Monday, December 31, 2012

Cincinnati 70 Pittsburgh 61

1.  We are starting to find the level of Pitt basketball this season and may not be much more than mediocre.  After leading by 8 at the half, the Panthers were outscored 44-27 in the second half.  The lack of a go to scorer was never more obvious.

2.  Talib Zanna led Pitt with 16 points and pitched in with 5 rebounds, but despite those numbers I wouldn't really call him a major factor.  And he had trouble holding on to balls all day.

3.  Lamar Patterson had 13 points, thanks to 5-5 from the line, but he was also 4-12 from the field and 0-5 from the line.  He looked afraid to shoot many open shots and it's becoming a real problem.  He did his usual stat stuffing with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block, but he was not effective.

4.  Steven Adams played against two good teams in Michigan and Cincinnati and didn't score against either.  At least he had 9 rebounds in this game and has averaged 9.2 rebounds over his last 6 games, but he seems way too overpowered, which shouldn't be happening.

5.  Trey Woodall is never going to be the top player that many Pitt fans wanted.  It's just not going to happen.  In this game he was mostly nonexistent and came away with 9 points, though he was just 3-9 from the field and 0-3 from three.  He also had 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

6.  James Robinson was forced to do way too much, both from Jamie Dixon and from the Panthers veterans who decided to stand around.  He ended up with 7 points, 2 assists, a rebound, a block, and a turnover.

7.  Cameron Wright played well with 10 points in 24 minutes.

8.  Trey Zeigler was a disaster with 3 turnovers in just 9 minutes.

9.  The Panthers shot 44.2% from the field, 0-10 from three, and 60% from the line.


  1. I am revising my forecast on Pitt basketball..
    They will make NCAA tourney...
    May win 1 game but will not be sweet 16...

    I had them as potential Elite 8 pre-season.
    A stronger non-conf schedule could have helped prepare Pitt... but Dixon was looking to pad his W/L stats as well as player stats!! Not good.

    Seems Adams can't hold onto balls, etc...
    As Coach Knight said.. Adams needs to work on his hands and feet... needs to improve his quickness. Seems that is a speed of game issue or being to lax.

    Pitt played well 1st half... played poorly 2nd half...

  2. Game reminded me a lot of the Michigan game in that Pitt controlled the play for most of the first half and just couldn't make shots in the second half. They really don't have a go-to guy and as much as Zeigler and J.J. Moore have been talked up about being that, they are far from it. Pitt still doesn't have a dead-eye shooter either and that hurts them a lot. Since Durand Johnson is supposed to be the best shooter Pitt has, perhaps he should get Zeigler's minutes.

    All that considered, if Woodall makes the first end of the one and one with a minute thirty or so left, who knows?

    Adams is overmatched now but should make progress as the year goes on. I can't see him leaving after this year based on his skills at this point. Maybe that's a good thing.

    On a different note, I know Pitt has a reputation for playing "clutch and grab" defense but I thought Cinci was the one playing dirty today. I can't see them winning in the NCAA if that's how they play defense - they could foul out their entire starting five in the first half. They literally had their hands on the ballhandlers every time they dribbled. Maybe it was just me, but I thought it was ridiculous. I am not blaming the refs for the loss by the way - just making an observation.


    1. I was lucky enough to sit right behind the Zoo and could see everything. Adams needs to come off the bench for 10-12 minutes, not start. Give the minutes to Taylor and Moore, switch the lineup a bit. He really has no hands and he has no basketball IQ at this level. His responses are slow and he doesn't know if he should jump to block a shot or fall back and cover the cutter so he gets caught flat-footed and provides no presence in the middle. He never jumped for a rebound the entire game.
      Agree completely with your assessment of Zeigler and he dribbles too much, needs seasoning in the system Dixon plays.
      Wright seems to be the break-out player right now. He was as solid as could be and hit his open looks. Looked good handling the ball as well.

  3. Play some OOC games to figure this out a month ago.

  4. Relentlessly mediocre. That's what Pitt basketball's become.

    The arrow is pointing downward, too.

    Jamie Dixon's inability to recruit, his insistence on DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE, and the lack of offensive talent are going nowhere.

    I'm starting to get tired of Pitt basketball being this way. I really am starting to wonder what a guy like Sean Miller would do. I know for a fact that he'd be a better recruiter than Dixon.

    1. Top offensive recruits are attracted to style of play... so that is why top offensive recruits don't go to Pitt.

      Adams doesn't want to shoot... seems to want to always pass it off... I saw that at Greentree this summer.
      And Pitt is not going to beat anyone due to outside shooting.

      Seems toooo many players are hesitating to shoot... to drive... to pass... etc. Don't know why.

    2. Until last year, Dixon had taken Pitt to the NCAA tournament in every season he has been our head coach. The program had one bad season. I think it's a little soon to count him out. And it's not like Pitt was some basketball powerhouse before the Howland-Dixon era. Before Ben and Jamie, it had been more than 25 years since Pitt made a Sweet 16. Not too bad for virtually no recruiting base.

