147 thoughts on “Pitt at Syracuse Basketball Open Game Thread

  1. Just saw game on ACC network. No watching for me today. Typically you bring the 4 to the foul line vs 1-3-1, like Jamie did with Nasir, that means Champ or Toney. Let’s see if they are up to it. Champ better shot, but Toney better passer. I’ll follow as best I can on radio and game tracker. I hate the ACCN and Comcast. But the good news is I can watch SEC field hockey!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good form Joe….also critical against the 1-3-1 are hitting open corner jumpers 3s. Especially late in the game when tired legs affect a defender getting out to cover the corner. Surprisingly, if done right, the 1-3-1 is easy to drive to the rim on and we have 2 of the best at that. Lastly, passing especially inside extra passing is essential. Jamie’s teams had this down to a science. Spread is 7 this morning and that sounds about right. I am also ACCN challenged so I’m counting on color from you watchers. I’ll be listening. Go get em Panthers!!!

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  3. Enjoying the Auburn-Florida swim meet. BTY, is Pitt playing today? No wonder attendance stinks, if you can’t market your product locally, well………..

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  4. I have no idea what’s going on, but I will say the Cuse zone wants to suck you into settling for 3s. Patient team will work the ball for easy shots, but need to be patient and disciplined, which is why Jamie usually beat them.

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  5. ACC is a joke, how do you not negotiate with Comcast, and obvious big-time player on cable, to insure all the teams in the conference can be seen. Half-assed conference leadership.

    Ball movement is the key to beating the zone, NOT dribblling. But, if you can’t shoot at least 40% from the field, including 3’s, then it all for naught.

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  6. I get what we are trying to do on defense, but our guys just can’t keep up with Syracuse..

    So far on offense, we are weak to the hoop and getting rejected.

    Time to toughen up. We are clearly less talented, so we have to play harder. So far, Syracyse wants it more and is hustling.

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  7. 5 blocks for so far for Syracuse…and the big dorky white guy slices through our defense…..

    Can’t type fast enough to explain how bad we are in the last 60 seconds…can’t keep up with the ineptitude, sloppiness and laziness. We absolutely suck and are getting embarrassed.

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  8. Dan – the most frustrating part is the absolute lack of court awareness (7th grade level) or hustle. The announcers are righlty ripping us.

    We’ve missed at least 4 layups.

    Unprepared, unfocused and lazy….yikes

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  9. Maddening is a good word. I’d have called all the timeouts by now. Cuse is playing a flat 2-3 and will stay in it til Pitt beats it. Going to be a long afternoon.

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  10. 3-19??? They’re still shooting impaired. How’s Skippy shooting?? He fits right in with this team. Up,down,up,down,up,down………..

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  11. Oppps, 3-22, sorry. And Buzzy Boeheim is doubling us on our own. I really hate commenting when I am not seeing the game, so Imwill stop and enjoy watching the end of Auburn-Fla Sam meet. Elvis has left the building.

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  12. I know the game is not over yet but I’d still like to meet the group of Pitt BB fans that thought Pitt might actually get an NCCA post season bid this year. Now folks that’s really loading up on the KoolAid when watching this team play.

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    1. This team is way too young to be consistently good. I surprised were good as often as we are. The next 2 years will be exciting times for Pitt BB.

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  13. Great job to cut the lead in half and hang around to stay in the game. This game isn’t over yet. we probably have about a 10% chance but it’s not over.

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  14. 4 minutes into the 2nd half and McGowens has 2 points. I guess he doesn’t like the 2-3 zone much. Aren’t going to win many games when he can’t score. Murphy has no points.

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  15. Man you guys are tough, Syracuse has way too many weapons. They are also playing very tough D.

    Champ on the bench just killed us in so many ways.

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  16. I almost didn’t watch. Because I knew we had virtually no chance. Champagnie is our best player, and he was on the bench for the entire first half. We are clueless against the zone. It doesn’t help that we are having an awful shooting game.

