94 thoughts on “Pitt Basketball: Pitt vs Virginia Open Game Thread

  1. Mercifully…Can’t watch today. Two positive comments from Clemson. Pitt played terrific defense after the first 8 minutes. TBrown displayed 3 new basketball offensive moves.

    Will look to POV for updates.

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  2. Matching up well against the Hoos. Very similar systems. VA is not an especially athletic running type team – if UVA shooters have an off afternoon and Pitt can find a second scorer then it may be interesting today.

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  3. Story of the season – miss 2 easy shots, a bonehead turnover, and UVA makes the Panthers pay.

    We desperately need an outside game.

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  4. 3 possessions – 3 unforced turnovers. If I had hair I’d be tearing it out in handfuls.

    Sigh.

    The dues one pays to watch an early rebuild in progress. It will be worth it in 4 to 5 years when Pitt makes the Final 4.

    H2P

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  5. The way our guys “react” to rebounds must drive the coaches crazy. Because too often we don’t react at all, let alone box out.

    You’d think any players would automatically go aggressively to the loose ball. Some of our guys just don’t have that instinct. Strange for a basketball player…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. No. I realize that it is a rebuilding year in the best amatuer BBall League/Connference in the World.

      Like the Washington Wild Things trying to play the Yankees Sox and Cardinals day in and day out.

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  6. We get a call then Brown gets his head caught in a vortex…I just don’t think these players are physically and mentally capable of elevating their game to be able to execute the teachings Capel is preaching.

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    1. 4 of our starters would not even see the court on any top level ACC team.

      UVA is a legitimate contender for the Championship.

      Pitt held it’s own for about 6 minutes. First miscue and they unraveled. I won’t point fingers at any one player or coach. They is what they are.

      I still think Pitt can win 2 more games – just not this one.

      H2P

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  7. I saw a UVA double dribble, then a walk followed by a bogus foul on Pitt. Only the latter was called on the same possession.

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  8. Pitt play of the game … N’Dir blocks 7’1 UVa C duns which starts a fast break layup, cutting the lead to 62-37

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  9. I look back in amazement at Dixon’s good teams where all we needed was a guard that could get to the rim. Now we have one but that’s all we have. McGowns sudden lack of talent is mystifying !!!

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    1. Dan… I really don’t think McGowens is athletic enough to make it at this level. Maybe he realizes it and that’s what has caused him to lose his confidence.

      He simply doesn’t have what it takes to MAKE Offensive Plays against the level of Guards he’s running up against.

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  10. Many millenials (sp) who live in Pittsburgh or are sons of Pitt grads watching today saw a butt whopping for the ages that will leave a lasting negative impression regarding Pitt athletics.

    Ugh!

    S O P !

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    1. The only ones who saw this game are diehard fans in Charlottesville and Western PA. It was not a regional feature game on one of the ESPN’s – only one of the last low budget Raycom productions evah.

      A few highlights will be seen on Sportscenter – but the number 2 team beating up on a second division foe who is rebuilding is not unusual at all. No serious PR harm done at all in my book.

      IMHO simply can’t apply SOP to this team – it is literally playing out of it’s league. I stress that when I talk to anyone who is a casual fan and wondering why Pitt is so bad this year.

      My biggest concern right now is recruiting – or lack of news on that front. At this point in time there is where we can legitimately judge and give hard ‘constructive’ criticism of Coach Capel.

      H2P

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      1. Tommy – in Central PA this game was on the local NBC station and was watched by my 28 year old son and his friends who gathered to carch a few games in preparation for March Madness. They did not have cable tv –

        The S O P is how we got to this point, IMO.

        I get all the talk about how young these guys are and the lack of talent Capel was dealt. He failed in his own right to complete the roster with a serviceable big man, Lyke a grad transfer or JUCO. This team is undermanned and he is partly responsible.

        Again, how did Pitt get to this point is my issue. I cannot give the administration a pass.

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  11. Kham Davis again a no show today. What’s up with him? Sampson George also did not play in mop up time.

    My dream recruit team is Khadim Sy, Diallo, DJ Gordon and Joe Bamilsile. Not sure how much help the Champagne twins could be but if there is room for them, bring them in as well.

