Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pittsburgh 81 Georgia Tech 74

Another impressive road win for Pitt. The Panthers looked a little sluggish at times, especially Lamar Patterson, but a road win against a Georgia Tech team that played very hard is a great thing to see. Some thoughts:

1. With Patterson struggling, Talib Zanna and James Robinson picked up the slack and played great.  Zanna had 22 points, including 8-10 from the field, and 9 rebounds. He's also putting to rest any talk that he disappears when the games get tougher as he's now averaging 16.5 ppg and 9.8 rpg in the ACC.

2.  Robinson showed some offense with 16 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, and 5-6 from the line. He also added 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and just one turnover. That's how you step up.

3.  Patterson struggled a lot at times and finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals.  But  he shot just 4-13 from the field and an incredible 7 turnovers.

4.  Cameron Wright started slowly but came up with 14 points and 4 assists.

5.  Michael Young continues to look lost a lot of the times, and he only scored 6 points, but he had 7 rebounds, mostly of the manly variety.

6.  The Panthers shot an impressive 56.9% from the floor and out rebounded Georgia Tech 37-19.

7.  The Pitt bench did not add much with 11 points and 4 rebounds.



52 comments:

  1. Well, we knew the bench was going to suffer. Thank goodness Robinson and Zanna came to play in the first half.

    Looking to Saturday, We may not have a choice but to play Patterson in the "Nas" position. Young and Artis just aren't proven enough. with Patterson being our best outside shooter (ouch) its going to hurt having him inside, but really its him, or 2 freshman who haven't seen the zone. Artis does play his butt off tho, that may be a plus

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  2. Considering Lamar's game, this was a very good win. Another example of how good Dixon and his staff is at half time adjustments. Have to wonder if Pitt was looking ahead to Syracuse. Same could be said of Syracuse looking ahead to Pitt with the tight game against Virginia last night.

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  3. Lamar was off tonite, however he did make some brilliant passes as Len Elmore noted and he was quite impressed with Pitt's play. Pitt sort of plays old school b-ball, they pass and pass until they get the best look most of the time. It's refreshing in the current age of 2 and 3 man games. Zanna was playing at optimum form, except for several FT misses and Wright had a very nice 2nd half. Robinson showed some stuff we haven't seen much from him. a 3, a 14 footer, several nice drives and perhaps with DJ's injury he's decided to help out in the scoring end. GT was 7-1 at home, not a great team, but a very good home team.
    Well at least tonite they were. I think Pitt goes up to Cuse and gets the win.

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  4. The offensive aggressiveness Robinson brought at Tech Tuesday is what we will need out of him going forward. If he continues to look to score (at least more than he has) it will open things up even more for the Pitt offense. It will force teams to guard him some and not sag. It was definitely good to see him score as he did.

    Big W. Tech might have been shorthanded but what is clear about this ACC is you can't take any team for granted. There might not be depth on every team but there are players

    dUbb

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  5. Chris I hate to say it but Mike Young looks like he is worn down. Granted a lot of FR aren't used to a longer and tougher season. If he is getting 28 min. going forward thats going to be a bigger issue every game. The kid is gassed.

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    1. He does have a nice FT touch, though. He made some key ones when it started to get a little dicey at the end.

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    2. Worn down?? First thing to go when one is "worn down" is FT's. He was perfect.

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    3. He was rebounding like a fiend, too. He wasn't tired. He's just thinking too much. Happens a lot in a player's freshman year.

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  6. While I agree Young looks lost at times, he did come through with 4 big free throws down the stretch in a game where Pitt did everything they could to let GT back in the game. Also, I thought Jamie would use Newkirk more. I especially think another guy with a handle would have been an asset in late game situations.

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    1. I was surprised he wasn't used more, but not at the end. Newkirk is a liability at the free throw line.

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  7. I'm wondering without Johnson if Pitt gets 11 or 12 points from the bench that we as fans should be happy with that figure. Jones and Randall won't add much consistently. That leaves Artis and Newkirk to be the guys who score.

    If Lamar and Talib stay consistent and Young continues to get better that may be enough to overcome the bench.

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  8. One note about Young and even the TV crew acknowledged. He was clutch from the free throw line down the stretch. He may have been lost but he contributed to the win.

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    1. Young is shooting 85% from the FT. Excellent free throw shooter.
      Only 40% FG.

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  9. James Robinson knows his role!! Before DJ got hurt he is there to manage the game now he is stepping up more. Couldn't ask for better basketball player. His basketball IQ is off the charts. H2P!

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  10. Which anonymous commentator was it who wrote that Robinson "doesn't have much upside."? Please.

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    1. He doesn't. He has 1 decent game? I saw this posted elsewhere and agree with it.
      But Newkirk has more upside.

