117 thoughts on “Roundball: belated Pitt vs NIU open thread

  1. It’s on ESPN Plus. Capel picked a good team of stiffs to play. NIU has lost to UIC (you get to name them) and something called SIU-Edwardsvilie and that was a rout 73-53.


    1. UIC – University of Illinois – Chicago. I believe used to be known as UICC (Chicago Circle) when I went to school in Chicago (69-73).

      SIU – Edwardsville : not to be confused with the Salukis of SIU – Carbondale, (Southern Illinois University)


  2. no points a off the bench is troubling. I thought the improvement this year would be due to some quality depth which we haven’t see for a few years ….. but it’s quite possible the smaller pre-season practice schedule … not mention no summer workouts … has had an effect on all of the youth


  3. Bethune-Cookman cancelled their season. Capel can’t call them up for a win now. I’m grieving.


  4. Pitt only has 4 cupcakes on the schedule and the rest are ACC games. How many did Dixon used to schedule? This is a young team….they need the reps.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Watching Clemson at VT. Clemson looks like crap so far. Their tackling is awful tonight; Lawrence looking like nothing special. But long way to go. Clemson up 10-7 late in first half.


  6. Drum is one of those guys I hated carrying on my team. He’s simply just “there”. No outstanding skill set, no hustle ….just there. I’d rather carry a less skilled player that hustled and wanted to improve. Afraid we may have a few more on Pitt…like Brown.


  7. Pitt players on the bench…are breaking all the mask & social distance protocols.

    Where is Heather in yellow Nurse outfit ……to scold them. Shame, shame, shame.


    1. Heather is hiding. She hasn’t been out to speak to the press since July. Half a year of her slacking. What a waste.


  8. Pitt won their scrimmage against NUI. For some perspective on this game, NUI flew in to Pittsburgh today and will fly out after the game. The game went as it should. It was a chance for Pitt to scrimmage against someone other than each other. If you have Dish and get the ACC channel you should always be able to see Pitt play on the ACC Digital Network.

    We will see if Pitt is getting any better when they play Northwestern. To say the effort against St. Francis was a horrendous disappointment would be a huge understatement!


    1. Big let-down game for Clemson coming after the long anticipated and highly emotional match-up against the Fightin’ Pitt Panthers! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Capel on post-game said X-Man has 25 assists in 3 games. Not bad. (I know, I know…)

    Coach also said that for whatever reason the players all seemed to get nervous the first game approached. He said the team had been shooting really well in practices but that the shooting percentages steadily dropped in the days leading up to the opener…

    Then he said when SF punched them in the mouth, they panicked. (This is one straight talkin’ coach…)

    Horton was also interviewed. He sounded really mature. Said the team has really helped him, attitude and confidence-wise, while he’s in this shooting slump…. Also said he had rescued 4 kittens just over the last week.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Something wrong w the VT qb. Any one see him shaking? Almost like a mini seizure or something. Hope he’s ok


  11. After watching more college football and spread offenses yesterday it would probably be wise for Pitt to get away from the 4-3 scheme. I know they deploy some packages with only three down but unless it is a short yardage situation, seems like spread team have a mismatch without an extra speed guy on the field.

    If you all watched Iowa State pound WVU you know where all the TEs went. They play the weirdest offense. Three TEs often but still have a good passing game. Very cool to watch.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. …Speaking of more LBs. Pitt finally got a stud LB recruit with the decommit from LSU. When was the last time Pitt had a 4 star LB recruit?


  13. This will be the first time in a long while that there will be a competitive ACC Championship game and only because ND joined the conference for a year. It should be quite interesting. The refs will do everything possible to help Clemson, the real ACC team, plus only chance to get two ACC teams in the playoffs.

    The SEC Championship could be competitive as well but, does Florida really have a chance? The B1G Championship will be a joke. Would be funny if tOSU doesn’t get a sixth game though. An even bigger joke.


    1. No worries…they will modify the rules…to get my Buckeyes in !
      Only way we get a team into the Playoffs (wink wink)


    2. I bet ND is in the ACC to stay. You actually think the ACC brass will allow them to walk? They will do everything in their power to get them to stay.


  14. So Narduzzi is doing an excellent job at identifying and recruiting defensive talent, most would agree.

    However, today’s football is an offensive game and the difference in talent level between offense and defense is striking. Most evident on the Offensive line and Tight end, but very few playmakers throughout the lineup.
    Six O-linemen recruited this year, but even if they work out it won’t be for three years at best. Addison a great find last year, but many more are needed.

