What a week.

I mean sure, it started off well enough.  Who doesn’t love a Pitt Stadium Billboard?

Just don’t go to the website…

Pitt Stadium .com

Too bad he spent all that money on the billboard.

Idea:  A

Execution:  F

On a brighter note, Bill Hillgrove got a Dapper Dan lifetime achievement award

Grade:  A+

As much as we love Billy, lets hope he recognizes the right time to hang ’em up.

Speaking of Dapper Dan…

Grade:  A++++++.  Talented & Sophisticated.  All of these young ladies clearly make their fathers (and mothers) very proud.

More good news on Monday.  Justin Cham-penny made ACC Freshman of the week.  If only we had three more like him…

Grade:  A.  Besides the Oakland Zoo singing happy birthday to Jeff Capel, this was the only good thing to happen to Men’s basketball this week.

Rolling into Tuesday… optimism abounded

And that optimism continued right into Wednesday

Until it didn’t

Grade:  F

Non sports related, but a nice pick me up:

Dare I ask what is his “philosophy” on recruiting Tight Ends?

Thursday brought news of a Women’s soccer transfer

Grade:  A?  I have no idea how her stats stack up, but rookie of the year sounds pretty good.

Friday brought some good news from the baseball Diamond

Pitt baseball also beat St. Joe’s 14-8 on the same day.

Two convincing opening day wins?  A and A 

Pitt Softball also took down Michigan State

Grade:  A

But… Wresting fell to hated (and nationally ranked) North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a close one.

Grade:  C-.  I bet we’d have won this one at home. Also you have to assume some kind of ACC bias, just because.  With that being said, I’m not sure Pitt wrestling has beaten a ranked team all year…

On Saturday, Men’s basketball headed on down to (not a rival) Virginia Tech.  And lost another winnable game in their typical frustrating fashion.

Grade:   Yes the team is young.  Yes the team is depleted.  But I can only only see “painful to watch” pop up on the game thread so many times before I hand out an F.  Here’s to hoping they pull it together at the end and sneak into the CBI.  Or not.

In other news…Baseball lost to Ohio State 4 – 1.  I’ll give them a D because I’m assuming Ohio State was supposed to win.

Softball split with Michigan State (who they beat the day before) and Maryland

Grade: C

Track and Field Stuff Happened… The Doug Raymond National Qualifier at Kent State.  No team scores were recorded that I could find.  But all the winners of Gold get an A, all the winners of Silver get a B and all the winners of Bronze get a B-.

 

Pitt Gymnastics Won a Tri-Meet:

Grade:  A

And to wrap it up on Sunday, Pitt Baseball came from behind to beat Iowa.

Grade:  A

Full week Grade:  Well I gotta say that I thought this week was a lot worse than it actually was.  Yes the men stunk up the joint, twice.  And yes the women’s basketball team got shellacked twice (I didn’t put them in the article because it’s late and I’m getting over a cold and I have to get up early), and yes the wrestling team kind of laid an egg when they had a chance to take down the ‘Heels.  But Baseball did really well.  Softball did pretty well.  Gymnastics beat who they were supposed to beat, and our track and field team medaled in 15 of 24 events.  So lets see…

M Basketball:  F (underperform vs high expectations)

W Basketball: D (perform as expected vs lower expectations)

Wresting:  C- (maybe I’m being to kind)

Baseball:  B+ (4-1 on the week with two come from behind victories)

Softball:  C (2-2 on the week…)

Gymnastics:  A

Track and Field:  B (35th in the shot put and 24th in the long jump?  C’mon)

Other stuff (Dapper Dan, Pitt Stadium Website, ACC Freshman of week, WSoccer xFer):  B+

Averages out to a C+, but kind of feels like a C.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo

77 thoughts on “The Week In Review 2/16/2020

  1. It’s amazing how the results of a major (men’s/women’s BB; football) sport can cloud all the positive things that occur during the week. I’m giving the week a D due to the Va Tech BB debacle…

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    1. my guess is that when the final standings are announced, Pitt will finish 61 out of 65 P-5 schools…outside the top 120 meaning there are 60 other non P-5 schools doing better in overall sports.

      Pitt is still not ready for the higher level of play in the ACC across nearly every sport compared to the Big East.

      Pitt really needs to have some serious discussions on whether its worth keeping programs like gymnastics and baseball. And I used to coach youth leagues in baseball and adult softball so it hurts when I say it.

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  2. Dropping sports is not the answer for a major university. Heather has her hands full, for sure. But Pitt should be capable of supporting a full complement of sports teams.

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    1. Pitt dropped tennis for lacrosse. The ACC is the best conference for lacrosse. Pitt probably won’t win an ACC game for two years.

