Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pitt's last Big East tournament ends with a thud

Final Score:  Syracuse  62  Pittsburgh  59

1.  I can't say I'm surprised that Pitt lost and in fact I angered some when I said that I would be surprised if they won more than one game in each of the two tournaments, but it's still very frustrating that many of the team's problems continue to raise their ugly head.

2.  Once again the team seemed lost for much of the game and consequently fell behind by 13 points in the first half.  Even more troubling is that it's the same three veterans- Tray Woodall, Lamar Patterson, and Talib Zanna- who were the most egregious offenders.  Their numbers eventually looked decent, but they got most of their numbers after their lackadaisical play put them in a big hole.

3. Patterson somehow ended up with 14 points and 11 rebounds despite disappearing for long stretches. Woodall ended up with 12 points, including 3-8 from three.  Zanna had 10 points and 5 rebounds.

4.  The two freshman, Steven Adams and James Robinson, played poorly, especially Adams who ended up with 6 points, 7 rebounds, and a block, but also had 3 turnovers and went 2-7 from the field.  Robinson had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals, but also had a career high 4 turnovers, including the big one that was the nail in the coffin.

5.  The bench had only 7 points with 5 coming from Durand Johnson, but he was erratic shooting 2-6 from the field.  The bench shot 3-13 from the field and had just 7 of Pitt's 33 rebounds.

6.  Pitt out rebounded Syracuse  33-26.


55 comments:

  1. If Cam Wright is the shutdown defender...
    then they need to get him on Southerland..
    Patterson can't watch him...
    and Southerland is killing Pitt.

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  2. well, we can't hold a rebound and we do not go to the basket aggressively enough, need to dunk more around the rim.

    this is frustrating.

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  3. Chris,

    do you have any sense that if Pitt loses in the first round of the NCAAs, that Dixon may actually leave if USC offers? I am not saying I want him to go, but watching him this year, I get the sense that he is frustrated beyond belief with this group of players. Woodall has heart. Robinson has heart. The rest of this group are weak-minded with no heart and leadership potential. You made a tweet during the game to this point "Maybe a little blood is what Pitt needs. Past Pitt teams would get pissed about now."

    Woodall is gone and Robinson is now the only one with heart left. This junior class continues to disappoint. With two decent freshman coming in but neither likely being impact players right away, does Dixon look at this as his chance to start over? Is he at all wondering if the program has peaked and is now falling back a bit? I'm wondering that at least.

    Again, I don't want him out or anything because the grass isn't always greener, but he just has seemed so frustrated at times this season. I can't blame him watching this group. So many times they just haven't put effort forward (the first half today as an example) and that's inexcusable.

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    Replies
    1. If Dixon were to leave it wouldn't be because of his players. Coaches don't think like that. They think they can make every kid a contributing player.

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    2. I agree that JD has to be frustrated with this group of players, although he would never admit it. He has to be banging his head against the wall ... never knowing who is going to show up .. turnovers after timeouts .. poor foul shooting .. on and on .. heck, I'm frustrated. But, I don't think that this would "cause" him to leave, especially at this time. The ACC beckons ... he can really increase his stock by coming in and being successful here as well .. then, go somewhere else in 3-5 years.

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  4. what is frustrating is that Pitt has no inside presence. Teams do not respect Pitt's inside game and that has been the issue this whole season

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  5. Steven Adams is a huge disappointment. He's not nearly as good as we all hoped he would be.

    He is so soft and tentative, and that may never change. Some guys simply don't have the mentality to be dominators, and nothing I've seen from him indicates he ISN'T that guy.

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  6. Chris,

    Do you think Dixon would at least listen to USC this time because, let's face it, his stock is falling? When USC approached him a few years back it was a no-brainer to say no. That program was in shambles and his stock was rising as a coach. He knew he would always have opportunities. Mix that in with Pitt's move to the ACC and I believe this is more serious than people might realize. Also, I believe if Dixon were not interested he would have informed their AD to move on.

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    1. He may have told them to move on already. Those things are usually handled quietly. But, yes, if USC really goes after him hard then there's a small chance. Especially if Ben Howland gets fired.

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    2. Refresh my memory...does Dixon have a tie to USC, or is it just that he's from California?

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    3. Refresh my memory...does Dixon have a tie to USC other than being from California?

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  7. As far as... how far will Pitt go in the NCAA...
    Depends upon what team shows up?
    This team has been frustrating to watch at times. Inconsistent.
    Pitt can win 1 game or go Elite 8. Depends on who shows up.

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    Replies
    1. If this team goes to the elite 8 I will rename this blog Joe D and his Pecan Pie Blog.

