NC State comes to the Pete where the Panthers hope to exact some sweet revenge for that oh-so-close loss in January.

Lets go Pitt!

135 thoughts on “Pitt Basketball: Pitt vs NC State Open Game Thread

  1. Saturday’s 2pm game between #Pitt and #NCState can be seen in Pittsburgh on @COZITV on free, over-the-air channel 4.2 and cable TV Comcast channel 204/188, Verizon FIOS channel 461, Armstrong channel 90, Consolidated channel 15 and Atlantic Broadband channel 110

    (per Andrew Stockey’s twitter)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marquette is ranked #10 and VA Tech is #11.

    Two teams that have been hated rivals of Pitt BB in the past.

    Makes me not even want to watch the game today vs NC State. The administration has messed up our athletic teams to the point where I don’t even want to waste an afternoon letting them upset me.

    Enjoy the game – thankfully I have better things to do…

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    1. Stallings is gone after 2 miserable years. His former boss is also gone. Pitt took a $10M buyout hit. That was painful. I think they learned their lesson.

      Pitt basketball has hope and a plan. First part of the plan was firing KS. Second part was finding a coach with ACC ties that can recruit. Pitt basketball is on its way back…more quickly than you think.

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  3. how many easy layups does this team have to give away. They are not good enough to throw easy points away. I can put up with a lot from freshmen…..but all the missed layups are inexcusable, even in high school. All those points thrown away have and will haunt us. Infuriating.

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  4. But here’s what we learned.

    N’Dir is Pitt’s BEST Starting Point Guard with Johnson at 2.

    McGowens needs to be left to coming off the bench.

    Toney is the odds on favorite to cash the MOST NBA Checks.

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    1. What more can he do with this roster? How about some more calls by the prick refs? The spring and the 2020 class is where Capel should be under more of a microscope.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Talking to a buddy of mine the other day and we agreed…. it’s not the wins and losses at this point. It’s more about how the team plays together and improves. imo, I see a lot to be happy with moving forward. Thought PITT played well today and did and didn’t get some calls.

    Say what you will about my optimism but I don’t pretend to know more than a college head college making millions of dollars. My personality may be abrasive at times but I try not to be that pretentious as to ridicule coaches that know better than I do. Yours truly Ikester.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very interesting and entertaining game. The difference was three point shooting. Even on one of our best days with Frame going 4-5 and Brown going 2-3 and a total of 8 made couldn’t match NCST’s 14 made with Bryce matching bthe 4-5 and Beverly 5-9. Every time we caught up or went ahead, they just made a couple of threes. They also won the offensive rebounding which really makes it tough.

    Foul trouble is also more damaging to an undermanned team, making it hard to play suffocating defense. It seems that Johnson, McGowen and Brown are always hampered by foul trouble.

    As I said before, Frame and N’Dir had their best games as Panthers, Brown also played well. Johnson with some spectacular drives as well, but he was limited by foul trouble as was McGowen, who has really hit the wall, Toney also played pretty well with a couple key plays.

    It is now two games in a row when Johnson missed a critical foul shot at crunch time which concerns me greatly. Hope it doesn’t become a thing.

    Capel needs to find a Bryce or Beverly, some beef and another guard to replace N’Dir, who will be hardest to replace this year.

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  7. NCSt past 4 games they shot around 27% from 3…today they almost doubled that.
    Good comments by Gordon above…no need to repeat it.
    Hoping to see JoeL next home game and I think MissingWlat may attend?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. one thing …. if last year’s team was down by 14, they would stay down by 14 (or more).

    here are certainly some good players for Pitt, just not enough.

    hard to believe that just a week ago, NCS went 9 for 54 from the floor … on their home court

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  9. you may remember Tom Crean was a possible candidate for the Pitt job but chose Georgia which lost its 8th straight today. Here are his post game comments (Fraud like?)

    Crean, while criticizing himself for errors in the eighth-straight SEC loss for Georgia, seemingly threw his players under the bus at the same time.
    “It’s all on me,” Crean told reporters after the game. “Because I’m the one who decided to keep these guys. And I get it, because the last thing I can do with making decisions on keeping guys in the program in the spring, is now overly get mad at them because I’m the one who made the decision. I live with that every day and it doesn’t mean that they’re not great kids. But very few programs, when there’s a takeover okay, when you guys who haven’t done it at any point really in their career, a lot of those guys move on. That’s what happens when there’s a job change. And I didn’t do that. And I’m not going to complain. And we’ve just got to do everything we can to fix it.”

