Friday, March 3, 2017

Top 10 WPIAL 2018 Prospects (Pre-Spring Edition)

A look at the top 10 prospects in the WPIAL heading into the camp and combine season.

1. Phil Jurkovec, Pine-Richland HS (Gibsonia) QB- Already 6'5" 190 pounds, he's also very athletic, and he has a good arm. An elite, nationally recruited player, he would have been a huge coup for Pitt, but he has already committed to Notre Dame. The Panthers will continue to recruit him, but I doubt that anything will come of it.

2. Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa HS (Aliquippa) S- Great length at 6'3" 190 pounds, plus he has very good speed and athleticism. Also has the frame to add enough weight to be a smaller linebacker, too. Should come down to Pitt or Penn State, but other early offers have come from WVU, Louisville, Virginia Tech, LSU, Michigan State, Wisconsin, California, Maryland, and TCU.

3. Devin Danielson, Thomas Jefferson HS (Jefferson Hills) DT- Already a solid 6'3" and 290 pounds, this kid is quick, strong, and tenacious. Appears to like Pitt the most so far, and the Panthers have offered, as have WVU, Virginia, Louisville, UCLA, and others.

4. Blake Zubovic, Belle Vernon Area HS (Belle Vernon) OT- A true left tackle prospect, who is also very quick for a kid that's already 6'6" and 295 pounds. He is also has a body with little fat, so he can get much bigger. Played some defensive end last year and was a bit of a force at that huge size, which shows you just how mobile he is. Pitt was the first offer, and they may appear to be the leader, but other offers so far include WVU, Virginia, Northwestern, NC State, Maryland, Boston College, and Minnesota.

5. Jake Kradel, Butler Area HS (Butler) OG/DT- Tough kid that will get a lot of offers, not only because of talent, but because he can project at center, guard, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle. Most want him for offense, but the Panthers like him as a defensive tackle. He definitely has the size and quickness to be a good defensive player in college. He and his family are big Pitt fans, and season ticket holders, so that can't hurt. Pitt has offered, and other offers include WVU, Boston College, NC State, Maryland, Minnesota, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Purdue, and Rutgers.

6. David Green, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) DT- Even though he's currently listed at 6'2" and 250 pounds, he looks much bigger than that. Moves well, strong, and tenacious. Should eventually be around 285 pounds, and when he reaches that size, he could be a destructive wrecking ball in college. Early offers include Pitt, WVU, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Rutgers, and Iowa State.

7. TJ Banks, East Allegheny HS (North Versailles) TE- Has the great frame at 6'5" and 230 pounds to easily had 25 or 30 pounds in college. At that size, with his strength and athleticism, he could be a beast. Pitt has offered, and are in great shape. WVU, Maryland, and Syracuse are among his other offers.

8. Julian Major, Penn Hills HS (Pittsburgh) WR- At 6'1" and 170 pounds, he needs to fill out a lot, but he is a fast and slick receiver that could be very good in college. I have no idea why Pitt hasn't offered, but Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kentucky, Boston College, and Iowa State have so far.

9. Marcus Hooker, New Castle HS (New Castle) S- Doesn't have blazing speed, and he's not really big at 5'11" 185, but he's athletic, strong, and tough. The younger brother of  former Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, and to me strong safety seems looks like his best position. Early offers include WVU, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Temple.

10. Kenny White, West Allegheny HS (Imperial) CB/S- A solid 6'0" 185 with good straight line speed. Could project at safety, or maybe cornerback. Iowa State and Buffalo are his early offers so far.

92 comments:

  1. Seems like Pitt has a good shot at guys 2 thru 10, but won't take them all.

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  2. These high school linemen always have a high upside on paper. They allready have offers from some good schools. Your blog seems to indicate maybe a slight preference to Pitt. What are the chances some stay home this recruiting year? I know it's still early but it kills me every year they take their talents to the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan; and rarely are they heard from again.

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    1. These kids don't have PSU ties like Thorpe did in the last class, and they aren't obsessed by ND like many did either. So Pitt is looking much better. But if they lose Raines after already losing Jurkovec, that won't be great.

