Monday, March 12, 2012

Various Pitt thoughts

First of all, I have bigger posts in mind but I have so many writing assignments to do beyond just this blog that I've actually developed a nasty case of tendonitis in my arm.  Therefore, I've been typing a lot less since it takes forever to type with one hand. I feel like Soul Surfer. But just so I can put another post up where the readers can have someplace else to share their thoughts, I will just hit on a few things that I've been thinking about.

1.  By now every Pitt fan knows that the basketball team is in the CBI tournament.  In my opinion, being in this tournament does absolutely nothing for the program.  Going to the NIT is one thing but this tournament is an embarrassment for a program of Pitt's stature. Pitt even has to pay to be in it, which is ridiculous.   Even if Pitt wins it all, so what?  Is Pitt going to put a banner up?  Are they going to end the season on a high note because they proved to be the best of the mediocre teams, then pose on the court with that highly coveted CBI trophy, which I can only assume is the same quality of trophy that you get by winning your tavern softball league?  And will Pitt have to pay for that trophy?

And that's the best case scenario.  What happens if they lose to a Wofford or an Evansville?  How does the decision to play this tournament make sense then?  It's okay to have a down season sometimes and it's okay to feel bad about it.  But this reeks of desperation to make this season end well.  But this team showed little effort all season.  Are we to expect now that suddenly they will try hard and play great?  It seems to me that it's more likely that they mail it in again and lose to an inferior team.

The biggest reason to play I've heard is that it will help the players get more seasoning.  I find that to be ridiculous.  They've played 33 games this season.  Is a few more games really going to make the light bulb go on?  That seems extremely farfetched that a few more games in an inconsequential tournament is  going to be the magic formula to turn some of these younger players into stars.

2.  In my opinion, next season will go a long way in determining whether or not Jamie Dixon can adapt enough to be one of the great coaches in the game.  I remember after Tom Herrion left I was talking to a very well known national college basketball media member about who the next assistant will be.  I was running some veteran names by him as I assumed Dixon would go with a veteran right hand man.  This guy told me that he didn't think Dixon needed an older guy beside him anymore because he now has enough experience on his own.  Well, I think that guy was wrong.  I didn't think Dixon did well this year as a game coach and I think he sorely misses a veteran like Herrion.

I honestly hope that there is a change in the coaching staff.  In the current class, Brandin Knight landed Chris Jones, Dixon was solely responsible for Steven Adams, and James Robinson was offered by Pat Skerry, and then was landed by Dixon.  I'm not exactly sure what Bill Barton has done yet.

I also hope Dixon shows more flexibility when it comes to playing certain players, meaning specifically freshmen like Adams and Robinson.  If Dixon starts Cameron Wright and Dante Taylor next year I'm going to go crazy.

Bottom line, Dixon is stubborn and he believes he can turn anybody into a player.  This season proved him wrong.  I can't fault them signing Taylor because he was coveted at the time, but look at the guards. Tray Woodall, Ashton Gibbs, Isaiah Epps, John Johnson, and Wright all have one thing in common.  They were top 50 prospects as sophs, but never lived to that billing, even while still in high school.  All four dropped in stature before Pitt signed them.  Villanova stopped recruiting Johnson before his senior season and Ohio State actually stopped recruiting Wright after he already verbally committed to them.  Gibbs, Epps, and Woodall also saw their offer list dwindle as their high school careers continued.  Yet Dixon still took them as if he felt he could help them recapture what was once expected of them.  Obviously Gibbs had a very good career but the others don't look like they are going to reach those heights.  The consequence of this is that Pitt is now stuck with a plethora of flawed guards.  Even Gibbs was very flawed but at least he had one great skill that helped him have a good career.

The power forward position is also a position where Dixon tried to get blood out of a stone.  In his system, Dixon expects a lot from the power forward.  He wants him to rebound, be athletic, be able to pass, and maybe even have some range.  So why he thinks Taylor and Talib Zanna could ever develop into that is beyond me.  Both were taken as centers with the hope that they would turn into power forwards.  Both are not even close to that.  Zanna can rebound.  Taylor can't even do that consistently.  The result is that Nasir Robinson started for three frustrating seasons.  What a far cry from Sam Young or even Levon Kendall.  Time for Dixon to sign a power forward that fits what he wants, or change his style, but this habit of trying to turn players into something they're not definitely caught up with them this season.

People at Pitt flat out told me that as of now, neither Lamar Patterson nor J.J. Moore can guard well enough to be a two.  If that changes then obviously the ideal would be to start either at the two.  If not, by midseason I would start Moore at the three and Patterson at the four.  Patterson can rebound at least as well as Robinson plus he's an excellent passer. Of every possible four he has the most skills that Dixon wants.  Zanna can still play a lot at the four because he can rebound but since that's all he can do I really don't see how it benefits Pitt to give him the most minutes there.  And like I said before if Taylor starts there then I'm going to lose it because it proves that Dixon just doesn't get it.  I would also give significant minutes to Adams at center and Robinson at the point.  Woodall can move to the two where he fits better anyway.

3.  On Pitt football, it's still at least a year before we have any idea at all how the Paul Chryst era will go, but I admit that so far I'm a little nervous.  Before people go off on me I'm not saying that Chryst is a failure or will be a failure.  But I wasn't impressed at all how he formed his staff and I have no idea what they're doing on the recruiting trail.  Well actually I do know and what they're doing is very little so far.  It's not about the amount of verbal commitments they have, which officially stands at zero, but rather the total lack of buzz on the recruiting trail.  Part of what I do is to keep in touch with a lot of high school and college coaches, scouting services, players, family, etc., and I can tell you that there just isn't a lot of Pitt talk out there.

That doesn't mean Chyst is definitely failing.  He could end up with Malik Zaire, Robert Foster, Paul Orndoff, and Dorian Johnson for all we know, and if that's the case, that's the beginning of an excellent first class.  And we know Chryst can flat out coach offense.  But he doesn't have those players yet, and combining all the info together, I have yet to see anything that's making the nervousness go away.

182 comments:

  1. All great comments Chris...should send em off to Steve..maybe a lite bulb will go off

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  2. Yeah this article hits the nails on the head. The CBI tournament is a huge embarrassment. I just woke up and looked to see if we got an NIT and when I saw we didn't I immedietly said go home. Of course we won't. That's not Steve P's MO. Go to sh-tty bowl games. And now play in a even shi-tier bball tourney. The only player this game helps is JJ Moore.

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  3. Pitt should have passed on the CBI tourney...
    It will hurt the program...
    Better off saying you didn't go to a tourney instead of saying you went to the CBI... even if they win it all.
    I'm shocked...
    Someone missed the class on marketing and branding and recruiting regarding Pitt basketball to enter them in the CBI.

    Regarding Pitt football.. not to beat the drum... saw this coming long ago unfortunately. It doesn't appear it will change. Let's hope for the best. Chryst just doesn't get it when it comes to recruiting!!

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    1. Wait, it's March 13 and Chryst doesn't get it as far as recruiting? Seriously? Any verbal commitment made by a high school player now isn't worth the air wasted in giving it, too much is subject to change between now and next February with these kids.

      Chryst has a track record of turning kids that are not your personally coveted 4 and 5 star recruits into good college football players, I wouldn't light up the torches, grab pitchforks and march on Oakland just yet.

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  4. Maybe Dixon can 'coach up' the AD. What a joke!!! Do you think the Zeff kid that keeps getting mentioned on your blog can play b-ball? He can't be worse than Dante! Hail to Pitt.

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  5. how does woodall fit better at the two? hes not a point guard at all and hes 5 11 he couldnt even guard point guards this year hows he going to guard shooting guards?

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  6. and your right its an embarasment to play in the cbi even duquense turned down to play in it

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  7. I don't think Woodall is an ideal SG at all. Not even close. But he could do less damage than at the point where he is just too out control. Pitt is still trying to add a SG for 2012, though, (like juco Trency Jackson) so if that player is good enough to start at the two then Woodall will start at the one. Hell, who are we kidding, Dixon will start Woodall at the point no matter what, but by doing that there is currently a big whole at SG. If Wright or J.Johnson are getting major minutes at SG next season, they are going to struggle once again.

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    1. Problem is... Dixon has a "union" mentality that more years in the program starts over the young buck!! He will red shirt, etc.

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    2. You really changed your tune about Epps and J.Johnson.

      I agree Epps is a bust, but I still have a lot of hope for Johnson. He just needs to get stronger and play with a taller point. His play will also improve once Ashton is gone.

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    3. That's the way that I feel too: it's way too early to paint Johnson with the bust brush ... not that Chris explicitly did,

      Z

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  8. Do we have any idea about the comment in the Trib Blog that there "were extended negotiations" for this spot in the CBI? Was it Pederson lobbying for us to get in or the CBI begging Pitt?

