Book Review: The Point After

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There is an old saying that goes along the lines of “Nobody ever thinks about the kicker until you need one.” Well maybe it’s not exactly an old saying, but I heard an ex-NFL radio jock say it once and it stuck with me. And to prove my point, if I said the name “Sean Conley” to you, you’d probably think “who’s the hell is that guy?”

He’s a former kicker of course. For Pitt. All Big-East actually. But you didn’t know that. Primarily because he played on one of the most underwhelming teams in modern Pitt history, and also because well…he’s a kicker. And so if you saw Conley’s memoir on the bookshelf, you’d probably walk right past it.

That would be a mistake.

Conley reached out to me over the holidays and sent me a copy of his recently published autobiography, titled “The Point After” (Released in July 2020). I agreed to read it, and if it was any good, I agreed to write about. Well, I’m writing about it, and I’m not just doing it to do the guy a favor. I do a fair amount of reading and I have high standards, and I will readily admit that I was entertained.

For me, a book will make or break itself on the first page; if I’m not interested halfway through, forget it. Call me a homer, but Conley’s narrative had me hooked after the first line (even though I already knew the outcome of the game):

“Tonight is the biggest night of my life, October 10, 1992. Tonight Pitt will play the most storied team in college football, the University of Notre Dame”.

In that first chapter, which he opens so tantalizingly, Conley takes us into the Pitt locker room, on to the pre-game training table, through his pre-game ritual (who knew kickers did that to the balls?), and then out into Pitt Stadium. We walk to midfield with co-captains Vernon Lewis and Alex Van Pelt. We shake hands with Rick Mirer and Jerome Bettis, and we are given a glimpse into the loneliest of echo chambers, that solitary place filled with demons and self doubt and inner resolve – the head of a kicker. I’ll venture to say that if you aren’t moved by these first six pages, well then you might not be a Pitt fan, or a football fan, or even a fan of humanity. (Even though those first six pages were written by a kicker.)

Make no mistake, Conley is no Hemmingway. His prose is not necessarily beautiful, or lyrical, or even literary in the academic sense, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a book about football, and Conley tells us his story in authentic, Erie Pennsylvania, working-class, hard-work-pays-off words. His is a story of resilience, simply told, and I found it highly engaging (and an easy read.) After the first chapter, Conley takes us back to Erie, his childhood, his love for the game of football, his passion for kicking, his adversity. And because that first chapter is such a good hook, you’ll find yourself rooting for him all the way, from his childhood, through his college odyssey, to his stint in the pros and beyond.

Without giving anything away, Conley had a few different kicking stops on his way to the NFL, and one of the best parts of the book is his anecdotes about the coaches. He does a great job conveying their personalities, idiosyncrasies, and the key moments where each coach impacted him. As a former high school football player who was always curious about what it was like to play at the next level, I found these bits to be pure gold

Additionally, if you went to Pitt, especially in the 1990’s, you’ll relish the chapters about Conley’s Pitt career. The story will absolutely take you back to Oakland. Landmarks are mentioned. Classes are referenced (Spoiler alert Conley took Geology 101, aka “Rocks for Jocks” just like me!) Former Pitt greats are encountered, including a certain quarterback in a certain watering hole, who gives the author some certain career-changing advice. (Hint: It wasn’t Matt Cavanaugh).

But I’ll also urge you to not just read it for the Pitt nostalgia. Conley’s true-life narrative about the NFL draft and what comes after are great reads. His training camp stories are peppered with run-ins with recognizable names, and insight about what the NFL is really like. No, The Point After isn’t Paper Lion (George Plimpton’s famous narrative about playing an entire preseason for Detroit in the 1960’s), but Conley’s take is more relevant to the modern game, and Conley gives us a deeper, more objective look than anything you’ll find on ESPN.com.

At the end of the day, the title of the book gives away the ending. (The Point After: How One Resilient Kicker Learned there was More to Life than the NFL). Conley’s life after football feels a little bit like it’s written on fast forward, but in his defense, maybe it actually felt like it was on fast forward when he lived it, and he certainly had a lot of ground to cover. Ultimately, our former Pitt Kicker finds inner peace in the most Amazing possible way. I should venture to ask if we should all be so lucky? Because no matter how it’s found, inner peace is sorely needed these days. Sorely. And so yes, Kicker, we need you now. We need your story. We need your ending. We need it more than ever. And we are thinking about you.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

Sean Conley’s autobiography can be found on Amazon.com.