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    2. Agreed Chris. As much as i like the current Fla. pipeline, i'd still like to see as much local talent within reason stay home. Pittsburgh proud. If Raines is determined to be the no. 2 recruit, then i'd hate to lose him, like we did with Wade.

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  3. I think Wade is overrated and will have a difficult transition to D1 football, he's small. Adams and Hinish last year were always ND fans as is Jurkovic, don't understand it. However, we have the 2nd largest St. Patty's day parade in the country. As far as this year, I believe we'll be in very good shape and continue the Florida pipeline

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    1. Agreed. Pitt already has plenty of 5'-9" cornerbacks trying -- and usually failing -- to cover 6'-4" wide receivers. Too-short CBs was a large part of our defense problem this season.

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    2. Agree with you that Wade is overrated. Unlike Boyd, he doesn't have the measurables to project much of anything in D1, whereas Boyd did. Don't quite understand why these guys fall in love with football in shorts performances, those don't always translate to the field, especially so with small Class stars.

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    3. We'll see. I have a hard time believing coaches like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, etc. would have chased after Wade for so long if it is so obvious he is overrated. Also, I saw several 5'9" CBs show up on the NFL All-Pro team this year so one does not have to be 6"1"+ to be a great corner.

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    4. yea, once a local star goes elsewhere (especially to an in-state rival)and not the home team, he becomes an over-rated, too small, too slow, not ready for D1 play player. He made a choice. Are we going to re-live the Robert Foster pick??

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    5. Dobie - If Wade had picked Pitt and you'd called him overrated, these same guys would be destroying you and saying you know nothing about football....

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    6. Wade is so small that the pedo's are already talking about moving him to safety, lol!

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    7. Anthony, I'd agree with you if Wade was anywhere around 5'9", problem is that he isn't. He's a superior athlete, I don't think that can be questioned, but given his size and real lack of any comparable competition playing at Clairton, I don't see this kid becoming a star.

      Hope he does well and proves me wrong, he's a good kid.

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  4. Chris: Of the local kids that we lost, Jeter is the one who puzzles me the most. I can understand the ND guys, and Wade's father seemed to have a major role in that decision. But what were the factors at play with Jeter? His brother is at Pitt, but he seemed to have no interest in Pitt. Any insights about this?

    Also, is there any chance that Pitt's tenth coach would be someone with WPIAL ties, who could do for Pitt what Terry Smith has done for Penn State with local recruiting?

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  5. Wade is a player and it was a miss but life goes on. The kid might be a bit undersized but he has really good technique and athletic ability that can be refined with the proper coaching. Barring injury he has the potential to be a star.

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  6. @anonymous

    I think Jeter just wanted to get away and playing in front of a 100k people coupled along with a head coach who portrays himself as a guru was too much to overcome. Narduzzi personally recruited Jeter for an extended time period and Michigan just came in and scooped him up after he decided to leave his ND pledge and by the way ND also didn't spend a lot of time chasing him. I wish him the best at Michigan it's an excellent school.

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  7. Speaking of Robt. Foster and other grad transfers; any possibility of a Pitt matriculation?

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  8. It appears as if Pitt is the frontrunner for most of the top ten (minus Jurkavec) which is a complete turn of events. Pitt should OWN Western PA. OWN it. H2P

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    1. Your are right and that is a good sign hopefully. However, if you look at the 247 PA rankings only the top 4 here are in the top 15 and only 2 are in the top 10 statewide so hopefully they are good players overall and not just being taken since they are WPIAL.

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  9. Its the end of basketball season and I just want to address your defense of Stallings with some facts.

    Your first impression was horrible, then after 24 hours and realizing there was little to be done by complaining, you chose the other approach of give him a chance.

    Fact 1. This is the second team in a row that Stallings has coached where it has been said there is turmoil between coach and players. I get the whole idea of coming in and trying to mesh with Sr. as hard, but this is the same stuff they were saying at Vandy at the end. I want the players to be held accountable too, it was hard to watch those guys at time with their lack of effort, but ultimately it falls on the coaches shoulders and two years in a row is a bad trend.