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  9. The only thing that matter is the NCAA!!! Forget the NIT, CBI and any other tournament.

    Let's face it, the Panthers don't have a lot of talent. They have no athletes. You could tell this against DePaul. When DePaul has the 2 best players on the floor against you, you should know that you're in trouble. They need more athletes!!!!

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    1. I think they forgot how to play as a team this year...
      It did not look like Dixon team of years past... but that is probably because weak at the 4 & 5 this year!!
      I don't understand why Dixon looking for another Guard-type when what he needs is a PF type!!! Lets hope Adams stays for more than 1 year, otherwise, Pitt is in a heap of trouble at the 4 and 5.

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    2. I'd be surprised if Adams is one and done...I think he stays 2 or 3 (tops). Saw him at Ambridge...very athletic, but needs to get stronger. May get overpowered at first. He should start right away and I'd expect about 10 and 6 from him. And then get progressively better

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    3. I'd be very, very surprised if Adams was at Pitt more than one year. It doesn't matter that he isn't ready. Lottery picks are rarely ready. The NBA doesn't care. He will just develop with them. No NBA team is going to bypass a kid that big with that kind of talent.

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    4. The only thing that gives me hope is that his handlers seem to really have the best interest in mind for Adams and with his upbringing they may want him to mature a bit. It'd be a major coup for Pitt if they can keep him for two years.

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    5. His coach at ND Prep, Ryan Hurd, was asked about this topic when they played locally not long ago, and he pretty much said that the NBA was going to want him immediately. And he's a rational coach who just isn't pimping his player. I think the NBA is already pencilling him in. The only way that he won't go if he decides himself that he doesn't want to for whatever reason. But if he goes, he's a lottery pick, and he knows it. That will make it hard for him to stay.

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    6. Chris - Why didn't Mac Gilbert get more playing time this year? There is no way that he could have been worse than Taylor. Now we still don't know how he will do when the lights go on next year or whenever Dixon believes he is ready to play.

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    7. If Adams is a one and done..
      which I expect...
      that would leave Zanna and Gilbert for 2013/14 season going into ACC!!! No backups for 4 or 5... yet!!
      Which is why I said, Pitt will be screwed!!!
      Which is why, PF is needed NOW!!!
      Push out a guard if need be..

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  10. Look, the problem with this team this year was that it showed NO toughness whatsoever.

    The only guy on the team who showed consistent toughness was Nasir Robinson.

    This team gave up on games, gave up on themselves. i think Dixon did everything he could to get through to them, just there were too many people who just weren't tough enough. To many Chris Taft's not enough Chevon Troutmans.

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    1. well dixon recruited these players so he has to take some of the haeat for it too.

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  11. I know Dixon expects a lot out of the 4 and you've said that there is no way Adams would be ready in this system. You're adamant about Dixon changing his philosophy with player development, how about playing style? Especially since the ACC is only a year away? I really think that a Front Court with Adams and Gilbert with Moore and Patterson on the wings would take some pressure off of Woodall. In this scenario, it doesn't really matter where Taylor or Zanna play. A front court of that size and athletic ability (Adams) would take a lot of pressure off of guarding the 3 and 4.

    I'll concede Dixon will have to have a change of heart with style but if there was ever a season to do it, it would be next year's lame duck year. In reality, Taylor will be starting - but Adams will get more minutes and come in a the first media timeout ala DeGroat and the ceremonial start.

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  12. One question... Why is Dixon still recruiting guards for this years class we already have two in the class with and when u count wright Johnson Woodall epps(who hasn't transferred yet) that's like five guards there's no need to bring anyone knew into this class unless it's a pf and Pitt isn't recruiting any of the good ones left in the class... So we don't need anymore guards cause there's already a log jam there next year instead try and land bigs from the 2013 class like beejay Anya or someone like that

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  13. 1)I don't see Dixon having Robinson start or play much at the pg at all unless injuries occur, he plays unbelievable from the get-go, or woodall regresses with his ball-handling and decision making.
    2)Since Dixon is the one who got adams, is huge on him, and knows that he'll be gone in a year, Adams will definitely be starting from the beginning with increasing minutes as the season goes on.
    3)The SG and PF positions are looking weak for next year. If they play Patterson at the 4, will Dixon have the team play at a faster pace?
    4)Out of all the guards right now, who has the most potential to have a somewhat breakthrough and improve not significantly but close to it? This happens all the time in college basketball and we have seen it before at Pitt (Keith Benjamin and Antonio Graves became solid players their senior years)
    5)What do you expect out of Taylor next year? Should I hold out any hope that he actually improves and becomes a better player? It's his last year and time to improve his potential of playing overseas

    I see a team that improves as the season goes on, 20+ wins and a top 8 finish in the big east season with a 5-6 seed in the tourney

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    1. woodall has already regressed in his ball handling and decision making.

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    2. Dixon didn't 'get' Adams...he was gift wrapped and hand delivered. Pitt did not compete with other universities for Adams.

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  14. Chris,

    You mentioned staff changes for the b-ball program. Should I, or any other Pitt fan, read much into the fact that Barry Rohrssen was at a bunch of games in the 2nd half of the year? Or was that just an out of work coach supporting his former employer and friend?

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  15. I don't follow basketball as closely as others. What positions are these 1,2,3,4,5? I thought each team had 2 guards, 2 forwards and a center.

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    1. 1-point guard
      2-shooting guard
      3-small forward
      4-power forward
      5-center

      I also dont think woodall is fit for the 2. If hes healthy hes a good play but he turns it over too much. I agree that pitt needs a 4. If theyre recruiting another guard then somebody must be leaving. Pitt needs a 4 for this class and both a 4 and 5 for 2013. With birch the position would still need depth without him it needs not only depth but talent

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    2. Do you know the 1-9 positions in baseball?
      LMAO

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  16. I would love to see Barry Rohrrsen come back as an assistant!

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  17. I'll call your craziness and raise you unemployment: If Dixon starts Cameron Wright and Dante Taylor next year (well, after the first 1-2 games or barring injury to Adams), he MUST be fired.

    I think that Dixon's stubborness, coupled with an old fashioned (naive?) belief that "it's his turn," led to starting Nasir Robinson this year. What other possible reason? A 6'-3 dude with a bum wheel and no game has no bidness being a power-forward in the Big East. That poor resume isn't Nasir's fault, it's Dixon's for playing him. Anyhoo...

    All of which in turn (I'm convinced) led to Khem Birch saying (essentially): "You gotta be kidding... I'm playing behind THAT?" then bolting.

    Which led to Pitt playing a high-school sized front court with almost no bench worth mentioning. Pitt's forwards are the size of Colorado's guards, no exaggeration.

    Which brings us current to today.

    Dixon can have a mulligan this year. But no coach can stay at any school if he sits NBA lottery picks due to some misplaced loyalty that only he knows about.

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    1. I wouldn't go that far regarding Dixon... but his problem in landing recruits is that he doesn't play them as frosh... redshirts them... has a "union" mentality..

      Quite frankly, I believe all that Khem had said regarding the team... I believe it was Gibbs who would complain at halftime if he wasn't getting his stats. The "team" was not playing like a "team"..

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    2. I think there certainly was some merit to Birch's complaints ... there certainly wasn't much ... if any ... senior leadership on the team this year. Gibbs is way too arrogant ... I'm surprised that Knight didn't have more influence on him. The only time I saw Gibbs truly geeked this season was when he tied up the Tennessee guy late in that game to preserve our lead. And I thought even then that that was more to do with his personal quest to prove to the nba that he was athletic enough and could perform well enough on D to make it to the big show. Birch was stuck behind Robinson and I wouldn't be completely surprised if Robinson didn't exactly take a frosh under his wing that could potentially take some minutes from him. But it was more Gibbs than anything IMO ... he played like he didn't want to be here ... and it sounds like he didn't. If he took leadership and his last go in college as serious as someone like Brad Wannamaker did then we probably would have been in the ncaas. As far as I could tell, the only time Gibbs showed any leadership at all was when we he took the blame for our poor season after we got eliminated from the BE tournament.

      Z

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  18. I'll concede it's early. But I've been fearful of Chryst's lackadaisacal attitude when it comes to recruiting from Day 1. Sheesh, even Wiscy's people told us that, and they're his colleagues!

    Unfortunately for we long-suffering Pitt fans, recruiting in college football is EVERYTHING. If Chryst doesn't realize that, we're in for some long seasons. X&Os guys in CFB are dime a dozen, you can hire 10 good ones in a single afternoon.

    The good news is, he'll either turn up the effort a LOT -- and SOON -- or he'll be fired. On that point, I don't want to be proven right. But the facts are, in CFB he simply can't win more than 6 or so games in a BCS AQ conference with 2-3 star recruits, I don't care what he did as OC at Wiscy.

