New Pitt POV Basketball Coverage

Friends, Readers and Countrymen,

Since there has been a lack of basketball (BB) coverage on The Pitt Blather of late I’ll go ahead and start putting up BB related pieces so that you all have a forum to discuss that Pitt sport also.

Funny – I played BB every single day from the time I was 10 years old until around 18 when I graduated from HS.  I did play some afterwards also with intramural play at Pitt, but then I put down the ball and walked away.

At 6’6″ I was a good player if I do say so myself.  The problem was that I was also a skinny 175 pounds and played like a point guard (street ball moves but quick 1st step and ball control…and a good outside shot) yet the coaches insisted I play center and I got my ass kicked.

So I haven’t, and don’t really follow, BB at all any longer and haven’t for some while… yet to see a game at the Pete even, which I will do this year.  But you all deserve a place to bandy about discussions and teach me to enjoy BB again…:)

Anyway  here is a small teaser to get you going:

The P-G did a piece on “Kevin Stallings:First 100 Days of the Condor

Can Stallings be the same man who was arguably the most successful coach in Vanderbilt history while being a better version of that coach to quell the public cynicism and doubt surrounding his hiring at Pitt? It’s a question that remains unanswered, and will for some time, but he has spent the greater part of the past four months, however, trying to make sure he comes out on the right side of that query.

College basketball coaches, much like the world leaders and CEOs to whom they often compare themselves, value the importance of their first 100 days on a job. It’s a window in which a culture is established, and the fundamental pieces of a program-building venture are put in place. Success doesn’t guarantee long-term prosperity, but it certainly doesn’t hamper the quest to achieve it.

In that period, Stallings lost no players to transfer, kept the Panthers’ 2016 recruiting class intact and assembled what is regarded as an impressive coaching staff. It is, even to his most hardened critics, a promising start. But as Stallings finishes his first 100 days at Pitt, and thinks about how everything transpired in that brief time, he knows his work has just begun.

Agree, disagree or what?  like the hire better now than before? Think Stallings needs a makeover so not to look like Forrest Gump’s Father?

Enjoy and I’ll try to keep BB stuff flowing in here but FB will be my first priority.

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22 thoughts on “New Pitt POV Basketball Coverage

  1. Before the childish name calling starts, lets stop blaming Stalling for the way Barnes handled the hire.

    He is the head coach, nothing we can do now except hope the guy wins.

    That being said, I think he has done great in 100 days but it is ONLY 100 days. He can’t be judged until after the season.

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  2. Stallings’ legacy and job are on the line with his 2017 recruiting class He really needs to recruit some very good players who will be the heart of the team in 1 – 2 years. So keep up the good work so far but it must get even better between now and the 2 signing days.

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  3. Pitt fans should definitely give the guy a chance to prove himself. It is not his fault he was hired or that the process was completely bungled up. He has said and done the right things so far and the fact that no players have bailed on him should be a positive in my book. I also think it is reasonable to expect that he makes it back to the Big Dance this year given the talent and experience returning, even though the ACC schedule looks fairly brutal on paper.

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  4. Nice Reed! I think it’s great that you’ve willing to enter the bball arena.

    I like the new PG beat writer. He’s fairly even handed.

    That said, I’m not sure that Stallings should get credit for convincing players not to transfer. Pitt has four seniors and three juniors on the roster. Two of the juniors (Nix and Milligan) are juco transfers who have not played a minute in the ACC and redshirted last year. The only underclassmen that probably legitimately considered transferring are Wilson and Johnson. Johnson was not a highly regarded prospect coming out of local high school and already redshirted. However he may have played himself to a higher level of esteem last year late in the season.

    Likewise I’m not sure that Stallings deserves all that much credit for retaining the recruiting class. Kithcart, who only became highly regarded during the spring and was recruited by Stallings at Vandy, is coming into a situation where he can legitimately compete for the starting job on an ACC team on the first day of practice. Manigault is stepping into a position where he can learn from three seniors (Young, Artis and Jeter) and a junior (Luther). He could end up being a three year starter. Clark is coming off major knee surgery and is a juco transfer.

    Stallings probably does deserve better from me. However I can’t give it because of the way Barnes went about the hire and the way in which he dismissed me as “noise” and probably not “being in the right place” if I didn’t agree with his hire. As a result it’s renewal time and I won’t be doing along for the ride.

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  5. Reed, thanks for the basketball post. It would be great if those that go to the summer league games could give us a little more detailed reports.

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  6. My posts are going through today. Seems to be an intermittent problem. Very frustrating when I type a long post that doesn’t go through. (poor typist). Going to go with short posts.

    I am over the whole Barnes-Stallings thing, and rooting for their success, until there is a greater reason for angst.

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  7. Agree that no judgement should be made on Stallings for a while, and also agree that the coming year’s recruiting class will be key … but maybe not as critical as some think. He will still have talent on his roster (Johnson, Luther, Wiison, Kithcart, Manigault) but definitely needs to shore up the front line.

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  8. I haven’t even started with the name-calling. Actually, I’ll leave that up to UPITT.