    Fact 2. The school that Stallings left and the school that Dixon left to are both still alive, both have had better seasons than Pitt and could both make the tourny. Say all you want about not having a PG or a C(It was inexcusable how Dixon recruited C after Adams left early) but I don't know many people who wouldn't put Pitt in the Tourny if Dixon was still the head coach(all those people that were unhappy with him got what they deserve).

    Fact 3. Pitt has a lot of spots to fill, a lot of playing time to be had, lesser restrictions than Vandy, a better history than TCU, they are in the ACC and it has been said Stallings is a good recruiter.
    Right now Pitt has 7 recruits and by most peoples opinion has a worse recruiting class than both TCU and Vandy. The only reason people would put Pitt infront of Vandy is because of the numbers 7 to 3 and not talent level. They have two PG coming in that they are going to ask to log a lot of minutes. I hope they are up to the task, but typically the kids that are able to step in and take over right away are the kids that are leaving after one year. Pitt doesn't have any of those kids coming in. They have players that could evolve into really good players, but next year is going to be a struggle.
    The 2018 class is a long ways a way, but so far there is nothing to get excited about or even be hopeful for. This is another class that will be looked upon to deliver right away. Playing time will once again be up for grabs and interest in Pitt at this point isn't very high.

    Lets call a spade a spade, the program is in the worst shape it has been in a long long time.

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    1. I'll make this easy. It's been one season, Stallings hasn't brought any players in yet, and the rational thing to do is to wait a few years to see what he can do. Every situation is different. Ben Howland and Shaka Smart are struggling in year two. Do they suck? It's pretty simple.

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    2. Ben Howland had a top ten recruiting class last year and a top 20 one this year. Shaka Smart has two top ten classes coming in. Do you really believe Stallings is bringing in "his guys"? I'll give you Carr, and Thompson, I'll even say I think those guys are both better than they are being rated on most sites. That still leaves a huge gap in talent. I have no problem with taking players and developing them rather than getting talent. The issue is that it will take longer to build a program and at this pace, being in the ACC, Stallings will be gone before he has the chance to develop players. I wouldn't bet on Stallings having a winning record in either of the next two seasons. Unless he some how comes up with a top 20 recruiting class for 18, where do you look and see greener days ahead?

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    3. Where did I say they'll be greener days ahead? I said, literally probably 50 times, that I don't know if he'll succeed or not. I just said he's going to be there for awhile, and we'll know in a few years if he succeeded. Declaring him a failure before he brings in any players is ridiculous.

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  10. Jamie left this program in horrible shape and please remember prior to Stallings coming on board Pitt made the NCAA's 3 out of the last 5 seasons when Dixon was in charge.

    Dixon had his run at Pitt but it was time for a change for all parties. Is Stallings the guy? Who knows?

    We will see but he is here for at least 2 seasons.



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  11. I think the concern for people is that the players he's bringing in(the "his players" everyone keeps referring to) aren't really rated any higher than the ones Dixon brought in to get them in this position. It seems more exciting because there are more of them, but they aren't necessarily more talented. Yeah recruiting rankings aren't everthing, but you can talk about Carr and Thompson all you want but you were saying pretty much the exact same things about Kithcart last year and Wilson two years ago and their ratings more or less matched those of the new guys as well.

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    1. Stallings isn't as good as Dixon. Anyone that's better than Dixon isn't coming here. That's what I always said, but few believed me. Pitt isn't getting a known top 20 coach. It's just a fact.

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  12. I'm not a Stallings basher. For all the great that he did for Pitt basketball and for as good of a coach as he is, I do think he left behind a pretty lousy situation. I really think the recruiting, the lack of a PG and C, and poor leadership from the team's best two players lead to a 16-17 record. I believe Stallings could have manipulated the situation for a better outcome, but I really doubt the results would have been far different.

    We will begin to see if Kevin Stallings will be able to right this ship. There is enough evidence to support that he can and enough evidence to support the opinion that he will ultimately fail.

    This post is coming way late, I know. But I think back to the coaching search, and I wonder why we didn't hear more about a coach who Chris put on his initial list of potential candidates, Russell Turner. The guy is leading UC Irvine to another tourney bid. He has P5 assistant experience at successful programs. Stanford under Mike Momtgomery and more relevantly, Dave Odom, at Wake. He has NBA assistant experience as well and is originally from ACC territory (Roanoke). Were the tires kicked on this guy even a little bit last year?