    The bad news is, it might take Pitt falling all the way back to comparable depths of the Paul Hackett regime -- who, lest we forget, was also a good X&Os guy -- before the light turns on.

    And it's a lot easier to fall from 10 to 4 wins a year than it is to go from 4 back up.

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    1. Recruiting obviously isnt everything, cough cough wannestache, but i see your point. However i dont think we know all thats going on. Scott orndoff told me that people say that chryst isnt recruiting but they dont know what theyre talking about.

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    2. Well of course Orndoff would say that. He's one of the handful that's getting recruited hard. And I do pretty much know what's going on. It's not rocket science. You just talk to a kid or his coach and ask them if they've heard much from Pitt. When the vast majority says not much, then you have your answer. It's not like I'm just guessing.

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    3. I don't know if that's the best metric---don't you think there's some selection bias in whether or not you talk to the target in question? If that's your only metric, then perhaps the complaint should be "Chryst isn't recruiting kids similar to the ones Pitt has recruited in the past" or "Chryst isn't hitting the local schools hard enough" or "Chryst is spending too much time in recruiting locales that will be difficult to penetrate." Those are all perfectly reasonably conclusions to make from your metric, and then you can draw whatever conclusions you want (and we might disagree with those conclusions). But, if your claim is that Chryst isn't recruiting hard because the kids you talk to don't mention him...that seems iffy.

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  19. Chris, you said it well in a Twitter post: Penn State is in the middle of the worst scandal in sports history, bar none. Yet they're kicking our butts on the recruiting trail.

    Not exactly good tidings of great joy for the next 3-4 years to come.

    But hey, look at the bright side (sarcasm): at least we have the promise of Tino Sunseri back at starting QB for another year!

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    1. The scandal that PSU was supposedly in ended when Paterno passed away.

      Last time I checked it's still a great school with a 109,000 seat stadium and rabid fanbase. But more importantly they have ungodly amounts of $$$$ which enables them to recruit anyone they want. Pitt doe$n't have anywhere near the re$ource$ that P$U doe$, which is why they needed to think outside the box and hire a coach that doesn't need a team full of 4 and 5 star recruits to be successful.

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  20. Here is a question Chris....

    During Dixon era...
    Which players were not starters their senior year???

    I can't think of any!!!
    He will not start an underclassmen over a senior regardless of performance. Remember Degroat?

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    1. That's one of the main things I hate about Dixon....he got all these bad traits from Howland IMO.

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  21. John DeGroat did not start his sr year and he had a pretty good after college career. Also, Doyle Hudson did not start as a Sr.

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    1. I thought Dixon did a poor job of coaching DeGroat. He had talent, but he just never got enough buy-in from Dixon to develop enough confidence. I know he looked like shit at times, but that was more a result of his lack of confidence than lack of talent. He's sort of proven that once he left Pitt.

      Z

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    2. Johnny C, if memory serves, DeGroat started EVERY game his senior year, normally contributed zip, then was pulled at the first TV timeout never to be seen again that game. For reasons that made sense to nobody else but Dixon.

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    3. he did start every game. that's right and he did not see the court after the first whistle. i guess his lack of playing time i took for not staring.

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  22. Patterson bulks up during offseason and starts at the 4. No other choice.

    Just say no to smurf guards.

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  23. You can't play Patterson at the 4, Doke. I know he fits the bill as an offensive player - great range, great passer - and with him and JJ playing 3 and 4, they'll rebound just fine. But why would we think he can guard in the post? He's a terrible perimeter defender, this much we know, but every team will post him up and score at will.

    I don't see giving up on Taylor as a 4. He's not the passer you need, but he has some range and he has decent vision as a passer, just missing execution. Taylor has been offensively efficient and although you may bag on him about rebounding, but he's every bit the rebounder Zanna is at least statistically. He drives me crazy, too, but he's not a 5. He's just not. And he looked better as the season goes on. He's not going to be an NBA guy, but he's better than you are giving him credit for.

    John Johnson also isn't the issue assuming he's first guard off the bench with Woodall playing 2. Nor is Cameron Wright, who is going to be a defensive stopper as his offensive game is limited. The issue is having too many unathletic and/or poor defensive players playing critical minutes. Gibbs/Robinson leaving helps, but Woodall is still a terrible perimeter defender as is Patterson. You simply can't play them both.

    Would I love to see a PF that has a better skillset than Taylor in there? Of course, but I don't see Savon Goodman coming to Pitt. And Jones isn't the answer - bringing him in to me is absolutely pointless as he's so far away from being a D1 player it's not even funny. Not too mention he's the same 2/3 wing player that Durand Johnson is without the talent. We either need a legit pass first point guard that can establish tempo assuming Epps is not going to play or a PF with some skill. But in lieu of that, we could do worse with Woodall at 2 and Taylor at 4.

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    1. Taylor at the 4 w/ those knees? He can barely handling the 5 w/ his limited mobility - how is he going to handle 1) a position he's never played at Pitt and 2) a position which required *more* mobility than 5. Ain't gonna happen. It's Zanna and Patterson at the 4.

      Think of it though - how many years has it been when Pitt's perimeter defense was any good? How many 3's did that Butler guard drain last year - basically w/ no one in his face? So... nothing new here.

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    2. Why do you think they stunk this year? It was much worse than it ever was. Last year had one bad perimeter defender in the starting lineup - Gibbs. Wannamaker and Brown could defend just fine. Are you seriously comparing a #1 seeded Pitt team in terms of perimeter defense to possibly the worse perimeter defensive team I've ever seen at Pitt? Are you being serious? The problem is replacing those two with Woodall and Patterson, which makes it MUCH worse.

      Taylor's mobility is just fine. Zanna isn't any more mobile than Taylor is and at least Taylor can block a shot occassionally. Why would Zanna be a better alternative than Taylor? At least these guys can defend. I didn't see many big men dominate either Taylor or Zanna.

      Now Patterson is 6'5". Nasir showed the limitations of a player that size at 4 on defense. If Patterson was 20 pounds of solid muscle heavier, okay, maybe that's a possibility, especially with JJ playing the 3. I don't hate Patterson on offense playing the 4, but he can't guard anyone down low at his size and we already know he can't guard out top for that matter. He's a backup, simple as that. He's just not good enough of an athlete to play.

      Robinson/Johnson/Moore/Taylor/Adams would be my vote, but it's not going to happen. But at least that 5 could play some defense and create some of their own shots when things broke down.

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    3. Taylor's mobility is fine?? ROFLMAO!!

      You can act like you're coach Dixon, but you're not. Wait and see.

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  24. I'm pulling for Coach Chryst to succeed, but I too am a bit nervous about the recruiting efforts so far. That was the main reason I felt he wasn't the best candidate. I hope he and his staff prove me wrong, but I'm somewhat concerned right now.

    My sense is that Chryst needs some aggressive recruiters who can get the kids interested in Pitt, then Chryst can close them with his down-to-earth style. He doesn't seem like an aggressive personality, but he strikes me as someone who kids will believe in once they get to know him.

    If Penn State does outrecruit Pitt with all that's happened up there, that would be an embarrasment, and may be a sign of mediocre football in the future.

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  25. The sky is not falling as the doomers and gloomers are predicting. For BBall, it needs to be Gilbert, Adams and either Zanna/Taylor. Patterson at 2 guard and Woodall at point. Go to a zone because you will be long on "D". We need to prep for the ACC next year. Long, quick athletes are the name of the game in the ACC, not bulldozers like we have had in the Big East. Bilas used to say that when you played Pitt, you needed a leather hat. Not anymore. Get on with the ACC style now.

    FBall. I like Paul Chryst and expect him to do well. LEt him get his feet wet gents. It will be fine. I love seeing a kid 6'7" 340 pounds being interested in Pitt. I see big things happening. Now if we could only get rid of Steve P, we would be doing well.

    Finally, CBI is a mistake. I understand the thinking is to get JD to another 20 win season and keep his record intact. But there is nothing to celebrate this year so he and the administration should take one on the chin and prepare for next year.

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  26. Dixon could have used Herrion last year. Maybe he would have reminded him to take the Pitt players off of the free throw lanes after Gilbert Brown hit his first free throw against Butler to tie the game up with less than 2 seconds left. Just too much risk to reward on leaving them there and it cost us. Hell, at home, when they panned away from the lanes after Brown's first FT I said that I hope that Dixon had those players off the lane, but sure as hell they weren't. He's a damn good coach overall, but Dixon is a mediocre game day coach ... he made more than that mistake against Butler in a year that the National Championship was very much up for grabs.

    I disagree that watching Nasir Robinson man the PF position has been frustrating for 3 years ... just this year, though we know that McGhee had something to do with why he wasn't exposed as much on D and the boards as he was this year.

    We all got a lot to learn no matter where we are at and I hope that Dixon knows that becoz he hasn't been adaptable or creative enough IMO. And until he is, he won't be a great coach.

