got a shot at point guard no later than his junior year).   


One of only three Panthers to have over 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, and 200 assists in his career.  His 1,217 points are 23rd best in school history and 20th best in the Big East era, though he did play only three seasons.  In the two seasons he started, his sophomore and junior seasons, he averaged 14.9 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, and 1.3 spg. 

6.  Brandin Knight- The first outstanding player of the new era of excellence and consequently the player credited the most with turning the program into what it has become today.  To put it bluntly, he was the first star player to buy into Ben Howland's team concept, and the stars of the future all followed suit.  


He was the co-Player of the Year in the Big East as a junior and it was his best season by far with 15.6 ppg, a Big East leading 7.2 apg, 2.3 spg, and remarkably for a 5'11" point guard, 4.8 rpg. Adding to the impressive season was that he also set the then single season Pitt record of 93 made three pointers. One of the only downsides that season, and for his career, was his atrocious FT%, which that season was an amazingly inept 44.2%.  For his career it stood at 53.7%.  Also on the negative side was the fact that he also had more turnovers than any other player in school history.  


Back to the plus side, he was the all-time Pitt leader in both assists (785) and steals (298).  One of two players in school history (Jaron Brown) with 6+ steals in a game four times. Has the highest career assist average (6.2) for the school.  His 1,440 points are 16th in school history and 13th in the Big East era.  His 11.3 career ppg is 14th best in the Big East era.    

7.  Sam Young-  Whether or not he was good enough to start over Levon Kendall in his first two seasons, we'll never know, but Young made up for it in his final two seasons by averaging 18.6 ppg.  Also showed up huge in his junior season when he led the Panthers to the Big East tournament championship and was named MVP of the tournament.  He was a master of the shot fake, was a good rebounding wing, and a good defensive player when he wanted to be. He also developed into a very good three point shooter. On the down side, he was often a turnover machine, as evidenced by the fact that he finished with 81 more turnovers than assists in his career. 


His 1,884 points are fourth best in school history and third best in the Big East era, but that number is slightly misleading since he has played in a lot more games than some other of the Pitt greats. Evidence of this is the fact that despite his lofty career point totals, his 13.2 ppg is 21st best in school history and 8th best in the Big East era.  He also had the sixth most games of any Pitt player in Big East era to score 20+ points (32).   

8. Ricky Greer-  It’s a shame that many of the younger fans don’t know about this 6’5” 220 pound guard because he was a wonderful player.  He was also one of the most well rounded players in Pitt history.  He set the Pitt single game record with 7 steals and also had a triple double in the Big East tournament.  His 983 points in Big East play are the second best all-time.  One of only four players in school history  to have over 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, and 200 assists in his career (Billy Knight, Jerome Lane, Jaron Brown). His 1,753 points are 7th in team history and 5th in the Big East era.  His 15.0 career ppg tied for 14th best in school history and tied for 5th in the Big East era.  Seventh most in the Big East era to score 20+ points in a game (27).  His 888 rebounds are 4th most in the Big East era, his 373 assists are 10th best in school history, and his 197 steals are 5th best in school history.  Enough said.




9. Vonteego Cummings-  The Georgia native was one of the more physically talented players in  Pitt history and one has to wonder how good he could have been if he played for Ben Howland or Jamie Dixon.  One of only three Panthers (Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser) to average over 10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 4.0 apg in his career.  Pitt single game record 12 turnovers and most turnovers in a season. Second most turnovers in team history.  Team record 40.1 mpg as a junior (yes, the game is only 40 minutes long).  Had four games of 30+ points.  One of four players in Big East era to lead the team in scoring three times.  His 1,581 points are 13th best in school history and 10th best in the Big East era.  His 15.3 ppg average is 4th best in the Big East era.  Tied for fourth most in Big East era to score 20+ in a game (33) and tied for third most with four 30+ games.  With 458 assists he is 7th best in school history.  His 4.4 apg is 7th best in school history and his 235 steals are 3rd best in school history.