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    1. I know of about 10 or 12 guys that were asked if they were interested. His name wasn't one of them.

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  13. Meant to say not a Dixon or Stallings basher. Oops.

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  14. The rationale being not big time enough?

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  15. Any info on the potential Pitt AD?

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    1. That's something that won't get out until it's announced, or just before it's announced.

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  16. Ok, Why hasn't any media outlet interview Anthony Lubrano (PSU Trustee aka blowhard).
    Also, Lubrano has been awfully quiet as have Paterno's.
    So much for them leading the charge of suing that company that did the investigation.

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  17. Awhile ago a few of us questioned the logic of Kaezon Pugh moving to d end. Bulking up to 245# seems to make that move logical. I might have been short sighted and forgot the old adage that safties move to linebacker and backer to the d line. Looking pretty impressive from a conditioning standpoint going forward.

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  18. I'd rather see Pugh as a "MLB in training" for another year than trying to fit him into a DE role that he is not built for, and less likely to succeed.

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    1. Pugh will transfer if Pitt puts him at DE. His HS coach thought he would be a SS in NFL due to his speed. He is an LB.

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    2. He's the one that wanted to move to DE. He wants to sack quarterbacks.

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    3. Not if his HS Coach Dan has any say.

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    4. Look a rush end in college transitions into outside linebacker in pros. You let sentimentality get in the way of logic. Pugh technically still has 4 years of eligibility. Great athletes will sort out their true worth during this time.

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  19. Losing Raines may be a very good thing for Pitt. I've watched him at Aliquippa this past year and he just has not matured yet. He was suspended for the 1st qtr of the season opening New Castle game, suspended for the 1st half on offense of the Central Valley game, and was suspended for the 1st round playoff game against South Park, all for arguing with the Aliquippa coaching staff. He was a virtual no show against Lamont Wade and the Clairton Bears and did not give much effort in the WPIAL Championship against a Beaver Falls team that the Quips blew out in week 2. I have seen all of Aliquippa's Division 1 football players in the past 10 years and Raines is very highly recruited. I can not say his production on the field matches other Aliquippa Division 1 football players such as Jonathan Baldwin, Dravon Henry, Terry Swanson, and Patrick Anderson. You saw Division 1 written all over them and it showed in the way they played and tHey had the stats to prove it on Aliquippa teams that are nor know for being stat stuffers, the still founder their niche. I can not say the same for Raines. Based on what I've seen, the kid is HIGHLY OVERRATED.

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  20. Here's the problem for Pitt. There are only two guys on this list that are higher than 3 stars or even in the top 250, and one of them, the best one, they never even had a chance with. Meanwhile, the schools they have to compete with locally, PSU and OSU already have 5 or 6 guys for 2018 better than everyone on this list except the top 2. So basically, even if Pitt got all 10 of these guys, there would still be about 20 teams with better recruiting classes. And, of course, they would be lucky to get 4 or 5 of these guys let alone 10. It's going to be a struggle to improve on 7 or 8 wins unless Pitt either finds other places to get talent, WPIAL talent gets better, or Pitt actually gets the good WPIAL talent that is available.

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    1. I disagree. Pitt could field a top 10 team with how they are recruiting right now. They are already recruiting better than teams that have been in the top 10.

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  21. How exactly is it reasonable to expect them to field a top 10 team when they haven't done that in 40 years and their recruiting classes are continuously in the 30-40 range at best? I don't want to be overly negative, because of course there are exceptions, players like James Conner come out of nowhere to be great and teams that don't have highly rated classes come out of nowhere to be good. But these stand out precisely because they are exceptions, not the rule.

    There have been many articles written that, more or less, the higher rated recruits as a whole turn out better, despite the exceptions, and there's a reason the top teams are on top year after year (again yes with a couple exceptions from time to time). But if you want to base your hopes on anything other than pure luck, they really just need better players.