Click here to see his book on Amazon, or click on the image below.

241 thoughts on “Book Review: The Point After

  1. You hooked me on “Erie, Pennsylvania”.

    I’ll buy three books – one for my dad, one for me and one for my son.

    Great write-up! You told us just the right amount of information to make us want to read this book.

    Inner peace – yes, it is a great thing to have. We should all want that for our loved ones and ourselves.

    H2P!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Luckily for him we have a great OC who will work with him and salvage his career. Ohhh….

    Glad Tomlin asked for the OC’s opinion on the skill set. Ohh…..

    Tomlin is so offensive. Maybe he asked Narduzzi for his opinion on the qb from an offensive standpoint, because of his skills in offensive strategy too..

    Like

  3. Actually, the Steelers have nothing to lose on that pickup. We are in a position of weakness with respect to the Draft, so it doesn’t hurt to take a flier on a top15 pick just a couple of short years ago.

    The strategy worked on Minkah Fitzpatrick. Colbert looks at strategy and saw that the Steelers would not be in a position to draft someone that could help the team more than Fitzpatrick, so you make the move. I am good with it as it is all upside. If he bombs out or doesn’t change his ways, you let him go. No harm, no foul.

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    1. Fitzpatrick wasn’t a reject he just wanted out of Miami. Haskins is most definitely a Washington reject and it would be a miracle if he turned into a effective NFL first string QB.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Is he another statue like Mason? I think a statue is okay, but not preferred, for a backup QB, but please don’t invest practice and playing time in a No. 1 QB who can’t run some… Both pros and college…

      Go Pitt.

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  4. I recall tailgating for that game. There was a lot on the north side of the stadium. Just down from the university owned fraternity houses. We were dressed in civilian clothes. Students didn’t really own any Pitt gear in those days. My crew would yell ‘Notre Dame’ sometimes as their fans walked by. Then once we got a wave or thumbs up from them, we’d scream sucks. And some went further by saying I ‘screwed’ her. Little did I know that one year later I’d be shuffling off to Buffalo.

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  5. RIP Hammerin Hank, 86, When I first start following MLB in the early 60s, there were 4 NL outfielders … Aaron, Mays, Clemente and F Robinson. All could hit, run, field and throw (no weaknesses). Boy do I miss those days

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, I started in the late 50’s. My first memory of it is walking a couple miles through the woods to see Frank Thomas and Dale Long at Bellotti’s Bakery on Universal Road. They were handing out their baseball cards. I must have been 6 or 7 years old. We knew all the players back then because we collected their bubble gum cards. You got gum and a card for a penny.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I had 2 full shoeboxes which my mother tossed a few years later. She didn’t understand my disappointment since they were just sitting there collecting dust … and that was before I came to realize just how valuable some of them were

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          1. I was very good at ‘flipping’ cards back in the day. I could hold the card at my waist with either the front or back facing outward and almost every time that side would land facing up. Got so good no other kids would flip with me.

            Wish I had those cards now.

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  6. This is too funny…..stopped in a local watering hole yesterday, far far from the Burgh in Tobacco Road country, i hadn’t been in since before coronavirus and my old spot at the corner of the bar was….right there waiting. Two gents to either side of me, both had to
    be 50’s or so. Had my Pitt hat on and of course the talking commenced.

    Turns out the fellow to the right of me was from ERIE, was a ’87 Pitt grad and had actually been
    ROC the Panther for a year. Think he said he had went to ERIE McDowell and was a Sigma Chi also
    at Pitt. And he also mentioned he had been a bartender at CJ Barney’s (the keg). And we had a grand ole time reminiscing about days and places (like the O) gone past. And ran into another person from ERIE yesterday as well. And now this article.

    Pretty eeire….all this ERIE in 24 hours.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. We used to park in Shadyside so post game we had a parking spot near the Mardi Gras.
    Brilliant! Haha.
    Reed, didn’t you work there for a while?

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    1. Yes, a short time but spent almost every night with the guys and girls drinking there. the owner “Papa” Joe would draw the curtains, lock the doors and pull out a cigar box of cash and we’d drink from the 2:am required closing to 3 or 4 in the morning. I had a running tab there and paid on New Years day and Joe would always chop it in half for me.