      Adams was a major recruit for the program, and I am excited to see what he can do if he sticks around for another year. Yes, I want to go to Final Fours and land more top 25 recruits. But Dixon has been a class act and a winner. To suggest mediocrity after a bad season and losses this year to two top 10 teams is crazy.

    3. And every year Pitt got into the NCAA tournament, they lost to a lower seed. Oftentimes to MUCH lower seeds.

      The only time they were even close to a Final Four was when they had the talent.

    4. JM....
      Pitt has always had a good basketball program even before Howland/Dixon... go back to the 70's and 80's... playing at the Fieldhouse!!

      But Pitt poured a lot of money into basketball with the new arena, etc... versus football.
      So, Pitt should be expecting Top 20 teams year in and year out... Sweet 16 every year...

    5. 1974 was the last time Pitt made a Sweet 16 prior to Howland-Dixon. And 1974 was the only year during the 70s they made the NCAA tournament.

      During the 1980s-90s, here's how it went:
      1981 -- Lost in 2nd Round to UNC
      1982 -- Lost in 1st Round to Pepperdine
      1985 -- Lost in 1st Round to LA Tech
      1987 -- Lost in 2nd Round to Oklahoma
      1988 -- Lost in 2nd Round to Vandy
      1989 -- Lost in 1st Round to Ball State
      1991 -- Lost in 2nd Round to Kansas
      1993 -- Lost in 1st Round to Utah

      Or lets look at the first two rounds of NBA draft picks in the 1980s vs. the 2000s.
      1980s -- Charles Smith (3rd overall), Jerome Lane (23rd).
      2000s -- Chris Taft (42nd), Aaron Gray (49th), Sam Young (36th) and DeJuan Blair (37th).

      So while there was more top end talent at Pitt in the 1980s (and other guys got drafted in later rounds), the current regime holds up pretty well--and does even better in the tournament.

      As for top 20 finishes...
      2003-04: 7th (coaches)
      2004-05: NR
      2005-06: 18th (coaches)
      2006-07: 12th (AP)
      2007-08: 18th (coaches)
      2008-09: 6th (coaches)
      2009-10: 20th (coaches)
      2010-11: 12th (coaches)
      2011-12: NR

      So yes, I'd like to see more success in the tournament. And yes, I'd like to see them get some higher caliber players. But this team has been one of the most consistently successful in the country over the last decade. But this program isn't Duke, Kansas, or UNC with decades of championship banners and legendary players. Given that and the lack of a natural recruiting base, I think Dixon has done well.

      And Pittikrit, Pitt only lost to a much lower seed twice under Dixon. 2006 against Bradley, when they had a center that went 9th overall in the NBA draft. And 2011 against Butler, who almost won the tournament and put Shelvin Mack in the NBA. Otherwise, they lost to higher seeds or teams seeded no less than 3 below them.

    6. You failed to mention one thing though....Dixon has never beaten an equal or higher seeded team in the NCAA's. Never...

  5. This is an all too often occurrence during the Jamie Dixon era. Until he recruits some more talented offensive players, or hires an assistant that can develop offensive skills, you will see a team struggle for long stretches during games.

    There just seems to be way too many times where this team goes stagnant on offense for whatever the reason.

    Sometimes you have to outscore your opponent. Also, his teams do not seem to be able to adjust their style of play based on how the officials are calling the game.

    I am a big fan of Jamie Dixon, but I believe reaching the "next level" will require some philosophy changes by our staff.

  6. I believe Dixon has had enough time to take this team to the "next level". I miss the days where he was getting beat by lesser teams in the tournament. He is a stubborn coach. He will never recruit the offensive type players Pitt needs because he believes in his system and his system does not require them. I know it will never happen, but I believe no tournament this year and Dixon will need to move on.

  7. Jamie Dixon has recruited elite players they have just left. Btw, I believe a much better non conf schedule is the issue. You don't have to play top ten teams but quality programs to gauge what you need to work on before conf games.

  8. Big announcement...
    Boise will NOT be joining Big East... staying Mountain West.
    This is the start of the end to the Big East.

  9. When your center position scores zero points & the guards make no 3 pointers. It will be hard to win against a top ten team. But they still had a chance to narrow the score by two if woodall makes the front end of a 1&1towards the end. I start thinks the arrow points up by march

    1. That would be hard to beat any Top 25 team... let alone Top 10.

    2. Cincy officially ranked #14 prior to game... new ranking came out b4 game.

  10. The big question is how will Dixon's style go over in ACC play? I can see him having to change a lot (recruiting, style of play, OOC schedule).

  11. Don't understand why Pitt continues to schedule absolute cream puffs in non schedule. They could always add a couple of decent teams but choose not to. Whomever thought Adams was one in done need not worry. He has plenty of work to do. Today was a good tough game. There is enough talent to make the NCAA tourney but not sure beyond one game how far they can go

    1. Just today Chad Ford of ESPN wrote that the NBA scouts see Adams improving and that he can still slip into the lottery. I know a lot of Pitt fans find that amazing, but it's how the NBA works.

    2. If Adams does not improve much over what he's done thus far...and some NBA team picks him in the lottery?

      They are absolutely insane.