10. Carl Krauser-  Unfortunately he got a lot of criticism from Pitt fans in his career because his playground style often infuriated the purists, but few players in Pitt history loved the school more or tried harder.  But just to show you how good Krauser was, in the three years he started he averaged 15.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.1 apg, and 1.7 spg.  He was also the only player in Panthers history to have 1,500+ points, 500+ rebounds, and 500+ assists.  Was one of four Panthers in Big East era to lead the team in scoring three times. His 1,642 points are 10th best in school history and 6th best in the Big East era.  His 13.0 career ppg is 10th best in the Big East era.  His 568 assists are fifth in Pitt history and his 4.5 apg is 6th best in school history. Defensively, he was also good and his 190 steals are 8th best in school history.   

11. Sean Miller-  Along with Levance Fields, he is probably the most quintessential floor leader in Pitt history.  Started with a bang by winning Big East Rookie of the Year.  Twice went 6 for 6 on threes in a game.  Has the two best FT shooting years in Pitt history at 91.4% and 90.5%, and in Big East play with 92.7%.  Has the third most three point FGs in Pitt history and the third best three point percentage in Pitt history with 41.6% (running neck and neck for second with Ashton Gibbs) .  Highest FT% in team history (88.5%) and in Big East play (90.9%). Team record 40 straight FTs before recently being broken by Ashton Gibbs  Second most career assists (744) and most assists and best career assist average in Big East play.  Second best assist/turnover ratio in team history.  His 1,282 points are 18th best in school history and 15th best in the Big East era.  His 5.8 apg is second best in school history.  

 12. Jaron Brown-  His numbers won't be as great as some of the others below him but as one former Big East beat writer told me, "Brandin Knight gets most of the credit for turning Pitt into a great program in the early days, and for sure he was a major part of it, but more than anybody it was Jaron Brown who was the most responsible for the program that Pitt has become."  The Kentucky native could have 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in a game and be the best player on the floor.  He was one of only three Panthers to have over 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, and 200 assists in his career. His 1,258 points is 21st best in school history and 18th best in the Big East era.  One of two players (Brandin Knight) with 6+ steals four times.  His 192 steals are 7th best in school history.  

13. Aaron Gray-  What a pleasant surprise the big seven footer turned out to be.  When he was a freshman he could barely move.  By the time he was done with his junior year, he was an All-American candidate.  After a combined 6.0 ppg and 4.3 rpg in his first two seasons, he averaged 13.9 ppg and a Big East best 10.5 rpg as a junior, and 13.9 ppg and 9.5 rpg as a senior.  He sometimes frustrated with his inability to make the simplest tip ins, and he wasn't the best athlete, but he was bull strong and always gave his best.  Ended up with 1,109 points, and his 790 rebounds are 6th most for a Panther in the Big East era. He also had the second most blocks in the Big East era.  

14. Levance Fields-  Let's be honest, he wasn't a great athlete and he wasn't the best defensive player, but as a floor leader you can make the case that he was maybe the best the Panthers ever had.  He was also a clutch shooter at the end of the game.  He led Big East in assists as a senior while setting a single season team record for assists, including an incredible 8.2 apg in Big East play.  Also set the single game Pitt record of 16 assists while also having the best assist/turnover ratio in team history.  His 1,247 points are 22nd best in school history and 19th in the Big East era.  He has the third most assists (645) in team history behind Brandin Knight and Sean Miller and his 4.9 apg is 5th best in school history.  

15. Jerry McCullough- For some reason the diminutive New Yorker never really gets the credit he deserved for being such a good player.  In fact, many younger fans probably have never heard of him.  His 1,342 points are 17th best in school history and 14th best in the Big East era.  His 12.1 ppg is 13th best all-time. He set the Pitt single game record going 15 for 15 from the free throw line.  Also had the single season Pitt best 55 steals in Big East play and has the second most career steals (257), and most in Big East play.  His 552 assists are 6th best in school history and his 5.0 apg is tied for 3rd best in team history.  In the three seasons he started he averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg (despite being 5'11" at most), 5.9 apg, and 2.7 spg.  Those numbers are right up there with Knight.  The only difference is, McCullough played at the wrong time.




16. Jason Matthews-  You would have to say that this Californian was the best pure shooter in recent Pitt history.  Unfortunately, he played absolutely no defense and from people who covered the Big East at the time, his selfish play did not make him a favorite of his teammates.  Had a single season team best 46 three pointers until Ashton Gibbs broke it in his junior year with 49.  Single season team best 48.2% from three and 52.2% in Big East play.  Most three point FGs made (259) and in Big East play (139) until broken by Ashton Gibbs in his junior year.  Highest three point percentage in Pitt history at 45.7% and in Big East play (46.6%), which is also the best in Big East history.  Second highest FT% in team history (87.8%) and in Big East play (88.9%).  His 1,840 points are 6th best in team history and 4th in the Big East era.  His 15.0 career ppg is tied for 14th in school history and tied for 5th in the Big East era.  Eight most games in Big East era to score 20+ points (26). 