      My bar tending years were at The Encore and Lou’s Shadyside Bar and Grill and a fill-in bit when Taylors needed someone.

      BTW – what are the Steelers thinking getting QB Haskins? he’s truly a terribly poor QB and a bad influence on other players. The Washington Football Team players basically ran him out of town.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just what the Steelers need…more drama in the Locker Room. Maybe he can hook up with Juju and Clayppool and they can all dance pre-game.

        Tomlin has no control over this team and I don’t think he garners much respect from them anymore.

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        1. All those young punks need to be broken. They do this with horses. They do this in the military. Good coaches do this. I have various ways to break people. I learned from some of the best.

          Real curious what Sean’s take was on some of the coaches he encountered along his path. And maybe what he thought of a few players in his day. I’ll be buying the book as a Valentines present to myself.

          Tex who loves to look in the mirror

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      2. Taylors had the best juke box in town.

        Afterhours drinking was indeed another business entity back in the day. There was that afterhours place on Baum….i think it was called the Travelers Club. There was one in East Liberty, up on the 2nd floor
        of some place.

        And then there was Joyce, downtown on the Blvd of the Allies. Monty’s I think. They had the best food.
        If you didn’t know Joyce…you didn’t get in…period. Unless you were a Steeler, Radio or TV person, or a Pol.

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  8. Speaking of things we had in childhood but don’t have now – my best friend in grade school loved Marvel comics and he, his brother and their dad had subscriptions to all of them for many years. He put each one in plastic sleeves before it was popular to do so and built shelves just for those. He also collected all the DC comics – and even bought old originals of DC comics at sales, etc. These were all first-run editions.

    When he was 21 he and I counted all his comics and he had over 350+ first or second printings of the first editions. His dad died left him the comics he bought and his brother didn’t really care so gave his up also.

    He went to college – I joined the Coast Guard and we didn’t see each other for about five years. During that time he became a fanatic born-again Christian and…. wait for it… wait for it… gave away “all his worldly possessions” – including all his comics. Every single one.

    They would be worth literally millions of dollars now and we never speak about it. But man, I had to really bite my tongue when he told me what he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Man. That would be like me becoming a born again Narduzzi fan and giving all my meatball references away. But don’t worry. That will never happen. I mean never.

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      1. Ha Ha. I truly would like to meet that cat one day. Just curious…did Sean reach out of the blue or is he a reader of the POV. He reached the right audience. I probably passed him on campus multiple times without knowing. Or most likely was in the same bars…Peters, Calicos, CJs and Zelda’s. And the Attic.

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  10. Can’t remember the name of the ‘Sliberty after hours club but have been there many times.
    Couple good ones in Bloomfield too…I think the B.I.C. club.
    Bloomfield Independent something…

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    1. Yea right, there were a lot of them. I think Alexanders in Bloomfield was one for a while.
      And you had the BYM over in Brookline. I forgot, I was even a member of that one ! lol

      There was one over on the North Side too….the name escapes me.

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    1. That’s why I added Sling (and cut back my Comcast package out of spite). Wasn’t there a ‘rumor’ that Comcast may finally add ACC Network this summer?

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  11. Would have been cool if he could have worn jersey number 007.

    Sounds like an interesting read….we typically only read the pov down here on the farm. Dan, great article on the hoops team. March sadness may turn into April Madness!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My wife and I moved to Erie from Pittsburgh shortly after we married. Took a job in Strategy with Welch Foods in Westfield and commuted. Snowed May 1 that year. Fun place. Skiing ⛷, golf, the point. Found memories. Some great football players from that town.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pitt at NC State wrestling on the ACC Network right now (6 pm to 8 pm). Pitt down 12-6 through 5 matches.

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  14. Wrestling team looks bad tonight. Our ranked wrestlers not making a good showing. Nino is ranked #5 and was dominated by an unranked true FR. Pitt with only 2 wins and they were both slim wins.

    Very disappointing – NC State much better than Pitt – not even close.

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    1. Seems like the Wolfpack has Pitt’s number in several sports. We can’t beat them in football either.

      And in basketball since joining the ACC, the Wolfpack has beaten Pitt 10 of 11 games.

