236 thoughts on “Florida State at Pitt Basketball Open Game Thread 🏀

  1. Horrible start – Capel pulls Brown at the 12 minute mark after he scores the 1st points in over 5 minutes.

    He looked better than the starters…

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  2. Ohhhhh boy, they really look bad, let’s hope it’s jitters, but boy, they look like the same team that couldn’t shoot last year. NBA my butt. That might be the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. If you can’t shoot you should at least be able to run the team. Haven’t seen his ability to do either.

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  3. Good move, ACC. Let’s get the ACCN some viewership with early league games. But they all turn out to be sh_t storms. Who’s gonna tune back in after this stuff??

    Hey, ACC, that’s why we schedule non-coms – to get this stuff straightened out before prime time.

    I’d rather watch soccer – or maybe a good close chess match!

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  4. Ugly sloppy basketball. FSTs length vs Pitt’s speed and outside shooting. In the long run speed and outside shooting wins. But short term….hard to watch.

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  5. Johnson is out of control, doesn’t get the ball to the right guy, takes a three instead of getting ball to Murphy who was wide open. Looks like he wants to be a look at me NBA tryout guy. Oh brother!

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  6. Same problem as last year….always missing easy shots. When you’re smaller than everyone you play you have to make the easy ones…..especially when your lack of size makes the rest of them hard..

    Good news is we can still win this one, because I have to respectfully disagree with Ike. FSU sucks. Very undisciplined.

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  7. I said it once, and I’ll say it over and over again. Xavier Johnson won’t sniff the NBA unless and until he: 1. Learns how to shoot a jumper; 2. Values the basketball more; and 3. Looks to involve his teammates more.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This team is bad. Just poor overall play. Johnson as the 47 th best player, what in Gods name are they seeing? I’d take James Robinson in a heartbeat. At least he’d know what to do, and who to get the ball to. Can’t believe I just wrote that. I may not survive this hoops season.

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    1. Only the first game but you’d think these guys would have developed a bit in the offseason.

      On the other hand, football did not look good against UVA and has rebounded nicely …

      Liked by 1 person

  9. They just aren’t natural shooters. Good athletes but not a lot of discipline. In fairness they have no center and no power forward so they think they have to do it all themselves.

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  10. Dan – it’s close because of all our foul shots. Two pretty sloppy undisciplined teams. But, it’s early and we are normally playing Clarion at this point. The refs keeping us in and our bad close-in shooting keeping FSU in the game.

    Kinda like the Steelers/Colts game where both teams worked hard to throw the game away.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. If we can have Murphy and champagne consistently spotting up and making threes on the baseline we will be dangerous with Johnson and McGowan’s driving to the basket.

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  12. LMAO, shoot less than 30% and win. What is it about Pitt teams. Ugly win, but better than a pretty loss, right Ike? Man, this team is going to drive purists absolutely nuts.

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    1. That’s right JoeK, corny as it sounds, a win is a win. Seems like PITT fans are born to be pissed off. Not that there isn’t a reason to be be pissed off but it would be nice and easier on the hearts and minds if we would grasp good times when they roll in.

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  13. Anyone reading these comments would never guess we won against a team that made the sweet sixteen last year.

    Best news is that we hit some threes and made just enough foul shots.

    Pretty strong defense against a pretty big team.

    We finished off a close game.

    All in all a great start to the season.

    The announcers were pretty strong and the refs called a pretty good game.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Gordon, I do agree, announcers were knowledgeable and not southern fried homers, and refs did a nice job, fair. Wish we’d have this crew all year!

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  15. I really love Pitt hoops, this was ugly at times but Pitt’s intensity was there throughout.

    FSU is athletic and long and can make it tough on a team that doesn’t shoot it well from the outside. Pitt will be that team all year. Murphy is an important addition and will probably be the difference in many games this year if he can hit like tonight.

    Nice start, fortunately the home court and the Zoo helped make it happen. Didn’t look like a great crowd but the Pitt kids were loud. That should get better if they can put together some wins from here. WVU could be a great game in a week and a half.
    Nice job JC!!!

    H2P!!!

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  16. BTW, any of our kids leaving early would be GREAT. I don’t see it but if it happens, they will have had to lead this Pitt team to some great wins. I hope it happens, but if not the trajectory is up no matter.