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  10. Productive afternoon without watching the Pitt game.

    Watching the Duke vs UVa game with my wife – she is a big Duke fan (ikr). But I dislyke UVA Lyke no other. When Pitt was on the rise, UVA wasn’t vet Good. When Jamie started to decend at Pitt, UVA was on the rise.

    It is all about recruiting and some coaching.

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  11. Pitt softball gave up 11 more runs in another loss today to a Central Mich. Off to an 0-3 start with their new coach.

    Hardly lost any players from a very good team. Coaching matters…

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  12. Great game at The Pete. The Zoo and crowd did a great job.

    Pitt played good, just came up short. I have never witnessed so many drives to the basket with no fouls. NC State is not a slashing team. No worries for them. The Pitt guards should have been at the line twice as much as they were.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a great game from an entertainment standpoint and any game I get to attend with my family is an awesome day. The loss doesn’t take away from the experience for me.

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  13. Is anyone concerned yet that we do not have a big man signed for 2019? Or anyone, right? The reason for my concern is the timing and spacing of our scholarship athletes. If we do not have any “ready to play” big men and they redshirt in the 2019-20 slate, then our guards will be true Juniors before the biggies get on the court and then of course, poof, they will be gone one year later.

    Let the coach “play the game in recruiting” ma’am AD.

    Does Narduzzi get credit for House in his coaching tree? Just kind of wandered how that worked.

    Erie – Are you comparing our womens softball team with all its returning starters, to the mens bball team who made it to the ncaa’s the year before stallings got here and he too had many returning starters? Eerily similar.

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    1. Besides the freshmen recruits, I expect a “big” or two to come in as a grad transfer and/or a community college player – and be able to help next season.

      It’s maddening that we’ve been so close to a W the last two games…

      Good to see JWF and N’Dir contributing.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  14. Okay, just saw this question on Jeopardy—

    “Mike Ditka and Tony Dorsett prowled the field as Panthers for this school.”

    The three contestants looked puzzled, shrugged their shoulders, and no one buzzed in!

    Old geezer Panther fans not pleased!

    (Richman — you better make sure Heather knows about this…)

    Go Pitt!

    Like

    1. Fran – thanks. I am feeling better. Finally got some sleep last night. Had a rough 5 days and the meds didn’t seem to do any good.

      Now I could use a Pitt BB win, but neither the men nor the women seem to be able to pull one off… ☹️

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  15. Huff, the fact that NO bb recruits are committed so far is a major concern. We know about the recruiting difficulties with bigs but what about 2 guards or small forwards? Not losing faith in Capel, but this is still a problem.

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  16. Pitt is not playing the money game…yet
    Our Compliance AD does not approve.
    I’m not saying I do either but thats how the game is played.

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    1. NC State is implicated in the FBI probe and college BB scandal. So, we lost to cheaters yesterday – not surprised since their HC Keates comes from the Pitino money tree, I mean coaching tree and his last name rhymes with cheats.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hopefully the Penn State big, Watkins, grad transfers to Pitt. Screw his rap sheet. Capel needs a 6’9” 255- pound guy down low to rebound next season.

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  18. Huff, I got the eerily comment made towards The Erie Express!! Very clever. At least I think that’s what your intentions were??

    Take it easy POD…

    Capel will bring in a couple big men. PITT BB needs shooters for next year as well. . . . …ike

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  19. Spelling it as Eriely would have been too easy. Typically, multiple meanings with all my posts. Once Capel III gets a big, perhaps his posts will be much more successful.

    Top 75 bball recruits all play the game once they have handlers. An AD told me a couple of years ago that the “handlers” used to be the church pastors in the south and coaches often “offered” things for the church such as tractors and the like in order for the pastor to steer a player to a certain school. This was a common practice.

    Why will Capel have to rely on the portal or grad transfers? He should have been recruiting these kids for a few years already, right? Same holds true for borbely and Beatty with football. Just because they came to Pitt, doesn’t mean they don’t have relationships established with players already that they should or could have landed.