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    2. Seriously, there is about as much chance of the Pirates winning the world series this year as Pitt has of going to the elite eight. They just don't have the talent. They played Syracuse the first time without Southerland and the Georgetown win is looking more and more like a fluke. Besides those two, what really impressive wins do they have? I don't see any. Cinci on the road???? That's probably the next most impressive, which doesn't say much.

      I think they will be seeded lower than most expect (I'm thinking a 7) and will lose in the first round.

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    3. And you people think I'm always pessimistic.
      I thought they were an Elite 8 team at the beginning of the season... but Dixon drives me nuts. Pass, pass, pass... With their depth they should be running the doors off teams with an up and down game.

      However, this year... hard for me to predict the Final 4 as most teams have been inconsistent. ok... Gonzaga but who else has been consistent and predictable.

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    4. According to Lunardi, Gonzaga would be the road block to the Elite 8. Possible TN matchup in the 2nd round wouldn't be easy either.

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  8. Dixons annoying habit of losing every year to a lower seed in the NCAA tournament has manifested itself in the big east tournament as well. I still cannot believe that he has never beaten a better seed int the ncaa touney. He'll even 35 game losing steak (or whatever it is now) agnus has accomplished that feat...

    Just checked the 2013 and 2014 NBA mock draft. Cuse has two players in each year. We have one five year project next year. That is the problem Right there. I sont care anout heart and Effort. These NBA guys can rise to the occasion in big games. Journeymen can't...

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  9. The game would have been ours except for 'Cuse making tons of shots .. in any case, I've said this on other boards, this is my least favorite Pitt team in many years .. and .. unfortunately, most of the same streaky guys are back next year. Would like to see a nice run in the Big Dance but certainly don't expect it.

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  10. So how do you attract NBA talent to a team that has no history or tradition of tournament success? Well, a good place to start would be to abandon the style of play that dick groat rode to success with in the 1940s, and start to play a more uptempo street ball style.

    Watch how the top teams play and you will see that no one else other than maybe Wisconsin plays this slow down, set it up style of play...it puts me to sleep just watching them play...

    Maybe old friend khem birch was on to something when he said he couldn't play this style and system...

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  11. This is a very good team, quit killing them. watch them get to the 16, if not the 8 this year. The only thing that will keep them from the 4 is free throw shooting, it killed them again today. If they shoot a modest 70% they win even with Syr shooting like they did.

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  12. It seems like this team is tentative because they think too much. They play like they re afraid to make a mistake in Jamie's system. Why don't they just play and have some fun - open things up a little. Is Jamie's system beating itself? Chris, o you think it might be time for a change? I can't imagine the record next year in the ACC.

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  13. Anonymous, Very good team eh? what have you been watching this year? Sure Southerland was lights out which did not help but where was your boy Adams today. Did that look like an NBA jump shot by Adams from the foul line? How many dunks have we had all year inside? We are soft, not playing hard for the coach, and the coach is not coaching them up like Joe D always says.

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  14. So what is Pitt's record in the Jamie Dixon era against higher and lower seeds (in both BE and NCAA tournaments)? I can't remember a time they beat a higher seed. But it seems like they lose to a lower seed every other year. So frustrating.

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  15. These Adidas uni's are UGLY...
    my goodness... ND lime green... yuck.
    btw anonymous... I hate the term "coach em up" and never use the term.

    Problem with college basketball... it is becoming "football like".
    where the coach is calling a play for every set.
    geesh.... hate it.
    scoring is down...
    can't wait for ACC where there is a more fluid style... more up and down game.
    Big East is looking more like a football game...

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  16. Doke
    I am sitting here realistically think what could have been done to improve the team this year. I think that there was no way to keep birch once his pal skerry left, but, and I cannot believe that I am going to say this, I think j j Richardson might have been able to help this team some. I am not talking about being all big east or anything, but he was not afraid to bang around down low.
    I mean I looked at the stats and Syracuse had five blocked shots today. I seem to recall that they were all against Adams and Zanna. How does that happen to a 7 footer and someone 6'9""?
    Could u see Richardson bringing some much needed muscle to this team or am I grasping at straws in all my never ending pitt frustration...

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  17. For all the presumed comfort of MSG, Pitt lost its last 5 Big East Tournament games. Hasn't won one since 2008.

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  18. For all of the presumed "comfort" of MSG, Pitt lost its last five Big East Tournament games. Its last win: 2008.

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    1. Yeah, I think we can safely send all that talk about MSG being Pitt's second home court to the archives. The Carrier Dome and MCI Center (Georgetown's) are both better candidates for Pitt's 2nd home court than MSG.

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  19. Pitt didn't play well and still almost beat a VERY good (better?)team that got its best player back since we last played them, and shot like 75% from beyond the arc (dude shot 100% from trey). In a meaningless tune-up game. The ball in our hands with a chance to send it into OT. Valiant comeback from the dead.