    Of course the most important man on any team is the QB. Look at all the playoff teams, stellar QB’s. Look at our wins vs. losses. The QB that played the best won in every contest.

    The team will struggle to get 8 wins unless the O catches up to the D in talent.

    Coaching changes could address this but it would take time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree the talent is less on offense. Especially TE.
      On the other hand, I think Whipple is using the O talent poorly. Playing the flea and AJ Davis is ridiculous. No young guys see the field.
      I do think there is talent on the OL but we will never know without a new OC.


      1. I do agree about the RB’s although Carter and IZZy got chances but were injured. Don’t understand the disappearance of Sibley though and the idiotic use of the wildcat.
        Not sure I agree about the O-line talent.


      2. Maybe there is an OC that could get marginally more out of our players, but coaching can only do so much.

        We have guys that say it is coaching that is responsible for all of the dropped passes. That is ridiculous.
        A coach may be able to teach how to run routs, but hand eye and good hands are talents that few have and make all the difference as are speed and agility. Coaches can only do so much.

        Why do we have a great pass rush now? Did the coaches get better or is it the players now vs then?


  15. Regarding Capel, biggest problem was not closing the deal on a solid point guard. He is making progress on all other positions. Unfortunately the point guard is the equivalent of the QB in football, you won’t win many games without a good one.


    1. Pitt had a nice run of very good PG’s through Howland and Dixon years. Stallings recruited a good one in Marcus Carr who played very little D and transferred to Minnesota.

      Capel hasn’t recruited a PG. It is year three and most D1 programs have two PG’s. That’s lyke Duzz not recruiting a QB for three years.


      1. No one played D for Stallings.
        Too bad Carr didn’t stick around. Might have made a difference for him and Pitt.


  16. I followed part of the basketball game last night using the Gametracker function on the CBS Sports App, which provides a running account of each shot, foul, rebound and turnover, etc.

    And there was a sequence with about 4 minutes left that I thought was pretty.

    — Chayce Smith gets defensive rebound

    — Curtis Aikens Jr is fouled in act of shooting

    — Aikens misses foul shot (1st of 2)

    — Aikens makes foul shot (2nd of 2)

    If you don’t know, Chayce is Charles Smith’s son.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. I wonder if it is easier to coach up offensive or defensive players. Timing and complexity seem to be greater on offense, while intensity could be greater on defense, which requires motivation. Judging from this it seems that higher skill levels and therefore better recruiting are required for offense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also offense is action and defense is reaction.
      It does take more players to execute for success on offense.
      On defense one great play by a single player can make an impact.


    1. Jerry Palm has us in Military. Pitt should politely just stay home if that’s the case.

      And get this…Palm also has the Pedo’s in Charlotte playing UNC in the Tire/Muffler/Belk Mayonnaise Bowl

      Ridiculous that the ACC bowl would take (at best) a 3-5 bubbling Pedo squad.


  18. Agreed, GC. So I think that in a 25 man recruiting class it makes sens to recruit slightly more offensive players. Before this 2021 class, I think we have been seeing more defensive players. Two OL signed last year was not good and even if the 6 taken this year are good there could be some time before we can expect a top notch offensive line.


    1. Conglaves and VanLynn both rated well these past two games per Chris Peak at Pantherlair.com

      VanLynn with the highest grade…

      Peak also thinks RSSO Kradel may be the Center next year, even though RSJR Owen Drexel has been getting the back-up snaps in 2020.

      Projected starters was hard for Peak to name as he lykes seven guys and can’t imagine Warren nor Houy sitting on the bench in 2021. In other words, Peak lykes the OL experience that is returning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting. I’ve been a Van Lynn fan for a while because of how well he moves laterally in pass protection. Still can’t believe he and Goncalves sat while Warren played – even though Warren did play better this season versus last.

        Go Pitt.


  19. Pitt is currently solidly positioned in the 9th spot in the ACC standings for FB. Not much room for upward movement, only downward with a loss to GT, one or two spots.

    Disappointing season to say the least. Season ticket renewal is not looking lyke it will happen in my household.


    1. The 9th spot looks to be our landing spot in 2021 as well without a proven QB in the mix. Duzz may win 8 games in 2021 and still land in the 9th position – OOC games will determine his win total as the ACC teams are passing us by. Sadly…

      Some have sad 8 wins in 2021 could easily turn to 3. I an see that happening, even with a good D.


