Monday, April 9, 2012

Can Pitt basketball be a legitimate national championship contender in 2014?

Yes, we've been down this road before when projecting the future of Pitt basketball.  It's easy to always look at the best case scenario of every player and think that if every player reached their maximum potential, then the Panthers can be a top 5 team.  And if they are a top 5 team then they can be a legitimate national championship contender.  But for the first time since Charles Smith's senior year, there is a real chance that the pieces may finally fall in line enough that the program can have the season that puts Pitt in even more rarefied air.

The 1987-88 team led had two bonafide stars with Smith and Jerome Lane, as well as Sean Miller and Jason Matthews.  All four were in my top 20 Pitt players of the Big East era that I posted a few weeks ago, and Smith and Lane were in my top 50 Big East players of all-time that I wrote for the NBE Basketball Report a few years ago.  That team obviously failed despite those four excellent players but there's no doubt that the talent was there to go all the way.  

The only other legitimate Final Four contender in the last 25 years was the 2008-09 season when the Panthers came within a Scottie Reynolds last second shot of reaching the Final Four.  That team had two  big time stars in DeJuan Blair and Sam Young, and a good, solid point guard in Levance Fields.  However, as is often the case in programs that are a step below the North Carolinas and Dukes of the world, there was not enough behind those players and Pitt was one player short.  

But just to show you how fast things can change in college basketball, one year after Pitt's worst season in over a decade, things are suddenly looking very good.  In fact, if things fall the right way, the Panthers can legitimately be national championship contenders. And, unlike the past, the questions that need to be answered are all within reach.

First of all, let's look who will be here and where they will be in their college career.  Lamar Patterson will be a senior and could be one of the better all around players in the ACC, if not the country.  I'm not saying he will be a superstar but as a sophomore this season he averaged 9.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 3.6 apg, while shooting 41.0% from three and 77.1% from the line.  He should only get better and he's already pretty good.  

Fellow senior J.J. Moore had many fans wondering if he was going to be a flop for much of this season, and for good reason.  Moore's forte was supposed to be his outside shot but he was shooting horribly for much of the season.  However, in his final 13 games, the sophomore hit double figures 9 times and averaged 10.5 ppg while shooting 41.7% from three and 77.5% from the line.  Like Patterson, he should only get better in two years.

A third senior will be Talib Zanna, who is making slow progress but should also be even better in his fourth year.  In the six games of the CBI, he averaged 10.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg while shooting an incredible 73.7% from the field.  Whether this means Zanna has arrived or if it was the weak competition of the CBI remains to be seen, but former Pitt assistant Tom Herrion, who recruited Zanna to Pitt, still tells me that he thinks Zanna has a ton of untapped potential.   

At guard there will be more experience.  Transfer Trey Zeigler will probably have to sit out a year so he will be ready to go in two years.  At 6'5", he has the size and athleticism that Pitt hasn't had at the position in many, many years.  He's not a three point shooter and his free throw shooting is abysmal, but he can drive and score, he is an excellent rebounder, and he can play defense.  His talent level is high and if Dixon can get him to live up to his potential, he will be an elite college player.  

His running mate at guard will be elite recruit James Robinson who will be in his second year in the program.  If he's not starting at the end of his freshman season he will still be playing a lot and learning the ropes.  However you want to look at it, Robinson should be ready to run the point full-time as a sophomore.  A smart, heady true point guard with a strong body, excellent passing skills, and solid defense, he should have no trouble running the point the way Dixon wants it run.  In fact, with talented offensive players like Patterson, Moore, and Zeigler, at the very least, his assist numbers as a sophomore should be very high.

So at the very least the Panthers should start five talented players, including three seniors and a fourth year junior.  That alone will make the Panthers a very good team, and quite possibly a top 10 team.  But there's one player that I haven't mentioned yet that is both the biggest question, and potentially the biggest answer.  And that's New Zealand center Steven Adams.

Pretty much everybody I've talked to expects Adams to leave for the NBA after one season.  Not because he's said that, but because 7-foot centers with good skills simply don't last long in college.  They are simply too coveted by the NBA.  I'm not saying that Adams will be ready for the NBA.  Most players, especially big guys, aren't ready for the NBA, but that doesn't stop them from going.  If a player has tantalizing potential, like Adams does, staying in college only has the potential to hurt his draft stock.  NBA general managers get seduced by potential and will take a chance on it.  If Adams is not great as a freshman it won't hurt him.  GMs understand that college freshmen aren't expected to be great. But a 7-footer who shows little as a sophomore will see his stock drop because now suddenly there are questions.  That's why almost all big men who can come out early do come out early.  