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  17. I do like how these guys consistently come back with confidence in 2nd half of games. They need to learn how to dominate in the 1st half though.

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    1. I’m not so confident. The Cuse players’ arms aren’t going to be shorter at Pitt, the team shoots poorly at home, too. This team needs to start stronger and rebound bettering it wants to sniff the NIT.

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  18. Inexperience with one of the best zones in the country. Never were able to stretch it with 3’s at the beginning to get in hole. Needed to get ball to Brown earlier. He’s a good shooter from 12.
    It’ll be interesting to.play them at Pitt. Amazing they made it so close after first 10 minutes.

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  19. OT — Nice interview of QB Yellen in a Trib article. Said he heard from Coach Whipple shortly after he entered the portal — and they hit it off right away…

    He was being interviewed inside the Ice House — but he said the cold weather hasn’t bothered him. Said he just adds another layer of clothing… Said Kenny Pickett is a good leader.

    Seems like a cool, well-spoken young guy…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Get a firestick guys. I know it’s “illegal” technically, I also have Comcast, but I paid $25 for one and get any channel I want that is not included in my package and just watched Once Upon in Hollywood last night(which was excellent) no charge at all. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t expect Fed’s crashing thru my door. Best money I ever spent…

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  21. Killer play letting that skinny Dolejaz grab that rebound and not putting a butt into him. Pitt won’t exact any revenge on teams at home shooting this piss poor against the zone.

    That Miami home game is our next good chance at a win. Starting slow isn’t an option that day.

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  22. PITT showed effort and perseverance but it’s hard to come back from a start like that. Missing Champ first half didn’t help but they looked a little lost coaching wise as well earlier on.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to hear McGowens was injured on that landing. Looked like he hyper-extended his knee.

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  23. if it’s any consolation, Pitt wrestling beat Duke 50-0

    Must be some kind of record, didn’t even know you can score 50 in a match (all pins?)

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      1. Not a record.

        Not sure how Duke got so bad so quickly. They were decent last season. They had three Colorado kids (all brothers) on the team at the same time last season. Didn’t see the dual meet but will find a way to watch it later.

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  24. Horrible start but PITT made it a game despite shooting like schitt early on.

    The disdain and sarcastic remarks about Skippy are funny. Appears there’s a new whipping boy in town. The bald headed kid kept PITT in the game second half. Where were you posters last game? Keyboard broke? Happy it’s fixed now. Kind of reminds me of some others that get lost when their agenda gets blown up.

    Some blowout.. huh?

    Capel made some good in game adjustments but why wasn’t PITT ready to play against that zone from the opening tip-off?

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  25. Tax…it’s a streaming advice and you can buy them anywhere, but they’re just good for apps and internet, you gotta know a guy who knows a guy, or in my case it was a girl that knows how to “jailbreak” it. Pretty sure YouTube can give you a step by step how to do it. It took my female neighbor 5 min to hook me up, like I said I get every channel you could think of, and keeps my cable cost low…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I thought capel should have put champagne in earlier in the first half and just have him play with 2 fouls. A 20 point lead was virtually impossible to overcome. But credit him and the team for making it a close game. A blatant push off was missed and we should have been shooting free throws down 63-60 instead of being down 65-60 after the no call and put back by Syracuse. Probably a 4 point swing and that was ballgame.

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    1. The ACC thinks Cuse could be a Tournament team this year and Pitt is a no. They will do everything they can to get more teams in this down year for the ACC.

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  27. Well, I’m a bit ticked off that I accidently deleted a long post. Does anyone know how to recover inadvertantly deleted drafts before they are posted?

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    1. Try the back button if on a computer. I usually get mine back. Should work on a phone too I guess. Once you post something else though it’s toast.