17. Demetreus Gore-  Because he played on the first excellent Pitt team of the Big East era, he may be a little overrated, but in his defense he had bad knees that curtailed his production.  His best year was his sophomore season when he averaged 16.1 ppg.  He followed that with seasons of 12.7 ppg and 13.0 ppg.  Good numbers but he was clearly overshadowed by the likes of Smith, Lane, Miller, and Matthews.  His 1,555 points are 15th best in school history and 12th best in the Big East era.  His 12.7 ppg is 11th best in the Big East era.  He also had the eighth most games in the Big East era with 20+ point games (22).  Showing his good all around game, his 300 assists are 10th best in Big East era and his 126 steals are 14th best in school history.  

18.  Darrelle Porter-  This may surprise many people since Porter never was considered an elite player, but he was an excellent all around athlete who many who covered Pitt at the time tells me could have played in the NBA if it wasn't for his bad knees.  On a personal note, he had a follow up one handed dunk against Georgetown that to me was the most impressive dunk in Pitt history.  Against Providence, he showed his excellent all around game when he became one of only three Panthers in history to record a triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.  He holds the school single season assist record with a superb 7.9 apg.  One of only seven players in school history to have over 1,000 points and 400 assists in his career, and the only one who had not spent most of his time as a point guard.  Has a career 1,007 career points for an 8.2 ppg average, but in his last two seasons he displayed a great all-around game with combined averages of 9.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.9 spg, 75.6 FT%, and 37.9% from three.  Had 10+ assists 13 times in his career, the most in school history. His 617 assists are fourth best in school history and his career 5.0 apg is tied for third best.  Also fourth in school history in assist-turnover ratio and ninth in career steals.



19.  Julius Page-  The Buffalo native was considered a high flying dunker (his dunk over Georgetown's  7'0" center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje is the stuff of legend), an excellent outside shooter, and one of the best defensive stoppers in Pitt history.  He also proved that he can come up big at times as he was named MVP of the Big East tournament.  His 1,512 points are 15th best in school history and 12th best in the Big East era, while his 11.1 ppg career average is tied for 15th in the Big East era. 

20.  Ashton Gibbs-  I started this list prior to the season but because I didn't want to add any current players, and I wanted to see how far Gibbs' career could go, I was going to wait to the end of the season so that I can add him.  Unfortunately, the wait almost didn't matter because Gibbs barely made the list.  Sadly, despite a current 15.4 ppg average his career didn't have the finish everybody was hoping for.  But Gibbs, despite ending his career uneventfully, will go down with Miller and Matthews as one of the three elite shooters in recent Pitt history.  His defense and all around game outside of the shooting is mediocre, and that's why he's so far down the list, but as a shooter he currently stands at 1,654 points (currently 10th all-time and 8th in the Big East era) and his 33 20+ games is currently tied for 3rd in the Big East era.  In his junior season he broke the Pitt single season record for most three pointers made in a season and also holds the career three point field goals made record both overall and in Big East play.  

73 comments:

  1. Interesting list Chris. Brought back a lot of great memories. Personally, I would probably put Sam Young in the top 5 and I think I would have found a place for Chevy Troutman on the list, but it's hard to argue overall.

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  2. Nice list, you can argue about placement within the list all day I guess.

    The only player that is missing that I would find a place for is Brad Wannamaker.

    For example, I would put him in place of Ashton Gibbs based on greater versitility and all around skills, such as the ability to create his own shot and better defensive skills.

    PC

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  3. Can't really argue with the list. I'm glad you put Brandin Knight high up there as he most certainly deserves to be the #1 ranked player of the Howland/Dixon era.

    It's hard for me to view Gibbs as a top 20 players anymore as his seeming lack of effort this season has soured me. Sure he's got the stats but other players (like Ricky Greer & Vonteego Cummings) played for lesser teams and still gave better effort.

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  4. In my eyes, any time Ricky Greer can be brought into a conversation, the better. Kid was an animal, gave it his all for some pretty mediocre teams.