      He played a great game, his best of the year, by far.....it does not answer anything...no one ever said he was not good...the point was does he have the ability to get into the lane & score when we are down against the better teams. Is he a take charge PT. Guard when the chips are down...does he break down his defender to draw the D only to drop pass for an easy 2....If you were following it was said he was a very good PG when Pitt was winning, dominating, controling the game...it is only when we are challanged that we questioned if he was ELITE as far as placing the team on his back...When we are down 6 w/ 5 minutes left & the D picks up against Cuse this week on the road I hope I am able to come on this board & say I eat crow, JRob handled the pressure & did what he had to for us to win.... Let's not put words in anyone's mouth, all that was said that when it got tight JRob seemed to go away, he becomes to tight, does not want to take the big shot or make the big play....because to do that you have to be prepared to miss the shot. There is a difference between being good & being 1 of the 10 best in the Country...It is not cut & dry, black or white, up or down. Hail to PITT !!!

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    2. I am one of the ones who thought JR didn't have a big upside, and must admit I was very pleasantly surprised last night. I have never seen him so assertive, not even close, before.

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    3. He has a ton of upside. He is only a Soph, but runs the show. He shoots close to 90% from the FT line and has nearly the best A/TO ratio in the country. He's a prototypical old school PG. Doesn't try to do too much. Will increasingly step up more in key situations as time goes on.

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    4. Seems like when his team needed him in the first half last night - he delivered. 'nuff said

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  11. Robinson didn't play more aggressively because he was asked not to. His job was to facilitate and not make mistakes. Now that Johnson is out he will be asked to do more.

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    1. Sorry, but Robinson hasn't been facilitating either.
      Patterson is the go to facilitator. Just look at Assists per Game.

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    2. And look at Patterson's turnovers per game, too. Since he's been at Pitt Robinson has been asked to not make mistakes- period. I know for a fact that the coaches have asked that of him.

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    3. Patterson is not a PG and is being asked to be the facilitator because Robinson is not a facilitator or take control PG.
      No different than Wannamaker when Gibbs was PG.
      Robinson brings the ball up the court, makes the first pass then disappears. He doesn't drive, etc. If he did, he would have more turnovers.
      Robinson is ok at PG. He is old style BB. I'm not sure if I would call someone with less than 5 APG a PG or a facilitator. The great PG's are averaging 6-7 APG.

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    4. JR is a much better PG than Gibbs ... the only skill that Gibbs was better at was shooting. Patterson was a better shooter and rebounder than Wanny but both had great all-around skills. Wanny had his share of TOs until his final year when he really let the game come to him

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  12. Rumors are that PSU/Franklin is asking Apke to look elsewhere.
    Any truth to the rumor?
    Should Pitt go after him?
    I would say NO to Apke. Pitt cannot and should not be a fallback for those players who went elsewhere and it didn't workout and ask to come back to Pitt. That is what Duquesne, RMU, CalU are for.

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    1. I would say yes to Apke!! Pitt doesn't have that luxury to be prideful. Would you take Foster if he decided to come back?

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    2. Apke does not impress me. Zeise out played him when the two teams met. I say no. We have enough WR's this year. Also, there is a BIG difference in talent between Foster and Apke

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    3. I understand the huge difference between Foster and Apke but isn't Apke fast like 4.3 fast?

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    4. Of course you take him. He would be one of the top 5 or 6 recruits coming in. There is no way we have enough WR already. And more than anything, do you want to be the school who is "going to dominate recruiting in the state" and then ask in state players to leave so you can bring in kids from elsewhere, or do you want to be the school that says, "hey screw them, come play for us." High School coaches take notice of those things. Get a good recruit, build some relationships and let the other guys burn their bridges.

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    5. DiPaola at the Trib blogged that Pitt has two recruits coming in this weekend for visits and they're expected to sign. He also notes that if they do Pitt will have 90 players on scholarship so 5 from the existing team must go.

      I don't see there being room for Apke unless more than 5 players decide to transfer.

      http://blog.triblive.com/college-locker-room/2014/01/15/1784/#axzz2qYtGKJKl

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    6. Kent,
      Attrition is a good thing. It keeps players on their toes to work hard even if they are reserves for 4 yrs otherwise they will lose their scholarship. Many will be RS Jr that were at Pitt for 4 yrs so they should have their degree.
      It happens at most major schools. Alabama always has 25-28 scholarship players every year. I find it interesting that Pitt fans talk badly about how Alabama, etc pushes players out of the program when Pitt is doing it also. Pitt fans are also talking badly about PSU Franklin doing the same. Seems some Pitt fans have a double standard.

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    7. Anony 10:43 - Don't know where you got the impression I have an issue with kids transferring...I don't.

      All I stated was the roster is overloaded currently and unless more than 5 kids transfer or have their offer pulled, Pitt doesn't have a spot for Apke.

      Seems like the issue raised above has less to do with some fans talking badly about transfers vs. their dislike for kids who feel Pitt's not good enough for them from the start.

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    8. I'd take Apke in a heartbeat. The kid is fast and is not afraid to hit. Personally I'd put him on the defensive side of the ball. As for Zeise out playing him, two things to keep in mind - Apke's QB was making his first start and was eventually replaced by the 3rd game of the season - and Apke was making his first start at safety since he only played offense last season. (Besides, you could say that Apke outplayed him the year before.) Zeise is a nice player, and I'm glad Pitt got him, but in the 6 games I watched him play in over the last two seasons, I'd say he's no better then Apke - and hell, if you can take both, why wouldn't you.