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  28. I will attempt to rewrite my deleted post: I was pointing out that McGowens and X basically have the same skill set, and there is only room for one of them on the court at a time. Neither can shoot the 3 consistently, and a good defender can take them out of the game. The guard transfer currently on the roster will take one of their positions next year if he can shoot 3s, and Murphy will be moving further down the bench. With new Freshmen coming in, there is a positive outlook ahead. They must find a Freshman or incoming recruit to replace Hamilton, and Champ will be a year more experienced. But unless they figure out how to solve zone defenses this team will not progress much.

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  29. Skippy is Skippy. His role is to shoot. He is wildly inconsistent for a “go to shooter”. Some People like him cause he’s small, slow and…well. If he shoots wel he helps, if not he’s a liability. Most posters with any bb sense know he is a valued role player. This team is in need of more role players. I have no idea how the kid played today. Didn’t see any of Game, and box score tells me nothing. The games I’ve seen this year, especially the ones I’ve seen in person, tell me he is streaky, Can go stone cold or red hot, is a defensive liability, hustles. He fills a need, but you really need to see him in person you get a better feel. I’m happy he’s on the team, but those who puff their chests up when he has a good game are just as bad as those who constantly trash him. He is what he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joe knew: Skippy didn’t have his best game. But then again, he didn’t have a lot of open shots. He’s a heady player and is an asset at times. He is a little slow afoot and therefore can be a defensive liability. He played ok today. McGowens was the big liability today. And we overall looked mostly clueless trying to play offense against the zone. We had three guys pass it around the perimeter for about 20 seconds, then mostly someone drove into the teeth of the zone and threw up a questionable to bad shot. Champ got two early fouls and sat most of the first half. He was by far our best player today. Although Toney and X were decent at times. We got nothing out of Hamilton and Brown, but most of that was due to the poor play of the guards.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Skippy is skippy and he had a lousy first half, a decent second half. That’s what you’re going to get with him. Is he getting so much playing time because PITT doesn’t have anyone better or is it because Capel thinks he can help this PITT team win? But the puffing the chest out comment?? Whatever. BTW, he’s doing more than OK in the ACC. 😉

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  30. My Syracuse grad son commented on PITT’s poor coaching. Capel does better at recruiting. However we still need a big man or two to be a decent team. Refs hurt us towards the end of game. Didn’t call Syracuse fouls on us. I think we still would have lost, but by maybe only 2-4 points. Forget Comcast, they sure don’t give you guys love out there. You need to get firestick or roku. I’m in Metro NYC and use Direct tv or the firestick to watch anything PITT whenever I want. It must be a pain for you local Pittsburgh people

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    1. So far he hasn’t done great(or even very good, maybe avg) at recruiting. Incoming class is only #39, but more importantly only 10th in the ACC. Last year’s class(McGowens & X) was 40th overall and 8th in the ACC. Your not going to see a big jump in Pitt’s status in the ACC until the recruiting improves significantly.

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  31. So this game was pretty much lost when Champ got two quick fouls. That was on him but overall the refs were pretty one sided, they have always been afraid of Boeheim’s stink eye.

    But Buddy B was white hot, not much you can do about that. They are also much stronger inside as are most teams vs Pitt. Face it they have better overall talent and play an unusual defense.

    Pitt’s comeback came when Champ came back, but the final surge came with Brown on the foul line where he did a pretty good job.

    On Murphy I agree with joeknew, he is what he is.

    Really hard to understand why ESPN hasn’t been able to get an agreement with Comcast, they are both losing viewers, which means dollars.

    VOR, when you write a long post try to remember to copy it, then if it doesn’t post, reopen POV and paste it in. It is a pain but it works.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also got miffed by the amount of times guys were wide open in the corners and our guards refused to look at them. They need to trust those guys. Champ, Toney and even Drummer. Open shots have much better odds than forced ones.

      People forget how young this team is, with guys leaving high school early, and how little they have played together, compared to other ACC teams.

      I liked Brown on the foul line with Champ underneath.