      Here's the bottom line on both Pitt FB and BB. If they don't start to get their hands at least a little dirty, this is what we can expect.

      We don't have to get them Calipari or SMU filthy - just get them a lil' greasy wouldya please?

      Chris - please answer me this - it's my understanding that Nordenberg will be retiring soon and thus the Steve Pederson era might thankfully be over soon.

      What are you hearing?

  12. Chris - what is your view on how a team like Pitt should schedule their non-conference schedule?

    1. I know there has to be some cupcakes and I don't want it like a Murderer's Row, but at least schedule some mid-major teams at least, and maybe some bad high major teams. At least get some real teams to play against.

    2. I am a fan of going on the road too. I'm not saying go @Duke or @UNC but go into a semi-hornets nest. For instance, I guarantee a home/away v. Michigan State could happen. But yeah, upgrade the home games to the better A10 and Missouri Valley teams. That will really help to kind of figure out what you have. I'd rather do that before conference play begins.

      No reason they can't play Iowa, Northwestern. Heck even WVU or Iowa State. Those games you can win and get a good challenge.

    3. He won't even play against Marshall and that would be a really good test. If they lose, so what? It won't be the end of the world. It will just help them for conference play.

    4. Although I agree with you Chris..
      seems it matters..
      Something about hitting that 20 win season every year that is important to Dixon and Peterson. They could careless who those wins are against.

    5. Agreed Joe. Its a perception thing they believe in. Dixon is legit scared to play a road game.

      No reason not to play wvu.

  13. Just some stats I looked up...

    Pitt made Elite 8 in '74 and '09.
    Sweet 16: '02, '03, '04, '07.

    I didn't look prior to 70's.
    The Pete was opened in '02... so expectations changed...
    With that said, landing top recruits should have gotten better based upon 2000's... and it has on paper... Taylor, Birch, Adams. The Bigs are attracted to Dixon style but apparently the top SG or SF are not!!


  14. Pittsburgh is not getting a lot of scoring opportunities. There's a lot of standing around." Bob Knight 12/31/12

    This doesn't describe a lack of players. It describes a lack of coaching.


  15. This team defines mediocre. What a shame as in 2009 Pitt was a top 10 program and Dixon failed to capitalize on a decade of terrific basketball. When your senior class is Taylor and Woodall, you have issues. Patterson, Zanna, Moore are OK players, just not good enough to be a go-to guy and take over a game. I don’t see any grit either from this squad, just like last season. Looking like an NIT-type season. No real help on the way in recruiting. What a surprise.

  16. Wow....
    there are lots of posters on Pantherlair calling for Dixon's head.

    and it's not me...
    can't coach... can't recruit are the themes...

    The way Cincy played today is how Pitt needs to play this year in order to win... especially due to their depth, 10man rotation, etc. here is a quote from Cronin.

    ''We try to put game pressure on you and win the game in the last 10 minutes,'' Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. ''It was a tremendous effort by our guys on the defensive end.''

    ''The first 30 minutes we try to wear you out as much as you can,'' Wright said. ''The last 10 minutes, we want you to be as tired as possible. So we just keep pushing, keep grinding ... we know most teams don't play like we play.''

    Pitt can win with the same strategy... I'd like to see them pressing... they have the depth and rotation to do that!!! Create turnovers and easy baskets.

  17. Not that this will ever happen but the stache is probably looking for a job. Would he ever coma back to Pitt as D cordinator? I know it is silly to even throw out there but ............ he is a good recruiter

    1. Better chance that I'm the DC.

    2. I'm rooting for Bobby Babich of da Bears... Quip grad and was Pitt assistant during MajorsII.
      He grew up down the block from Ditka... he went to HS with Lasala.
      He has fire in the belly...

    3. I have a better chance being Pitt's recruiting coordinator than Wanny as DC!!! lmao
      and we know that ain't going to happen..

    4. If you were Pitt's recruiting coordinator there would be a lot of fast kids running around eating pecan pies.

    5. Would babich be a good recruiter?

    6. Babich has been in the pro's for nearly 10 years now...
      He was a D2 HC after Pitt... Bumfuc North Dakota...
      can you imagine a Quip kid living there... lol
      but he has the personality to recruit and can close the deal... he is similar to a Sal Sunseri in many ways.

  18. Calling for Dixon's job should not even be discussed. End of conversation

    1. I agree... but Pantherlair lit up like the NYC New Years Eve Ball ready to drop...

  19. I'm not on the Panther Lair board, but I'd guess they want Sean Miller. Seems like for pittsburgh fans, the player that is on the bench (or who transferred) is always better than the guy on the floor, and the coaches are idiots. While Jamie isn't perfect (look no farther than the weak non-con that didn't challenge his team), he's built a quality program, and seems to be a class guy. Let's give this team some time.