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  17. Also proof that we need to recruit a Murphy type shooter every couple years. No reason we can’t find and land those kids. The FSU boards should be fun reading tonight,

    Liked by 1 person

  18. They say that the greatest team improvement in football is between games 1 and 2. Not sure of that, but I can guarantee from experience that it is in basketball. And thank God. H2P

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  19. MM — off-topic, but Pitt has a “Field Pass” video out on the Pitt -GT game. Nice because of course it only shows the good stuff.

    I can’t link it, but maybe you can.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve never been a fan of Hamilton, FSU s Coach. His strategy of full court pressing and vertically jumping w every Pitt shot cost him 3 players fouling out and FSU looked exhausted at games end.
    There was a lot of fight in our men tonight!

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  21. Ffugly win…but I’ll take it.
    Pete looks awesome with the updates.
    Only small complaint is I cant see the individual player stats from where I sit. Hopefully it can be incorporated into the large screens facing each side.
    Surprised how small the crowd was for the ACC opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree on the stats on the big screen. Everyone I talked to had the same complaint.

      Winning will fix the attendance problem. The Zoo was pretty full and into it.

      The WVU game should be a good one, crowd-wise.

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  22. The good news is Pitt won ugly against a good opponent — and Pitt can play way better. (Similar to the FB team…)

    Got to like the overall defense — and the rebounding by the guards. And Pitt coming back from being down 9 in the second half — I thought they were toast at that point.

    Fran — I was surprised to see the empty seats – I guess a late weekday game early in the season didn’t help???

    Go Pitt.

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  23. Ugly but an ACC win, Johnson still tries to force a lot that isn’t there that costs them at times but I agree the intensity is there.

    Murphy had a lot of open looks early in the game but no one passed him the ball.

    In addition Murphy will be an important piece moving forward if he can shoot the 3 consistently.

    Program is going in the right direction.

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  24. https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/team/_/id/221/pittsburgh-panthers

    Pittsburgh slips past Florida State 63-61 in ugly ACC opener
    Xavier Johnson, Terrell Brown and Ryan Murphy scored 13 points apiece as Pittsburgh slipped past Florida State 63-61 on Wednesday night in a rare Atlantic Coast Conference season opener.

    I don’t care. So many complained about JD’s style of play. Screw that, WIN! How attractive could 48-34 be?
    I guess I am being a bit hypocritical in that I sure have complained about Pitt football. Not sure why I had the double standard but some of it was just to be comical pointing out the unforced errors. Easy to stop.

    Win 3 or even 2 more Pitt football!!! (I think they are capable of 3)
    Win 20+ Pitt basketball!!! (not sure at all yet with hoops)
    Go Pitt WVB, soccer, wrestling, diving, swimming, gymnastics etc.!!! I hope you all win looking good or ugly as hell. Well, diving and gymnastics, that probably can’t apply. LOL! Heck, put them on television and I will watch and cheer them on!!!

    Who’s with me? Iek, Scooter(I don’t even know but sounds like I don’t even need to ask), MM, the other MM, who else? any missing posters want to rejoin?

    If I lived close to the Burgh, I’d love to attend…that is as long as it didn’t clash with my kid’s wrestling…oh, yeah, and I do still need to go to work some….aaaaand not sure about my youngest lacrosse, I do need to shoot video 🙂 .
    Haha!

    H2P!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. as far as improvement between 1st and 2nd game …. please note that MBB did play an exhibition game, and it played a handful of games in Italy back in August. In addition, in the next game vs Nicholls St on Sat, you will likely see a lot more substitutions.

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  26. I’m with you T-Man… Murphy should have had more touches. Plus his defense doesn’t look like a liability like I thought it would. Skippy Murphy!! Drumgoole played a lot but didn’t seem to do much from my vantage point.

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  27. Drumgoole is a natural freshman who is liable to be sporadic. Same with Chamagnie. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Drungoole playing better than Champagnie; who knows? Toney, a soph, was the biggest letdown.

    BTW, Murphy who didn’t start, ended up playing 32 minutes. Don’t believe he came out of the game. Not sure if he’ll end up as a starter but doesn’t matter … who ends the game is more important, and now Capel has a couple more choices to play the hot hand at the finish.

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    1. along these lines …. the Pitt lineup for the final 11:52 last night was Johnson, McGowens, Murphy, Champagnie and Brown. But note that this can change from game to game depending on who has the hot hand

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  28. It was bound to happen and sadly this may not be the last ..