    Z

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  27. The cbi bid acceptance is trying too hard to not accept a bad season. If one of our better underclassmen blow out an ACL or something, it could be a disaster ... paid for by Pitt.

    Z

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  28. Gotta love Ditka...
    saw clips of the awards on PG and article...

    He looks at Chryst and says, "Kick some ASS will you!"

    Spoken like a true QUIP!!!!

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  29. When Zanna allowed that Wagner guard to rip the ball right from his hands in the second half of that game, with no fight or resistance, it made the need for a power forward a high priority.

    Adams needs to play the four and Gilbert starts at the five next year. Put some size on the court and see what happens. And coach, give it more than four minutes in the first game to see if it can work.

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  30. There's zero chance that Adams starts at the 4 or that Gilbert starts. I don't even think we'll see much of Gilbert next season.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Chris,

    Lots of icing and nighttime splints (can buy at walgreen's) for that tendonitis. B-100 may help and certainly can't hurt.
    As far as Pitt in this unimportant basketball tournament, I disagree with ya; This may be a chance for Dixon to see who has some heart! Some guys play tough no matter what the spoils are, even in a playground game, others need the glitz to get up for a game. Either way, at least nationally, I don't see where anyone really cares, so why not play and let the coaches evaluate further?
    On the football front.............. why get nervous? After wanny and the Fraud, it's a toss up. i don't hold out much hope for PITT Football as long as Pedersen is in charge.

    Pittbull

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm not nervous as far as Pitt being awful under Chryst. I'm just worried that he's not going to be good enough to have a 10 win season in the next four years, because let's be honest, anything less than that gets you fired at Pitt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe people defending Chryst and crews recruiting tactics or efforts...

      Seems they are very content with 8 wins a year..
      I'm NOT...
      but seems that is the direction the program is headed to in the future....
      I don't see 10 win seasons in the near future... 3-4 years.

      Delete
    2. Joe D,

      I don't know if they are DEFENDING Chryst as much as they are not jumping to conclusions. While I understand that you would prefer them to be more aggressive to this point, the truth is there are 11 months to go before we can evaluate what the staff is doing.

      During that time many of us (and many potential recruits) will be interested in watching the play of the team during the season. We are interested in getting a feel for the ability of this staff to coach up the players they currently have, while installing (another) new set of schemes on offense and defense. We are also looking to see if Chryst and his staff can do what Wanny and Graham cold not do, which is have their teams play above (at at least up to) the talent level. No more loses to Bowling Green, no more blown 21 point leads, at home, in what was essentially the Big East Championship game.

      Once the season is done and WE get a better idea of what to expect, I think the staff will be better able to tell the recruits exactly what to expect playing for Chryst will be like.

      Believe me, I feel as frustrated as you at times. But we have to at least give the guy some time before we start saying they are content with 8 wins a year.

      Delete
    3. Is 10 wins the measuring stick for success at PITT? 10 wins over who???? The likes of Maine, Buffalo, Ohio, or the bIG eAST powerhouse Connecticut? As I've said in previous posts, all the talent in the world will fail your team if it lacks accountability and the inability to play good, solid, fundamental football. Wanny and the Fraud were utter failures at fixing glaring problems with things such as proper tackling skills, stupid penalties, and poor discipline on and off the field. Both former head coaches seemed completely shaken when their team had a big lead and seemed unable to close out games they should have won. As bad as Tino was how many times did Pitt receivers drop catches that hit them in the hands? How many times did a d-back miss an easy tackle because of poor tackling skills (i.e., the old dipped shoulder, pansy style tackle, often missed by many a Panther.)And like Ground Hog day it continued to repeat itself over and over and over. Those 8 or 9 win Wanny seasons were nothing more than fluff over less than credible college football teams.

      Pittbull

      Delete
  33. Pitt had a coach that won 10 games in a season in Wannstedt. The 2010 season seemed doomed from the start. I think Pitt would have won nine games in the regular season last year and a chance this year. Well, with this schedule and experienced players working in the system they would have been familar with, 10 wins would have been close to a lock.

    Wait until that Virginia Tech QB makes Pitt defense look weak and slow. Wanny's 2012 defensive line would have made it miserable for the Hokie QB with a 10-deep rotation. What will this year's rotation be, five guys? Not to mention, linebackers like Price, Thomas, Alston, Lambert and maybe Mason would be hunting him down. The linebackers this year will be dodging guards left and right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The linebackers this year are price, thomas, and smith (who was very good when he played last year). Backups are nick grigsby whos fast and athletic and i wouldnt be suprised if d rippy got some pt. thats a very young lineup but you cant deny theres a lot of talent there. Also, dont blame chryst for the lack of depth. Thats on wanny and graham.

      Delete
  34. I keep seeing Sam Zeff's name appear on this Blog so I have been creeping him to see what is up. It looks like UConn and UMass have offered him and WVU is also interested. Also the kid is over 275. Why wouldn't Chryst go after a NJ kid that is big, quick and has an interest in the school? If nothing else it enhances Pitt's commitment to NJ and its future players. Also, I find it strange that a career college coach gets his first head coaching job and kids that he formerly coached or that he was recruiting didn't follow him. Something is not adding up. Finally, can you let us know the areas of recruiting emphasis for the assistant coaches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. how many kids already committed to wisconsin will switch to pitt? orndoff is a possibility but hes from this area so that doesnt really count

      Delete
    2. Schachter - A friend of mine from Jersey says that Zeff should work at Pamela's because he likes to dole out pancakes.

      Delete
  35. chris: what chance does pitt have at noah vonleh on the basketball front? rivals says his offers are boston college, kansas, providence, and syracuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nevermind. hes 2014 i thought he was 2013

      Delete
  36. It seems like Pitt could have turned the idea of the CBI from lame to cool by simply playing the game(s) at the field house. Seton Hall did essentially the same thing with tonights NIT game.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Chris, all has been quiet on the recruitment of foster, at least on websites. Has he made any more visits or talked about a leader recently?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't matter...
      Pitt won't get it's first committ until June..

      Doubtful Foster is going to Pitt...
      My guess.... PSU or Michigan... and he will commit when HS season is over.

      Delete
    2. there is no way in hell that he's going to Penn State or Michigan

      Delete
    3. It is a guess...
      PSU because they have a shot at getting Maryland transfer QB O'Brien...
      Michigan... because they are michigan and doing a good job recruiting big time players positioning themselves for championships.

      Delete
  38. other than prep schools kids that had to go to prep have we ever had recruits commit Ferber May/June even when we had supposedly top classes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. before May/June damn auto correct

      Delete
  39. Geeessshhh.... smh
    Boy, EJ Borgetti sure has the Pitt media under control...
    Chryst had a list of questions (about 20) to be prepared to answer....

    And get this... NOT 1 question on recruiting.... seems EJ told everyone not to ask about recruiting!!!!! Not only that, he never really answered a question directly.... some were BS questions... like C'mon man... let him coach or plan and why get into the details of planning for "spring"!!
    Ridiculous... just put out a press release and forget the pomp and circumstance EJ!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. For those who think R.Shell is going to do well at Pitt... think again..
    I think he will turn out to be a dud... another Marques Dupree..

    1. He started working out at Rods just 2 weeks ago... first time ever lifting... yet in ESPN article, he said he had 2 trainers, etc etc... bunch of BS.

    2. He got kicked off BB team for the 2nd time in his HS career.... missing tooo many practices. This happened when he was a sophmore or junior... the coach Rowan got backlash due to star FB player and Shell spoke of transferring to Quip, etc... Rowan got fired as a result. Now as a senior, who cares... nothing happened to new coach!!

    I'm telling you... he has an attitude problem and lazy, lazy, lazy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. btw... I always said, he is going to be another marquis dupree from the early 80's. check out his documentary.... sad!

      Delete
    2. Im not a stickler for grammar or spelling but this is annoying me. His name is MarCUS not MarQUIS.

      Delete
    3. Marcus Dupree was a damn stud. What the hell are you talking about? His talent as a RB was unparalleled in college football. Barry Switzer was a jerk who had a stable full of studs at Oklahoma and Marcus was simply a homesick kid out of his element, which is why I advocate most kids staying close to home to play for their hometown college football team or even to simply just attend college.
      FYI: Tony Dorsett usually didn't practice during the week during his playing days at PITT and Danny Marino...... well, let's just say Danny enjoyed a party or two while in Oakland! Your star RB's and DB's have either got the speed & moves or they don't. All the practice in the world won't change that fact.

      Delete
    4. anoymous...
      dumbest thing I ever read here...
      I'm well aware of Dorsett days and Marino days...
      I was on campus.. for some of marino days..

      and why so dumb... if anybody listened to you... then you don't have to do lifting, conditioning, saq, speedwork, etc.