      Pretty Pitt-i-ful. Since they aren’t that good in either sport.

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      1. NC State reminds me of the Hoopies. A poor academic school that often kicks Pitt’s butt in sports. A city slicker should do better than get jumped by a country boy missing a full set of teeth.

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  15. NC State wrestlers looked to be in much better shape than Pitt and the riding times were dominated by the Wolfpack.

    Either the Pitt team was somewhat out of shape or the NC State wrestlers were far more superior in all facets of the sport.

    Maybe the coach did not have the team ready to wrassle tonight – meatballs for the pre-match meal…

    Erie Express who once pinned an Erie Cathedral Prep wrestler

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  16. I love the Shadyside bar banter. In the mid 70s when I was dating my Pitt grad wife, there was a saying that around 4 to 5 pm on Fridays if you stood on Fifth Avenue and looked uphill at Desoto St. or Lothrop you would see nothing but white lab coats scurrying downhill towards the Oakland bars. Med, Dental, Pharm students; or lab workers or RNs. My Pitt grad and future wife was one of those white coats and she was to meet me at Froggy Morris’ disco bar Zelda’s Greenhouse.

    How this ties into Shadyside bars is sometime during this period, Froggy ventured into Shadyside and starting running “The Pizza Pub” from the owner of “The Encore” (Mr. Shiner??)

    Anyways Froggy renamed “The Pizza Pub” to be the “Razzberry Rhino.” He also owned “Bimbos” in Mt. Lebanon.

    Later, I became reacquainted with Froggy when he started “Froggy’s” downtown, only blocks from my office. I told Froggy that many years earlier he use to card me when I tried to get into “The Wooden Keg.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a very sad day indeed when the legendary Froggy’s on Market street, downtown…closed.

      They had the strongest drinks of anywhere from Maine to Florida. You got a triple or a quadruple,
      without asking ! Everyone got tanked, the spinet piano got good usage during the week, with
      sing-a-long Billy Joel songs and the guy next to, was your best friend in 2 hours. And the girl
      next to you, could be your next GF in no-time flat !

      On Friday nights, the 3 floors were going full tilt, and they had the best rooftop bar, downtown.
      Some never got past the 2nd floor bar and made it to the 3rd floor.

      One of the best ‘pick-up bars’ in the Burgh….without having to dance. lol

      All of Froggy’s establishments were great…and God Bless the man for entertaining so many
      tens of thousands !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I knew of Froggys during my college days. I needed laid and Oakland bars weren’t cutting it. You can get only so drunk drinking watered down moose piss.

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        1. I lived in Mt Wash in mid/late 90s / early 00s. A handful of times, I would get home from work on Fri, take the Mon Incline, walk across the Smithfield Bridge to either Froggies, Market Square or both

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  17. Hammering Hank…..1971 All-Star Game in Tiger Stadium. Starting NL Outfield was;
    Hank Aaron in LF, Willie Mays in CF & the great one Roberto Clemente in RF

    Sad news, Hank got vaxxed and died and now only Willie is alive of that HOF OF group.

    Aaron made his last public appearance 21⁄2 weeks ago, when he received the covid-19 vaccine. He said he wanted to help spread the message to Black Americans the vaccine was safe.

    I had his 1966 Topps card and still have his 1971 Topps Card.

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  18. The betting line on Pitt WF is now -2.5 that’s down from -4 a day ago. The money is clearly coming in slow but sure for WF. A big win followed by a loss is not unheard of with Pitt FB or BB. A see a very tough game coming up tonight.

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    1. My dad’s book arrives at his house in Erie today. He turns 81 tomorrow. My book and son’s arrive tomorrow.

      Looking forward to an entertaining read and Pitt basketball this evening. Mrs. Erie is gearing up right now.

      H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Loved the Raspberry Rhino…my buddy won a bet by stealing the sink from the mens room one night.
    Crazy times…

    Like

  20. All those bars on Walnut street except Taylors I could get in in high school. I could walk from my house and get hammered.
    I liked Lou’s.
    My 18th birthday I ran away from the Rhino. I could not do anymore shots. Stumbled home and my buddy’s who had car were sitting in the kitchen with a bottle of JD.
    I must have puked but can’t remember.
    I didn’t wash my hands so I did not miss the sink.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Froggies drinks measured up. Like breasts one is not enough but three is too many.
    Certainly true about driving, too bad they didn’t have Uber back then. Many lost a license driving home from Froggies, or worse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the middle of the 2021 schedule, Pitt will travel to Bobbi Dodd Stadium for the 3rd straight year. I wonder if any other ACC team is or has faced that scenario.