  20. Corey Davis and Brendan Carrozoni have transferred...two more ships open for football.

    1. By my count... Pitt now has 21 available scholarships to offer for 2013 class...

    2. Too bad they don't have that many for basketball ;-)

  21. Here is what I don't get about the whole Adams NBA deal. I go to all home games and many road games so I see a lot of Pitt basketball. And from what I have seen this year already I see the following seven footers way ahead of Adams
    1 nyarsuk. Cincinatti
    2. McGary. Michigan
    3. Seven footer New Mexico

    I certainly believe you when they are still saying Adams is a lottery pick but man, I sure don't see it...
    P.s I am still high on the guy it is just going to take a coupe of more years...


    1. Watched Adams for the first time outside of a few highlights.


      OK athletically, but not on the level of many others. Has some ability to get up and down court. Jumping ability or lack there of is something else. Appears to be heavy legged. Does not get off the ground quickly or high. A slow, low jumper who relies on his above average reach.

      Biggest problem, seems out of touch with the flow of the game. Lack of feel limits his ability to assert himself offensively toward the basket. Hands and touch also looked to be a problem Monday although not a big problem according to most prior scouting reports.

      Biggest asset... seems to be a bright kid with a good attitude. And of course, his 7 foot height.

      Conclusion... a project who likely will start more games in the NCAA than he ever will in the NBA.

  22. So buc, when should it be discussed? When the Big East dissolves all those titles will lose some luster. Dixon's claim to fame "he almost made the Final Four. Almost." Check back at the end of this season to see if Dixon's job performance "should not even be discussed."

  23. So, buc, when should calling for Dixon's job be discussed? After the Big East dissolves, those conference titles will lose some luster. Dixon's claim to fame: He almost made the Final Four. Almost.

  24. Seems some discord with Woodall (probably others also) on how Dixon runs the offense!!
    Quote from PG...

    "In a game like that we could have played a little more," Pitt senior guard Tray Woodall said. "It was time to go out there and play basketball instead of running a lot of sets. We got into our offense late like they wanted us to do. We should have played a little more on-on-one or attacked it more instead of running our offense."

    I have to agree with Woodall on this one... people have figured out Dixon's system... and frantic shots with 5 seconds on the timeclock is not a good thing...
    Pass, pass, pass... passing up shots, indesiveness because they are probably going to sit or get yelled at if they don't do what Dixon tells them to do.

    Perhaps that is why people are transferring out!

  25. People are blogging about Dixon lack of recruiting... I would have to agree... a program that is successful like Pitt and facilities like Pitt should be able to get at least 1 4star recruit every year...

    Rivals only gives out 100-110 4/5stars ratings every year.... and Pitt should get 1 or 2 of them every year...
    Yes... it matters.
    When Pitt went to Elite 8 in 2009 and ranked #1 several weeks.... Pitt had 6 4star recruits on the roster. Young, Biggs, Fields, Brown, Blair, Wannamaker.

    Since 2007, the 4/5 star recruits have been...
    2009 - Taylor
    2011 - Birch (transfer)
    2012 - Adams, Robinson
    2013 - Young
    That is 4 4/5star recruits in a 6 year period since Birch transferred... NOT GOOD.

  26. Dixon had one bad year out of 10 & all of sudden he should be fired. Are you kidding me? Get a clue people. He is starting 2 freshmen this year & I am hoping by the end of the year you will see a drastic change in this team. 1 bad year out of ten. Give him the benefit of the doubt. That's why you see a lot of coaching changes this time of the year bc of a lot knee jerk reactions. He has been consistant unlike our football team. Can you imagine if the football team would be this consistant in winning what it would be like in oakland. Maybe that is why SP fired wanny to much pressure from the fan base. If we knew now what we know then maybe wanny would still be here & pitt not struggling as much as it has. Be patient

    1. People are complaining about Dixon recruiting...
      and its true..
      his recruiting has gone downhill since 2007...
      that coincides with when Roherson left Pitt... Roherson was Pitt's top recruiter.

      For Pitt having great facilities and a great winning program for the past 12+ years... recruiting should be easier and should be landing top players... it has not. While Pitt will be a Top 20 type team... he will never make Final 4... not without a roster full of 4star players.

      It really is what are the expectations...
      For Pitt basketball... they should be a Top 10 program year in and year out...
      For Pitt football... they should be a Top 25 program year in and year out...
      My opinion that is.

    2. Not only hasn't Dixon's recruiting not gone downhill, it has, without a doubt, improved over the past few years.

    3. Chris...
      hate to disagree... in year 2005, 2006, 2007... Pitt landed 6 4-star players... Blair, Wannamaker, Biggs, Fields, Brown, Young...
      Below are a few stats of 2008 to 2013... the number of 4/5star recruits for the 6 year period.
      Pitt - 4
      Cincy - 4
      Marquette - 10
      Villinova - 11
      Georgetown - 12

      That explains last year bust... and this year will be a mediocre year...
      Pitt is comparable to Marquette, Georgetown, Villinova... it's not like I'm comparing them to Duke, Kansas, UNC, Syracuse.

      Pitt's competition is landing 1-2 4/5star recruits every year!!! Pitt is not consistent with that since Roherson left.

    4. Adams, Robinson, Birch, Mike Young, and Newkirk are all among the best recruits Dixon ever recruited. You are 100% wrong.