Of course there are exceptions.  Sometimes a player does stay when he can leave.  Adams may find college basketball too fun to leave.  Pitt should be good again next year and Adams may find the season incredibly fun.  And he has already shown an almost childlike appreciation of the Oakland Zoo.  He also seems overwhelmed by the attention high level high school basketball gets in this country, so going from little New Zealand to the NBA so quickly may be too much for him to take.  Maybe he decides that he loves playing in college, loves playing at Pitt, and wants to make it all last a little longer before he can no longer deny his destiny that many adults will no doubt try to hurry him in to.  

If Adams stays it's very possible he can be dominant in his sophomore year.  While it's somewhat true that the college game is a guards game it's mostly because few teams have a quality big man.  If Adams stays for his sophomore year he could give Pitt an immediate, and thorough, mismatch in the paint against every other team in the country.  

To be blunt, if Adams stays for a second year, Pitt has the potential to go all the way.  An experienced core?  Check.  Rebounding?  In droves.  Patterson, Adams, and Zanna are excellent rebounders and Zeigler and Robinson rebound much better than average for their respective positions.  The defense should be good with Adams, Zeigler, and Robinson all good defenders.  And I haven't even mentioned Malcolm Gilbert, who will be in his third season by then and is an excellent shot blocker.  Ball handling will also be better as this is Robinson's forte.  Three point shooting, even with Robinson and Zeigler, could be good with Moore and Patterson, along with three I haven't mentioned yet, John Johnson, who shot an impressive 38.4% from three, and the 6'6" duo of Durand Johnson and Chris Jones, both of whom are projected to be good three point shooters.  

Of course there are at least two players I haven't mentioned yet because they haven't committed to the Panthers yet.  Travon Woodall and Dante Taylor will be gone after next season and a 4/5 and a point guard is exactly what Pitt will need to be even better.  Much has been made about 6'7" Philadelphia power forward Savon Goodman, and if he does eventually commit to Pitt, then he will be a sophomore during the 2013-14 season, and he could also be an excellent player by this time.  A highly athletic and aggressive rebounder like Goodman would make Pitt vicious in the paint.  An athletic point guard to support Robinson is also something that Dixon is already looking for.  

Bottom line, the key is Adams.  Without him, the Panthers are a very good team that should win a lot of games.  But it would probably not be enough to reach the level of the elite programs.  What programs like Pitt needs is for everything to fall in place.  A transfer from a MAC player who just happens to be the elite shooting guard they've always needed.  A wunderkind from New Zealand of all places that Dixon almost literally stumbled upon while catching up with an old friend and teammate on the other side of the world.  Those are the kinds of serendipitous occurrences that Pitt needs to get to a higher level.  And maybe, just maybe, the cards will finally fall the right way for Dixon and Pitt.

115 comments:

  1. Great write up chris. Before this past year, i thought this magical run youre describing would happen in 2012. If adams stays thats simply huge

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  2. Nice writeup...
    With Adams... clearly final 4 material...
    Without Adams... Having to depend upon Zanna to make those bunnies... those layups that he misses all the time and drive me nuts... I don't see Zanna as a starter at the 4 or 5.
    I think we are seeing Dixon revamping the roster to compete in the ACC... uptempo.. ballhandlers... 4guard offense perse.

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  3. Chris,

    Who is the other player that hasn't committed yet other than Goodman?

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    Replies
    1. What I meant was that Pitt will have two more scholarships to give when Woodall and Taylor are gone and we don't know who those players will be yet.

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    2. ok,Does this mean Trency Jackson is off Pitt's radar now?

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  4. It seems to me that Zeigler has at least a year to practice free throws. No reason why he can't be at 90 percent by the time he makes the starting lineup.

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  5. 90% FTs is tough for even great shooters. With his aggressiveness if he can get over 70% id be happy with that.

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  6. He's so bad right now I'd be ecstatic with 65%.

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  7. I think that Zana will be ok in the ACC he does well outside the BE and the physical play, could be one of those players that just can't handle the beating.

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  8. Could the possibility of contending for a National Championship be enough to sway Adams to stay for his sophmore season ? Being from New Zealand will a National Championship mean much to him ?

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  9. Probably not now but there's always a chance that after a year at Pitt it will mean something to him. You have to assume that he will bond with the players, the staff, and the fan because he has that kind of personality.

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    1. I honestly wouldnt be suprised if he stayed because, in new zealand, he was just a kid who happened to be very tall and good at basketball. If he had grown up in america, we wouldnt have a discussion about whether he might stay because he would be gone without a doubt. And another thing... Pitt needs all of these things to fall into place for a title, but one run like that could be enough to propel pitt into the realm where they can compete for the best of the best recruits.