      Delete
    5. EXACTLY. You don't have to do much if you keep yourself in supreme condition year around, as a matter of fact I think a lot of college and pro coaches do more harm with their brutal, dehydrating summer "camp" routines, which wear their team down before the season ever gets started. I know all about working out having been a former bb, powerlifter, and 3 sport athlete. Some of the best athletes I ever worked out with and competed against smoked 2 packs a day, did an assortment of drugs, and were some of the laziest guys around............EXCEPT............ for game time! Perhaps you can take over the PITT strength & conditioning program?


      Pittbull

      Delete
  41. Joe D did you ever go to Pitt? All you ever have to say is something negative. Whats your deal man?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Who cares if he is in the gym he should be home helping out with his newborn twins as much as possible. There's more important things out there.

    That also has to serve as motivation to not end up another statistic. You comparison to Dupree is ridiculous and pathetic. He's not even in college yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is going around town telling everyone how much money he is going to make in the NFL!!!

      Just watch...
      Yep... the twins...
      more important things... the most important thing he can do for his twins... is put the work in (conditioning, etc) to get to the NFL!!!

      Delete
    2. Before anyone gets overheated over something as nonsensical as whether Shell is lifting and working out on a daily basis, let's take some things into onsideration:

      -Shell didn't become a 4/5 star recruit because he was a workout freak, he became that level of recruit because of his natural ability. Unless the kid is sitting at home everyday pounding down twinkies, don't think there's a whole lot to be concerned with here.
      -Remember a kid named Hershel Walker? He didn't lift much either, yet somehow managed to win the Heisman and was a first round pick in the NFL.
      -Shell is an 18 year old kid that is now the father of two children. If you want the kid to have motivation to succeed, he has it staring him in face 24/7.

      Worrying about what 18 year olds do or say is rather pointless, that's why most kids in any given recruiting class regardless of where they play end up washing out or not fulfilling their potential. If Shell wants to be successful I'm sure he'll put the work in to make that happen, you just don't know at this point where his talent level will top off.

      Mike W.

      Delete
    3. While it is important that Shell be strong it is less important for him to hit the weight room than it is for lineman.

      I honestly don't care how much a half back can bench press as long as he runs hard and hits his holes. Running hard does require strength, but its not strength that's built in the weight room, it's strength that's built on the practice field pushing sleds around and the like. it's DRIVING force, not lifting force. Explosive strength from the legs. shuttle runs, plyometric band resistance runs, etc build this. Weights are great and all, but for a halfback it's less about them than for other positions like linemen, where upper body strength is every bit as important as lower body strength.

      As a halfback the most important things his upper body need to to is rip and hold onto the ball.

      Delete
    4. Ironhead Heyward was a beast of a RB while at Pitt, yet for his size was laughably weak when lifting weights with a less than Adonnis-like physique. McDonald's and The O were a staple in his diet, yet he showed up big on saturdays. Unless Shell is mentally unstable he should be able to pick it up a notch in college ball.

      Pittbull

      Delete
    5. Have to agree with you both Hurriquake and Pittbull, a RB most important attributes quickness, vision and speed after hitting the hole. Shell has all of those attributes, that's why he was successful as as a four year starter in a very tough conference and rated so highly. Hitting the weight room isn't going to build on those skills.

      Have to agree with you on Ironhead; he had amazing quick feet for kid his size (kind of the same as Bettis) and was remarkably athletic for a kid his size (remember when he hurdled a tackler vs. BYU). Had a nasty temper though, he broke a kid's shoulder with one of crutches one time.

      Mike W.

      Delete
  43. Joe D,

    Let me get this straight... the guy that is known all over the web for bashing Pitt recruiting is saying that Pitt should NOT have recruited a 5* RB from their own back yard?

    Once again Joe, you may be right. Shell might be a bust, but he could also be the next Tony Dorsett. There is no way for us to know...

    HE HASN'T PLAYED ONE GAME YET!!!!

    Can we please wait until the guy actually carries the football in in first college game before we rush to judgement??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is going to be a bust (and I've said this a long time) unless he starts to put the work in.
      Starting lifting is a good sign... we will see how long that lasts...
      Getting kicked off the BB team because he is lazy is not good!

      And, answer this, why was there not 1 question to Chryst today regarding recruiting??

      Delete
    2. he is a 4star..
      worth the risk of recruiting him..
      but don't bank on him as your future RB UNLESS....

      I hope he turns it around.

      Delete
    3. If he does not lift, the chances of him being a bust increase but that does not 100% ensure that he will be a bust.

      He may not be interesting in lifting now - because he has been successful without lifting (at least that's what we have been told). Maybe after his first year in college he sees that lifting IS important and he becomes a work-out guy. Would this guarantee that he will not be a bust (the answer is NO).

      How can you say he needs to turn it around? Without him playing one down you think he's going to fail. I don't think that is the way to evaluate him as a player and/or person.

      Maybe there were no questions about recruiting because it is MARCH and this is the start of Spring Ball. Why ask about something that will take center stage next February? Does everything have to be a conspiracy?

      Delete
    4. Tony Dorsett weighed in at about 155 lbs. in his freshman year at PITT. With a little "help" he was able to bulk up to a lean 190 lbs. in his senior year. Skinny or jacked he gave the opposition fits on the field. The weightroom does not translate into success on the field. Lewis and McCoy both carry that soft muscle on their frames, yet were able to tear it up on saturdays. Synopsis: wieghts help and make you look great in your uniform, but they don't equate into extra yards, durability, or increased speed.

      Pittbull

      Delete
    5. anonymous,
      Back in Dorsetts day... lineman were 225-250.... not 300# and fast (in some cases).

      Delete
  44. I think Joe D is funny and probably a female (Jody), if you will. If you read her last post and her reference to a "sad documentary", I believe she is referencing her own posts on this site. They are rarely accurate or uplifting. She is clearly a rider on the short bus that captures an occasional hotspot between transports and feels the need to share her dribble (basketball reference).

    Personally, I chuckle and don't take anything she says seriously. She has earned no credibility in my world or the world of Pitt sports. Until Jody achieves balance in her posts, she cannot gain credibility with peers. One thing is for certain with my posts. If you read them, you will find they are equally positive and negative, with some even thought provoking. Sorry Jody, attacks on 18 year olds will never be acceptable in my book. Commenting on an 18 year olds state of mind or state of physical abilities truly shows you are out of touch with reality.

    Sorry guys, I call them as they are, not as I see them. Jody, it is time for your medicine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the facts...
      that's all..

      now, it is my opinion that he will be a bust...

      Delete
    2. Not sure if Joe D is really a Jody, but I agree a name change should be in order. Considering the amount of fertilizer he spreads around perhaps TrueGreen would be a better handle.

      Delete
    3. I like that better...
      in the future, I will comment..
      Joe TrueGreen... lol

      however, I do have a call into Lasala.
      Shell needs a mentor... NOW!!

      Delete
  45. While Marcus Dupree's football career did not end up according to expectations ascribed to his abilities and the promise from some brilliant performances leading upto the NFL, I do recall several of the games I had the pleasure of watching him play in college; and in each case he was dominating and fantastic to watch. His story is his alone. Others' stories have yet to be told, and it will be up to them to tell. Shell made the choice to come to Pitt (and I am glad that he did), so I plan to support and encorage that decision, and above that, the team, and beleive that we have a better chance of good things to come with him on the team than without him....

    George Z.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Were Chrysts questions really preapproved? If true, thats absolutely embarrassing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you watch the video... Chryst had a list of questions to be ready for.... he had the list in front of him and he joked to EJ waving the paper that the question was on the list several times!!!

      And not 1 real question regarding recruiting...

      That is sad regarding the media... and you wonder why the PSU/JoePa stuff was never reported years back!! It's called controlling the media.
      Did you ever see the followup story on Coonelly and his DUI.... why did it take 2 months to report... why police never said anything or it didn't show up on some police blotter... and how the FAN was instructed not to speak on the Coonelly incident!!!

      Delete
    2. In listening to the video, it was referenced as a 'list of anticipated questions'. This is standard protocol for press conferences, speaking engagements, business meetings, etc.... It is ok to be prepared.

      George Z.

      Delete
    3. And where did EJ get those questions... he solicited them from the media.. no problem with that.

      It was quite obvious to me... EJ told the media, NO QUESTIONS on RECRUITING.

      Delete
    4. EJ and Pitt does not have the power to tell the media how to do their jobs. There would be an expose by every media member in the city if he did that and he would get fired. You are often farfetched with your theories but that one is a real doozy.

      Delete
    5. Joe D,

      Based on your answer about where you made this statement:

      “Just the facts...
      that's all..”

      Is "It was quite obvious to me... EJ told the media, NO QUESTIONS on RECRUITING." a FACT or an OPINION?