    2020 Athlete Tee Denson a 3-star from Georgia has decommitted from Pitt. He claims Pitt is still in it but Wake Forest, Va Tech and Miami are also very much in the picture. Note he was rated 5.5 by Rivals.

    It is also believe that another 5.5 3-star Henry Parish RB from Miami may also decommit since over the past few months, he has received offers from everyone from Miami, UCF and Florida to PSU and Utah.

    2 more examples of lower rated players shining in their senior seasons. And when they live in the south and are getting really pushed by schools closer to them, it will be an uphill battle to retain them. But Pitt will have to continue to plug away

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    1. Another reason it is so difficult to recruit to Pitt. The anti-group will once again point to Narduzzi, but it just isn’t easy, especially when these kids blossom in their senior years. After all we aren’t able to get the elite kids in the first place. Other than Ford, lately the top WPIAL kids have all left town.

      This is the primary reason it has been a long hard slog for Narduzzi, it is very difficult to get enough of the bonafide difference makers.

      It is also a factor with Capel, he has been having many near misses with elite talent.

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      1. For all we know Pitt has another, better recruit in the wings. Now that’s some optimism but there have been some nebulous rumblings…

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    2. I am surprised that in this day and time most of them honor their commitments…..i am hiring young people with “Doctors” degrees and continually am on the receiving end of “It’s all about Me” attitude…not much in the way of loyalty and hard work these days…there I go again trying get the A-fib to kick in….getting near that time to retire…I can help Fran watch Scooter-plenty of experience with my side-kick Whiskey….btw, his Mom passed yesterday afternoon…

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  29. Only a one game sample but, I see two big improvements from last year, better team three point shooting and better rebounding.

    When we were down by nine, I thought we were done, but they couldn’t put us away. Solid defense and timely three point shots were the key, that and a whole bunch of foul shots. Guards look a lot better at getting fouled when they drive to the hoop.

    Still missing that mid range jumper ala Lamar Patterson type player.

    Not worried about the X-man’s production, tough going inside on those long athletic players.

    Brown looks a little stronger and Hamilton will help a lot inside.

    That is a solid FL ST team with many talented guys and great size.

    Winning the close ones, and winning ugly, especially at home will be essential to having a decent record in the ACC.

    Kicking the ball out to Murphy gives Johnson and McGowens a great option and should spread the court.

    I also liked Murphy’s overall guard play, not sure about his defense yet, but his dribble dish inside was a winner.

    Instead of Rockports, we now have Johnson and Murphy, a major upgrade in footwear.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Agree, GC.

      FSU is a tough match-up for Pitt’s drive-to-the-hoop game, so X-Man and Trey were stifled…

      I too, was impressed by Hamilton. Saw him make two impressive buckets.

      I was also impressed at how Coach C. stuck with that group thru most of the second half and with the stamina they displayed…

      Go Pitt.

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  30. There have been times when Narduzzi has been criticized for not coming to the recruiting party early enough or being a little late in offering a certain player. This could be a case in point where a player (Denson) de-commits. The coach will have a better feel than most of us about what a high school player may be thinking. BTW, I have always thought that a verbal contract holds up in the court of law? How about all you squires?

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  31. Haha Gordon…like the Johnson and Murphy line.
    I was a J&M guy when I worked in pharma sales.
    Biggest upgrade to the Pete is beer is sold at concession stands. Formerly sold only in the rich and famous sections.

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  32. I watched some of the BB game..hard for me to watch today’s version of BB-can’t relate so I won’t post just to complain but I do look forward to dan72’s “Coach”s Corner.” Did enjoy Murph’s couple of 3’s…Bingo!!! Nice to see someone with touch shooting the ball at PITT…X-man has terrible shooting form- shoots the ball from his head/nose level-needs to extend those arms but too late in his career for that fundamental change- I don’t see him leaving early…Hope we win a lot more (love happy POVerts) and it’s great that many teams are starting out playing big boys…that’s the way it should be instead of padding the win column with 10-12 cream puff games…again, just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Gotta take the good with the bad as far as Murphy goes. He’s small so bigger guards who can penetrate on him will be able to take advantage. But, he’s pretty much Pitt’s only 3-poiint option, unless Champaigne turns out to have a 3-point stroke.

    Brown is and will always be a defensive asset and an offensive liability. Hamilton finally gives Pitt some bulk and strength inside. Toney was not good last year and the trend continues.