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  13. Good win for a good team. However going forward the bench is going to have to play more minutes. Otherwise the starters are going to be worn out by March and exit the tourney early. #notagain!

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  14. longsufferingpittfanJanuary 15, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Seems as though he may be up to the challenge.

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  15. Anybody else sad Curtis Bray passed away today?

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  16. Of course. It's sad to see anyone die young and to realize the impact when someone is married with children.

    PittofDreams

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  17. Next Two Football Recruits to Commit?

    Dipaola of the Trib reports a D-End from Philadelphia and a Linebacker from Ohio could commit during their official visits this weekend.

    Hez Trahan is 6-4 250… a legit D-End size-wise. Recruited by Jim Hueber.

    Jamal Davis is 6-3 215… an Athlete who doubles as a Receiver and can RUN. Reportedly showed well for himself at OSU Camps the last couple of years.

    Davis would be a GREAT GET. Reminds you a bit of Todd Thomas… only BETTER. Judge for yourself.

    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/1352265/highlights/65761403

    PittofDreams

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    1. I used to be on the optimistic side of giving PC time with recruiting. But I am starting to look at things half empty
      Trahan is not even showing up on Scouts and 247 has him having offers from James Madison and Mass. And the kicker is Buffalo did not offer this kid.

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    2. Hueber got a tip from one of his contacts in the Philly area. That's what got Pitt interested in Haz. According to Chris Peak, he did not go to any college camps (very important if you want to get noticed). He also has not played football for that long. A real sleeper. He may pan out and be the next Greg Romeus, or he could be a dud. We'll see...

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  18. At this junction with all of the top defensive prospects committed elsewhere, Trahan may be worth taking based on potential. Nothing to lose

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    1. The question is, who is Chryst going to push out to make room? Pitt is already has to push out 5 players as it is.

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  19. Trahan has good size and a long wingspan. He will get bumped to a 2 star recruit as soon as he signs Im sure. It isn't unheard of for those guys to turn out to be great players. Look at Devin Street. I won't hold my breathe on him, but the coaches saw something they liked and it isn't like you watch the film on him and go... "what are the coaches thinking."

    As for who the Panthers are going to get rid of. I don't have a breakdown of scholarships, but Crocket and Ifill are both going to transfer. I believe Lazenga was given a scholarship and is going to graduate, but could be wrong. Trey Anderson is another guy who might transfer if he is going to be 3rd string as a Sr. The panthers have 18 rs jrs. in total. Not sure how many of them hold scholarships, are going to graduate. So we might free up scholarships that way. I am sure there are people much more informed on the situation than I am.

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  20. No way Coach C. allows Trey Anderson to get out the door. Trey being on the team is going to go a long way to helping Coach C. sleep at night - I'm sure Coach C. would prefer not to have to play one of the frosh QBs this season.

    Trahan could be OK, but I was disappointed to see that while he moves pretty well once in motion, he doesn't have that quick burst first step that you'd like to see in a DE. Course if he had the burst, he'd also have bigger offers. Maybe he can develop - if Pitt's going to take a flyer on any position, I'm glad it's a DE...

    Go Pitt.

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  21. tiredof beingcensoredJanuary 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    The fact that Hazmat does not have a burst doesn't concern me right now. It is tough to have a burst when you don't completely understand the game or what you are supposed to do. That is lack of confidence and coaching. He will get both when he is here.

    The third piece is strength and conditioning. I would hope that the S&C group also work with position dynamics and can develop a burst if one isn't there. If no burst off the line, he could easily grow into MLB. Definitely redshirt material which will help. Not concerned about stars. This is another Philly prospect which will help future recruiting.

    So, who is our top five .....out? My take is Jevonte Pitts, Dave Durham, Desmond Brown, Emanuel Rackard (medical), Trey Anderson. The Pitts move is strategic in that it sends a message to his brother to step up his game. A very disappointing season for Lafayette. Perhaps an offensive lineman also. We still don't know about academic casualties, but with new recruiting criteria, we probably won't see academic casualties.

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  22. Brown doesn't have anymore eligibility.
    Aside from Crockett and Ifill, which have been rumored. Some others I would consider to be pushed out are RS Jr. Lazenga, Johnson, Durham or Murphy, Christian, Felder,

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  23. Trey Anderson isn't going anywhere... except under center in relief of Voytik if he struggles.

    PittofDreams

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  24. Pitt got a commit from a 3* LB from Akron, Jamal Davis.

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  25. Also got a commit from Trahan, DE from Philly.

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  26. This Cuse game is looking like an old Big East type game.
    Seems the refs are letting them play like the old Big East also.

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    1. Pitt played their worst in the last 4 minutes. Regardless, a good showing that shouldn't hurt their ranking.

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