      If you claim that it is a FACT, please prove solid evidence to support your claim. By the way, lack of questions is NOT evidence, that is speculation.

      Delete
  47. Regarding Jamie Dixon... Dokish you're absolutely right on.

    This year exposed Jamie and his urban legend of being so "expert" at making lemonade out of lemons... and he sure had some lemons on ths year's team.

    However, regarding Chryst... he may turn out to be the real expert in making lemonade from lemons.

    Wait until you see the product he puts on the field and gets a couple of wins under his belt (Can you say Virgina Tech?) before you get all bothered over his recruiting.

    Success trumps everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  48. longsufferingpittfanMarch 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Chryst was interviewed on the Fan a few days ago. Zeise asked him directly about recruiting as some Pitt fans are concerned about a preceived lack of effort/success. He said that they have a plan that has worked well for them over time and those who are worried shouldn't be. He knows what the needs are and will address them accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure hope he's right. It's certainly a maverick approach, as nobody else does it this way. As I've written before, IF it works then everyone else will copy it because it's easier and much cheaper.

      I personally think it will fail catastrophically (all the while hoping it succeeds) unless everybody else does it Chryst's way because the nature of these kids -- well, most of them, anyway -- is that as BMOCs they love the attention (that Chryst won't give them but guys like Urban Meyer gladly will.

      So using the metaphor of the high school dance, if Pitt asks girls to dance and then goes to sit in the corner to wait for the rush, versus the guys who hound them into submission (knowing that girls secretly like to be pursued anyway), I think Pitt gets to go home lonely but full of strength not sapped by dancing.

      Delete
  49. @Imma Man,

    Charlie Weiss and Loydd Carr are just tow examples of guys who went into programs loaded with talent and recruited well that fell flat on their faces.
    Jim Harbaugh on the other hand went into a program with some top shelf student/athletes and some less than stellar athletes and was able to bring his program to national prominence. He also did it in San Fran this year with more or less the same duds from the year before. Not sure how he did it but his formula worked and will only get better. Gotta see what Chryst brings to the table first.

    Pittbull

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While that's definitely true, it's also rare to have a coach so excellent that his teams are a power despite great recruiting. It's so rare that look at the feeding frenzy over Harbaugh when he did it. I think it's obvious that Chryst is an excellent offensive coach but being a Harbaugh will be much more difficult.

      Delete
    2. Oh really Chris?

      If it's so rare then perhaps you can explain TCU, Boise State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, VA Tech, WVU, etc, etc, etc.

      Scout and Rivals are usless and know nothing about the players thay rank. Over half the players they give 4 and 5 stars to never live up to the hype and some are complete busts. Also, if you expect Pitt to consistently land 4 and 5 star kids like Alabama and OSU then you're living in the clouds.

      Coach Chryst has a plan, a proven plan I might add, and I fully expect him to succeed and thrive at Pitt without the help of Scout and Rivals. Coach Chryst and his staff have forgotten more about football than both those websites combined multiplied by ten.

      H2P

      Delete
    3. Correction,

      "Coach Cryst and his staff have forgotten more about football than both those websites combined have ever known multiplied by ten."

      Delete
    4. Have to agree with you Pittman. For all the sites that get hung up on how many stars they place on kids, you wouldn't believe the amount of schmoozing and sucking up they have to with these kids and the programs interested in them, hence the great number of four and five stars that turn out to be busts. Remeber the raves Wanny's classes used to get (not top 20 but in top 30), what was the best record that ever came from that?

      Chryst comes from an established program that has an established and proven method of recruiting, I'm not all that concerned that he isn't making headlines with offers just yet. Considering Chryst doesn't have rigid "system" that only certain types of players fit, I'm sure he'll be successful by identifying what players he wants. Just throwing offers at kids regardless of whether they actually fit what you're trying to do doesn't make any sense. Joe Rudolph has been able to pull kids out of WPA for years and get them to go to Wisconsin, Pitt is more than likely an easier sell for him.

      Mike W.

      Delete
    5. Mike W.
      what will you say if Rudolph doesn't land Johnson... out of his hometown of Belle Vernon...
      Wisky is an easier sell to a top recruit than Pitt... even if that recruit is in the wpial!!!
      Now with Pitt going to the ACC, that may change...
      and pittman...
      your dreaming or unrealistic of expectations or... 8 wins is good enough for you!!! it has been proven... those who land top level recruiting classes year in and year out have successful programs on the field... I can list 20-30 such programs.

      Delete
  50. Nice comments Chris, In my mind J.J. Moore absolutely has to start at the 3 spot. He provides the athleticism, in the line-up that the panthers despertly need. Lamar Paterson also needs to play, so he'll have to play in the 4 spot and fill in at the 3 as needed. I think Zanna and Paterson jointly can play power forward. Pitt needs someone who can be a productive and consistant scorer at shooting guard.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Over 20 posts from Joe D on this thread alone. Can someone please call a Joe D timeout?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Chris - Thoughts on Dorian Johnson/PG article today. With all these offers, it seems unlikely that Pitt will land him. If they miss on Foster, Kugler and Johnson, there is no way around saying Chryst has failed with respect to wpial top end talent in his first try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RE: Johnson of belle vernon...
      The big concern is not the number of offers...
      His cousin is an assistant FB coach with Notre Dame.
      Consider him gone now... that was news to me.
      I originally had him in the bag due to Rudolph ties to Belle Vernon.

      Delete
    2. After reading the article in the PG carefully, it is Johnson's coach that has a cousin on staff at Notre Dame, not Johnson. That may or may not make a difference; but I felt that it was worth providing some clairity.

      George Z.

      Delete
    3. Wow! Joe D making an accusation that isn't true. Who'd of thunk it?! Cause the article quite clearly says that the assistant at ND is Krepp's cousin.

      Delete
    4. Miswrote...
      I knew it was His coach's cousin....

      my opinion still remains... consider him gone!

      Delete
    5. He doesnt have nd in his top 3. Pitt is one of the 3

      Delete
    6. Joe D,

      Why are your opinions of Pitt always so negative? You consider Chyrst a failure in recruiting, Shell a bust, and Johnson a goner and speak as if all those are facts. Meanwhile, in the real real - where we must wait until things happen before we start yelling "THE SKY IS FALLING!!" - spring ball is about to begin. LOI Day is 11 months away, Shell will make his FIST CFB carry sometime in September, and Johnson have yet to cross Pitt off his list.

      Man, you find the gray cloud in every silver-lining...

      Delete
    7. Some background on Shell...
      Soph - Kicked off or quit track team.
      Junior - Kicked off or quit baseball team.
      Junior - Kicked off basketball team.
      Senior - Kicked off basketball team. (new coach)

      I'm also hearing, Foster has R.Shellitis... won't last track season.

      Delete
    8. Who cares?

      Maybe his heart wasn't in those sports. It's clearly in football. Thats what really matters.

      If your heart isn't in something it's hard to go to practice day after day.

      Delete
    9. Joe D,

      So are saying we should not be recruiting these guys? I'm not sure what your point is, other than to make these KIDS look bad.

      I really don't care what Shell or Foster does on the track team or in the Glee Club. Both of them are excellent at playing football, hopefully they will continue playing football at a high level at Pitt.

      Just for the record Joe, do you think Pitt should be recruiting Foster?

      Delete
    10. RKR...
      I would want 20 Voytik types over Shell types..
      Workout, dedicated, humble, etc..
      I'm just giving some insight as to what is going on with Shell and now Foster it appears.

      As far as Kugler, Foster, Johnson...
      - I had Johnson in the bag.. a gimme so to say... now I'm not so sure due to coach connection to ND.
      - Kugler, I never thought he would go Pitt... he doesn't want to see his Dad 24/7.... and his brother went to Purdue.
      - Foster... if you were his parents and you had NFL aspirations... would you go to Pitt?? The only reason Shell ended up at Pitt is because he got his girlfriend pregnant and needs support. If that didn't happen, highly unlikely he would be at Pitt.

      Delete
    11. The questions was yes/no, SHOULD Pitt recruit Foster?

      Again, how can you say the Voytik is better than Shell? We have yet to see either play a game at the college level.

      Again I ask, what is the purpose behind your "insight" regarding Shell and Foster? I, and others, have pointed out that quitting the hoops teams doesn't mean much regarding Shell's ability to play FB at Pitt.

      Finally, regarding your comment about Foster going to the NFL.. In the last few years Pitt has sent the NFL the best WR, the top CB, the #1 RB and an All-Pro P. Not to mention various other successful players at nearly every position. How can you look at these players and logically conclude Pitt cannot put players in the NFL?

      Delete
    12. RKR...
      I rather have a player that puts the work in to get better than one who sits around eating bon bons...
      Shell is Marcus Dupree.. duh..
      quitter, doesn't want to put the work in, gets kicked off teams for missing practices, etc... (he did the same in football but coach is a whuss).