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  5. Love the topic today. Great read. Maybe I'm jaded or maybe I propped him up in my mind too much, but I think you HAVE to include Chevy Troutman on this list. Of course he's one of my all time favorite Panthers, but he brought that lunch pail mindset, rebounded like a beast, was solid defensively. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I'd be interested in someone pulling out his career stats, to see if I'm jaded or not.

    Put it this way, if you're selecting a team of former Pitt Big East players, don't you pick Chevy Troutman before Gibbs, Aaron Gray, and others??

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  6. No Chris Taft? Darren Morningstar? Bobby Martin? Kidding. Good list. I would like to see where Curtis Aiken's #s stack up, as well as the aforementioned Wannamaker. W/out him, Gibbs definately doesn't make the list, as you can see this season. But Wannamaker definately performed small his first two seasons, so he may not have the overall value. I forgot how good Brian Shorter was; ashame about his senior year. I like Fields maybe a little higher just because of how clutch he was.

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  7. No Eric Mobley??? Loved watching him and McCollough defeat the Tar Heels in the Burgh..

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  8. I posted a few Anon's ago about Chevy...I'm back armed with his career stats:
    Chevy Troutman: Approx 1200 pts, 700 boards, 150 assists, 130 steals, 70 blocks, and astoundingly,
    shot 56% on 267 atts Sr yr, shot 65% on 208 atts jr year, 71% on 188 atts soph year. Yes, they were close range, but he earned them.

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  9. Agree about Chevy, one of my favorites and he should at least replace Gibbs. IMO. I think importance to team throughout career was impressive and definitely a great leader.
    Also brought back some great memories.
    Thanx

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  10. Chevy or Wannamaker over Gibbs!!!

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  11. We can all wax poetic about the litany of the great things Chevy did for the program...but his most important contribution was his "Booty Patrol" t-shirt when the brackets were announced in '05.

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  12. I normally love this blog.. but this post not including Chevon Troutman is almost criminal. He was an absolute monster and is badly underrated.

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  13. There is such a thing as Karma. Read si.com special report not the UCLA way. I especially enjoyed Howland's quote "I can't respect a quitter."

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  14. Wannamaker >>> Gibbs

    I've been closely following Pitt BB since 1984 (my freshman year at Pitt). Sam Young is definitely top 5, maybe top 3. His Senior season was one of the best seasons that I can remember. He was truly a "Go To" player. If he would have started 3 or 4 years instead of sitting behind Kendall, he would be number 1 and his jersey would be hanging at The PETE. I honestly don't care that he played more Big East games than anyone else. He was a dominating force for the Panthers.

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  15. I only question not having Wanamaker on the list...it took a season without him to realize how good he actually was.

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    1. Chevy definitely belongs. Greer and McCullough do not. Greer has stats, but was merely the best player on bad teams. Someone on those teams had to accumulate stats. Greer was a 6-5 garbage man.

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    2. Ricky Greer most definitely belongs on this list, he's the sole reason Pitt made their run in 2001 BE tournament. What I question is how in the world is Julius Page not only ranked 19 but behind Krauser, how Blair is ranked ahead of Charles Smith and why Curtis Aiken is not on this list at all.

      Page was the best defensive guard this program has ever had, and if you witnessed the dunk he had against Georgetown over the seven footer, he had more athletic ability in his pinky than Krauser will ever have overall. I know Blair is the hometown feel good story, but Smith was so much better than him in all phases of the game that Blair can't even compare to him. Curtis Aiken should be on this list because he was the first higher profile recruit to come to Pitt under Dr. Chipman and put the program on the map. Aiken doesn't go to Pitt, then you aren't discussing Charles Smith, Demetreious Gore or Jerome Lane on this list.

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  16. If it helps, Troutman would be No. 21, but I think we look at Troutman more lovingly then he probably deserves. He had only one really good year, as a senior when he had 15.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg. And in that year, he quit on the team. Plus, if you look at the two best years of Chris McNeal and even Isaac Hawkins, they were more productive.

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    1. there is more to being a player than stats. I will give you Greer and McCullough and I will take Troutman or McNeal and Brad. I like my chances

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    2. What do you mean "he quit on the team". I'm not familiar with that, can you explain?

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  17. Great stuff Chris. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane. I appreciated how you went back and included some of the great Pitt ball players that the kids watching today didn't get a chance to see.