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  20. Read Chris Peak’s article where he talks about our two OL recruits (Goncalves and Dick) in this class. He says:

    “Both players are of the body type that Pitt has been targeting: long, lean tackles who probably could have taken some snaps at tight end in high school.”

    I think this points out one reason we have problems right now at tackle. Seems like the former OLine coach liked the massive, thick-bodied tackles. Guys like Warren. But can they move those giant bodies quick enough to handle speed rushers? I think the answer is no.

    Now we’re on the right track, but we lost valuable time and will need more patch-work along the line…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. no question about it …. the OL which overpowered much of the ACC this year where thick-bodied ‘big uglies’ whereas they definitely struggled in pass protection, lacking the nimbleness to move laterally. Of course, these long lean types will likely struggle in the running attack. It’s almost like you’d want to see a platoon system where the long-leans come in on obvious passing situations.

      The great teams like Clemson and Bama have 300 plus pounders who also are nimble …. these are the 4/5 star linemen that Pitt cannot attract

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pitt had a 4* OL starting at RT last season (2018). Bookser who should have played RG, his natural position.

        There are two other 4* OL players (if we are allowed to count other rating sites besides Rivals) – Jerry Drake Jr will be a RS SO who’s father played in the NFL and will be suiting up for his 3rd Spring game. Carter Warren is the other at 6’5” 320lbs.

        Borbs needs to be developing these two as they both were highly rated out of H.S. The other two closely rated to 4*’s (5.7 on Rivals) are two WPIAL OL players in RS FR Zubovic and Kradel. JUCO Chase Brown from that same class was a Rivals 5.7 also.

        There is talent, they are just not regularly talked about.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. it might take the line an entire year to jell
          the best lines are the ones that are most experienced
          nothing like real game time experience and working together as a unit
          they might have talent and they might be strong enough now after 2 years in the weight room, but Pitt will struggle due to inexperience

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        2. I’m wondering if Warren and Drake end up being tried at guard? Just don’t know if they have the quickness for OT – I suspect not since neither could crack the lineup last season when we had plenty of opportunity — but time will tell.

          Booker was great at moving forward, but struggled at times when it came to shuffling backwards or laterally…

          And I’m still holding out hope for Rainey (walk on from Aliquippa) to show up at guard – maybe with Kradel if Kradel can get big and strong enough…

          Heard Coach Borbely bragging on Rainey one day last season.

          Go Pitt.

          Like

        3. They were talented…..in high school. They need to see the field so it can be determined if they are equally talented…..in P5 football in college.

          I would like to start games with our 350 OL running at a smaller defensive line and just roadgrading them and taking away their will to compete. One can dream.

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  21. Back to football, I with Erie as it’s too depressing watching Pitt BB most especially watching our dismal front count operating on the court.—Nakia Griffin-Stewart(at the game yesterday) Rutgers grad transfer TE is another must get for Narduzzi. His numbers at Rutgers might not show it but watching his video suggests to me he would be a welcome addition for Whipple’s scheme come nest season.

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    1. jrn- watching our “bigs” can be tough, but seeing those awesome drives to the hoop and finishes by Xman, and others, is awesome.

      I don’t remember us having a player — certainly not a freshman — who showed this kind of quickness and such cleverness in finishing the shots. Really fun to watch, IMHO. Especially knowing the best is yet to come.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  22. Pitt loses by only 3 Points and some want to again simply BLAME it on Pitt being TOO Young and TOO Small.

    Ridiculous.

    Yesterday, the difference really was all about THREES.

    3PT-FG%

    NC State 51.9% Pitt 42.1%

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  23. Which raises the question… or at least SHOULD… why did Capel have Pitt repeatedly missing THREES instead of going in for the TWO and possible foul?

    Even without getting the foul, there was PLENTY of time to get the TWO and live for another possession.

    Like

    1. The answer here is that Coach Capel did not “have them taking threes…”

      He said after the game that the instructions and the strategy was “ to take the best shot “

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  24. It certainly didn’t help that Pitt’s best defender, Toney, was sick and only played a few minutes, while Mark Ellison, who has been playing his best ball lately, did not play at all. Pitt needs all the manpower it can muster

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  25. A few Sunday morning thoughts:

    Now it looks like Matt House is staying at Kentucky. hmm? What do you suppose is going on down there?