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  10. Imma Man! Im 40!April 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    I seem to recall reading somewhere shortly after Pitt found him that his many (20 some?) brothers & sisters really pushed Adams to stay in school to get an education.

    Of course, staying to finish college (versus bolting to the NBA for guaranteed million$) is different than getting a high school diploma (where the alternative is probably ruining your life, can't even join the Marines).

    Along the education theme, just curious, Chris: any more word on the rumors coupla weeks ago (whether the kid will qualify)? Because if he doesn't and must wait a year (even if he's one-n- done), the galaxies align with your above premise.

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    Replies
    1. so you think that Marines are dumb? I know that I am not and the countless others that I served with are not either. real dumb comment

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    2. It's harder to join the military than it is to get into college.

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    3. George H, where in the [heck] did you get that?? Of course I don't think the Marines are dumb, and nothing I wrote hinted anything of the sort.

      As Hurriquake said, it's harder to join the military these days. Years ago, if you quit high school you could join the military, but no more. That's what I said -- and that's ALL I said.

      Just for the record: nobody has more respect for the military than me -- especially the Marines. Nobody.

      If you're itching to pick a fight over nothing, then go find a bar and liquor up. You'll have many willing dance partners.

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    4. believe me, you do not have to be intelligent to join the military... Full of idiots... And marines are at the top of that totem pole... Just ask the people of Okinawa, where I am stationed (AF), that are desperately trying to have them removed... Put it this way, we are friends with an E-9 in the marines (Sergeant Major) and he basically makes fun of me for taking classes... Education is not part of marine culture... End rant

      Good post Doke!

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  11. ESPN insider says its looks like Savon Goodman is going to a Prep school. However, it has his 3 schools as Mizzou, Temple and UCLA. No mention of Pitt.

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  12. It looks as though Ohio State dropped Robert Foster after his trip there. Any update on what happened and what that means for Pitt?

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    Replies
    1. where did you see this?

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    2. im seeing that that was just a rumor

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    3. On a couple of websites and Dokish even mentioned something on Twitter

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    4. Even on foster twitter.. don't know what happened.

      D-rob#4 ‏ @DROBFoster_4
      If anyone felt like i was DISRESPECTING OSU I'm sorry cause I like OHIO STATE !!

      I still say he is going to Michigan... I said that from the beginning.

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    5. There's a better chance of you playing at Michigan next year.

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    6. LOL... good one Chris...
      I still have 4 years of eligibility left... lol

      I say Michigan... but it depends upon a couple things regarding QB at Pitt... and QB recruits at MI.

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    7. Looking at OSU Scout forum board.... it appears Foster tweeting something the OSU coaches and fans may not have liked.
      When are these recruits going to get a clue regarding twitter... they use it as if they are texting... when are parents/coaches going to pull the twitter knowing whats good for them in the long run.
      SMH

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    8. well, if he is tweeting things that osu coaches dont like, im thrilled with that. if osu is questioning how much they want foster, that only increases pitts chances, right?

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    9. All he said was that while he was visiting them he was sick of hearing the "old heads" telling him about Ohio State. Meyer would not stop recruiting a kid for being a punk and the Ohio State fans are ridiculous for thinking that. Meyer himself is a punk and recruited tons of punks at Florida. It's just Ohio State fans starting rumors because they need to have an excuse should they lose him to Pitt, and they are beginning to think they will.

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    10. is that how its looking, or is that just their perception?

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    11. I've said since day one that it would be Pitt or Ohio State, and that I think he would eventually choose Pitt. I still see it that way.

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    12. Doke,
      Foster tweeted a lot worse than that in the past... I saw the tweet on the OSU boards...
      Where are his parents?? where are his coaches??
      it would not surprise me if Pitt pulls the ship from Foster for his tweets... sort of like Geter of Sto-Rox... just wait, Foster is bound to tweet something stupid within the next 10 months or so. He is tweet happy!!

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    13. hes tweeting immature things arent nearly as distatsteful that high school kids say all day every day. somebody needs to show him that he cant be putting these things out for everyone to say, but you dont pull the scholrship of the #1 wr nrecruit in the country for tweeting immature things that dont pertain to football. if he was always getting into trouble or was a criminal or was talking trash about the coaching staff, thats one thing, but swearing and saying somewhat perverted things about girls doesnt merit pulling the kidsw scholarship

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    14. pk...
      how bout tweeting regards to someone's mom abilities of oral sex with him???
      can you say yuri wright of don bosco?? his tweets were immature and things you say to your friends... but you don't put out on twitter..
      yes, it does merit pulling the ship... as did many schools regarding 5 star yuri wright.