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  18. Wannamaker was a better player than Gibbs.

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  19. My 5 man team of this era: Blair, Shorter, Vaughan, Krauser and Knight.

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    Replies
    1. I'd take Sean Miller, Aaron Grey, Chevon Troutman, Jaron Brown, and Jerome Lane.

      Offensive fire power, rebounding, and lock down defense.

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    2. Miller, Smith, Vaughn, Lane, Page...

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    3. My starting lineup:
      PG Knight
      SG Greer
      SF Vaughan (I think the best of the era.)
      PF Lane
      C Smith

      I thought Aiken should have made the list. Like Brandin Knight, he not only was a good player but important in changing the culture.

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    4. My 5:

      PG - Cummings - only NBA caliber PG in the lot.
      SG - Paige - toughest choice but played the best D.
      SF - Young - could shot and finish at the hoop.
      PF - Smith - Charles in charge.
      C - Blair - man child.

      PC

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  20. I know it is hard to make these, but how is Brad Wanamaker not on the list? Only he and Krauser have 1k points, 500 boards, 500 assists. He was key player on 2 number 1 seeds and won a Big East regular season title as well as a tourney title if I'm not mistaken.

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    Replies
    1. Because I've seen him play. He's probably the most overrated Pitt player ever. I don't care what his stats say (and even those aren't that great), he was not that great of a player. And he often failed big time in big games. I don't understand why so many Pitt fans are so enamored with him. He was a better than average player but not much better than average.

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    2. If that is your position on Wannamaker... how can you put Gibbs on the list... Wannamaker senior year he did it all!!!
      all he does is setup for 3point shot... and he needs an open look at that...

      or
      Did you put Gibbs name on the list to stir the pot!

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    3. ooopp..
      All Gibbs does is setup for a 3point shot... and gibbs needs an open look at that... he can't make contested 3's...

      or
      Did you put Gibbs name on the list to stir the pot?
      lol

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    4. Gibbs will end up with over 1,600 points and is one of the best three point shooters and free throw shooters in Pitt history. Wanamaker was never amongst the best at any facet of the game. At least Gibbs was. And he made more dumb players that just about any good player in Pitt history. Everybody forgets how frustrating Wanamaker was for most of his career. How many times have you heard somebody say "wow, that Wanamaker is an excellent player" and how many times have you heard "why the hell did Wanamaker just do that?". The latter comment has been said many more times!!!

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    5. That's a little harsh on Wannamaker. Yes, his first two season were frustrating - part of the reason I'm willing to defend Wright a little (better than Wanny's first season). "Excellent player" replaced "why?" far more frequently his last two seasons. Wanny got better when Pitt became his team, Gibbs did not get better when Pitt became his team.

      This team is most similar to the 09' team that was supposed to tank after losing Fields, Young and Blair. That team struggled almost as badly as this season's out of the gate but got better because Wannamaker had that "it" factor leaders have. Look what happened to this season's team when no leader steps to the plate. For pure leadership on the court Wanny deserved on the list.

      I'd like to rank Young higher on the list but it's hard to justify it over the players ahead of him. Callhoun said it all when he said that Young was the most difficult player he's ever had to game plan for...but the guys ahead of him are legit.

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  21. Doke - If I remember correctly, Clyde Vaughn played before the 3 point line was put down. If so, then his numbers are even more impressive. Also, people forget how much 'heart' Ricky Greer had. Jaron Brown and him would definitely be on an 'All Over-Achiever' Team. Keep up the great work.

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    Replies
    1. Clyde Vaughn was awesome...
      He played with Sam Clancy for 1 or 2 years... forget.. but between the 2 of them... they controlled the boards.

      Delete
    2. Remember Trent Johnson? He teamed with Vaughan one year and they were both double double machines.

      Delete
  22. Anyone leaving Sam Young out of the top 5 is dead wrong. It's no coincidence that when Pitt finally had a go-to, instant offense player in Sam Young his senior season, the team advanced their furthest in the tournament.
    Also, to say that Wannamaker was a "key player" on the 2009 team is ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
  23. How can there be no Curtis Aiken on this list. He was a McDonald's All American and without him they don't get Smith and Gore or Bobby Martin (I would like to see how his numbers match up with some of these guys) Aiken is 21st all time in points, 8th all time in assists and 12th all time in steals.