    When you do your write-ups on the players they get, such as the 2017 class, it reads as if you're trying to basically talk yourself into every single player becoming a star, and that just doesn't happen to that many 3-star guys. No kidding all of these guys look like stars in high school, because if they didn't, they wouldn't get a division 1 scholarship in the first place.

    It depends on what your goals are. They can probably win 7-9 games consistently for many years recruiting like this (which would honestly be a lot better than it has been in recent history), but if you think this is what top-10 teams do, you're dreaming and should actually look at the prospects in the classes of those top-10 teams. I'm not talking about teams that had 1 lucky year then went back to mediocrity, I'm talking about the legitimate, consistent top 10 teams.

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  22. Wisconsin finished No. 9 last year. Their last five classes were ranked 35, 35, 44, 33, and 54. That's just one of many examples.

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    1. Also, Oklahoma State finished No. 11 this year. Their last 5 recruiting classes were 36, 27, 37, 48, and 37.

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    2. I don't understand whether you're trying to argue that it's POSSIBLE for Pitt to accomplish this with their current recruiting or if you're trying to argue that it's LIKELY. It's definitely possible, it's definitely not likely.

      What about the other teams up there: Clemson, Alabama, Penn State, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU? I mean sure you can find exceptions here and there, but for every Wisconsin you have all those teams I just listed.

      So if your argument is "anyone can get lucky", I 100% agree. Heck, I remember watching Rutgers sneak into the top 10 for a few weeks about 10 years ago, and it was great. And of course, I hope that's what happens for Pitt.

      I really don't think that's what you meant though, because if the plan is to just wait to get lucky, all of this analysis would be kind of pointless. My point was, if you're actually setting a goal of, say, winning your conference and becoming a top-10, top-20 team, and actually analyzing Pitt's progress towards that goal, they have a long way to go.

      I don't understand whether you're trying to argue that it's POSSIBLE for Pitt to accomplish this with their current recruiting or if you're trying to argue that it's LIKELY. It's definitely possible, it's definitely not likely.

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    3. Lucky? It's not lucky to be in the top 10. You seem hellbent on looking for reasons to be negative. I have no idea if Pitt will get in the top 10 in the near future, but teams with similar or lesser ranked classes do it every year. You can manipulate that all you want, but that's just a fact.

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    4. It's lucky to be in the top 10 if you do it once with a bunch of over-achieving players and then go right back to being mediocre. Again, Rutgers was 9-0 and in the top 10 late one year.

      All I'm saying is sure, you can get a top 10 team without great recruiting classes, but it probably won't happen. The way you are framing this argument is like an NBA GM comprising a team of players under 5'9", then saying they are bound to be good because Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb were good.

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    5. I really don't see how you are acting like my claim of "you need better players to make your team better" is somehow a ridiculous or pessimistic argument.

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    6. How do you know how good they are? Because of how someone like Rivals rates them? Do you think those guys know more about who is good than guys that get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions? You're way too obsessed with those ratings. The game is played on the field, not on a recruiting site.

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    7. I don't know how good they are, but the recruiting sites kind of do. Just because they are not right 100% of the time doesn't mean they're worthless. They're right more often than they are wrong, so at very least it gives you a general idea of potential.

      Narduzzi knows more than all of us, but justifying every low-level prospect by saying "If Narduzzi wanted them they must be good because he's a good coach" is a misleading argument, because it implies he had his choice of a ton of players and picked this specific low-rated guy. In reality, these low rated guys are probably his 3rd or 4th choice because he couldn't get the higher rated guys for any number of reasons.

      I just want Pitt to win. I know they need better players because they haven't won more than 8 games in almost a decade. As far as the conversation, I'm trying to have a conversation on what they can do to get better players, and I don't think pretending they are recruiting at a top 10 level right now is going to help anything improve.

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  23. Haha didn't mean to post the same paragraph at the beginning and at the end, copied and pasted by accident.

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    1. You're still refusing to look at the facts. WVU was No. 1 with lesser classes. Wisconsin, Michigan State, and many others routinely finish high with similar classes. This is how Pitt has to get there- take good players and make and excellent team out of them. It happens. If you think they're going to start recruiting like Ohio State or Michigan then you're going to have a long wait.