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    15. i guess its what your priorities are. im going to tell you that im right youre wrong, because that type of thing depends on what your priorities are as a coach or administrator. if nim coach, i dont pull the scholarship. in a few years of college he could be mature and a first round draft pick. he could also stay the same person he is now or even waste his talents, but thats a chance im perfectly willing to take. if youre not willing to take that chance, thats your choice. btw, i thought yuri wrights tweets were pretty funny, albeit inappropriate

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    16. not going to tell you im right youre wrong, sorry

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    17. what yuri wright, marzet geter, and foster.... what they tweeted was wrong..
      had they said that in a text to friend, etc... no problem.... just don't tweet it for all to see!!!
      The issue is, these "kids" become the face of the program... the face of the university... quite frankly, I don't want them on my team if I were coach.. there are LOTS of quality players out there.

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    18. i agree that they need to keep things like that private, but at the same time, they usually dont become the face of the program until they are juniors and seniors. of course, there are certain situations where freshman are immediately the stars, ie sammy watkins at clemson. i just dont think you pull a kids scholarship because he makes mother jokes on twitter.

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    19. They're kids, they're going to do stupid stuff.

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  13. Is there any top recruits that Dixon is looking at for the 2013 class? I haven't seen Pitt's name on any ESPNU super 60 list. Is it to early to be concerned about this?

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    Replies
    1. Pitt is actively recruiting many top 2013 prospects. Some they've even offered.

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  14. BeeJay Anya needs to be Pitt's main focus for 2013. The dude can play, and will be an elite recruit soon enough. Teammate of James Robinson, very good shot at him. 7"9 wingspan. Unreal.

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  15. sorry for getting off the basketball topic, but im a little nervous about pitts quarterback situation moving forward. it seems like pitt is one of travon chapmans top choices, if 247sports is right pitt is his sole favorite, but if they miss on chapman, who the hell are they going to get? the staffs main targets were malik zaire and chapman, obviously zaire hasnt worked, so they need to get chapman

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  16. WHOA!!! just saw on espn that guard sam cassell junior is down to 3 schools....... pitt being one of them. when did they get back on SC Jr????

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  17. He just visited Pitt but I didn't mention him because I think he will choose elsewhere. He's a tall combo guard that is very good offensively so he would be a perfect compliment to Robinson, but I think he's probably going to end up at Maryland when all is said and done.

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  18. Lamar Patterson: "He should only get better"

    That phrase is a big pet peeve of mine. Not everyone gets better over time. In fact, I'd say it's more like 50/50.

    I finally realized this with Chevy Troutman. After such a great freshman year, he did not "get better".

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  19. It's definitely more than 50/50 when a player is already good as a sophomore.

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  20. Penni Graham tweeted...
    Arkansas is a dream job of Todd... they have family nearby...
    she has submitted Todd's resume to AD Long!!

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  21. Troutman went from 5pts & 3.5 boards as a freshman to 11 and 5 as a sophomore to 9.8 and 6 as a junior to 15 and 8 as a senior. Explain the the Troutman analogy again please. In fact, even though his pt/game went down as a junior he shot a higher % from the field.

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  22. Troutman, though a party animal, got better on the defense each year and brought a toughness that was hard to find. He shot a good perecntage from the field and rebounded the ball well by getting good positon. He improved each year and made a good living playing basketball overseas, though he had a chance to make the NBA if he was not so much concerned in coming back to Pittsburgh to party. Chevy is one of Dick Groat's top 3 favortie players of all-time.

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  23. Dokes,
    Is Foster no longer running track??
    Does he have Shellitis??
    I heard Foster was not going to last the track season... also heard he was visiting Alabama soon.

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  24. Nice EPSN write up on Adams....On ESPN saturday night at 7pm

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  25. Chris, i see pitt offered 5 star DT Eddie Vanderdoes from California. If the staff is only offering kids with interest, theyre either being misinformed or this kid actually has interest in pitt for some unknown, unimaginable reason. Dont get me wrong, if the staff thinks theres any chance at all then its worth the offer but i just dont see this kid being interested

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    Replies
    1. That's another one of Breckterfield's genius offerings.

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    2. Wait, hes not actually interested, is he? 247 has pitt in his top 3

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  26. Doke,
    If you really think Rob Foster is going to Pitt... check out his tweet... 90,000 to Alabama spring game.... crazy..