    I can assure you that if Curtis Aiken does not come to Pitt in 1983 Pitt would not have had many of the players that followed. His coming to Pitt was a program changer as Pitt went to the Big East. I can't think of any player who was more important to Pitt in the Big East era.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I believe Darelle Porter's dunk was over-top of Alonzo Mourning. It was incredible.

    My first live Pitt basketball game was at the Civic Arena vs. UCLA in the '92 season. Chris McNeal, Jerry McCullough & Eric Mobley played in that game, a win. Eric Mobley's block and dunks on Penn State in the NIT later that season would have put him on my top-20 list, but that's probably more emotional than rational.

    Jason Matthews' numbers are reason enough to put him on this list, but I'd make him the de-facto #20. I just don't remember him impacting games the way the 4 below him did. He seemed more of a stat-machine than anything else on the court.

    ReplyDelete
  25. D. Gore? Really??

    C'mon. He was a middling player who played *around* some great players.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dokish:

    How could you forget Troutman - or as the ESPN commentator would always say "Chevy!" So many of Pitt's teams in the past two-three decades have been about heart, and that's why we remember Chevy. Plus, he was a beast down low.

    Until this year I would have put Gibbs over Wannamaker, but as so often in life, you don't realize the value of things until they are taken away from you. Wannamaker took some crazy shots, but he also took over games and drove the lane better than most. He was fearless. So many of Gibbs' wide open 3's were because of Wannamaker. The question can be easily answered this way, who would you rather have on the team? Most people would take Wannamaker.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great post, Doke. This type of debate is why you are a good blogger.

    Pitt player during Big East era with the highest basketball IQ: Jaron Brown (my favorite).

    Toughest Pitt player: Jerry Mcoullough (dude used to rip players 80 lbs heavier and intimidate them...runner up, K. Crauser).

    Best Pitt player regardless of era: Billy Knight (who is also the greatest western PA player ever).

    Peoples?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks to Chris' list and the resultant trip down memory lane, I let myself think of Pitt v Vandy in '88 and that SOB Barry Goheen. Wouldn't you know it, there is a YouTube clip of the final moments of regulation. Of course, it's just as painful now to watch Goheen drain those two 3s to steal victory from or Panthers and push the game into OT. But, what I didn't remember as a 15 year old watching that game was the delay in the game clock on Vandy's last possession. Vandy had only 4 seconds after Charles Smith nailed the back end of his 1 and 1...Goheen gets in the inbounds pass at roughly the foul line and is across mid court before a second ever slips off the clock. The name Goheen pissed me off before...but now I'm really pissed off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ughhhh. don't even mention that goofballs name. it still makes me sick even hearing it.

      Delete
  29. I say what? no Georgie Allen? guess he was pre Big East : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George "Mac G" Allen is one of the best tht ever did it @ Pitt .

      Delete
  30. George Allen was on the first Big East Team. I was at the game as a kid when Pitt upset GTown based big time on Chipman having the balls to start Matt Miklasevich at center. Miklasevich hacked the hell out of Ewing and frustrated him to no end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recall a GTown TO where Thompson takes his team to the foul line to avoid the crowd noise.

      As usual Tiger Paul is running the sideline in front of the student section behind him and Patrick Ewing is looking over Thompson's shoulder and watching Paul instead of listening to his coach.

      Great time, great atmosphere even for the Fitz!

      PC

      Delete
  31. you can shove the stats, I want winners

    Blair
    Smith
    Lane
    J Brown
    Tie - Knight, Fields

    ReplyDelete
  32. you can also add Wannamaker as 6th man -- his best stats was the number of wins

    ReplyDelete
  33. The worst part of the Goheen three was there weren't three shots then for being fouled in the act of shooting a three pointer. Pitt could have mugged Goheen and he still had to make one, miss the second and get the rebound and score again in less than two seconds.

    No surpise two future head coaches who were members of that team, Miller and Calipari, have lost huge games in the NCAAs by not fouling. Miller had Xavier poised to knock off tOSU and Greg Oden while Cal lost a whopper -- the title game versus Kansas.

    When will these guys learn? Always foul! Don't let them shoot it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I seem to remember stories of how Calipari suggested they foul during the timeout, and Evans did not listen/agree. Anyone recall hearing that too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Cal" definately suggested that we foul Goheen . "PE" not only told him to shut up, but tried to blame "Dap" for not fouling afterwards..smhh..still tight about tht L.