    Last year the PITT O-Line was supposed to be a cobbled together group of older players that were nobodies and not expected to be very good.

    This year the PITT O-Line is a group of players that are too inexperienced to be very good.
    BTW.

    Oh and BTW, last years PITT O-Line has been selected as one of the top 4 O-Lines in the country as a semi-finalist for the Joe Moore award. << as EE posted

    Huff, I’m with you, I often post a comment with a little something in between the lines to chew on. Hell half the time I don’t even know what I mean. ikester

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    1. I’m guessing Lastrow means 2 in the morning — in other words he’s doing a sleep-over in Hemingway’s back room the night before…😊

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  26. Pulled this from FootballScoop.com –

    “Purdue: Jeff Brohm will make a $45,000 bonus for securing ESPN and 247’s 25th-ranked recruiting class, according to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today.”

    Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi lost numerous recruiting battles to Purdue with the 2019 class (my addition).

    Purdue folks, we are talking Purdue. The Boilermaker’s attendance has increased by about 10k since Brohm arrived. I’ll have to look into what cause that to happen…

    Like

  27. Heather obviously didnt have any clauses in Narduzzi’s contract extension for recruiting ranking unless it was based on ‘high character’ guys. Probably had a clause for winning the Coastal though.

    I wouldnt be surprised if extra compensation is also based on winning bowl games, final ranking, beating Penn State, GPA’s, number of arrests and graduating players.

    He has plenty of ways to make money.

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  28. who cares about recruiting ratings? Here are the last 3 years recruit rankings for Mark Richt at Miami

    2016: 23rd
    2017: 11th
    2018: 6th

    Miami’s roster this last year has 34 four / five stars. How did that work out?

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  29. oh, and one more thing … when recruiting rankings start to really matter, then that’s where boosters may enter the picture (if you know what I mean)

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  30. Chris Peaks recent 3-2-1 article is really good, especially the first part. The guys life is mostly based on recruiting and I’m in agreement with most of what he wrote about the star rankings. Someone linked it a day or so ago.

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  31. imo as all my thoughts are….. Xavier Johnson is in my top five talents at PITT of all-time. He literally makes me smile out loud at times. Fast, quick, slashing and tenacious. This just in, the young man is really good.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. you are both right. I don’t remember Fields being as good and dynamic as a frosh like Xavier is. But in the final minutes, I’d rather Fields have the ball in his hands than any other Pitt player. On Tuesday night, X missed the front end of a one-on-one which with 19 seconds left and Pitt up by 2. Fields would have likely made them.

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  33. Pitt softball losses another, this time to Wichita State, 7-3 to fall to 1-4 on the season. In the first five games, Pitt has played one P-5 team, Purdue, who was 16-40 last season.

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      1. Not sure, but when you look at her resume, she has a .500 record in the MAC – she did make the tournament 4 out of 14 years.

        Not a good start at Pitt.

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  34. A few thoughts on officiating in yesterday’s game. Officiating didn’t cost us the game but it sure felt like the calls were more lopsided than the final stat of Pitt – 20, NCSt – 16. I guess it felt that way because I was rooting for one team versus the other.

    At least we didn’t have to witness one of my officiating pet peeves. That is when a contested ball out-of-bounds occurs in the final two minutes and the official jumps up and down flailing his arm like a spastic traffic cop to indicate it went off the visiting team and now belonged to the home team … and the home crowd goes wild. I’ve seen that in games on TV numerous times. That is playing to the crowd or showboating and has no business in the game. That guy should be suspended a game or two.

    I’m fairly convinced that opposing coaches are now telling the game officials to watch Trey McGowens closely. I believe it was during a loose ball scuffle that Trey was called for a foul and the official made a motion that implied a kick or a trip by Trey. It was probably legitimate but I thought it was unusual in that situation.

    Speaking of Trey, we’ve watched him numerous times this season dribble up court and stop abruptly at the midcourt line, causing a trailing defender to run up his back and draw a foul. Yesterday I believe it was X who pulled the same move and drew the foul. I’m not sure it was picked up on TV but the N.C.State coach went crazy on the official as if this move was unfair or illegal or something. And he kept it up for way longer than I could understand. Is that not a legitimate way to draw a foul? Anyone else see that and have an idea what his complaint was?