    And Pitt.... at North Hills High School... lucky for 5000... and not even a game... more like a practice.
    I said having a game at a HS is not impressive... unless all you want are wpial recruits that nobody else wants.

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    Replies
    1. He tweets nice things about everyone get over it

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    2. If spring game attendance was a factor, Pitt would never beat Penn State, and other top programs for kids, but the truth is, they do. A kid only cares about that kind of fan support if he already loved the school in the first place.

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    3. Dokes,
      Re: PSU... that is in the past now that Paterno is gone... let's see what happens the next 2-3 years Pitt vs PSU in recruiting. I'll have to see the comparison of Pitt vs PSU the last 5 years or so in recruiting.

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    4. Dokes....
      Nothing but the stats... according to Rivals..
      Time period - 2004 to 2011
      PSU Ave Recruiting Rank - 23
      PITT Ave Recruiting Rank - 38
      So, Pitt hasn't beaten PSU in recruiting.. perhaps a year or two... but average over 8 years... numbers don't lie.
      Big time recruits (like Foster) will be drivin to places like Alabama, PSU, OSU, Michigan... who can blame them...

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    5. Joe D,

      Dokish simply stated that Pitt has beaten out PSU (and other top programs) for kids that they were both competing for. Based on history, there is no reason why PSU shouldn't have a better recruiting class than Pitt - Pitt has been mediocre for 30 years. Also, based on the recent TO at the respective Universities, you should toss out the last two classes for both programs. Pitt essentially lost two recruiting classes with two late coaching changes.

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    6. Joe, not all recruits are the same. Some go for the school, some go for the prestige, some just want to be comfortable. Foster just wants to be comfortable and its not like the current coaches are scrubs. Chryst is as good of an offensive coach as there is so why are you doing this.

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    7. Joe, you're doing the old bait and switch there. There's no argument that more kids will choose the truly elite programs of the world, but your argument was that kids like Foster go to places like Penn State and Alabama rather than Pitt because of how many people go to their respective spring games. And all I'm saying is that it's not the attendance of spring games why these kids choose those schools. If Foster goes to Alabama it won't be because they have 90k at their spring game and Pitt has 5k. If he would go to Alabama it's because he wants to play for a National Championship contender and play in the most competitive conference in the county.

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    8. There are lots of reasons recruits like Foster will go to the likes of OSU, MI, PSU, Alabama, etc...
      not just the spring game...
      but if Alabama brings 90k to a spring game... and Pitt doesn't even fill a HS stadium... no comparison.
      yes... it's about championships..
      it's about filling the seats (even if it's Heinz)
      it's about going to the NFL
      etc, etc
      Did Chryst get the golden girls into the act of recruiting???

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    9. Your theory assumes two things:

      1. Pitt never gets elite prospects to chose the, over some of the legendary programs.

      2. Rivals knows who all of the elite prospects are.

      Neither are true.

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  27. Joe D,

    A very good point, essentially there is very little interest in Pitt football. A few diehards but more yellow seats at Heinz year in and year out.

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  28. Watching the Jordan Classic.....Austin & Tarczewski are both listed as 7 footers and Adams is listed as 6'10", but Adams looks taller than both of them.

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  29. Rivals reporting 2nd recruit committ
    Aaron Reese... OL
    Ho hum... he had no other offers!!
    He was 2nd team in his section... yikes..
    sounds like a warm body for the scout team or practice squad.

    http://cumberlink.com/high-school/big-spring/article_c7013096-1bcc-11e1-8255-001cc4c03286.html

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    Replies
    1. Chris- I used to read your blog and comments on a regular basis. After 3 weeks I logged on today to find out that Joe D is still confused as to who is the author of this blog. Everyone else from the Occupy Pittsburgh movement has left- why hasn't he?

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  30. Chris, any chance pitt goes after DE aaron lynch, who is transferring from notre dame? He played very well as a frosh last year

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  31. pk he is going back to somewhere in florida i think. He wanted to be closer to home

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yea i posted before i did my research.

      Chris, any thoughts on adams last night? I was impressed. Hes every bit of 7' and easily weighs 255 now.

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    2. 9 rebounds in 17 minutes. Not bad for a game thats usually guard dominated.

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  32. Dokes,
    Are you going to post something regarding the spring game??
    Trib wrote 2 very good articles...
    Seems Voytik has a shot at getting playing time.
    Meyer outperformed Tino!!!

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    Replies
    1. I generally don't agree with you, but Meyer DID outperform Tino based on the numbers from the game.