    Pitt’s biggest strength is its relentless defense, but just like last year, Johnson and McGowens are sloppy with the ball. The announcers identified the issue, too much dribbling and too little passing. The dribble-drive offense is prone to TOs especially if the guards struggle with finishing at the basket.

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    1. if memory serves, the only other offensive option (aside from the 2 guards) was Wilson-Frame. This year, Murphy, Champagnie and Drungoole (who is supposed to better 3-pt shooter than Champagnie) are options. I would hope this will mean the 2 guards won’t force penetration as much this year

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      1. I think the two guards forcing penetration is a way of life for them. And as MM posted “old habits seem seem to die hard.” Just maybe they will consider dishing the ball out to Murphy for a 3 when he is wide open.

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      2. The penetration by the guards is intentional, Capel and the FSU coach spoke to it.

        It put FSU in file trouble. Big men will foul.
        If you have the outside shooters (which Pitt will have more of this year), you can dish out.

        It isn’t going to change, especially with Murph being able to shoot and drive himself.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. practice squad players make a minimum of $6k per week, there is no ceiling. Practice squad salaries do not count against the salary cap

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    2. Hopefully, he earned his PITT sheepskin and that leads to gainful employment if and when participating in FB is no longer a viable option.

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  34. Holy crap! We have never had one guy that could drive to the hoop like these two and now we are critical that they do it too much or not well enough. They are still by far and away the strength of this team with probable NBA futures. Oh yeah, and they are sophomores in their first game against a tough opponent.

    Pitt fans blow my mind.

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    1. I am not necessarily being critical. What I am inferring is that both guards had to force penetration last year because if Wilson-Frame wasn’t hitting, there was no other option. And yes, they were probably the most competent Pitt had in some time, but they also committed their share of turnovers, wild misses and had their shots blocked on several occasions.

      “being forced to” is usually not a good thing

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    2. I’m not being critical of the guards driving to the hoop. But when they get into the forest when they are driving it wouldn’t hurt to for them to consider another option like dishing the ball out once an a while.

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    3. Gordon: I’m not complaining at all about the aggressiveness displayed by Johnson and McGowens in driving to the basket, but neither is an NBA talent or anywhere near it right now. Name me a short guard who cannot shoot a mid range or outside jumper, and whose turnover to assist ratio is terrible, who left college after his sophomore year and was successful in the NBA. X is a nice college player, but is light years from being NBA ready. If he leaves early it will be a big mistake.

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      1. Agree. But he is the type of RB Pitt recruited for a while, before recently looking for some quicker guys…

        Problem is, seems like we can get decent size guys who have some speed but are not elusive, or not very big at all guys who have some quickness.

        IMHO, We need a blend of these guys — someone with quickness who also goes at least 190 pounds…

        Go Pitt.

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  35. more passing, less dribbling and stop standing around…move to the open space

    simple soccer concepts that college basketball players dont understand but the Euros do

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  36. It is fair to say our guards aren’t perfect, sometimes make mistakes, bad decisions, etc.
    That comes with the territory.
    They also are very talented and will get better.

    It just gets tiring to always focus on the negatives and seemingly forget the positives, especially when you just had a good win.

    While most of the comments are true, some make it seem like they are disappointed when we win.

    Like the football team, this team has strengths and weaknesses, and won’t win a championship, but I see much more good than bad with both.

    The fact is we have a chance to win some games, that is progress.

    If you sat through some games at the Pete two years ago, you know what I am talking about.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I can’t argue here. I guess we Pitt fans should be thankful that we are getting at the stage of complaining about winning ugly (both FB and BB) as opposed to winning period

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Glad to see NotRocket mention the foul shots generated by our guards, which was the most important factor in the win. That sloppy, out of control play by our guards contributed a lot of points. They count too.

    We got to the line 33 times to FL ST’s 15.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Do you guys remember JR who couldn’t finish at the hoop or even get fouled? Never turned the ball over though. Could’t make a three point shot to save his life.

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    1. he was pretty good when Pitt had the lead late in games as he rarely turned the ball over and had a career 80% FT. But when Pitt needed offense, well ….

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  39. So DB Ted Danson has de-committed from Pitt. Getting more offers now.

    Shows how tough it is to recruit to Pitt and what a good job Coach Duzz and the staff are doing.