    I’ve no opinion one way or another about Stallings as a coach. But boy did SB put his foot in his mouth with that press conference. But – if that is the biggest misstep Barnes makes in his first year then he, and in turn Pitt, is in pretty good shape.

    I’ll try to get up to PGH for a BB game – maybe there will be one close to a FB game but honestly, driving 9 hrs round trip for a BB game isn’t really worth it to me. No tailgates, after-parties, etc… with BB like with FB.

    Please feel free to write long comments about BB though – there is a good deal of interest especially this upcoming season – like we had last season with Narduzzi.

    BTW – I won’t watch the NBA if you literally paid me to do so.

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  9. Reed, on 11/26 (day after Thanksgiving) Pitt BB hosts Moorehead St. The day after, Pitt FB hosts Syracuse. I believe this will be your best bet

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    1. Reed, plus you can usually get the student tickets right on the court for $25 since they are on break. I did that last year for the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving game vs Cornell and have done it other times when I traveled to Pittsburgh around the Holidays.

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  10. While I, as well as many fans was underwhelmed by the hire, Coach Stallings seems to be doing everything right so far. I consider myself to be cautiously optimistic.

    Thanks for opportunity to talk a little BB Reed!

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  11. I really didn’t like the Stallings hire when announced. Thought we were getting a 50 year old re-tread with modest (at best) credentials and not much gas left in the tank. That said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far. He kept all the key players on board and managed to salvage the incoming recruits. More importantly, the players seem to be genuinely pumped up about Stallings. Of course, they’re going to say good things about the new coach, but I sense a real feeling that Stallings will make basketball fun for these guys. Say what you want about Dixon, but I never got the impression that his players were having a blast. Always played tight from my perspective.

    The ultimate proof will be how we perform on the court, but I am a bit more optimistic based on the early feedback.

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    1. @Cruzer, I think your first impression of Stallings was accurate. Vandy hadn’t been to the NCAA for three straight seasons and was bounced in a play-in game by 20 points this past season.

      His teams made two sweet sixteens in 17 seasons. The last in 2007.

      People continue to give Stallings’ record a pass because of the academic constraints he had to deal with. My contention is that the “constraint” is offset by the fact that Vandy played in the SEC, a decidedly weaker conference than the ACC or Big East. Need proof? Check out the list of NCAA champions over the past 17 seasons and their conference affiliation.

      Pitt just hired the bball version of James Franklin except that Stallings was no flavor of the month. He has bordered on mediocre as a coach since about 2007.

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      1. Barvo:

        Come on man. I worked really hard to ignore all the actual evidence and facts. At least give me the summer to live in the fantasy world of “all is well”.

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  12. Jamie IMO had outlived his welcome at Pitt. A change was needed and I do believe Jamie was in agreement as he needed a change also. I’m hoping Stallings surprises all his skeptics before this next season is concluded.

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  13. I’m cautiously optimistic also. And as someone above said, how can anyone be mad at him? He didn’t do anything except accepting a job to coach hoops at Pitt. And, he’s pretty excited and happy about it.

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  14. I’m not making fun of name calling him. I feel bad enough for the guy and is pedestrian career. He will be gone in 2 years. Couldn’t win with 2 NBA picks in the draft in a weeker conference. Herman Munster went cheap but did rid us of the 34 year contract Chap Stick had.

    Barnes head probably weighs 98 lbs and his ego makes up 96 of those lbs.

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  15. “At 6’6″ I was a good player if I do say so myself. The problem was that I was also a skinny 175 pounds and played like a point guard (street ball moves but quick 1st step and ball control…and a good outside shot) yet the coaches insisted I play center and I got my ass kicked.”

    Your head coach didn’t by chance wear a skunk hat and go by the name of Jaime did he? 😉

    I’m firmly in the give Stallings a chance for next 3 years camp and in the see ya in the funny papers Jaime camp for the next 30 years.

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  16. The Stallings hire was proof of how a person can go from being a God to goat in a heartbeat in the eyes of Panther fans, and it is Barnes who I’m talking about. Anyway, I wanted Dixon to stay for over 20 years and give Pitt the stability the school is all too unfamiliar with when it comes to understanding the very definition of the word. Alas, Dixon left and maybe it seemed like the right time to go back to his alma mater though he had some rotten luck starting with Nas’ foul versus Butler.

    I hope Stallings can be at Pitt for 10 years and be pretty darn successful. The ACC is a scoring league so his offensive mentality might be a breath of fresh air though there is nothing more deflating than having a soft Pitt hoops team after watching the program bully opponents around from 2001-2011.

    Big improvement from Luther and Cam will be the key to next season. I’m Ga-Ga over these two guys because the both are long and can shoot the ball. Luther played really well in games versus Louisville and Duke and hopefully Stallings gives both 30-plus minutes a game. I’ll also be curious to see how the two look after an offseason of lifting weights.

    Michael Young needs to go out with a bang. I was more impressed with him as a freshman than I was his junior season. He’s another who needs some muscle on his body.

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  17. As a frosh, Mike Young was playing next to Talib Zanna. He hasn’t had the luxury of playing with a competent bigger guy since, but he is a very consistent player. Believe there were only 1 or 2 games last year when he didn’t reach double figures

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