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  12. I refuse to believe that an 18 year old with two 30 point games is a fluke. There is obviously too much pressure on the two freshman guards … they both are trying to do way too much, but gets no help at all

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  13. Terrell Brown cannot for the life of him, find the on switch. He needs locked in the weight room after spring semester and not let out until fall classes. I like him and see potential there but he doesn’t have the strength or drive right now.

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    1. ike — unfortunately he also lacks “touch” around the hoop.

      Strange that he has some talent for blocking shots and can hit a mid-range jumper, but then struggles around the basket on rebounding and shooting…

      “The Mysterious Case If Terrell Brown!” Would be a page-turner if a mystery.

      Go Pitt.

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  14. We did score 30 in the second half!!! 😳

    I think some are too tough on the freshmen. Do you remember how non-descript a guy like Chevy Troutman was as a freshman and what he developed into?

    I say again that this team is just whipped and beat-down by this season. Too overmatched each game. Not making many basic and simple plays…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Watch McGowens play and what sticks out is poor decision making. He can’t decide when to drive the hoop and when to pull up for the jumper. He passes on clean looks and tries to force it inside against sagging bigs. His problems are all in his head.

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    1. If you have to think in basketball you’re dead! It has to be instinct and react. The game is way too fast for McGowans right now.

      Those ACC player of the weeks were no accident. He will be back strong next year.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. BTW and I don’t like to say this but…. McGowens seems to me to play on the edge of sportsmanship. I like the kid and love his competitiveness but he gets real chippy at times. Plus from my untrained eyes, I think he’s dragged the team down of late? Having said that, his future is very bright in the Burgh….and so is PITT’s basketball team’s. . … … ike

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    1. I agree ike. He plays kind of angry, it seems.

      I hope a reputation as a contact “embellisher” and head snapper doesn’t stick to him after this season…

      Unlike POD, I think he’s going to be a very good player. He has to harness the apparent fury inside him…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. My view is that Wilson-Frame is the one dragging the team down the most.

      God Bless him for his game effort and for sticking it out over the last 3 years…but as a Senior he makes wayyyyy too many bad decisions. I can excuse the frosh and perhaps sophomores – but by the junior year decision making should not be such a glaring deficiency in a players game. This is the Stallings legacy.

      Plus he is a step slow and that hurts the overall team game plan. Since he has become the starter the early season fast break offense that the frosh were excelling in has gone by the wayside. Mostly due to faster more athletic teams – but putting a slow cog in the machine has not helped.

      McGowen is becoming a damn good defender – his offense will be back next year. I feel that a lot of the coaching at this point is to get the younger players experience in facets for the game that they would normally pick up during practice, observation from the bench and from Senior leadership. Instead they have to play full time and learn on the job.

      X-Man is also being groomed for next year by the coaches. They are working on eliminating his weaknesses – and it is causing him to think not react. Bad for this season but in the long run he will be a much more rounded player.

      Rebuilds take time – especially in a program that had fallen as far as Pitt did under the previous coach. I think Capel and staff have done a damn good job in a very bad situation. This last month the team is playing for the future in addition to trying to win games against superior talent.

      I get extremely frustrated watching them play and at times want to go off on the young players – but I understand that coaching can only take a player so far – you can lead a player to the basket but you can’t force the ball into the basket.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Wanted to also mention that in my opinion Brown is the most improved player on the team since November. He is showing flashes of being a competent big – needs to work on hand strength in the off season, the wide body will come with age. But comparing the November Brown with the March Brown is like night and day – he has some self confidence now and he is showing improvement in just about every outing.

        To me watching a player develop over a season and career is one of the best parts of watching college ball. Gary McGhee comes to mind – and Mr. Wannamaker. Being able to sit and spectate in the gym in the early games is why I have season tickets. It’s the journey – not necessarily the destination – that is so fun to watch and appreciate.

        H2P

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  17. Tommy, that’s a comment I agree with but I have to ask you. Where would this year’s team be without JWF? Johnson and McGowens are two loose cannons out there and Frame has kept a lid on those 2 guys most of the year. Every team needs some leadership from someone. The good news is, Frame moves on but who takes his place in the leadership role?

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    1. Very good points on Frame. I like him as a person and player – just not in the role he is in now.

      I just think he was a better player and more effective resource coming of the bench after the first TV timeout. Gave the youngsters 5 minutes to sow their wild oats before pappa reigned them in.