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  32. For the life of me I don’t know why Capel doesn’t run set plays to start the game. Maybe two or three times down the floor at least. Amazing what a quick bucket will do for your confidence especially against a set defense. We’ve gone from Jamie who called every set, play and dribble to
    Capel who believes his players should think on the floor. 180 degrees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s not a very good coach. He recruits well but is out-coached more often than he gains the upper hand.

      If he gets some of the talent he is pursuing, look out!

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  33. Thanks for the tip, GC. I think I was a bit flustered over the loss and hit the wrong key. McGowen is good at attacking the rim, but like X, a good defender can practically eliminate their scoring. The perimeter game is just not good and when they eventually find that 3 pt shooter it will make them more competitive against the zone.

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  34. I think this game, being at Syracuse, gives us a decent chance to get a win in the re-match.

    We did out score them 51-39 over the last 25 minutes.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Syracuse’s leading scorer and ACC’s leading scorer, Elijah Hughes(20 ppg) had an off game with only 10 points. Syracuse still won pretty easily. Didn’t even appear like Cuse broke a sweat.

    We got a long way to go and many of us have a short time to get there !

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Capel needs to recruit a PG ( a real one). Nothing as of yet in next year’s class. Like X….. however he’s not really a PG, which is evident many times when he picks up his dribble and gets stuck. And against a zone
    he sometimes looks utterly perplexed. And he’s very loose with the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Both Mac and X were combo guards coming out, which means they weren’t good enough ball handler to be classified as a 1 or shooter to be a 2.Probably why we got them.

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  38. That makes it difficult to recruit only one PG opening to fill a specific role. Does Pitt need a pure ball handler with Mac and X sliding over to the 2 position, or try for a pure shooter and leave the ball handling to them? It would help if Champ became a reliable 3 point shooter from his Forward spot.

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  39. Yup, neither are good enough to play the 2. I guess he hoped he could make X the point, although I know a lot of coaches who work around the point. Never liked that approach myself.

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  40. It is apparent that this team is asleep for the first 10 minutes of a game. Is that on Capel? Should some subs start? Should the players slap each other to wake up? Should we play stall ball at the start?

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  41. Problem is either x or McGowan are either 1s or 2s regarding their skill sets. Neither can handle and distribute the ball in traffic….neither is a good shooter from outside although McGowan can get hot. Together they’re not a 1 or a 2. But…as I’ve said many times…I’d only play one at a time.
    Key to this team is getting the ball to Champagnie. Not brain science.

    Both are terrific at getting to the rim, but that’s easily taken away.
    We are what we are…

    Liked by 5 people

  42. All I know is Narduzzi would be crucified for the way the BB team plays to start the game and the way they end it. I really really like Capel, it’s not always on the coach.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Can Pitt beat a team like Syracuse that plays a good zone defense? Very few baskets in transition, which leaves a half court offense to beat the zone. They will see a lot of zone the rest of the season.

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  44. ACC is looking rather weak this year. Will we get 5 teams into the tournament?

    Duke, Lewisville, florida state, locks.

    Virginia, Syracuse, NCState, Vtech, way on the bubble?

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  45. From the Trib –

    “Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was on the phone with him within hours of Yellen’s name appearing in the transfer portal. Soon after, former Pitt offensive lineman Mark May, who lives in Arizona, texted Narduzzi with the words, “You might want to get on this guy.”

    Mark May should be on the Pitt BoT’s – at the very least ADHL should invite Mark to the fan experience forums.

    H2P!

    Liked by 5 people

  46. Seriously EE, you are so right. Mark May should be deeply involved in PITT’s day to day operations. A true blue and gold PITT man. It’s nice to know that Mark has Narduzzi’s phone number. Great call!

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  47. The impact of this visit has been glossed over IMO –

    Taken from PSN a few days ago –

    “While it would appear it would be difficult for Pitt to land (Derrick) Davis, they do have a couple things going for them.

    Pitt has been recruiting Davis as long as anyone because Pat Narduzzi was the first coach to offer Davis back in his freshman season. (Imagine that!)