      Baldwin came in as a result of the quip pipeline and Wanny... if it were not for his combine, etc... Baldwin would NOT have been 1st rounder... I don't know of any 1st round wr from Chryst!!!
      Would I like to see Foster go to Pitt... I think Foster will have a better college career than Shell... so far Foster has put the work in.. after US Army combine... big head syndrome has set in from what I understand and lacking in work ethic. If he turns it around, he will be fine. He has the support system whereas Shell does not!

      Delete
    13. I teach and see a lot a different types of students. I have some that work very hard and still fail. I have some that do nothing and fail. But every once in a while, I get one that do not work but still outperform the rest of the class. While the combination of hard work and ability is the ideal, ABILITY is the more important trait. Which is why Baldwin get drafted in the 1sy round.

      All coaches, just like teachers, believe they have the ability to get the most out for their "students."

      And PLEASE stop with the Marcus Dupree stuff. Dupree worked is but off starting in the 8th grade after getting beat up in school. He went from being a scared, overweight kid to a top athlete. He also had a bunch of "handlers" around him - most of whom used him for their own personal gain.

      Barry Switzer said that Dupree was the best player on the OU team the moment he walked on the field as a freshman, Pitt would be HAPPY to have that kind of player.

      Delete
    14. I think everyone would be happy to have that kind of player. And i agree, these are two completely different scenarios and the comparison doesnt apply

      Delete
    15. RKR...
      You are clueless...
      Baldwin put the work in... in HS.. in college... some called him a "workout rat"... (offshoot of gym rat)

      You obviously did not see the Dupree documentary... Dupree had it easy in HS (like Shell) due to lack of competition... (Shell 225# going against a 175# DB!!). He didn't workout... got injured a lot... end of career!!
      Barry Switzer also said, Dupree could have been the all-time great RB at OU had he put the work in... lazy, lazy, lazy... which is R.Shell and why he got kicked off 4 teams!!! He skipped FB practices or fake injury... but FB coach didn't have the balls to reprimand him.
      Get a clue RKR...

      Delete
    16. I watched Dupree doc multiple times. He was NOT lazy in high school. His mom and sister made comments about how many push-ups and sit-ups he did, 100's EVERY day!

      Dupree never got injured in college. Switzer screwed with his mind, coupled with his "handlers" giving him poor advice caused him to QUIT the OU team. Switzer ever said he handled Dupree wrong. You are the one without a clue!

      Where did I say Baldwin didn't work hard? You are the one without a clue!

      Your "logic" is terrible.... Get a clue...

      Delete
  53. Personally, I still think that Dorian Johnson will end up at Pitt.

    As for Chryst knowing more about football then Rivals and Scout, I very much agree. As an offensive mind he's excellent and I rarely even pay attention to how Rivals and Scout rate players. When I talk about elite players I'm talking about who I consider elite players after talking to people I do trust.

    Look, let me explain this again because for some reason people keep acting like I think Chryst will fail. What I'm saying is that I think Chryst is so good as an offensive coach that he will win more than he loses. What I worry about is that if he doesn't get enough elite players, he may not win any more games than Harris and Wannstedt, and if that happens, Pitt may fire him in five years. And I don't want that to happen. I want him to succeed big.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The sad problem with Joe D is that when he actually sticks to talking football, he knows some stuff.
    The problem is, he gets in narcissic rants so he can say "I was right!" which absolutely ruin conversations.
    Joe's already proclaiming Foster to be gone, but is also pumping out a bunch of negative info on him, which would make him look bad should he sign with Pitt. It was the same way with Shell.

    Chris - I think as long as fans have faith that Chryst can be successful, he'll be fine. I do think consistent average of 8-9 wins per year will do it.

    Wannstedt's issue was missing bowls his first three seasons, losing to bad teams, failing to win big games at home, and failing to take advantage of easy opportunities.
    Here's thinking and hoping that Chryst will improve on the first three points. The move to the ACC will reduce point #4, but there's a big difference in winning 7 games when your conference slate includes Virignia Tech, Miami, Florida State, and Clemson, as compared to the 2010 Big East.

    Compared to Walt Harris, that's a little trickier. I'm thinking Walt isn't encouraged to leave if he and his agent doesn't run his mouth, so here's hoping that scenario doesn't happen again.
    I'm also thinking the boosters aren't going to turn on Chryst, as they are the ones who got him hired. If they turn on him on call for him to be fired (ala Walt Harris), then that means Pedersen has won.

    Just my .02

    ReplyDelete
  55. Dokish, its ok to say that not getting Kugler, Foster and Johnson is a failure. I know you bleed blue and gold, but lets call a spade a spade. You just inexplicably wrote off losing Kugler as "eh, some kids just arent interested". Well, whats the excuse for Foster or Johnson if they dont go to Pitt.

    If he cant get the top Wpial talent when he is this offensive guru, its ok to call him out.

    ReplyDelete
  56. With respect to recruiting style, hosting four kids on a weekend lends itself to talking football, academics one on one style. It also de-emphasizes a group party experienece and shows he is being mostly business when these trips occur. If you have ever been on a recruiting trip with 10 other athletes, it is a party atmosphere where the athlete does and gets what he wants. The partiers stick together and often commit together because they are each others "boyeees". Being each others boyees creates more pledges, not necessarily the best football talent and "stars".

    The Chryst recruiting approach is novel in that we haven't seen it work locally, but the premise is strong for reasons enumerated above. I prefer a 2 star as a freshman who turns into a 4 star after being coached appropriately and I think that will happen under Chryst. Wins will create 3 and 4 stars being coached up. So the point is not to despair right now. Begin fretting three years from now if we don't win on the field. We will win with 2 and 3 stars in a couple of years. Then, Chryst will start getting 4 stars who want to be coached up and that is when you will start seeing special seasons.

    Losing Kugler, Foster and Johnson would not be devastating. Look at Kugler for instance. Double digit o-linemen recruits this year and for next with Mich. He may not sniff the field. If kids want to go to the league it is often best for them to go to programs where they can get playing time. Johnson and Foster can stay close, sniff the field early (not just a promise).That is what Pitt can offer so many kids because they don't have great depth. Oh yeah, and the offensive genius that may be Chryst.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I don't get all the offensive genius stuff being said about Christ. I've watched a few of his Wisconsin games and his offenses aren't anything revolutionary.

    Big strong offensive line, ram the football down the other teams throat, rotate linemen to keep them fresh, and throw when necessary and to keep the other team off balance. Slants, play action, out patterns, etc.

    Nothing that is "genius." It's the basic model of success in football and been used at every level with fantastic success.

    Also I'd like to say I approve of this model and hope that Pitt is able to run it to perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I've thought that at times too, but what many forget is that prior to Wisconsin, Chryst was OC at Oregon State for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

    The 2003 Oregon State was the first to have a 4500 yard passer plus a rushing and receiving mark (1000 or 1500 yards? forgot the mark and I'm too lazy to look it up again). They scored about 420 points that season.

    Anyways, it's pretty clear that he knows more than just ramming the ball down someone's throat.

    Now, the 2004 Oregon State did score 120 points fewer. Don't know what the circumstances were behind that dropoff, other than they did play 1 fewer game that season.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Man, I sure hope you guys are right about Chryst coaching these kids up. The talent level on the current roster is on par with (or better than) much of the Big East. Looking at most of the games from 2011, Pitt had the opportunity to win all of the them. It seems like the one consistent feature of Pitt FB - no matter the coach - has been the ability to find was to lose. Especially in BIG games.

    I think some of that goes back to what Ziese said in his Red Shirt Diaries at the end of last year, this team is just not mentally tough enough. I hope Chryst can get get more out of the players on game-day than TG, DW, and Walt were able to do.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I think a lot of people are forgetting about all the talented kids we having coming in that transfered. The cupboard is not lacking like it was when D.W came on board. With a weak Big east if they can get any type of QB play they could be a pleasant surprise for a change instead of underperforming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree whole-heartedly. In 09 when stull was giving pitt good qb play pitt won 10 games and was a missed extra point away from a bcs bowl game against florida. Wanny was a very good recruiter, but he could never land a top level qb. To fraud grahams credit, he got one in voytik and pitts got a real shot with the likes of malik zaire and travon chapman, so if they got one of those, pitts future at qb and their future in general will look awfully good.

      Delete
  61. Chris: is there anything happening on the basketball recruiting front? Orlando Sanchez? Andrew Young? Any other pfs that pitt is pursuing hard?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Check out Pitt Panthers website...
    Spring Insider... videos, daily wrapup article, etc etc.
    Seeems Patton wr from Ohio may be gone...
    Hueber also said a few OL may not be back in fall...
    he wants kids that want to put the work in and like football!! (Did you get that RKR) He (as well as rest of coaches) have high expectations of what it takes to stay on the team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get back to me when Shell and/or Foster gets the boot...