      What that means is anyones guess, but I think we all know Meyers will probably be the starter at least one year in his career.

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    2. I think that the QB position is SO weak that Voytik will come in and get the spot - Tino did nothing and other than Meyer's arm strength, he has little else.

      Voytik starts - mark it down.

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    3. Moody...
      That's what I'm thinking... but not starting 1st game...
      Voytik is enrolling in summer classes... he is a hard worker and will be studying film, playbook, etc and ready to go when practice starts late july.
      I say Voytik gets the start by game 4.
      Doubt Meyer will start any game in his career.

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  33. Chris, has the football staff offered any more qbs and what interest do if they in pitt?

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    Replies
    1. Only if you count Chavas Rawlins.

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    2. The staff must feel very confident that they can get chapman, then.

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  34. The number of college basketball transfers is incredible...
    I've never seen so many before..
    from high level schools (Kansas, Uconn, etc)
    ridiculous.
    Don't know if some were pushed out... but seems mostly due to playing time (frosh, etc).

    Dokes, have you ever seen this many before (nationally).

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    Replies
    1. UCONN can't play in the tourney next year

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  35. Did anyone see ESPN 150 came out for 2013
    Foster #23
    Dorian Johnson #26 way ahead of Kugler at #121
    Boyd #144
    I dont think there is anyone else on there that pitt has a chance at.

    PSU already has 3 committed in the Top 123 including a Qb who is #11 overall and Michigan is absolutely killing it.

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  36. Pitts got a shot at jermain grace, a florida linebacker whos number 150 and if 247 is correct ( who knows if they are) pitt has a shot at dt eddie vanderdoes

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    Replies
    1. pk....really?

      Grace will turn down offers from:
      Miami
      FSU
      Florida
      Central Florida

      And come to Pitt...seriously?

      And Vanderdoes....will come all the way from California - as the 21st ranked guy in the country - turn down all of those offers closer to home and COME TO PITT?!?!

      You were being sarcastic or kidding right?

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    2. I like that you are realistic Moody..
      I do believe Pitt can snag some FL players... who.. don't know. There are a lot to go around and Pitt can promise near immediate playing time (depending upon the player and position)
      not anyone from CA.. waste of time.

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    3. Pitt pulled recruits from florida with similar offers before and as far as vanderdoes is concerned, read wtf i said. I dont need to be talked down to like a child

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  37. Chris,

    On a completely unrelated topic: I've just seen (on Yahoo) what was purported to be Nike's proposed new uniforms for Pitt football for 2012, and (sitting down?) ... drum roll please, ITS THE OLD SCRIPT! As well as the old colors (royal blue & yellow, not dark blue and gold).

    I hadn't seen or heard a peep about this. Is this legit?

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    Replies
    1. I cant find anything about it

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    2. The proposed new uni's are shown on Flikr.com. Not sure how legit the info is, though. This is the link www.flickr.com/photos/69190568@N03/6291151797

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    3. Those are fake. No new uni's, and to be honest those are awful looking.

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  38. smh... just read this blurb on rivals...
    someone just doesn't get it...
    how can an athlete be given an offer... but never knew about it for a month.... someone is not talking to the coaches and atheletes... they just don't get it when it comes to recruiting... "just offer"

    Pitt offered New Jersey running back Zaire Williams a month ago, but he just learned of the offer on Tuesday.

    Mind you, I didn't read he entire article as I'm not a rivals member.

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    Replies
    1. that has to be on williams' coaches. almost every offer is told to the high school coach to be relayed to the player. either that, or a letter is sent to the coach and its the coaches duty to give it to the recruit.

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    2. What happen to just calling/talking to the recruit!!!
      smh
      sorry, chryst and crew are clueless.

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    3. This happens a lot. A lot of kids can't tell you all who has offered them.

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  39. Chris, has pitt been recruiting d linemen like tashawn bower and donovan munger hard? If so, what are their chances?

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    1. There is no chance for either.

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    2. Who the hell outside of foster does pitt have a chance at?

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    3. The only elite prospects they have a shot at right now are Foster, D. Johnson, and Boyd.

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    4. Chris, any chance we land all 3. I know your thoughts on foster but what about boyd and johnson. 50/50 on all 3 at this point.

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    5. What about darrien howard? By all accounts pitt is one of his favorites

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    6. Howard isn't an elite prospect as of now. As for landing all three, I think it's definitely a possibility. Of course they could lose all three, too, but if I had to guess, I would say they will at least get two of three.