    5. And once again joe D shows up to spew his usual nonsense. You have to be the most negative man on the planet.

    6. You're wrong Joe D,

      they've gotten 4 4/5 stars in the last 3 years according to Rivals (Birch transferred) and according to ESPN, D. Johnson, Moore, Gilbert, Epps, Wright were also 4 stars.

    7. I think I Gotta agree with joe d on this one. Wen pitt has had it's most success was when we had an Ace recruiter. Caliperi in the mid 80s and roherson in the early howland Dixon regime. Doke, regarding the recent recruits u name above yes James Robinson is terrific, but I would say that the jury is still out on Adams, newkirk and young...

    8. He's talking about recruits and all of those kids were ranked higher than somebody like Biggs or Wanamaker. Adams was a top 5 recruit for goodness sakes. If these kids don't pan out then Dixon can be criticized but he's definitely bringing in better prospects.

  27. I have always been a big supporter of Jamie and what he has done for the program. However, I do not feel like he has evolved his defensive approach and we continue see the same defensive lapses over and over - i.e. letting guys drive the lane for easy baskets and being susceptible to open looks from 3. Also feel that he never set proper expectations with media and fans about Adams this year. Our expectations were very hig because no one told us otherwise. I am seeing a kid that seems lost and worse, is a soft, finesse player. Jamie could have protected this kid a bit better by setting proper expectations. Lastly, it is great we are recruting kids from NYC and now the South but let's focus on recruting the entire state of PA. I think with the big east crumbling, we should be recruiting the Philadelphia kids harder. Jamie has pulled a few kids out of there over time but it has not been consistent.

  28. I am in no way indicating that coach Dixon should br let go I am suggesting that I think he is too stubborn with his "system." Kinda like wanny on te football field, when I think the game has passed both of them by. The only way the slow down pace with hopin to pass it in to the big man is going to work is if ou have Kareem Abdul jabbar as your center and magic Johnson as your point guard. That cincinatti team just looked much more athletic than Pitt from the time I saw them in opening shoot around. I wish coach Dixon would pick up the pace and recruit some athletic and quick players. That is what we need to reach the elusive final four...

  29. Not a fan of firing Dixon, but you have to admit if they miss the tourney again, the seat gets extremely hot.

    1. Not only will it not get hot, it won't even get lukewarm. I'm telling you, the college basketball world thinks Dixon is doing an amazing job at Pitt. If Pitt fired him, no top coach would ever want to coach there because they will think Pitt is irrational.

    2. Chris, I could not agree more. Amen! Folks, give me 5 coaches that WOULD want to come here that have the pedigree that Coach dixon has. Sean Miller would be crazy to leave arizona for pitt lets just be honest. Why is that? He can recruit in his own back yard there and has a better program than pitt over the long haul. Kids know that

    3. From what I understand, Miller is not enamored with Arizona and I do know that Miller would like to coach at Pitt. That doesn't mean Pitt could afford him or that it would actually happen. If Dixon actually left there's a possibility, but it's far from a sure thing and it's probably more likely that Pitt would do worse.

    4. 2 straight years of no tourney and he's not on the hot seat? He absolutely will be if they don't get to the tourney this year. It would mean elite 8, 2nd round, 2nd round, no tourney, no tourney in 5 consecutive years. But I do think he will make the tourney this year.

    5. 2 years wouldn't do it. Now 3 years would be a different story.

    6. Dixon isn't going anywhere....
      but he will get a kick in the a$$ if same thing happens this year as last year....

    7. Miller has been to one more Elite Eight than Dixon. I think he's a really good coach, but it's not like he's the second coming of John Wooden.

      And seriously - are there more than 12-15 coaches out there that anyone would rather have than Jamie?

    8. Miller had an Elite 8 at Xavier which is impressive, then did it in his second year at Arizona. Now he's No.3 in the country. I think a case can be made he's more successful than Dixon.

    9. And Miller can recruit...
      Class of 2011, 12, 13.....
      9 4/5 star players!!!! That is an average of 3/yr.

      Dixon got 4... (including Birch)..
      Having top players matter...

    10. Much easier to recruit at Arizona. I think everybody knows that.

    11. Xavier had also gone to an Elite Eight under Matta just a few years before. While impressive, it's not like Miller inherited a broken program and turned it around.

      And while Arizona is #3 right now, it's a snapshot in time. Pitt was #1 under Dixon a few years back.

      I guess my point is that there aren't too many other coaches I'd rather have than Dixon.

      And just out of curiosity, why is it easier to recruit at Arizona? Access to southern CA?

    12. They've been an elite program for something like 25 or 30 years, been to final fours, and even won a national championship.

  30. Chris...
    Dixon is bringing in 5 stars... something he never did before... that is correct..
    but the QUANTITY of 4/5 star recruits has gone down or not kept up with his competition...

    Joe Bull... I didn't count Birch due to transfer.. but add him in and that is 5 4/5star recruits in 6 recruiting classes...
    Dixon with Roherson on his staff got 6 4/5star recruits in a 3 year period of 2005-2007.

    Not good... should be at about 9.. that would be 1.5/class.