      Hockey is a sport for both sexes. Growing in popularity, WPA is a talent rich area, not too many p 5 schools play the sport, nhl studied the feasibility for hockey at Pitt…they need more schools in the feeder system. A sport where Pitt can be real good real fast and generate lots of fan interest and actually make money.

      Drop baseball and gymnastics for it. You are title 9 compliant. I’m assuming sports are dropped given past precedent at Pitt due to economics.

      Play in the new venue for volleyball. Not too late to reengineer the plans for the playing surface and seating.

      In baseball, on average only one or two ‘Northern’ Teams are ranked in the final 25. Pitt just can’t compete against southern schools and the better weather allowing more real practice time on real fields in real weather. Elite talent also doesn’t want to play in 40 degree spring weather.

      Hockey makes far more sense.

      I’m enjoying 80 degrees today.

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      1. Hockey is expensive – lot of players, lot of equipment, and requires ice. You of all people Tex should be aware of cost / benefit here

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      2. Tex:
        It is a title 9 killer. I went to BU. Hockey stayed football went. I know Pitt football different level, but lots of scholarships and expenses.
        KMAN

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  3. AS of Jan 16, 2020 … Pitt is ranked 36th in the Director’s Cup standings

    https://nacda.com/documents/2020/1/15//Jan16DI.pdf?id=3854

    However, if Pitt continues having weeks as it just experienced, who knows how it ends. I do believe the wrestling and VB teams will keep the school from the bottom quarter.

    Maestro, another comprehensive week in review. Sadly, you may have been a bit optimistic, but also, I may be suffering from the mid winter blues

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    1. The only difference this year is that men’s soccer made the playoffs for the first time in 50 years. Pitt received points for that. I see no other changes and don’t expect any other sport to continue playing beyond the regular season or have individuals qualify for nationals. It’s SOP.

      The men’s soccer program much like volleyball are great success stories. Thank you Barnes for the hires. They play in dumps and dinks yet somehow the coaches are able to attract top recruiting classes. Very impressive.

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    2. The question in my mind is how much weight should the revenue sports carry. If weighted significantly more than non rev this week was a C- at best maybe even a D+. If weighted less than C to C+ is the right grade

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  4. Another great job Mike, hope you feel better soon

    So PITT is ranked 36th with 5 teams above them being non P-5, so according to my math that puts them at #30 against P-5 schools? That’s with some good PITT sports teams still to compete. I don’t see the rumpus here, seems to me they are doing fairly well.

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    1. ike – the only difference between this year and last is mens soccer
      a remarkable success story
      but come July when the final rankings get published, it will once again be SOP…nearly and I type nearly dead last again in the rankings
      lets not jest, 10 acc schools are typically in the top 50
      you know, the schools that actually take sports seriously
      only BC or Ga Tech will place worse than Pitt
      Its year 4 for Heather
      Time to start seeing progress in the overall competitiveness in sports at Pitt
      Or are you going to make excuses for her?
      I do have a list of replacements for her as well

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      1. Looks to me like the women’s volleyball team is on a super run as is and will be the wrestling team. The future looks bright in both basketball teams next year. With Victory Heights on the horizon I really think things are looking up….. and quite frankly, I’m not all that interested in the directors cup as a whole.

        Mike you do such a fine job with these week in review articles it’s absolutely amazing.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Agree with those of you who think Capel had no idea of recruiting woes when he came to Pitt. He thought his rep alone would get him a 4 star pg and center.

    I always advise people getting new jobs to lower expectations. You are wined and dined but you truly never find out reality until day 1. Kinda like marriage, you think you know her/him, you lived together, dated for years etc. ….the you get married. On day 1 you start finding out crazy stuff that you never imagined. Capel had to be stunned at his lack of ability to recruit!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Agree 100% Dan, same goes for Narduzzi, who started by offering all 4 and 5 stars and failed miserably. He has now refocused on three stars and low 4 stars with promise and things seem to be slightly improving.

    The same thing goes for all Pitt coaches. You are not going to change an image that has been poor forever overnight. It will take a lot of effort, time and money.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Women’s gymnastics isn’t going anywhere but up. Same difficulties with recruiting as all Pitt teams against established schools. Unfortunately men’s gymnastics is down to about 16 schools mostly in the big ten. What a shame since it is the purest of athletic endeavors. Killed because it is difficult and dangerous and doesn’t generate revenue.