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  40. 3 star DE shakir soto just committed to pitt. Hes got good measurables at 6'4" 230

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  41. pk who do you want us a chance at? when was the last bcs game we were in? 2004? how the hell do you expect us to get top end recruits especially with no coaches from new jersey. At least we have a good shot at foster and johnson. lets at least land those 2. you cannot get many recruits when they are not allowed be recruited at the spring game because it was not on a university field

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    1. I expect them to because they get some every year. And there are a ton of teams that rarely get to bcs games yet they pull in great recruits. Thats not to say that winning games doesnt help. Thats not at all what im saying.

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    2. Pitt will not need elite athletes on the offensive side of the ball. Dokish has stated before the success Wisc had with less heralded recruits than Pitt. With the type of game that Chryst will run here, RB OL and TE's will be lining up to play for him and PA produces enough of them to go around. Get some hidden gems and a few elite recruits on the defensive side of the ball and Pitt will have a competitive team. This is VERY possible. Once Chryst has some inroads, Pitt should be able to attract enough on the defensive side of the ball to compliment the offense. Elite QB's won't be lining up, but Pitt will be a destination point for transfers and athletes who want to give QB a try before switching positions. Depth will always be an issue but unless you are an historical school like Michigan or some of the SEC schools that is always the case anyways.

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  42. How big of a black eye will it be when Pitt loses out on the local elite prospects to Penn State, even though Penn State is coming off the worst sports scandal in history?

    Doesn't say much for Chryst's recruiting that O'Brien is already toasting him on the recruiting trail. Maybe Pitt should just cancel the football program.

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  43. Pittikrit,

    PSU was never going to be tarnished by the scandal. They've had 4 decades of success and 5 generations of die hard PSU fans. If you've been drinking the Kool Aid since you were an infant, you weren't going to be dissuaded by this. This past recruiting period was only affected because no one knew who the coach was going to be. PSU was ranked second in brand recognition nationwide - and the public has a short term memory anyways. Sandusky hasn't been with the program for 14 years and the charges are from almost a decade ago and everyone involved has been dismissed. On top of that, Paterno has now been made a martyr by the fan base and there is more resolve than ever to show school pride.

    It's unfortunate but the truth. If this happened at Pitt, I would still be a Pitt fan. Pitt would not have survived though because we don't have the fan base which is directly related to the product that the school has put on the field for the last 30 years. Pitt doesn't have the brand loyalty or the generation upon generation of fans. Most children of Pitt fans don't grow up drinking the Pitt Kool Aid and, therefore, are as likely to go to Penn State or Robert Morris or Duquesne or IUP than they are to go to Pitt or a branch campus.

    Pitt's getting there in basketball but still needs about 10-15 years (possibly 20) to get the next generation (and the one after that) invested in the product. It sucks but it's also reality. It's about sustained success and getting the next generation on board - you can't do that if you're not winning CONSISTENTLY. Every class that passes through Pitt will need at least 3 years of success for this loyalty to start to set in. Even the down years would have to be only slight regressions - you can't tank seasons or fall into mediocrity.

    The basketball team is at a crossroads - if they can recover, all is well. But another year like last year could really ruin the last decade and any momentum the program may have had going into the future.

    So, after rambling a bit, Pitt should have no shame in losing the recruiting rankings to PSU. They've earned it on the field for the last 40-50 years.

    And before anyone gets all high and mighty about morals, the students and fans did not contribute to the scandal and therefore should not have any guilt associated with it - they are just blinded by their loyalty that's been imbedded in them since they were kids.

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    1. Going by that theory, you can say Germans can't be blamed for following Hitler because they were always very patriotic. I'm obviously only trying to make a point and I'm not comparing Penn State fans to Nazi Germany and this isn't even a Pitt and Penn State thing because to be honest I've never personally hated Penn State like many Pitt fans. I did have respect for them in many ways. But what I see from their fan base now just sickens me. Most act like nothing happened and all they care about is who they are recruiting currently. I personally find it appalling and would say the same thing no matter who it was. And in fact it does disgust me how much importance fans of certain schools put into their football or basketball program. A lack of morals is a lack of morals and if somebody doesn't feel shame about continuing to blindly follow schools that cheat, cover up, or do anything else immoral then I think that's just sad, and there's really no excuses. It's just sports. No reason to lose your morals over it, yet many schools do just that.

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    2. Look, I hate Penn State as much as the next person but people are blinded by the things they care about. People have coping mechanisms that allows them to move on. I'm not defending Penn State but the fans did not contribute to the culture that lead to the Sandusky scandal. The culture was created solely at the administration level of both the University and Athletic Department. The fans just root their alma mater on.