      He is getting too many minutes now – he was a better player with a few less minutes imo. (Of coarse I don’t see the practices and what he brings there – it’s why I’m only a fan with an opinion and not a coach.)

      Due to overall player talent levels, the team would probably have a similair record.

      Leadership can come in many forms – in practice and from bench conversations during a game. I think W-F tries too hard to be the ‘senior on the court’ setting the example at times and has trouble reacting and makes dumb plays (bad decisions leading to turnovers and poor shot selection) – and his body language bears this out. Hard to shake off the losing attitude, bad habits, mental trauma, and lost time that Stallings bequeathed to the players left from the past 3 years.

      Remember – the players liked and supported – and most importantly listened to Stallings ‘teachings’ – he had them in a bunker mentality and they simply were unaware of the long term damage he was doing to the team, brand and players. They were young men and just didn’t know better.

      H2P

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    2. As far as the future, it will be one of the juniors or seniors who will step up sometime in the next 9 months – I am hoping the NCAA lets N’Dir play one more year – he will fit the bill of Senior leader nicely.

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      1. Ellison will step into JWF’s leadership roll, and many other roles of JWF. X-man will be a leader by position, if he continues to be the PG.

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  18. What we are seeing is an inevitable reaction to endless games playing against superior talent and especially older player physicality. Look how Clemson almost knocked off NC tonight. These ACC teams are all good on a given day. Capel knows he needs more talent and will get it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a possibility of three ACC teams getting NCAA #1 seeds …. Duke, UVa and UNC.

        This has been done only once before ….. in 2009, three Big East teams — UConn, Louisville and guess who?

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  19. The baseball team beat Butler last night in extra innings. Ron Washington Jr (son of former MLB player & manager with same name) drove in the game winner in the bottom of the 10th. Pitt was down 1-3 in the 8th when they tied the game with a 2 out double.

    Late game heroics vs a non-P5 team are better than a loss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 4 ACC teams are ranked
      Plenty of SEC and Big 12 teams in top 25

      Louisville, Michigan and Illinois are the only ‘Northern’ schools

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  20. The ACC is projected to have 9 teams make the dance
    Most of any conference

    Only 2 ACC schools finished in the top 25 for football last year

    Pitt is in a basketball conference
    The worst team in a highly visible and respected conference
    Ironic that one of the reasons the ACC selected Pitt was for its basketball success

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Pitt administration leadership really mucked this up. With the right coaching hire after Dixon’s departure, Pitt would have been one of those 9 teams.

      Can you tell I’m holding a grudge?

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  21. The one successful contribution that steve pederson gets credit for by many was him paving the way for PITT to slide into the ACC. Of course I’m not one of them but ok some do believe that. If we are looking at what happened to the mighty PITT basketball program, I would look in that direction. PITT was just rolling along in the Big East, challenging for the conference championship practically every year. When the move was made, Dixon and his lack of recruiting would get exposed and worse, he knew it.

    Dixon wasn’t fired he wanted to get out of Dodge and he did. Now the goofy Barney hires Stallings and here we are with TWO conference wins in the past two years. To be clear, I for one am very happy PITT is in the ACC but by doing so, it ruined the momentum the basketball program once had. Now, on to football. H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Dixon knew the writing was on the wall
    He recruited players (many from NYC) that fit his style of play
    That style was successful in the Big East
    With the move to the ACC, Dixon would have to recruit in other areas and find a different type of player
    Plus his buddy Steve was no longer around to protect him

    I thank Steve for picking up the phone when the ACC called after BC nixed UConn
    I’d rather be in the ACC than stuck in the Big 12, AAC or even B10

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Right, Dixon needed protection from SP. Just imagine if he had not been one of the most successful coaches in Pitt BB history…He would have needed a squad of old school G-men to protect him from the angry mob!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dixons teams were chronic chokers come tourney time
    Most AD’s would have expected and demanded more tourney success (only 1 Elite 8 appearance and 2 Sweet 16’s). Thats over 13 years.

    Ben Howland made 2 Sweet 16’s in just 4 years.

    But lack of tourney success, never got Dixon into trouble with his pal Steve
    It was too chummy a relationship and Dixon took advantage of it

    His teams were nothing more than mediocre in his last 4 years and Jamie was very well compensated

    Dixon was infamous for padding his non-con schedule
    He had 14 wins before conference play even started

    It was time for him to move on

    Liked by 1 person

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