    I only use Rivals as they limit the number of 4/5 star recruits in basketball... total is always around 100-110.

    1. Adams, Robinson, Young, and Newkirk are all highly coveted elite recruits and Jones is a helluva nice sleeper. I can't believe I'm even forced to debate this.

  31. Dixon had a bad recruiting class - which impacted last year's team. Not only did they not live up to potential but they were also bad seeds. He had a bad class sandwiched between a good and great class. The bad seeds were weeded out and it's business as usual with the program.

    When you start going after the elite recruits, transfers are going to happen. He doesn't have a bunch of role players who are willing to sit and wait their turns.

    Dixon's going 10 deep this year, which tells you the team has depth. I think the 8 day layoff following a lackluster performance has more to do with the loss than anything. Pitt played well the first 30 minutes and ran out of gas the last 10. Had they hit 3/10 on 3's (which they are very capable of doing and have been doing) it would have been a different game.

  32. Chris, who would you want to coach at pitt miller or dixon if it was your choice to pick a coach? Grass is not always greener on the other side. I will choose dixon.

  33. Tyler Boyd will commit on Saturday....has to be Pitt since he basically said so already. But he will continue to visit other schools it seems

    1. Or Michigan State. He still plans to visit there and I've heard they are a sleeper. The question is: Can he commit now and convince Foster to switch?


  34. Gilbert transferring to a smaller program to play with his brother does not exactly sound like an "elite" player thinking he's unappreciated and deserves playing time.

  35. Buc:
    Check back in mid-March and let's see where Dixon's team is.

  36. Dumbest thing I ever heard from Chris Peak of Pantherlair.
    Words to the effect..
    The reason Pitt recruiting for basketball is not good is because wpial doesn't produce any good D1 basketball players... lol
    Dumbest thing I ever read..

  37. Great commentary.

    Watching the game on Monday, I've come to two conclusions: As much as I love Pitt basketball, I do not like the way they play. It's not exciting, the offense is stagnant and relies too much on pick and rolls at the top of key, the ball never gets thrown into the post, and it's not fluid. It's backward. The other conclusion is they CAN NOT SHOOT. Terrible terrible shooters. My main complaint with Dixon is over the years he has not had any consistent shooters...Except for maybe Ramon? Strong defense and rebounding only take you so far..0-10 from three? Unacceptable.

    Not sure this is a tourney team, really.

  38. Adams needs to learn as all freshman do. More importantly for him is that Dixon changes his offensive style to playe inside outside. He talks about it but Pitt never did. Blair got all his points off of rebounds although he had great power moves he rarely got the ball in deep.
    Pitt has always been a perimeter team, weak with guards, but excellent offensive rebounding.
    Stop sending Adams out for the feeble pick in the backcourt. Keep him in the lane or the post (he can hit that shot).
    Teach him to spread body, for God-sake pass the ball to him and have Dixon change his philosposhy.
    Every year he selects a senior medicore guard (Fields, Gibbs, Woodall) as team spokesman and captain.
    Redskins made RGIII his team because the coach knew they were going to live or die with him.
    Pitt will go as far as Dixon convinces Adams your our go to man.
    You can score 23 on Noel you can score double 12 on any center in the big-east.
    At present a parellell would be Marino going to play for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech

  39. I agree with some of what you wrote Anon but a couple of things, the "feeble pick" isn't exactly that - it's called a "hedge" which is designed to prevent offensive flow.

    All of Howland's and Dixon's and many teams today employ this hedge with all of their respective bigs.

    Also, you can't make Adams a Captain - you just can't do it at this point. He's shown nothing to warrant that title and he would become an instant outcast and be resented for it by his teammates.

    RG3 is a completely different deal.

    Imo, what Dixon should have done is ask, demand, IMPLORE Adams to take shots - be ultra aggressive WITH THESE CUPCAKES to develop his confidence.

    But no, Adams plays with the "Oh God, I'm afraid to make a mistake and get yanked" type of play and here we are - against Cincinnati, he takes zero shots.

    Seriously, wtf both Dixon AND Adams is up with that???

    I understand that it's just one game and we were ice cold in the 2nd half but, we're up by 8 at the half - at home?, you have to get that "W" period.

    1. I think most of the team is that whay... afraid to take a shot... gotta make that extra pass to make Dixon happy or get yelled at or see the bench.

      Regarding Adams... something I saw at Greetree... Robinson got pissed at Adams... he was feeding Adams and Adams would passoff several times.. and Robison yelled at Adams to take the shot and Adams just shrugged it off as it is ok. He didn't care to shoot it... even at the Greentree playground!!!
      Most his points were on putback off offensive rebounds... that is his game.
      But if he is out there setting a screen, etc... it puts him out of position to rebound, etc.
      That was my observation...

    2. Zatiti,

      I think the Anon was referring to Adams setting the "feeble pick" on offense, not defensively hedging the on the ball screen. He writes that Adams can hit that shot in the lane, and he's wasted out of the lane on offense. And I agree...that pick and roll won't work with that stiff Adams.

      And the offense is ugly.