      1. 8 wins next year. lol That is what you call OPTIMISTIC. They didn’t get close to 8 this year, with a 7 year (just kidding) Senior QB and several possible 1st round draft picks on defense.

        5 wins next year seems to be more likely. And if no QB’s develop or a grad transfer isn’t magically gifted to us….it might be more like 3 or 4 w’s. With no decent QB, the running game will be even worse. If that’s possible. Unless The Flea becomes like Real Flea of yesteryear.


        1. Ork – I referenced 3 wins if you read past the 1st sentence.

          Next year is either same old, same old or it gets worse.

          You read wrong – no ounce of optimism in my prediction.

          BUG OFF!!!


          1. Must be all the flea bites…it effects your vision. Orkin needs better health insurance & vision coverage.


        2. Two things, when are people going to get it in their heads that Kenny Pickett has only been at PITT for four years. He never red-shirted. Four years only.

          PITT didn’t get close to eight wins? Gee, they played one less games than usual and had their schedule changed to a tougher schedule with only one rent a win. No wonder you hide behind a fake screen name.


          1. Pro Football Network had KP going to the Stillers at the end of the 4th round, right after New Orleans takes Paris Ford.



  20. I took a look at PITT’s verbal commitment list and found out that only a very small group of players don’t have a long list of P-5 offers. My question is. If a 5.5 rated players with smaller school offers are frown upon and said to be by some as “weak links” then why aren’t players rated 5.5 or 5.6 with a plethora of P-5 offers thought to be higher rated that their rankings? Again we travel down the long one way street with people twisting stats for the shear reason of complain-ing.

    The list of verbals is not hard to find, so look it up if you don’t believe me. I’ll think you all will be surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Scouts from rivals don’t get the chance for multiple visits and to re-examine the tape. Other schools have the luxury of resources and time. Hence your answer. Thank you. And you’re welcome.


        1. That didn’t answer my question Tex, I’m not talking about recruiting services, I’m talking about you. Example: You’ve talked about Weaver having many offers as a two star but you don’t adjust your personal views for that particular recruiting class accordingly. When it comes to PITT you’re always looking down on PITT for ways to criticize. You should enjoy more out of this short life we are given. I’ll let you in on a little secret in a week or two.


      2. Been there multiple times passing through. Blend of east Texas and Arkansas. Always reminded me of West Virginia without the mountains. True red neck country.


  21. Basketball thread deserves a basketball comment. So……

    With a lot of games now being scheduled on ‘the fly’ so to speak. Why didn’t Capel call up Duquesne or
    Bobby Mo to schedule a game ? DU has only played 2 games and Bobby Mo…only 1. So I’m sure both of them would have ‘jumped’ at the chance to play a game, without having to travel out of state and risk being quarantined by Cousin Itt’s goon squad, on the return trip. Plus both schools would have been much better competition than the group of stiffs Capel had flown in for last night’s Little Big Horn.

    I think we all know the answer to this question….but I’m throwing it out there !


  22. Capel has a grudge. And heather allows him to act out like a petulant child. Bad child. Bad parent.

    If my son did that, he would have been sorry. You read between the lines.


  23. And the Frankies lost again to Liberty 78-62, dropping them to 1 win (over Pitt) and 3 losses. None of the losses were closer than 15 points.

    Good thing Pitt isn’t in the Northeast Conference. Onward Panthers !


  24. That would truly be a slap in Pitt’s face if the ACC invites the Pedos to an ACC bowl game in ACC country and damn near it’s Headquarters. That being the Tire/Muffler/Belk Mayonnaise Bowl in Charlotte.

    Jerry Palm of CbsSports has the Creepsters slotted into that bowl game.

    Really getting sick of the ACC fast.


  25. This is the year PSU may be desperate enough for a bowl bid to agree to play Pitt! I am not confident though that we could beat them. They are getting better as the season goes on and we are not. Also there is the danger that some of our better players may opt out of playing in the bowl.


    1. Narduzzi is 1-3 against the pedos. That one win is 100 percent on Canada.

      Pitt would get blown out

      Narduzzi sucks

      Franklin makes a better meatball.


  26. This kid was a 4 star LB Pitt recruit who never panned out. Don’t think he ever played a down.

    Deaysean Rippy is a 6-2, 205-pound Weak-Side Defensive End from Mckees Rocks, PA

    Rippy is the No. 10 recruit in Pennsylvania (PA) and is the No. 36 Weak-Side Defensive End in the nation.