    I'd rather have beaten Cuse, of course. But let's step back from the ledge. If we play like this next week, when it counts? Then you can jump if you still want.

    After last year's goat-shtupp, I'm just glad to be playing meaningful games in March again.

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  21. To be honest, I am perfectly fine with durand johnson playing the run and gun style he does. He is the only pitt player that looks like he wants to score and while he does take some poor shots at times, nobody else is doing anything. I think that by the time he graduates he will be "that scorer" we all want pitt to get. I say that because of his physical skills but also because he has that mentality that hes going to fill it up. he has some attitude too. Tra woodall had just drained a 3, triche did right after, and johnson took the ball, put a little shake on the defender and launched a 3 almost in response. it didn't go in but you have to love that type of spunk

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  22. And for all the hoopla posted here and elsewhere regarding Steve Adams... my scouting report posted here back on January 1 seems to hold as much today as it did then.

    "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."

    PittofDreams

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  23. Despite employing a "boring" and "antiquated" style of defense and rebounding first, Jamie Dixon has "somehow" won 262 games (average of 26/year) and 3 Big East tiles (2 regular season, 1 tournament).

    He's been pretty successful; he's not likely to change, especially since it still worked this season. Going to the ACC isn't going to change that also; the Big East has been an equal or better hoops conference during that timeframe.

    I didn't get to see or watch all of the game, but it sounds like Southard going 6 for 6 from 3-point range was the big problem. Which, considering Pitt's philosophy, isn't acceptable. Running an uptempo style doesn't fix that; if anything, it makes it worse by giving him more chances to shoot.

    For some reason, Pitt has done really bad with the double-bye. But it's been documented that it hasn't helped other teams either, so apparently there is something to it.

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  24. Original ether, I understand what you are saying and you are right that Dixon has won a lot more games than anyof us sorry blog posters ever will. I just think that he needs to bring better players to Pitt if he wants to win in the NCAA tournament, and the best way to do that is play a style if ball that the better players want to play in...

    I mean think about it. We have never beaten a better seed in the tournament in the ten plus years we have been there in the Dixon/ howland era. And most of those losses to lower seeds was because they had a superior talented player or two....

    Antonio gates, dewayne wade, tony Allen, Scottie Reynolds, they all Carried their team to victory.
    I don't think it is a coincidence that the year we went the furthest was the year we had two future NBA players.

    We need better players and the first place to start is changing to a system those better players want to play in...

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    1. Maybe, but if it were that simple, everyone would do it.
      It obviously isn't.

      Does changing the style mean Pitt will suddenly attract the same players that Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina usually get?
      Keep in mind of the programs you listed above (said players), I wouldn't switch programs with Kent State (Gates) or Villanova (Reynolds), and Marquette (Wade) would be a push. (don't remember who Tony Allen played for)

      If you look at recruiting rankings, better players are coming in. But the players Pitt has had for the past 12 years have been pretty good. Of course, worth noting that Blair was only a 3-star.

      BTW, Pitt has only faced a higher seeded team twice during this span: Pacific and UCLA. Rather small sample size.

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    2. I don't know who Tony Allen is but I remember the big man at Bradley, who had knocked off Kansas the game before they beat us .. and how about the guard for Xavier 3 years ago who scored 26 pts, he is now in the pros ... and then there was Shekvin Mack from Butler who scored 30. We had higher seeds but we weren't the better team when we played them, expecially vs Bradley, Xavier and Ok St

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  25. Yes, Pitt under Dixon have never beaten a higher seed but I believe his teams were much like Schottenheimer's (and many of Cowher's) teams .. they overachieve in the regular season but in the end, they lose to teams that are actually better (despie the seed) or are just playing better at the time.

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  26. And I can see why things didn't work out for Trey Ziegler at Central Michigan... HE STINKS!

    PittofDreams

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  27. Man, it is much better reading some of these posts as opposed to those in a bubble over at Pantherlair. Here's the deal. The loss yesterday was extremely frustrating. I've said it a thousands times over the last years. Typical Pitt.

    Can't win the big game.
    0-4 with the double bye in BET
    0 final four appearances
    1 elite eight appearance
    15 sweet 16 appearances

    Maybe JD stays at Pittsburgh because he knows he can get away with 20 win regular seasons and a win or two in the tournament. If he leaves for USC or Arizona or TCU - expectations are higher. People expect to win. Bosses expect Final 4 banners. Not here. The administrators, fans and alumni accept this. When will there be accountability? Isn't the ultimate goal to win National Championships? Since 2007, five different BE teams have made it to the Final 4. Non-traditional programs have had success in the tournament - VCU, Butler & George Mason to name a few. Say what you want about JD and his recruiting, but at some point he has to adjust his system to fit the player's strengths or recruit players that fit his system. I'll ask you this. Who would you rather have as head coach of Pitt right now. Jamie Dixon or Ben Howland. They essentially have the same regular season record. The only difference? Final 4s: Howland-3; Dixon-0.