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    2. Well that's reasonable. I guess we were arguing different things. If you're saying that Pitt is never going to have top 10 recruiting classes so they just need to do a really good job developing who they do get, and these guys are at least good ENOUGH that it's a possibility, I'm with you there. But you still need to get a little lucky if that's the plan, because you're talking like 80% of who you get needs to turn into the best case scenario. I'm just getting tired of waiting for it to actually happen sometime, haha.

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    3. I'm always confused when it comes to Pitt football and fans.

      I read that Pitt:
      A. Will never be dirty or spend big.
      B. Will never hire a big-name coach.
      C. Will never have top-10 recruiting classes.

      So why does the school fire Wannstedt or going back a ways, Mike Gottfried? The latter happened to have two top-5 classes (different era of football, I know).

      If Narduzzi is just a 8- or 9-win coach then he should get a lifetime contract and stability should be the name of the game.

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    4. Gottfried had top 5 classes because he was doing shady things. It's because he was so blatant with it, that Pitt overcorrected and helped caused the terrible teams that followed for a decade or so.

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    5. Pitt was found not guilty of any improprieties done under Gottfried by the NCAA in 1992, specifically actions done by D'Alonzo. Take the heat then move on as it will be forgotten. The Pitt way: panic, make changes and act holy.

      Then once in a while a chancellor comes along who has a great smile, says he wants to win at football only he wants it done on the cheap.

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    6. Gottfried and Evans got some leeway and they both embarrassed Pitt. Players were ineligible left and right.

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    7. Prop 48 was common throughout the country in football and hoops. Fans didn't pay much attention to it and rightfully so. We only got pissed when good players fell victim it. If Sean Miller never got hurt and missed all of 1989-90, Pitt has a winning record, makes the NCAAs again and the five freshmen ineligible story line is forgotten.

      I had no beef with Evans and his firing. He was given ample time and proved to be a jerk who players didn't want to play for and his recruiting sank at the end. His second-half coaching did him in the most.

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    8. There is no way in the world that people would forget that an entire five man recruiting class was ineligible. That was a total embarrassment.

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    9. Wait a second, there was a 5 man class ineligible? When was this? I know I wasn't able to follow as well in the mid 90s when I was at a non-Pitt college, but I can't believe I missed that.

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  24. Well Busey I'll answer your question at least from my perspective, since I think my comments prompted it.

    At the time, I wouldn't say I was clamoring for Wannstadt to go but I definitely was ok with the decision. I felt like Pitt had underachieved in never managing to win a weak Big East, and they they failed too many times in big games. What I realize now is that Pitt just didn't have good enough players. The fact that Wannstadt's teams won 27 games in his last 3 years including a 10-win season and being 1 point away from 11 wins and a big east title was a much bigger accomplishment than it seemed like at the time. I thought they had plateaued and could get to another level, and in hindsight, I was wrong. They are not Penn State or Ohio State and don't get the caliber of recruit, so averaging 9-wins per year with the occasional heartbreaking loss for the conference title is probably the ceiling and really those teams at least had a shot always.

    You'd have thought I'd learned my lesson but I had the same experience with Dixon. Thought he'd run his course, wasn't demanding he be fired, but certainly wasn't upset he left. I'll freely admit I was wrong again.

    The only way I can explain it I guess is this: Being a big fan of a team is an emotional experience, not a rational one. You're not playing yourself, and when it comes down to it, it's just a game, so the enjoyment is gained from the excitement of getting emotionally invested. And sometimes, when a team has been mediocre and boring for a while, the excitement of a change seems worth the risk. Pitt basketball and football had become mediocre and boring, so fans were hoping a shake up would help,and you're willing to take that risk, because you can see you've hit the ceiling with the guy currently in place. Now as far as the administration is concerned, well it's their job to be more rational than the fans, so I'd say they failed in that regard.

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned Wannstedt not having enough good players because he didn't recruit well enough to consider Pitt to be a stacked team, plus he whiffed on a quarterback who would have jumpstarted the program: Thaddeus Lewis.

      If you look at the 2009 depth chart, the 10-win team and Dave's fifth season at the helm, it wasn't deep at all.