    One other thing to consider, Davis is friends with a lot of the top players in the Class of 2021. With four-star DE Nahki Johnson already in the fold, if Pitt can land Elliot Donald (may already have), Dorien Ford and Donovan McMillon, could that impact Davis to want to stay home?“

    Just maybe the Duzz has been building relationships in the 412 area while building a team from elsewhere. When Duzz arrived, Pitt was an average FB program posting 6-6 records over and over. The 412 stars wanted more and went elsewhere themselves.

    Now, with three 8-5 seasons in five years, an ACC Coastal Division Championship and a few “splash” wins over top ten teams, the 412 stars are aligning.

    Time for the Pitt marketing department to make some “splash” pieces to influence friends.

    H2P!

    EE

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The photos of Davis in a Pitt Uni looked really, really good.

      Getting him to stay home would show that Narduzzi has turned a major corner.

      This kid made Gateway win a championship as a freshman running back.

      Terry Smith has to have an inside track and everyone including Alabama wants him.

      This is the first time I have heard Him and Pitt in the same sentence.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Here is some potential good news if you like to read into things. Hope the picture transfers over and this has not been posted before. From PSN

    “Pitt has three commitments in the Class of 2021: West Mifflin defensive end Nahki Johnson, Virginia running back Rodney Hammond and Philadelphia defensive back Javon McIntyre.

    But there are four names on the football that is also inscribed with Pitt’s #Pitt2L1tt hashtag, and the fourth name very clearly reads Elliot Donald.

    Donald, a 6-foot-3 defensive end from Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, is the nephew of Pitt legend Aaron Donald. But the younger Donald is a top prospect in his own right.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps before he left, Dave Andrews snuck into Coach’s office and signed Elliot Donald’s name on the ball to prank the Duzzer… 😊

      Go Pitt.

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  49. Maybe, just maybe, Duzzy doesn’t suck at recruiting but had to overcome much bad press and poorly established relationships in in the 412 and surrounding areas.
    Anyone in sales or recruiting of any type knows what I’m talking about.
    I’m hopefully optimistic…(as usual)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Right Fran, many bridges were burnt down to ashes in the past. If you ask PennDot they will tell you how long it takes to build a new bridge, years upon years. I’ve seen that with my own eyes.

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    2. It was no secret that members of the fourth estate did not care for how he treated Jerry DiPaola early on. He and Jerry seem to be in a good place now.

      Its been stated may times in the past both here and on the Blather that recruits, players and parents look at the various blog sites. It may be coincidental, but the fact that the POV articles have been less critical of him in the past year may be helping as well. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  50. OT — Read an article about the women’s VB team winning the Dapper Dan “Sportswomen of the Year” award. Congrats to them.

    Said that in their January clinic for 10 to 18 year olds they normally would get about 20 participants. This year, they got about 200.

    That’s how to grow the fan base — win and engage with the fans.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  51. Hughes didn’t just have a bad game. McGowan and Toney were covering him like a glove and they couldn’t get the ball to him in the first half. Boeheim was unconscious with his 3s.
    When Mcgowen is on the best of the other team his offense is less. I think they had a breakthrough with the zone in the second half. They will see no better one this year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ^^ This is where Capel gets a pass with me Dan. McGowens and Toney and believe it or not Brown, they play great defense. Not sold on Capels offense to start games. His in game coaching isn’t all bad all the time but c’mon Jeff!

        BTW Dan, hope to see you at the Fran, Wolfe, Scooter, JoeL, Big B, Mark, John, Eric, GC, Annie, Rick and Mrs Rick, the 2 Tommie’s, Doug, Pat, and on and on tailgate this coming season. << sorry if I missed some great people. I didn’t get enough time to spend with you when I met you so you could have straighten me out. 🙂

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  52. I weirdly stumbled across this, but back on March 22, 2018, Commander Reed did a POV article on the Strength and Conditioning Program. As Reed routinely did, it was a well-researched article.