      Delete
  35. Chris...
    saw your tweet regarding PSU football recruiting...
    For everyone else... PSU has 2 4-star committs!!!

    How many are backing Chrysts methodology in recruiting??
    Please don't say he needs those to "fit" his system... coaches that can't recruit use that line on media all the time and they bite on it all the time... just ask Zeise!

    2013 is a critical recruiting year...
    2011 was bunch of smurfs.. (Graham)
    2012 was ok... lacking sufficient DL and OL.

    The only positives is Chryst and crew are up to 38 offers last I looked...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. up to 41 offers as of today....
      even one from Hawaii... yeh right Beckerfield is going to get someone from Hawaii come to Pittsburgh!!!

      Delete
  36. Where is Jason Maile?

    ReplyDelete
  37. JoeD, love the way you comment and then reply to yourself. Off subject but I think they will get the Hawaiian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't want someone to correct the count...
      and I've been all over the hiring of Beckerfield as being the wrong hire!!
      I've never heard of anyone from CA let alone Hawaii come to Pitt!!!

      Delete
    2. Josh Brinson was from CA and Ryan Lewis this year is from Washington state...

      Delete
    3. Brinson is from FL... he went to a juco in CA...
      Lewis.. his uncle was Tim Lewis...
      Tell me someone without a connection to Pitt... Lewis doesn't

      Delete
  38. Chris, rivals is saying that pitts made contact with safety marcus mcwilson who just committed to nebraska. Does pitt have a good shot at taking him from the huskers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say a good shot, but it's still early for anything to happen. I just love how Pitt waits until the kid commits before they offer and then they tell him they will only offer if they know he is interested. I have no idea what they're doing and I'm still not convinced that they know either.

      Delete
    2. NO...
      I suggest you read the article about Kugler in today's PG... Pitt wasn't even in the top 5!!!

      Plus, Chryst has old school Big10 philosophy... if a kid committed to a school... backoff.

      Delete
    3. PK,
      according to rivals, McWilson doesn't even have an offer from Pitt...

      you snooze... you lose!!!!

      anyone coming to Chryst defense on his philosophy in recruiting... "Just offer"... in this case, he didn't even offer yet.
      The 4/5stare are easy to figure out and get the offers out... the others are harder to figure out!!

      Chryst and crew are abolutely clueless when it comes to recruiting...

      Delete
    4. What i asked had nothing to do with kugler.

      Thanks chris

      Delete
    5. And obviously he doesnt have that mentality because he wouldnt have talked to mcwilson. Also, how in the hell would u know pitt has no chance?

      Delete
    6. PK..
      Don't pout... all i can say is...

      TOLD YOU SO!!!!!

      Pitt wasn't even in Kugler's top 5... what does that tell you!!! If he can't land them in his own backyard or at least be top 5... how the heck is he going to land someone out of Ohio!!

      and the #1 reason why Pitt doesn't have a chance with McWilson....
      drumroll please...
      Because Pitt didn't even offer him yet!!

      Delete
    7. Kugler said he was always a big Michigan fan growing up. He also lived very close to campus for a few years and got to see games at the Big House. I can't hold this against him. But, Pitt really had no chance and neither did tOSU for that matter. Kugler has been in the backyard since 2010 only. And, Pitt didn't lose him because they didn't offer. They lost him to a better program...period. I don't blame Chryst and neither should you.

      Delete
    8. Of all people on this board YOU are going to tell me not to pout? Give me a break

      Delete
    9. Well put Tx Panther and pk. Some would like to believe that Kugler was a Pitt kid since he was a youth. His dad has coached all over the country and thus he had no allegiance to the area. Just a typical nonsensical rant from Joe D who constantly tries to show that he knows all. Fortunately, his inane commentaries have been recognized by many as lacking true substance.

      Delete
  39. Well, ucla has offered scott pagano, that hawaii dt so i have to think its over unless usc offers.

    ReplyDelete
  40. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....

    ReplyDelete
  41. Orlando Antigua, anyone???
    Just a few more names from "my era" guys...Antoine Jones..Garrick Thomas..Chris McNeal..Chris Gant..Tim Glover (for 1 game vs. UGA in NCAA '91!!!)

    ReplyDelete