    The Olympic sports are the only pure collegiate sports since Football and Basketball are now semj- pro.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. BTW, I’m not making any excuses for Heather. The little knowledge I have for the secondary sports at PITT tells me they are doing ok. I respect all student athletes and hope they all succeed in the classroom and in their field of sports but I just don’t go around looking for something to complain about if it would suit my agenda. Again, if anyone bothers enough to go digging and looking for trouble they will surely find. I reserve my energies for something a little more constructive than to talk and never be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Here’s my perspective on the BB teams. I suspect we’d do much better if our opponents on the men’s side could only play two recruiting classes, and our opponents on the women’s teams could only play one recruiting class.

    That’s what our teams are playing with. Some are skeptical whether things will be significantly better for these two coaches whenever they have 4 full recruiting classes — I’m not…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a valid point. My grades stay the same though. Our programs and coaches are paying for the mistakes of their predecessors and in some cases their predecessors predecessors. Sadly this does not change the state of the programs. It does, as you correctly point out John, give a reason for optimism however

      Liked by 3 people

      1. MM — No question the grades for performance in BB should be poor.

        I’ll be happy when the women’s season is over because they are so overmatched right now. But I do like all the minutes and experience the freshmen are getting.

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. WordPress has become a nightmare for me to post on. Long posts are eliminated completely, I have to log on with every post. I have some avatar web site listed as my site. MM …I offer my services to fix this for all. But I need website access. May I call Reed on your behalf?

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    1. Yes please do. I’m so underwater at work I just don’t have time to look into anything on the back end

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  11. Just for the record…… and I’m not saying many do not have problems with Word Press but I have never experienced any myself. I guess it’s a weird phenomena as I am really really bad at cpu tech. Then again, I don’t use my iPhone to post, strictly desk top so I wonder if that could be part of the problem???

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    1. Interesting, ike, because I almost strictly use my iPhone and, fingers crossed, I haven’t had any problems in a while.

      I used to run into problems when I would open the POV comments by hitting the “comments” symbol. That’s the one next to the current number of comments. I’ve had no problems since I started getting to the article and comments by hitting the “visit” symbol, which is next to a box with an arrow in it, and then scrolling down…

      Don’t know if that would help anyone else,,,

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  12. Just saw an article today that said ACC is now going to support a rule allowing for one transfer without needing to sit out. I may have mentioned that it was going to happen a few weeks ago, but with it comes some problems and opportunities, such as when a freshman, goes to Dairy, can Pitt still recruit the kid to transfer to Pitt or does all recruiting stop until the kid enters the portal.

    This will be difficult to monitor from a compliance standpoint because coaches run into kids all the time…..especially after games when they “mingle”. Will coaches now have to run immediately into the locker room for fear of being called out for meddling? Interesting stuff, but as I said before the universities are almost forced to do this or risk being sued, since all other students can come and go at hteir leisure to schools.

    I like the hockey idea at Pitt. If you look at the high level of hockey being played at the travel level, there would be enough talent in pgh to fill a roster. It is a hot bed spurred on by Mario. Pitt could easily hire an ex nhl’r from the burgh to coach and they would be a contender by year 5. Same with the womens programs. Bobby Mo is a great team and so is Mercyhurst. Why did our ADs, including our current one, miss this opportunity for all those years? Been away for the last few weekends…..at hockey tourneys!

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  13. PSU and Robert Morris got the jump on Pitt re hockey. Pittsburgh is a hockey town but would the public support the team enough to make it a revenue producing sport? It would be very expensive otherwise.
    The other question is where to play?

    I don’t like the transfer proposal, think it ends up a free for all with much cheating. Makes it too easy for a kid to quit and leave rather than fight and stick it out. Bad for team unity if everyone is essentially a free agent. Schools Wii also have to finance a secondary level of recruiting.

    That being said, it will probably happen, just like paying players, more evidence that these sports are minor leagues for the pros.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. BTW, I watched some of the BB game between the Pitt women and Syracuse yesterday. Pitt was losing badly, but the woman analyst on the broadcast was just gushing over Pitt freshman point-guard Day Harris.

    At one point she made the comment: “Imagine how good she’ll be as a Senior!”

    Anyway, Harris ended up scoring 18 points with seven rebounds. Her weakness continues to be the turnovers — she had 6.

    Also, in this game, Pitt women freshmen and the Juco transfer played 70% of the minutes.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not a fan of the portal and was never and still not a fan of free agency. I guess I’m too ole school but I loved watching Roberto run out to right field for 17 years. << Wish it could have been a few more.

    OT, Here’s a tune for a friend of ours, hope he listens and gets the message. You know who you are. Trust me B, get out while you can still enjoy!

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    1. ike — I’m a big Beatles’ fan. A couple of years ago my wife surprised me with tickets to see Ringo’s All-Starr Band.