    Like

    1. I noticed X stop abruptly to draw the foul. I have no idea what the rule is there. I doubt there is one, the player on the other team can’t knock you down. Since both Trey and X have done it and continue to do it, I assume they may be coached to do so.

      The tripping call was legit.

      Like

      1. Trey just seems ultra-competitive and this “stop” move looks like him trying to take advantage wherever he can.

        I noticed very early on in the season that both Trey and X embellished the contact when fouled — Trey more so. I thought that perceived “acting” might get him a bad reputation and hope that’s not what has occurred. Trey has cut down on the embellishment as the season has progressed.

        The “stop” move reminds me of when a DB is running stride for stride with a WR and then the WR slows up for an underthrown ball and the DB crashes into the WR and gets called for pass interference. Doesn’t seem fair to the DB, but that’s the way it works…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

    1. I like Coach Whipple, and he seems like a good coach, but if Pitt had fired the Doozer and hired Coach Whipple (fresh from UMass) as head coach – we would never hear the end of the complaining…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  35. Great dual meet!!!! And, though the ACC announcers wouldn’t give us any credit, Pitt also had a couple of guys out with injuries. They were sure to tell us how many injuries NC State had… H2P!

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  36. Our HW (who is a grad transfer btw) made up for his match deciding loss last weekend vs UNC with a matching deciding win today.

    H2P!

    Like

  37. NC St wrestling is ranked #8 and has a solid and deep roster. Pitt is building a solid roster but is not quite there yet. And, Pitt wrestled three dual meets in less than 48 hours (two on Saturday against Gardner Webb and Davidson and one on Sunday against NC St) in order to make the most of their traveling budget to North Carolina.

    Fun matches to watch. Great, and unexpected, victory. Again, H2P!!

    Like

  38. OT, I thought I would catch a break and give myself and all of you a break from myself on the POV and watch the “Grammy’s” on the TV with my wonderful wife. Not so fast my friend. This show makes me feel older than I should. I love almost all music but I cannot relate to all the theatrics taking away from the actual sound of music. Give me a deep bass guitar, a six string guitar, a heavy drum sound, maybe an organ and anyone who can sing and and send a good message…… then I’ll gladly listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Following up on Levance Fields… the architect of one of my favorite in-person wins involving Pitt Basketball. MSG against the Dookies. Pitt fans were outnumbered 10-1 by obnoxious and stuffy Duke fans. Duke fans cheer injury (season ending as it turned out) to Mike Cook. Pitt comes back from being down double digits in the second half. Fields hits a step back three pointer at the buzzer in overtime to win the game. Basketball nirvana. Give me 5 guys with his heart and hustle, and I’ll win a championship every year.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Had to share this….. Just got the great news…. 7th grandchild has arrived safely. Augustus aka Auggie just born. If nothing else, the family is prolific.

    Eric, I remember that game well. PITT has had their fair share of great point guards and Levance is certainly one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. In the Sweet 16 of 2009, Pitt was on the verge of being upset by Sean Miller’s Xavier. Pitt was down by 2 with about 35 seconds left when with the shot clock about to run out, Fields hits a 20 footer. The on the ensuing possession, Fields steals the ball near half court and drives in for the a layup and is fouled, putting the game out of reach.

    The following game vs Villanova, Pitt was down by 2 and Fields was fouled with about 5 seconds left, and he makes both FTs. Of course, all it did was set up Scottie Reynolds’ heroics, but Fields presence couldn’t be measured by stats.

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  42. missingwlat, about two weeks after that MSG game, I heard a Dick Vitale interview on ESPN, and he was pointing out that Duke would be undefeated except for that game. Then he actually says on air “what a shame, they had a big lead but let it slip away” No A-hole, the shame was Mike Cook being lost for the season, and then Fields being injured the following game at Dayton (which was Pitt’s 1st loss).

    But if course, in Dickie V’s world, there is no Pitt win … only a Dookie loss that they let slip away

    Like

  43. Congrats to the Ikester family on the new addition.
    Ike, I stopped watching the Grammys about 5 years ago…watched All the Presidents Men with my daughter for some background for her school report on Watergate.
    Movie still holds up…

    I loved the heart that Fields displayed…feel the same with the young X man.

    Like

  44. Thank You to each and everyone of you. Dino, I think you were right on both accounts. I’m sure there is an implied grandparent contract in there somewhere?

    Like

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