    Go Pitt.

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  40. I have to question any defensive recruit that doesn’t want to step into the current Pitt defense. This defense is tailor made for any recruit that thinks he is NFL material. And it’s my guess most all recruits to power 5 programs think they have NFL potential.

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  41. A bit worried about Toney. His poor shooting continues, and his major strength, rebounding, could be replaced by one of the Freshmen. With a year of experience, we should see more from him.

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    1. Pitt has (had) no less than 4 commits rated 5.5 that have been tearing up it up in high school …. and maybe more. Denson is one, the others are FL RB Parrish, NY RB Abanikanda, and Georgia WR Jaylen Barden who is now considered the 3rd best WR in Georgia

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Heard Murphy on a postgame radio interview. The kid sounded like a coach, only more articulate. Said his dad and his juco coach ragged on him about missing 4 foul shots in the exhibition game. Said he never missed 4 FTs ever. Said he went to the gym and shot 1000 free throws. Exaggeration, maybe. But the kid is committed.

    And his intensity on the court is obvious. He’ll be a big factor in the team’s success.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well AD is coming back to Pittsburgh to play this Sunday at Heinz. It’ll be the first time he’ll play in that stadium with no yellow seats to be seen.

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  43. In all the other ACC games nobody scored than 75. All were ugly. Florida was clogging the middle all game with a 7 footer.
    It was great to see the adjustment to use Murphy and the freshmen to score 4 3s in second half. They even were better driving after the 7 footer fouled out.
    It was their intense defense that won the game. They are fast and athletic and will only get better as they continue to play high caliber competition.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. This is a terrific Pitt Basketball team with a great coaching staff…I think they are special. 37-35 we won rebounds last night. That is incredible. The shooting, ballhandling etc. will come. All arrows point up. Come along for the ride. Next test West By God Virginia !!

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  45. As I type this I will be the “164th thought” on this particular blog. Unless I missed it, not one mention by these Pitt-educated scribes of, ” WHERE WAS COULIBALY?” Come on POV-ites, he and Justin Champagnie were the first two off the bench in the Slippery Rock exhibition. Florida State was long and athletic and this posed problems for Pitt. Coulibaly is 6′-8″ and athletic; why a no show?

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    1. I was thinking about it during the game. My own thought is that he is not yet ready for ACC play … especially a physical team. Note that HCJC only used 8 players and kept the same 5 on the court for the last 12 minutes.

      This is pure conjecture

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  46. Saw where Bledsoe, pg for the Celtics inbounded the ball by walking over the line and bringing in by himself.

    Had my best point guard who went on to play for Maryland do the same thing to open a playoff game.

    Brain farts abound in competitive play.

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  47. Tremendous win last night.
    I never thought when they were bungling the offense that they could ever pull it off.
    Lotta toughness.
    Perhaps lugging those 45 pound weights through Oakland in July paid off.

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  48. Off-topic, but I was curious:

    —Did you know that TCU, coached by our own Jamie Dixon, was picked to finish 10th this season in the Big 12 Conference?

    —What makes this worse, of course, is the confounding fact that there are only 10 teams in the Big 12 Conference… 🤔

    Go Pitt.

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  49. The latest number-crunching by the ESPN number-crunchers… As of today:

    —Pitt has 51.6% chance to beat UNC.

    —Pitt has 51.9 % chance to beat VT.

    —Pitt has 66% chance to beat BC.

    We know better. They should all be 50-50. 😊

    Go Pitt.

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    1. So around a 16 percent chance of running the table. Far less of a chance to win the Coastal.

      Miami probably ends up winning it. That’s how bad this division is.

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  50. John, I laugh at the weather forecast when they say there is a 40% chance of rain and everyone thinks it’s going to rain. The odds do not compute in my mind. Then of course, it rains?

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  51. Speaking of yellow seats, I noticed during last weeks Steeler game that a lot of yellow seats were visible during the game. It looked to me like at least 5 or more percent are always vacant due to bathroom and food breaks, plus some no shows. A very bad color choice, highly visible. Of course the Steelers don’t have whole sections vacant.

    I think it is just dumb luck and not the ACC scheduling Thursday night when the Steelers play, but seriously, it is unfortunate when you struggle for attendance. Are the Penquins playing that night?

    I remember opening day during the eighties when Pitt played UNC at Three Rivers to a packed house.