    I found it somewhat interesting to go back and read it now — given that Dave Andrews has moved on. Reed had info like the average height and weights of lineman in the different conferences…versus our projected lines…

    (The average heights and weights kind of highlight the difficulty of recruiting Olinemen. I mean how many athletic 6’ 5” and 300-pound guys are out there?)

    If interested, scroll down to the POV Archives and go to March 2018, and then scroll down to the March 22 article…

    And a shout-out to Commander Reed!

    Go Pitt.

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  53. Someone asked the question yesterday or the day before and I apologize for not remembering who. To put it into layman’s terms the question was something like this….. Can a S&C coach make a race horse out of a jackass? Well imo, I honestly don’t think they can BUT! if there is one unit on a football team that a S&C coach can turn a player into a very serviceable contributor it would be the offensive line. Well that and a good O-Line coach. The O-Line players don’t seem to have be AS instinctual as other positions. More brute strength, leverage and coaching. That’s why, again imo, you will see more O-Lineman playing latter in their college careers. Great and big O-Lineman in high schools do not grow on trees despite the fact that there is a lot O-Lineman in high school that are big as a tree. Don’t forget the fact that trees don’t move and some get blown over during a heavy wind despite their huge trunks. It takes a good S&C coach to see that doesn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG, I feel the hurt for the family. Tragic indeed. All the money in the world will not put Kobe and that little girl back together again. :(\

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  54. James Conner@JamesConner_

    I just met Kobe last wednesday, was in his office talking about our books and how everyday in life is a grind. I don’t believe this.

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  55. back to PITT football for a second. Some knucklehead that gained access to Narduzzi’s office for whatever reason snapped the photo of the football with Elliot Donald’s signature on the football, what that signature means is up in the air but that was a lousy thing to do. I’ll call this dickhead, whistle blower #2. Don’t crucify me Mike, it’s all about sports with me.

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    1. Would be delighted if its legit. Doubt that incident would cause him to change his mind.

      But, what a shame. Its his decision and he has a right to release that information how and when he wants.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well it came from a pic of a PWO with Narduzzi and somebody zoomed in on it. You can’t fault the PWO. Publicly most people are directing their rage at PSN who broke the news outside of their paywall (it was on the forums inside of rivals paywall FWIW)

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      1. And even inside the ‘Between Fifth and Forbes” forum in Rivals, I noted that most were good about discussing the incident without using the desired recruits’s name.

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        1. Yea Vukovcan got a little over his skis here IMO, he’s been roundly criticized on twitter as a result. It’s funny… now that I’m a premium member of Panther Liar many of PSN’s scoops don’t seem quite as scoopy…

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  56. Ike, I think another way to ask the question about the value of the S&C coach is this: is there any other position coach who has more of an impact on a player’s development throughout his career? I think the transition from high school to college ball is huge, and S&C transforms players from boys to men

    Liked by 1 person

  57. So we had a bunch of football recruits in from VA this weekend. A high school coach who accompanied them had some pretty damning comments about our Head Coach:

    “The other thing that impressed me was Coach Narduzzi, their head coach. He’s a good dude. He was with us the whole time. I say that because on some visits you see the head coach at the beginning or the end and the assistants or the recruiting staff do a lot but Pitt’s head coach is very hands on, which was very good for us. That tells us that he really cares about his program and also he cares about the young men that he’s bringing in and wanted to have those good conversations with them to know more about them. He just seems like a very fun but a very hard working, loving guy and that really stood out to us.”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. John, shish… I want to know, did Virginia players and coaches get picked up at the airport? Such kind words for such a tyrant of a head coach. I guess the anger management classes are beginning to work. I think the worm is beginning to turn?

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  58. McCowens needs to revisit his entire approach on the offensive end. Jump shot = slow release and that ridiculous high arc. Apparently doesn’t understand what a pump fake is or that a pull up jumper is an option more than once a game (if at all). His O game is still very much a high school game and I don’t see much evidence that it will ever mature. I have more hope for X, despite his penchant for poor decisions over and over again.

    Like

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