      -Busey

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  25. Well you might be right but I also think that it's just not possible to recruit a "stacked" team to Pitt. In hindsight, I think Wannstadt did about as well as could be hoped for, Narduzzi's classes are ranked right around that level, Christ's were much worse.

    Unless or until Narduzzi wins 10 games in a season, Wannstadt is probably the best coach Pitt has had in the past 20 years. They probably never should have fired him. I think that at the time, there were a lot of shortcomings that I was attributing to him personally that are actually just shortcomings of the program in general, that only the truly best of the best coaches (who wouldn't come to Pitt in the first place) could possibly overcome.

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    1. Remember, Wannstedt was recruiting Florida fairly well then his recruiting budget was cut by Nordy and Smiley. He had to stay in a radius since it was cheaper to drive to recruit kids.

      Dave was gaining some steam in Jersey then he was fired and it all went south from there until Gallagher and Narduzzi showed up.

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    2. Oh please - enough of the Wanny talk - other than 13-9, his teams choked in every big game they played in.

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    3. Pitt fans hate talking about the past. It's no wonder, the past is pretty mediocre.

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    4. "his teams choked in every big game they played in"

      Explain to me how that's different than what Pitt has done under every other coach for the past 20 years, including under Narduzzi so far.

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  26. Yeah , Narduzzi really choked against Clemson and Ped State .

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  27. Those were good games but they started 6-1 two years ago had a chance to win the Division and finished 2-4. Both UNC games. The northwestern bowl game and navy game were horrible. Wanny beat some good teams too, just not at times when it would actually affect their post season. Clemson and PSU were good wins, but didn't do anything to stop them from losing to a bad team in a mediocre bowl game.

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  28. Wanny is gone, long gone and his coaching style was way too predictable. Wanny teams lost to Ohio U and Bowling Green along with a horrible bowl performance against OSU let's not forget those mediocre teams. Wanny was horrendous as a special team coach (see Cincinnati tapes). Wanny rode Jimmy Johnsons coat tails, Wanny after Pitt bounced around as an assistant and now he has the perfect position doing stand up comedy on Fox on game day. Wanny at Pitt never took them to the next level as promised during his introduction by Jeff Long. Walt was given a raw deal and kicked out, remember Walt took Pitt to a bcs game something Wanny never did.

    Narduzzi was a good hire he has taken Pitt to two consecutive 8 wins seasons and the future looks promising with him guiding the program.

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    1. My point wasn't that Wannstadt was a great coach or built great teams. But that he was as good as coach and built as good of teams as Pitt is currently capable of having. Harris and Narduzzi, who you seem to think highly of, never even got to the level Wannstadt did (10 wins in a season and 27 over a 3 year span). And if you think Narduzzi is gonna hit 10 wins this year or next you are a lot more optimistic than I am.

      I think a lot of those horrible performances you are blaming on him were a result of Pitt not being able to recruit good enough players. Some of that's on him, but given that no coach has recruited better, I'd say it's more on the program overall.

      I do think Narduzzi has them going in the right direction, but the funny part is that's because he's winning at a rate that is ALMOST as good as where Wannstadt already had them 6 years ago.

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    2. It took four years for Wannstedt to have a winning record. Narduzzi did it in his first year. Your logic is convoluted, to say the least.

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  29. Wanny took Walts BCS team and lost with Palko, Narduzzi took a program that was stuck at 6/6 and has won 16 games in his first two seasons. Al what don't you understand or see?

    If Narduzzi goes 8/4 this season that's 24 wins in his first 3 seasons, a nice start with more to come because he is assembling talent and gaining a recruiting foothold with high school players and coaches.

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  30. I was never really trying to compare the two in the first place. I was more just saying I think where Wannstadt had them is roughly the ceiling. Obviously Narduzzi has come a lot closer to that than the other coaches have, and I personally thought Wannstadt should go at the time.

    My only point was that I think he gets unfair criticism, because the last 7 or 8 years have showed me he was better than I thought. You are all basically telling me Narduzzi is great because he can win 8-9 games a season and get recruiting classes ranked in the 30s and that's about what expectations should be for Pitt. Well that's exactly what Wannstadt did so I think it's unfair to dump on him too much. Again, I bashed Wannstadt too at the time, but I'm admitting I was wrong.