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        1. Yes, I think the score was 7-6, anyway in Marino’s senior year should have been a tip off to Foge’s prowess as a head coach.

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    1. Gordon – I was at that game with my buddy Big Al. Upper deck, end zone. We won 7-6, entered the season at #1 with Dan Marino as a Sr. and did not live up to expectations. The first of many such games.

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  52. off topic but saw Buddy Guy in Greensburg last night. 83 years old my butt, he looked like Paris Ford last night. We thought we were paying homage to the last great bluesman but instead saw one the best shows in recent years.

    “Haven’t taken a drink for 12 years,
    And then I turned 13”

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Just doing a little browsing in some down time here…Remember Curt Cignetti? son of local product and College FB Hall of Fame coach Frank Cignetti…He is doing quite well as a HC with a record of 75-27 at IUP, Elon and now at JMU..looks like he is trending in the right direction and hopefully, he eventually lands in FBS/FCS….FB field at IUP named after his Dad who coached the “Big Indians” (as we called them)…Frank, coached Leechburg HS to back to back WPIAL championships (Class A and and Class B) also coached at WVU then became ill with cancer…

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          1. it didn’t hurt to have Thomas – Malecki – Houser – Pinkston – L Nix healthy the entire year, until the bowl game at least … when Lumpy got his first start. But maybe Cignetti’s best thing was the way he utilized Scorin Dorin … who went from the guy without a position to 3rd team All-American

            Liked by 2 people

        1. Exactly JoeL, Wanny had finally started to get what it takes to be a college head football coach and had his best assistant coaching staff in place. The rest is history. Side note, Jabal Sheard is still playing in the NFL and is an upstanding citizen. << Maybe the first known case of fake news ever recorded.

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      1. Ike: We went from 10-3 in 2009 (including the infamous loss to Cincinnati) to 7-5 which featured a humiliating loss to UConn. So I’m not sure we were “taking off”. Unfortunately this coincided with the SI article. Combined with Cornhole’s hatred for Wanny, the handwriting was on the wall. I’ve said it a million times, the problem wasn’t that we fired Wanny, it was that they had no plan in place when they did it. Cornhole was too stupid to realize that Pitt was not a dream destination for coaches, nor did he have the money to pay anyone good. Gross miscalculation on his part. So we got Mike “Haymaker” Haywood. That didn’t go very well.

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        1. We have a lot of common ground right there MissingW. I just differ that the problem was the firing of Dave W. << Yeah, I get tired of looking up how to correctly spell Wanny’s last name, I will never believe there was a better option for PITT as to who would be a better head coach at the time. It was a program killer selfish move by the AD.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Right with you, Ike. I will go to my grave believing that Wanny was the last chance for Pitt Football to achieve elite status in my lifetime. That man loved his university and he could definitely recruit. And unlike anyone else who might come along, he was not going anywhere no matter how successful he was. I think PSU is showing that you can put yourself in the championship mix just by lining up more talent than the other side of the ball.

            I have to assume that Peterson needed Nordy’s blessing to fire Wanny. Nordy should have replied, “pack your bags”.

            I also don’t think there are many teams who have achieved elite status with a steady upward trajectory. A step back here and there should be expected and needs to be tolerated.

            Liked by 1 person

  54. I was at that that NC football game that we won by one point, Big argument was that NC had a line movement penalty very near our goal line that cost them dearly and they did not score. I guess they still remember that until this day.

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  55. Looked at Pgh 10 day forecast, and thought how nice to finally get a southern team playing in the 20s. Really tired of our guys playing on 100 degree fields, with no reciprocity.

    Then I looked at the chapel hill 10 day. They are having lows mostly in the low 20s thru next week. If they practice at 11 PM, they can condition to 20s temps for the game.

    Still, hope we freeze the tar off their feet! unc, nd, and psux all hold the same position in my heart. With clem’s son a close 4th!

    If I ever hit one of them, I could be arrested for a hate crime!

    Liked by 1 person

  56. A couple of PITT FB recruits were just elevated to 4 star status. WR Jaylon Barden and LB Bengally Kamara were upped from 3 star. Sure hope we can keep them. 247 rated them, not Rivals…yet.