      Are fans supposed to stop rooting for their school? Are recruits, who are Penn State fans, supposed to not want to go to the school they grew up rooting for and their parents played for or went to? Are alumni going to stop sending their kids to the school they went to?

      I was just trying to compare Pitt to Penn State. Pitt would not and could not survive that scandal because the University has not built the loyalty in it's Alumni that Penn State has or Michigan, Ohio St, Texas etc. have.

      I even mentioned that it's unfortunate in my post, I'm just saying I can understand it. Steelers fans still root for the Steelers - even with Ben at QB. The team could have cut ties with him but kept him. People were appalled at first but I don't hear the anti-Ben sentiment I once heard. Tiger Woods is still the most popular player on tour, Ray Lewis is considered a role model by other NFL athletes...There is a whole list of awful things that have happened in sports and the fans look the other way. It's entertainment and people choose to watch sports with that escapism. Another example in entertainment would be Michael Jackson - Michael Jackson has been accused of a lot of the things Sandusky is but he still has fans.

      Do you disagree that Pitt or Cincy or Louisville could recover as quickly? Do you disagree that Michigan, Ohio State or Alabama wouldn't even bat an eye lash? Like I said it's unfortunate but that's the world we live in. People can separate the news from entertainment and still enjoy the product on the field.

      ...German's still have national pride even though most abhor the Holocaust. The South still waives the Confederate flag out of pride and not necessarily racism (I, personally, don't like this one but it represents my point)

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    3. There's a big difference between a player like Roethlisberger, Lewis, or Woods, and what happened at Penn State, which is a public university, not a private entity or person. And if Pitt chose a cover up instead of doing the right thing then I guarantee you that I would want nothing to do with them. I'm not surprised anymore about the depths that college programs will sink to, or how much their fans will look the other way, but I still say there's no excuse for it. Many, many college sports fans out there want their team to win and that's all they care about. And that's just wrong.

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  44. I understand that completely - but it's just not reality. I agree with you and it's the reason I can't criticize Dixon (too much). He's building a program in what I perceive is the right way. He's produced top 10 teams, a #1 seed in the Tourney and a #1 overall ranking during the season (just pointing that out before people start to compare him to Wannstache's underachievement). It may not happen every year but if he does it a few times a decade with the way college athletics are nowadays, I'll be happy.

    In regards to Pitt, based on some of the post I see here there is a large contingent of our fan base that would like to win at all costs too. Winning is the end all be all for a lot of people which leads me to the Steelers.

    In regards to Penn State being different than the Steelers because it's a public university I do disagree with you a little. The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County do pay taxes that contribute to the Steelers. The Steelers represent the city and it's star player has been accused of serial rape. The Steelers chose to keep Ben as the face of their organization and let Santonio Holmes be the scapegoat for misdeeds in the offseason. The NFL and the teams may be a private entity but they also have anti-trust legislation as well as county and city support behind them. Look at what's going on in Minnesota - the NFL is part of the fabric of a city. Can you imagine Pittsburgh without the Steelers?

    I'm not defending what happened at PSU at all but the fans and students can't be held accountable for the behind the scene actions of the University. They have a right to be angry, stop their donations (which are down significantly) and demand the removal of the people involved (already done). The tax payers also have a right to question any money given to the school.

    The only way for the consequences of this scandal to affect Penn State is for the NCAA to levy the punishment. That directly hurts the product on the field and if the penalties are severe enough they will begin to erode the loyalty currently behind the University. That would bring the University and their fans to their knees and then maybe, just maybe the reality of the situation would set in.

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    1. Speaking of NCAA penalties how long does anyone think it will be until the Kentucky BB title is vacated? When all 5 starters opt to go pro at the same time I get suspicious.

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    2. Kentucky is the basketball program that I would most be embarrassed to be a fan of now, yet their fans act like everything is perfect. That program under Calipari doesn't even pretend to be a part of a university. It's a minor league NBA team. If anybody thinks these kids are actually studying at all in their one year there then they are crazy. They already know they are leaving as soon as they get there and their so-called classes are nothing but a joke. It's probably remedial everything.

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    3. What the NBA should do is extend the draft to 4 rounds, waive the age limit and require that anyone not removed from HS one year must play in the D-League at least one year and cannot be drafted prior to 3rd round. The NCAA should require a 2 year commitment to a scholarship and the NBA should honor it.

      Therefore, if you're a High School star you can go straight to the pro's with a development plan. If you decide to go to college you're committing to two years before being able to go pro stateside. From everything I read about the NBA, they are trying to make the D-League a legit minor leagues and so far it's been fairly successful. This would only legitimize it further.

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