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    1. Who said Narduzzi will only win 8-9 games and recruit in the 30s. He just began. He already matched what Wannstedt immediately. Wannstedt got better as he went along. If Narduzzi also improves as he goes along, then he will far surpass Wannstedt.

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    2. This whole conversation started with me saying they need to recruit better and you telling me they're never going to recruit with the top teams so I have to hope he just develops these guys. You're the one who convinced me the recruiting in the 30s part is true.

      I guess you could hope they win more than 8-9 games sometimes, but I would say if you keep recruiting in the 30s or so that's probably about the best you can hope for, with the odd year here or there where they may do better (Like Wannstadt also did, and was 1 point away from an 11-win season and conference title)

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    3. Pitt is built to be an 8-9 win program on average, with a good coach, but they definitely have the potential to do better than that in some years. Wannstedt didn't get there. It remains to be seen if Narduzzi will. I think most observers think he will.

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    4. I agree with pretty much everything you said there. And Wannstadt didn't get there is right, but I think we have to remember he was literally only 1 single point away from "getting there".

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    5. Narduzzi will surpass Wanny for 2 reasons: 1. He places a higher value on the QB position and has recruited it better 2. His game day staff (especially OC) and decision making is much better

      Narduzzi is a more complete head coach as he learns on the job than their last 4.

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  31. If Wanny coached two more seasons I still don't think he would have won the Big East in 2011 or 2012, but the schedules were so poor I think there was still a good chance he could have gone 10-3 in each of those seasons.

    Call me crazy, I'd take those records and no Big East titles compared to the 6-6 teams Graham and Moose trotted out.

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    1. I agree. Heck I'd take a 10-win season anytime.

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    2. It was that easy in 2012 also, and he only won seven games that system.
      So no, we wasn't going to win ten games in those seasons either.

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    3. Oops. Meant 2010.

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  32. Chris if you had to put a % chance on 2-10 going to Pitt, what would they be?

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  33. Chris, is it time to start being really concerned about Pitt basketball? When stallings own recruits start jumping ship, that seems like a major problem.

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    1. It depends on who they sign to fill up the roster. At the moment, it's pretty obvious that things aren't going well.

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    2. Lost grad-transfer Lane to VCU, transfer Edwards to ASU and the Xavier decommit, who I thought would pair nicely with Luther, to Florida Gulf Coast. This all happened today.

      Why there is talk of getting rid of Nix and Milligan with this roster the way it is beyond me. No way that kid from Canada, Iggy, is coming to Pitt. He'll go to Vanderbilt since it is more secure there. Better sign Geno Thorpe to get to nine kids.

      The A.D. needs to find cause to fire Stallings and hire Tom Crean. There is NO way this program can find a better coach right now. If Crean said no than bring in Brandin, who can hire Rice as an assistant and the rebuild starts.

      -Busey

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    3. Wouldn't be surprised to see Milligan leave. At Trees the other day he made it sound like he's trying to get his degree first then transfer. Just has to pass classes. Honestly, it wouldn't be the end of the world. He'd do much better at a smaller program

      I think things would get a little better if Stallings came out and apologized for blaming players and His relationship issues. He got off to a rough start here, but has 5 years left on his contract. Doesn't matter how good of a system he runs if everyone dislikes him.

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    4. If Pitt lands Thorpe and the Wright State guard, then yes, Milligan should leave. At center, there are no other players Pitt is involved with, so the coaches have to convince Nix to stick around.

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  34. Crean really didn't do much after Dwayne Wade, Indiana didn't work out too well for him.

    Stallings will get a least 1 more maybe 2 years if he doesn't win he is gone. Stallings inherited a train wreck and yes maybe he handled the situation poorly but I don't think Dean Smith could have done much better with the group because there was essentially no point guard no legitimate big man, no real quality depth and at times the squad looked disinterested in playing competitive basketball. Pitt basketball has been trending down and right now it's in the basement. The program needs talent that is has been lacking for awhile.

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  35. A Pitt football defensive player is getting the boot today. Bad grades apparently. Stay tuned. I hope it's a stiff player.

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