  40. A Louisville win tonight will make it 4 and 0 this year in BE-SEC matchups. No pressure on Pitt Saturday

  41. Heard a good rumor and it shows you how the mind of an 18-year old kid thinks...Foster is ticked at the Pitt coaches because they went to Philly about 3 weeks ago to talk to Foster's mom to lay out a plan with his mom on how he would be handled on the field and in the classroom. This upset Foster for some reason and he feels they went behind his back to do this. That is the "lie" he was talking about and why his mom was quoted talking about the "professional" way Pitt recruited him. Don't know if it's true, but the person who told me this is pretty connected.

    Also, I always read about how many scholarships Pitt has...I dont' think it matters because Texas A&M has 34 (THIRTY-FOUR!!!!) commits.

    1. 34commits???
      I know the max is 25... but can go to 28 for certain reasons... watch the next month or 2 a few dropoff as offers get pulled.
      Pitt has 21 to offer... if more drop than could have more.

      btw... Interesting story about Foster.

    2. Seems the only thing they left out in recruiting him was the pecan pie!

    3. joe, pitt has closer to 30 scholarships available for next year

    4. joe d, pitt has more like 30 spots open for 2013. 18 graduating, zenel demhasaj leaving, and i believe 7-9 transfers just during this season. thats 26-28 scholarships plus another 3 for the early enrollees so the 2013 class can take 29-31.

    5. pk.. unless there are more leaving that haven't been announced... I don't think so.
      They only had 16 in the fall... with those that left, etc... by my count I it have at 21.

      Joe Bull.. touche... nice.
      I can believe the story... could be Foster wants to get out and away from his mother telling him what to do. Mom reminds me of Penni Graham... seeking the spotlight.

    6. What? look at the roster. i explained above

    7. Pk... I think you added some that left prior to September... and Chryst gave those to some walkons. I'm assuming he will reknew those for now.
      I have... 16 graduating..
      Zenel... the kid who hit GF, corey Davis, the TE, and someone else...
      But thought 21 but definitely not over 25.

    8. Ok... here is the link to Rivals scholarship board that was updated 11/26/12.
      4 Open (Total of 81 of 85)
      15 Seniors
      Add Zenel D., Corey Davis, Carzzoni (Recent)
      Total of 22.

    9. i prefer to use pitts official site. the numbers are as i stated

  42. Chris is right and, perhaps, not conservative enough. Dixon is Peterson's guy. As long as Dixon keeps his players out of the news, he is secure. As long as Nordenberg remains chancellor, Peterson is safe. Pitt basketball is trending slightly downward at this point, 0-2 against the only decent teams played. Dixon will never win the NCAA Tournament, might never make a Final Four. Actual home attendance numbers are down, but as long as Pitt continues to make the NCAA Tournament from time to time, Dixon will stay. Right now, who is recruiting him to be their head coach?

    Ron Cook commented about the surliness in Dixon's tone when asked about the pathetic non-conference schedule. Expect to hear that tone more often.

    As far as trend lines go, what do 28 halves of basketball, but only fourteen of energetic, focused effort, tell us?

  43. Joe Bull, the Foster story sounds like BS to me...if it is true it seems like he was looking for any reason to not committ to Pitt. I do not think Chryst and Engram could have done any more except for pecan pie and sleeping in a camper at the high school 24/7 like Joedy suggested. The whole situation smells funny to me and I hope that the parents decide to keep him home. Not only is Alabama loaded at WR without Foster, they have a 6'3 225lb RB coming in with all kids of talent but he runs too straight up/down to survive as a RB for too long. He will end up becoming a receiver as well. Foster could end up sharing time there vs. being a star here....

    1. I've been told this by more than 1 person now.

    2. Joe Bull,

      If the story about Foster is true, then it seems like kind of a flimsy reason upon which to base a life-changing decision. I think you're right, it would show the way the mind of an 18 year old works. I don't see how someone could take what the Pitt coaches supposedly did as a lie. Maybe he didn't like what they did, but it wasn't a lie.

      That might be part of the reason, but I too think there's more to the story.

      If it is true, it reminds me of a scene at the end of "The Godfather" where Tom tells Michael that he had a conversation with Don Corleone about his future. Michael didn't like what had been done, but he never said it was a lie. It's hard to predict how an 18 year old will react.

  44. I am really jealous that Pitt is not playing in a BCS game tonight or this week. Love to see the school pride in these games. Some day I guess

  45. Anyone watching this Oregon and Kansas state football game for five minutes will realize pitt is never going anywhere until they lose these player who wear cement shoes...slow slow slow

    1. Are you talking about #6 of Oregon... Thomas.
      They said he also runs track for Oregon... 10.3 in 100m.

      In HS... he was the fastest 200m in USA at 20.61 and clocked a 10.57 in 100m and 50.1 in 400m.
      That is elite olympic speed.
      The current 200m record is Usain bolt at 19.19..

      Speed matters...

  46. the kid ran 90 yds with 3-4 cuts in about 12 seconds. there was 14:48 on the clock after he scored.

    wonder if chip kelly stalked him at his high school to get him to committ.