      I bet he likes guys with tons of talent too.

      Again, the IDEAL is to get the best talent and have them work hard (like Sid Crosby). But I'd take a lazy #66 any day - Mario was not exactly a hard worker when he came into the league...

      Delete
  63. Not sure if someone else prior has posted this but.....

    Although Krepps said Johnson isn't close to narrowing down his list of colleges, Johnson has attended games in the past year at Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia. He also visited Notre Dame last summer. Krepps' cousin, Scott Booker, is a former Shady Side Academy player who is now an assistant at Notre Dame.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Nike Combine results from Ohio is posted.
    Go to ESPN Rise...
    Anyone at the combine that Pitt has offered or looking at?
    Saw some names from Wpial.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Joe D, still a whiny loser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the facts...
      sorry you drink the koolaid!

      Delete
    2. What video mentioned patton? I dont want to watch all of them to find out. Thanks

      Delete
    3. Chryst video... 1st day spring practice...
      its in the notes for the day also...
      said something to the effect... Patton working some things out... he is welcome back. He is not participating in spring.

      Isn't patton from Penn Hills that went to Ohio to play for a few years?
      No biggie if lose Patton... he is a smurf and Pitt loaded with smurf (flanker wr) types.

      Delete
    4. thanks joe, and in response to your question "anyone at the combine pitt has offered or is looking at?": i dont know if you saw the sections about darrien howard. hes a 6' 250lb inside lb/dl with a 4.83 forty who pitt just offered last week and hes taking an OFFICIAL visit to pitt next week. if hes taking an official he must have a good bit of interest in pitt. at this point most recruits are just taking unnofficial visits

      Delete
  66. sorry pk.. my bad...
    Chryst Practice 2 video... toward end of video (past 1/2way point)

    ReplyDelete
  67. Chris Peak just tweeted that Pitt got its first commitment but since I don't belong to his site...who is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish i knew. I cant find anything about it.

      Delete
    2. Scott orndoff committed to pitt. Thats a big get. He just visited michigan on friday too

      Delete
  68. NICE ! ! ! Him and Holtz should be a nice TE combo.

    JUST OFFER full steam ahead

    ReplyDelete
  69. Joe D "not pleased" - can't wait for him to tell us all the negative things about this commit

    WHAT A CLOWN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, got kicked out of the high school German club in 10th grade. My sources tell me he doesn't like strudel... THAT does not bode well for his future.

      I'm going to beat Joe D. to the punch to be the first to concluded that this can only point to one outcome.... BUST!!

      Too bad we have to wait 6 years to see if I'm correct.

      Delete
    2. C'mon Man!!! Chryst isn't recruiting and I heard that Orndorff doesn't lift enough to be any good!!! No one wants to go to Pitt!!! I should be the recruiting/offensive/defensive coordinator and athletic director!!!

      Sorry, just channeling my inner Joe D...

      Delete
    3. Sam E and RKR,
      I suggest you watch a few video's on pitt website...
      if they don't put the work in... they will be asked to leave the team... (OL coach said so in not so many words)

      Don't know enough about Orndoff to comment...
      All I know is that the 1st recruit doesn't have any stars.... why is that if he is suppose to be so great??? He has the build to be good TE... wouldn't surprise me if he gets converted to OL down the road.

      Delete
    4. He committed early, so nobody but wisconsin saw film on him until he decommitted. Scout and 247 have him at 3 stars, whereas espn has him in their watch list, which is 4 stars. I dont see how he can be below 4 stars, though. I mean, look at the measurables plus hes got great hands. Im thinking its just a case where the "scouts" havent seen enough or theyre just looking at stats.

      Delete
    5. pk,
      there is film all over the internet on Orndoff...
      just do a search.. he put it up on utube!!

      Delete
  70. Chris, scout and 247 have orndoff as only 3 stars, whereas espn has him in their 150 watch list, which usually constitutes 4 stars. Which is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhhh....who cares?

      Delete
  71. Orndoff...
    Couldn't find any combine numbers... but he runs Track!!!
    Anyone who knows me... knows I'm a track/xc guy...
    Below is a link to his stats in HS. Not bad for a kid 6'5" and 240#. 11.6 PR in 100m.

    http://pa.milesplit.com/athletes/1483028-scott-orndoff

    Keep in mind, track is not that competitive in Wpial... so don't look at the place...

    R.Shell on the other hand got kicked off track team!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats another reason his ratings may be off: he hasnt gone to any combines.

      Delete
    2. Really, Joe...???

      "R.Shell on the other hand got kicked off track team!"

      What is the point of this comment??

      Pitt got a commitment from a player that seems to be a good athlete (based on the track numbers and height/weight) and had been looked at by other programs. You complain that he doesn't have enough stars for your liking, then take (another) swipe at our highest rated recruit from 2012.

      Seriously, can you comment on Pitt without throwing in some negative comment?

      Delete
    3. rkr...
      i gave you the facts on orndoff....
      I gave you the facts on R.Shell....

      Delete
    4. Joe D,

      I appreciate your facts, it is your conclusions that make no logical sense. Example:

      FACT: Shell not on the basketball team

      CLAIM: (Meaning you must provide some proof): Shell was KICKED OFF the basketball team. Could be true...

      CONCLUSION: Shell is lazy and will fail at Pitt

      Even if the first two are true, that does not AWAYS mean the third will happen.

      That is the difference between fact, claim, and opinion....

      ...you're welcome.

      Delete
    5. RKR...
      The reason I know so much about Hopewell and Beaver County kids.. my nephew goes to Hopewell.
      Shell was kicked off BB team TWICE.. by 2 different coaches!!!
      Quit or kicked off baseball team..
      Quit or kicked off track team...
      Those are facts... I even had a discussion with Lasalla (Quip like me) on getting Shell a mentor or he will be a bust... like Marcus Dupree!!
      Lasalla lives in Hopewell and well aware of Shell... now with twins that compounds the problem..

      Will Shell have a successful college career, in my opinion and based upon his history, NO...

      Delete
    6. Joe D.,

      Thank you for separating facts, speculations, and opinions, it makes your posts so much better to read.
      I’m sure that you hear a lot of stuff with your contacts and I appreciate you sharing that information. However, I still think we should take that information with a grain for salt for two reasons:
      1. In spite of your connections, it sounds like you are still getting the information second-hand (at best). Unless I misread your post I don’t see that you got this information directly from Shell or one of his coaches. This does not make your information “wrong” but it does open up the possibility of misunderstanding when the information is passed. (Just think of times when you have posted something intending to make some point only to have it completely misunderstood by someone else on this board)
      2. We really do not know the situations going on behind these facts. It is possible that Shell just simply does not like to play baseball, basketball, or run track. These coaches ask him to come out for the teams because they know he could be a difference maker. But Shell loses interest and his heart is not into the sport so he quits. I know at my high school there were several very good basketball players that had no interest in trying out for the team because all the structure ruined the fun of the game. Also, the sports programs at my high school are dogged by politics and (to some extent) the status of the friends you run with.
      I want to clarify something with you I AGREE that if these things about Shell are true then we should be concerned about them. I would love it if Shell would work as hard as Voytik. I am not saying that lazy is good or that it should be tolerated by the coaches.
      Where I DISAGREE with you is when you jump to the conclusion that Shell is going to be a bust. We simply have no way of knowing that yet. I work with a guy that went to Hopewell with TD and was a roommate on a traveling basketball team. He has told me many stories of how lazy TD was in high school. I think some of the kids are so much better than everyone around them that they do not NEED to work hard to outperform them. Some are so good they don’t need to work hard on college (Ironhead Heyward for example). The difference in the great players is how they respond when the level of competition is raised.

      RKR

      Delete
  72. pk,
    Orndoff is NOT ranked in rivals...
    They ranked 300 kids so far... only 4 and 5 star.
    I presume he is a 3 star.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know hes not ranked by rivals but i just told you 3 sites that have rated him

      Delete
  73. Joe D have you watched film on him? Yes 40 time and all that combine stuff is great but judge as a football player too. As much as you say Dupree was a bust he was a good football player. I am not saying going to combines do not help, it exposes you. I saw him orndoff at practice day, big kid and looks athletic. His whole family was there today. Dorion Johnson, Boyd, Fullback transfer,Kincade, Davis twins, Rippy, Love and both Rawlings were there this weekend. Now joe d you do not like Jp Holtz either? he never ran track or went to combines as far as i know. So he is a bust too? 7 on 7 and combines are not everything. Look at Buddy Jackson. Athletically a freak.

    NC17

    ReplyDelete
  74. Jackson was a terrible ball player everyone can agree. Yes he ran back a kickoff but count how many fumbles or drops for a kick too.

    NC17

    ReplyDelete