    Rippy has a 247Sports rating of 91, making him a 4-star prospect.

    He has committed to Pittsburgh Panthers.


  27. Just a bust overall. Kid probably peaked at Age 17, could have been a man-child in Class A

    AT COLORADO: 2016 (Sr.)—He did not see any action, dressing for only the Alamo Bowl game against Oklahoma State.

    2015 (Jr.)—He did not see any game action, and dressed for just one game (Arizona). He ended spring drills in the top spot at outside linebacker.


      1. Pitt has had it’s share of 4 star busts in the past 6 years –

        WR Flowers
        TE who transferred to YSU
        WR who transferred to Temple
        LB Pugh
        RB Salamahudini
        RB who transferred to Wisconsin

        I’m probably missing a few…


        1. We don’t get that many 4 stars, would be interesting to see the % of 4 stars that bust.

          Forgot about Houdini already. He was going to be the next great Pitt RB.

          Corey Clement, 4 star RB de-committed from Pitt and went to Wisconson. Rushed for over
          3000 yards for them, with most of those in his Senior year, 1375 yds.
          Chris James (don’t think he was a 4 star), also transferred from Pitt to Wisconsin.

          Flowers was an extreme disappointment, as was Adonis (pfff) Jennings at WR.

          The huge TE, that i don’t believe made it thru Training camp…another HUGE bust.


          1. Chris James the was a 4 I think. Working late but if I get done I’ll spin something up


            1. Correct – Chris James from the state of IL was a 4 star on Rivals (5.8)

              OL Mike Grimm is another 4 star (career ending injury)
              ATL George Hill from Ohio is another (health condition)
              QB Tra’von Chapman (domestic abuse)

              Charles Reeves is TE who transferred to YSU


  28. I can’t think of any PITT player who transferred ever being heard of again with one exception “ The Nuch!!! FIRST DOWN (pose-time for the Nuch)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pitt women basketballers lost to Delaware today. Sounded like we played poorly. Lost 85-79. We had an amazing 24 turnovers! 24! Delaware only had only 9 turnovers. That was the game.

    Delaware got off to a good start. Pitt came back in the second half and took the lead, but a cold spell in the 4th quarter gave Delaware back the lead.

    Day Harris had a poor game with 4-11 shooting and 6 turnovers.

    One thing that may have effected the team’s focus today was that Coach Terri Mitchell’s mother died today. Condolences to Coach Terri.


  30. Tex, hopefully you watched 60 Minutes tonight to help you understand how important the minor sports are to college athletes. MN dropped its gymnastics program with no notice, to save money, and the kids are devastated. Their entire program cost about 1/4 what the head FB coach makes per year. The college mission is more than just FB and BB.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Instead of posing that question to me, you should direct it to heather. I’ve already answered very honestly. I know what I would do. But you’d need heather to come out of her bunker first. You know where to find me. Always. I don’t hide.


  31. Minor sports are important if they don’t hemorage the university.

    Each Olympic sport at Pitt loses on average $1.5 million. There are 17 sports at Pitt that lose money.

    That’s an average (see my link from a few days ago) and a rough estimate based on the last time I reviewed the data. From years ago before heather. Pitt was transparent then. Nearly impossible to find this data today. Why? Because it sheds a bad light on Pitt.

    I encourage you to look at the documentary on eastern Michigan when heather was the AD there. Might have been a 20/20 expose.

    If Pitt did their due diligence, they would have never hired her. Sorry Ike.

    I’m all for Olympic sports if the overall program doesn’t have to go into the hole by $15 million each year to subsidize them.

    It would be far easier to have Narduzzi and his staff of bandits take a 50 percent pay cut. That could save three programs right there. Did I say easy.


  32. Here is an article


    Pitt cut tennis two years ago to make way for womens lacrosse. Pitt is not innocent.

    Pitt may be forced to cut and eliminate programs due to covid. Other schools have taken this route and made tough decisions. Unless they dig a deeper debt hole or force the football program to accept cuts. Pitt will have no other choice. It’s a business people.

    It has eastern Michigan written all over it.

    I’m not for welfare at the college level. Unless boosters can cover the costs, why should students and tax payers pay for a gymnast. Academic scholarships are always paid for. Why should sports be different?

    I really don’t feel sorry for that gymnast in the article. He can always transfer without penalty. He can play under scholie somewhere else if he’s that good.


    1. I think they said there are only about 13 or so ( can’t remember the exact number) schools that have mens gymnastics now. US Olympic teams rely on college athletes to fill their roster spots.