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    1. When did USC, Arizona and TCU get those Final 4 banners>

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  28. Tony Allen played for Oklahoma state against the jaron brown led teams and he had something like 18 points in the sweet sixteen game against Pitt. We couldn't stop Him, and brown and page were above average defenders.
    I think the guys name at Bradley was Patrick o'bryant and his play against us in the NCAA tourney essentially made him into a first round draft pick.

    Bottom line is that those players were able to elevate their game in the NCAA tourney and our guys cannot. They try hard but they just can't get it done.

    To answer your question of who I would want as coach either howland or Dixon I am going with howland. Only because he has been able to adjut his style. Watch ucla tonight for ten minutes and you will see. As I have posted previously, they seem to be a run and gun team with no set plays. They are a lot of fun to watch
    It also might be relevant to note that they were down 15 against Arizona state but they were able to come back and win...they have loads o NBA talent on their team...
    One final thing, doke keeps us all grounded which is why we are so much better than pantherliar...

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  29. Blair was ranked a Top 50 player on every recruiting site I saw. He was more than a 3*.

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  30. The Dixon lovers are out in full force on Pitt Blather, always ready with the same tired excuses about this basketball program. Dixon should listen to what he says after each loss. Redundancy doesn't explain the ongoing problems of this team. I don't think Pitt will win more than a game in the NCAA and there's a chance they'll be out in the first game. Like I've written before, Dixon and Pederson are one and the same. What's in store for the program is even greater mediocrity. I don't see Dixon winning the ACC. But I hope I'm wrong He's with us for the long term, unless he honestly assesses where he is at Pitt and moves on.

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  31. Jamie Dixon is Paul Evans with a pleasant personality

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  32. Jamie Dixon is Paul Evans with a pleasant personality

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  33. Pitt administration simply doesn't care about athletic success. It's abundantly obvious. With JD and Pitt BB they struck gold. Just enough success to pacify the fans while not having to overspend for it. And the program is very profitable. JD will never be fired because he doesn't win championships. JD leaves when JD wants to leave. Period. Understanding the goals of the administration, I accept it. We should be thrilled with being a Top 20 program. Many programs try a lot harder than Pitt and don't accomplish this. You'll enjoy being a fan much more if you accept these notions and stop thinking Pitt will actually get to a FF.

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  34. Dixon has 3 Big East championships (2 reg, 1 tourney)
    In a 16 team conference that's viewed as the best or 2nd best in the country.
    Also has 2 Sweet 16's and an Elite 8. The 2011 team also finished 12th in the rankings (despite the early loss to an obviously misseeded Butler).
    Average of 26 wins a year.

    If that's mediocre, I'd hate to see what your view on what about 310 other programs are doing.

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  35. Excuse me, OrignalEther, maybe you've heard of the NCAA Tournament? Why don't you give us Dixon's stats on that?

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    1. He left out the most important stat of all. NCAA tournament victories. It says something that Dixon has never beaten a team seeded higher than them in the tournament. Regular season accolades are great, but I prefer championships.

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    2. As I mentioned earlier, Pitt has had all of 2 chances under Dixon - Pacific and UCLA.
      0-2 is a rather lame sample size.

      Contrary to what you'd like to think, Pitt has beaten good teams in the tournament.

      There's only been one WTF so far - Bradley. And that could be debatable, as they did beat Kansas in their previous game.

      If the NCAA championship is your only measure of success, then you are likely going to be one miserable human being, as they aren't an easy thing to win, if you haven't noticed.

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    3. BTW, using that logic, Jackie Sherrill was mediocre also. He didn't win any championships either.

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  36. I just did.
    He's made it 9 of 10 seasons.
    Reached the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite 8 once.
    This season is yet to be determined, so it's idiotic to complain about it yet.

    Would you rather have Georgia Tech's program? They've only been to the tourney 4 times in the past 10 years, and have gone nowhere 3 of those times. But hey, they got to the Final Four once, so that makes them SO much better, right? LSU? VCU? Illinois? Even WVU or Butler?
    The stupid tournament is NOT the be all end all to everything.


    If Pitt football had this much success, we'd be peeing our pants and talking about the glory days being back.

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  37. "The stupid tournament is NOT the be all end all to everything".

    ROFLMAO. Sounds like a Paul Evans fan boy.

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    Replies
    1. Who?

      Seriously, when people say that Jamie Dixon is mediocre or is a failure because Pitt's performance in it isn't up to their unrealistic and/or ill-informed standards, then yes, it does become a stupid tournament.

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