      One of Ringo’s All-Starrs was Todd Rundgren. Ringo didn’t do a whole lot, but the band put on a good show. Had one of Todd’s catchy songs stuck in my head for about a week…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Roberto was my idol growing up, ike. In those days, professional players could actually be role models. I still remember him throwing behind the runner who rounded first base too far. He had a cannon for an arm and threw many runners out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fran…one of my great thrills in 68-69 was sneaking into Forbes field and watching BP and fielding practice with the Bucs. Hoak Groat and Maz infield. Clemente was my ultimate hero also. He would stand back against field ivy wall and throw bullets to third base. In the early 60’s the Bucs would come over to the right field sideline and take pics with you if you had your Little League Uni on. My mom got one with me Clemente on one side and Maz on the other in 1960. You can barely see it today but I still have it. Those were the days! Great memories ….

      Liked by 6 people

  17. I would go to Pirate games and just watch Roberto. Everything about him — his look, his movements — just screamed that he was a special athlete. In a baseball uniform, he was somehow regal.

    I have a Clemente story I should write up sometime… Maybe we could have a summertime POV article on interactions with pro athletes…🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The cynic in me says that the proposed transfer rule is not intended so much to help the disgruntled player move on. It is another effort to allow the blue bloods to solidify their perch on the top of the college athletics world. It is custom made for the Cam Johnsons to prove themselves at a lesser program then be poached by UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, etc. Right now, a better than average recruit who turns out to be a real star has a major disincentive to transfer because of the one year sit requirement. Take that away and we become an auditioning venue for the proverbial diamonds in the rough.

    What’s worse, the blue bloods will not only have their pick of the top high school recruits; they will have their pick of any surprise player they missed from the rest of college basketball. Pretty depressing to me.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. totally agree. And as examples, think about these 2 scenarios that may hit home ….

      1) Pitt WBB frosh sensation Day Harris transfers to Notre Dame, a known WBB power

      2) Justin Champagnie transfers to UNC or LVille

      I’m not implying this will happen but what’s stopping them? Both of these were valued recruits but like Cam, were not on the radar of the elite schools in high school.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Major – ditto on the Beatles Fan. My wife gave us Christmas tix to see The Fab Four – a Beatles Tribute Band – when they came to Savannah a couple weekends ago. These guys are great musicians, and great entertainers – and replicated each song perfectly. If they come to your area, dont miss ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. saw them a couple of years ago in VaBch…they were great especially the McCarthy character who looked and moved like Paul… played left handed for the icing on the cake…sat by a drunk guy who was the spitting image of Rod Stewart…hilarious to say the least….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Agree that the transfer policy would benefit the haves vs the have nots. So why would the majority endorse it? Does not make sense.

    A favorite memory at Pitt was when the Great One was taking his last stroll through Forbes Field. All of us that were there allowed him to walk in private with his thoughts. This would not happen today, everyone would want a selfie.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I agree with Wolfe and others on the transfer rule helping the rich get richer…

    But I suppose you will also have cases where a really good player is stuck behind a really good player at a place like UNC and would be more inclined to transfer to a place with more playing time… So maybe those teams would have an even better top 6 but then not be as strong on the rest of the bench???

    The rules are obviously changing to favor more freedom/accommodation for the athletes — which is a good thing for them individually…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  23. I collected Topps baseball cards in 1956 but I always traded the Clemente card because I was a Dodger fan. Many years later I needed the Clemente card to complete the set. Fortunately a card store opened and I traded other cards to get the complete set. Moral is never give up finishing something worthwhile.

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  24. Major, since I gave a couple of examples why the new transfer rule could hurt schools like Pitt, I should point out why it could benefit schools like Pitt also. In fact, I just heard a discussion on ESPNU about it

    They pointed out that schools like Bama, OSU and Clemson are overloaded with 4 and 5-star FB recruits yearly. Thus, some very talented players will not be seeing much playing time that they would at most other schools … (Robert Foster anyone? … if Foster didn’t have to sit a year, would he had gone elsewhere?)

    However, the ESPNU guys thought schools like FSU and Miami would benefit the most because these kids would most likely transfer back to their home territories …. and they would be most likely to get the Clemson and Bama castoffs.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Too many of the star players gravitate to the BIG Names for obvious reasons(capacity audiences with the chance to play for the national title). But many probably could be playing in the NFL today had they been given the chance at the BIG school of their choosing. I expect Pitt will benefit greatly from the transfer of Yellen and the TE from Florida that came on board this year. I kind of like the rule and expect that many of the transfers just want a chance to play and not sit on the bench. Pitt and many other non BIG schools should benefit by the rule IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Cause of death is unknown and sudden, happened while he slept. He was committed to Geneva College and a big PITT fan. Truly tragic. Always end a visit with a loved one with a warm embrace and tell them that you love them.

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