    1. He wouldn't fit into Chryst's system...
      We look for football players... not track stars!!

    2. Heard it was Nike's Knight that helped in recruiting...
      promised all the Nike swag he wanted for life..
      also, Knight delivered bakery bought apple pie.. ;)

      Oregon track is huge.... and he runs Oregon track also.. i'm sure that was a draw. Don't know how he finds time to study.

    3. Please never say swag... Ever

  47. Chris, What are the chances of a Pitt win tomorrow against Rutgers? Should we be worried?

  48. My comment above about Pitt players wearing cement shoes was not directed toward any current player but rather the whole team. I think te linemen for those two teams could beat our running backs in a 40 yard sprint. We need to get faster. Much faster. I dont carw if f te players come from Florida, California or Alaska jus get some kids in here who can run fast....

    1. Orndoff, Pitt commit, is fast for a TE. I think 11.5 in 100m for 6'5", 230# kid...
      of the 22 committs... he is the only one I call fast from a skill position perspective (WR, DB, RB, TE)... the others are unknown or slow.
      If they get Hyteche in Ohio... he is fast.

      Remember all those people who said R.Shell was fast because of what they saw on film!!! I said, Shell was slow.... and wpial is slow, slow, slow (generally speaking). Film can be misleading... but the stopwatch don't lie.

    2. Orndoff is 6'6" and 250 pounds so his speed is exceptional. And while I wouldn't call Shell fast, it's a typical Joe D exaggeration to call him slow. Having said that, Pitt needs to get much faster.

    3. Joe,

      Didn't you compare Shell to Marcus Dupree? Unless what you really meant was a shorter, stalkier, slower version of Dupree?

  49. I've seen enough of the Under Armour game to say this...everyone go to the nearest bakery and buy all the pies you can...cause Foster is the real deal! I've seen him in HS and now against the best and he might be the best WR in this game. Fast, strong, and has a an extra burst that he showed on one of the deep patterns.

  50. Did Foster have a lot of big catches in the game?

    1. The sooner people forget about Foster, the better. He wants his cake and eat it too. He wants to play with the big boys, but he still wants to be loved in Western PA. That's why he mentions Western PA in his interviews. Sorry Bobby, it doesn't work that way...

      If you aren't playing for Pitt or PSU, nobody will give a damn after LOI day.

  51. Did Foster have a lot of big catches in the game?

  52. Patterson, Woodall, Moore... wow. Those 3 just were pathetic. Zanna is not a go-to player. He came out in the 2nd half w/ a miss, turnover on a bad shot attempt, and 2 missed free throws. That was Pitt's first 3 possessions.

    Patterson... he passed up a wide-open 3 only to take a contested one 2 possessions later which he bricked.

    I have given up on these guys. Until Robinson and Adams step up - this team is an enigma. I guess we should be thankful for the preseason schedule. NIT baby!

  53. Doke
    Just for kicks I went out on NBA for their 2013 mock draft. Steve Adams is no where to be found so can we please quit with the whole lottery pick thing?
    The interesting thing is that there are the following international players:

    Round 1
    6' 10" Croatia
    7'1" France
    7'0" brazil

    Round 2
    6'9" brazil
    6'9" France
    6'11 France
    6'8" Ukraine

    The three Michigan guards are all there As well.

    When u stop and think about it Adams status was never higher than before this season. Instead of coming to Pitt he probably would have would have been served to sit at home on his couch until he was eligible for the draft.

    1. That's only because they have him in the 2014 draft where he is 7th. Right now for the 2013 draft he's considered around 15-20 or so. If he has a few big games at the end of the season I guarantee he will be considered a lottery pick. If I had to guess I don't think he'll go but you're dreaming if you don't think he can't be considered a lottery pick this year.

    2. Chris, i think peoples' ignorance towards adams' draft stock is largely due to nobody in pittsburgh giving a darn about the nba. i am somewhat of an nba fan and even if youre not a fan, just looking at recent drafts you can see that stats dont matter when you have the measurables adams does. aka andre drummond, bj mullens, etc etc. good gosh, enes kanter didnt even play at kentucky and he was a lottery pick and they dont get much more raw that hasheem the dream thabeet

    3. Anyone with an internet connection or cable TV can see a ton of NBA or just note the kids that get drafted every year. It's people just being lazy or ignorant in general - don't think that's isolated to the Pittsburgh area, but you might be right.

      However, that doesn't explain at how ignorant some people are about the development of big men in college and how it usually takes at least a year to develop hands and footwork adequate enough to be a go to guy in college. There aren't too many 18 year old 7 footers that can just jump in and dominate in college, especially offensively.

  54. I like J.Robinson...
    but Pitt/he needs to play more uptempo... he slows it down to much making Pitt predictable.
    He is a great 1/2 court offensive general though...
    I don't think the 1/2 court offense of Dixon's will work in ACC.
    I'd rather see Woodall running the point in this Rutgers game.. he will push tempo.
    Patterson needs to see the bench.

  55. If I was Adams - I would declare for the draft. No guard at Pitt seems to comprehend what a pass is - unless its playing around out top passing around the perimeter.