  33. Tex, I don’t give one little bit of crap about Heather or Narduzzi. I hope I said this for the last time! I just don’t think she has done as bad of a job as you do, all because you don’t like her for whatever reason.


    1. I don’t like her because she’s dishonest and incompetent. I have utter disdain for her. I actually feel sorry for Narduzzi. That’s saying something. And I don’t mince words.


    2. I think you said it for the last time, 10 times ago. I have good listening skills or so they write in the pet journals.


  34. Tex, you seem to think that a football player has more value to a college than a minor sport athlete. So sad that you just don’t get it. 98% of football players don’t get a professional pay check. They are left with college memories just as other athletes are. And spare the part about FB brings in the revenue. The college mission is not to make money off its athletes.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Football players do bring more revenue to a university than a non-revenue producing sport for sure. They do it in ways that not many understand, so here goes. When prospective college students apply to a university, many do so because of the revenue producing sports and the “college experience”. When your football team wins a national championship, they often set records with numbers of Applications received the following year. That is a fact.

    But what does this matter for? When you receive more applications, you are able to increase the talent pool and accept higher performing students. When you get higher producing students, you get more successful research students. When you get better researchers, you get more research funding. Are you catching on to this yet? The great schools have figured this out and understand that all of the fiefdoms can be successful, because there is more pie to share. Pitt doesn’t get it.

    In addition when you have more top tier graduates getting top tier jobs, they tend to give back to their university that gave them an unforgettable experience. Fundraising soars.

    To answer your other question about Mission statements, the college will never put in a mission statement that they support athletics because it makes money. NEVER! Why? Because if colleges said that, the players would have all the power and demand more of the pie they already get. College sports is a business and if you don’t think so, you don’t understand. That is why there is so much litigation in this space with regard to use of images, likenesses, etc. Notice you can’t buy jerseys with player names and numbers on it lately? C’mon voice.It’s a shell game. You either understand the game or your don’t. Our AD does not understand the game because she was never in the game. She is trying to learn, but it is costing Pitt. It’s not her fault that she doesn’t have the experience. I’d take the job too if Pitt offered.

    On the farm, the cows get top billing, followed by the chickens and then the ponies. Whoever brings in the bacon, gets taken care of the best.


    1. So, to recap, Duzz was hired by Pitt/Sir Patrick G with no HC-ing experience and is left to learn while working on the job without an AD. Heather is then hired by Pitt/Duzz/Sir PG with very little AD experience (none at a P5 school), carrying a failed financial budgeting record with her from E.Michigan and is left to learn while working on the job.

      Is Randy Juhle still around or did he retire – I believe he hired Scott Barnes. Or was it all orchestrated by a search firm?

      That is a lot for one brain to consume with morning coffee. I’m off to work to hire some experienced minds and fiscally responsible individuals so I can eventually retire…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Your thesis doesn’t hold water Arnold. Pitt is one of the most successful research institutions on the planet. Also very successful graduate programs.

      While I agree that great sports teams do attract more undergrads, improving the quality, it is one small ingredient. Much of Pitt’s success has been driven by it’s health programs.


  36. My first two attempts to send this comment failed – I will try a third an final time and split the comment into two posts:

    Back to BB – I’ve read elsewhere that G Nike Swoosh has still not been granted his eligibility to play for Pitt yet. The chance of him returning seems to be rated at about a 50% and if he does come back he will fill the role of back-up to X-man at PG and/or play along side of X when pressing D is needed because Horton is a liability on D.

    If that is the case, Femi gets relegated to the bench or does he become a D specialist?

    With Swoosh out, here is my starting five based on what I’ve seen so far in 2020:

    AKC @ the 5
    Toney @ the 4
    Jeffress @ the 3
    Femi @ the 2
    X-man @ the 1

    Champ 1st off bench


  37. Part 2:

    My theory is to play the best defenders because the whole team is scoring challenged from a consistency standpoint, game to game. Toney seems to be the only consistent player. Use a more pressing D to create turnovers, which lead to scoring opportunities without the need for set plays and use the depth on the bench to give breathers to starters where needed.

    NW this week will help us gauge the type of ACC season we will see – Pitt beat NW last season – NW lost its best player to graduation and did not add the talent to it’s roster that Pitt seemed to add.

    I’m trying hard to stay engaged with Pitt men’s BB. Losing Dan72 after the first game, diabolical mess certainly does not help.



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