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  57. Temporarily taking a page from the Pat Narduzzi playbook, the Women’s Volleyball struggled against an inferior Georgia Tech team tonight. Ga. Tech was 16-7 coming into the match, and our Lady Panthers were a stellar 23-1 and sat at #2 in the nation. It took 5 sets and some nail biting, but we emerged victorious in the final set, 15-13. Too close for comfort. Incidentally, for those who have any interest, I’d note that this year’s NCAA Women’s Volleyball tournament is being played at PPG Paints Arena in December.

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    1. It’s important to note that GT VB has the youngest team in the ACC. After just starting to play together early this season they won 8 in a row before barely losing to Pitt. It was a great match Glad Pitt was able to pull through.

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    1. What weight class does your son wrestle this year Tvax? I’m going to try and attend the match against Ohio State next Friday.

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      1. He will be at #160 to start and probably wrestle there and #170 if the dual meet dictates that might help the team score. I expect he will be #152 for end of year tournaments. First match Dec 5th. He just got out of cast for broken fibula and boot for another week. Non-wrestling break, fortunately/unfortunately 😦 .

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  58. FWIW, Taylor is a Rivals 5.6 while Kamara and Barden are 5.5s. The lesson here is not getting too excited or alarmed over the ratings of thousands of 16 and 17 year olds. Obviously there are a handful of elite blue chips that are likely to exceed but even a few of them don’t. But overall, I continue to maintain that a lot of schools like Pitt can continue to find diamonds in the rough. Many just take more time to develop

    Liked by 2 people

  59. That is sweet news.

    Hoping that they find a few senior transfers like Kylan Johnson for next year. He really made a difference.
    Probably a lineman and tight end too. Even though Ulizio, Gragg and Griffen-Stewart haven’t been stars, they are still starters.

    Johnson has made as much of a difference on the defense as any one man.

    We are still probably a few players short of being really good next year and with some key players leaving, like Johnson and I assume Ford, and Jones, we will need help. I am hoping that those guys take a lesson from Aaron Donald and stay another year, but I think it is a slim chance.

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  60. Gordon: I just have a hunch that Ford stays. He really loves Pitt, and I think if he listens to good advice, he’ll stay. He’s probably a 3rd to 5th rounder now. Another good season might push him the whole way to the first round.

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    1. I hope so much that you are right for selfish reasons. He is the biggest difference maker on the team.

      He is small for his position and could use another year in the weight room, but the lure of money and risk of injury is great.

      If he stays, I would like to see him at corner. I think it would enhance his opportunity for longevity as a pro.

      I always thought that Conner would have done better in the pros as a d-end, because they make more money and last longer. He was such a good running back, he never got the chance. Now he is injured most every year and will probably have a short career.

      POD his most ardent supporter now thinks he will move to linebacker. I’d say it is way too late for that.

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  61. I agree Eric, Ford still has some maturing to do both mentally and physically. Jones comes from a good family where I don’t think money is an issue so I expect him to stay as well.

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    1. If Jones get a second-round grade he needs to go. It will be good for him and for the program as a run of defensive linemen being drafted will begin. Watts and Jones, then Weaver and Twyman in 2021 then we wait and see who develops. Have to believe Alexandre and Baldanoldo follow suit and develop enough to be drafted by NFL squads.

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  62. BTW Eric (missingwlat) my question was. … is a verbal “contract ” binding. I still believe they are. I know verbal commits in college sports are not. I’m still trying to figure out what the difference is.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. ^^ Nate, that’s a big if but if Jones grades out that high then I agree. I just think he is stuck as a tweener right now. Another year in the weight room would do wonders for him. BTW, I’m still hearing that PITT is still planning on trying to get back Hamlin’s lost freshman year.

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    1. That would be great if Hamlin is granted a fifth year, but I had read on the Lair that Pitt had quit pursuing it since the odds were so slim in him getting it. The worst part is Hamlin wasn’t even ready to play in 2016 and no one was hurt in the secondary.

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  64. Paris Ford is terrific and fun to watch. He could improve though — two recent examples from the GT game:

    —On GT’s long TD Pass, Paris really misplayed that ball. His reaction looked very slow – like he looked last year versus how he’s been quick this season… I thought that was a chance for an INT there… (I know, picky, picky… And I know, there was sun…)

    —The other one was his interception. Again, very picky, but he waited until that ball hit him in the chest, versus catching it higher. Now that is really picky, but in the pros, the details matter even more…

    Would love to see Paris stay at Pitt – maybe I’m just really reaching for reasons for that to happen…😊

    Go Pitt.

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