      Like

  22. I’m thinking the clemson game for me. I’ve seen the other teams in person multiple times. Never seen clemson. I’m hoping it’s sometime in October. November is too cold for me.

    Tex whose become soft living in 100 degree heat

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    1. that would certainly be a memorable game. Thru the years, I have seen a handful of really good teams play here including eventual Natl Champs, ND (77), PSU (86), Fl St (13) …. as well as Oklahoma (circa 84?), USC (73?) and a couple Miami teams around 20 years ago

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      1. You and I need to meet up foxhole buddy. Along with Ike. I’m on record saying I want yuz guys as the first two in my hole. Clemson is the game I’m coming in for.

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    2. the 1974 USC finished 1st in Coaches poll and 2 in AP … beat Pitt 16-7 at Pitt stadium. remember the big white Trojan stallion

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  23. I seem to remember USC had a running back named Anthony Davis who was supposed to be the player who would supplant Dorsett as the greatest running back ever. As I recall, Pitt held him in check, and nearly won that game. It turns out Hershel Walker was the greatest, and would have broken all of TD’s records if he had stayed at Georgia 4 years.

    While we are reminiscing about those good old days in Oakland, my favorite memory is life in Shadyside, where on those hot summer nights the sounds of the late Harold Betters’ trombone could be heard wafting out the open front door of the Encore as we walked down Walnut street. I loved that time in the ’60s. BigB may remember this..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. as I recall, the Balcony became the jazz club in Shadyside after the Encore closed. While it didn’t come close to history of the Encore, it still had some good shows. I remember seeing Moses Allison and John Scofield. But I couldn’t make it to seethe great McCoy Tyner was there but was later blown away by another jazz pianist, Monty Alexander whom I had never heard of at the time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. McCoy Tyner at the Balcony….don’t know how I missed that. John Scofield is an incredible musician as well.

        Kenny Blake played the Balcony frequently or so it seemed everytime I was there.

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  24. Wake is horrible at rebounding. But excellent at the charity stripe. The line is only 2.5

    I see Pitt getting many easy buckets off missed shots.

    If Pitt loses it’s because they didn’t hit their gimmes at the line.

    Prediction
    Pitt 78
    Wake 65

    Like

    1. That helps pitt

      But then pitt needs to beat tech

      If Pitt wins today, they may pick up some votes in the polls. If Pitt beats Tech, they could sneak into the top 25.

      That’s the Koolaid talking this afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Majors,
        You’re a baseball ball guy right?

        What are your thoughts on designating b ball as a fall sport for all northern and Midwest states.

        I just don’t see how these ‘northern’ schools can be competitive using a spring schedule.

        Only one school from the north was in the top 25 last year. And that’s the case in most years.

        Tex who used to coach and play the sport

        Also asking for a Texas cousin to comment. U know who u r.

        Like

    2. Cuse have been playing really good since we beat them twice. Maybe the sports writers will take note. We have to win tonight though…

      Like

  25. Kansas just lost and are now 10-5. They were ranked 9th. Must be nice to be a ‘name team’. UConn is 23rd at 7-2 and are losing. That would help Pitt out if they lose.

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  26. What’s holding pitt back is it’s sos. It will only get worse until they start playing ranked teams. They will need at least one or two quality wins to get into the dance. And they can’t go cold down the stretch. They need to be peaking come the ACC tourney. Beating clemson would be a quality win. The ACC is down this year.

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  27. I don’t see any dominant teams this year. Any school can win it all. And Pitt is part of that company. Why not. I feel good about Pitts shot. And if they reach the Final 4, I’m gonna party like it’s 1999.

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  28. They’ve made 7 3’s and Champ only has 7 points and we’re still winning. I expect to see us pull away in the 2nd half.

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  29. If I were Pitt, I’d slap massoud back to biblical times. He’s all they got.

    Tex checking back in five hours. Gotta make money.

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  30. Unreal, 8 threes.
    Better announcers tonight, less incessant babble.
    Pitt getting more from its bench tonight.
    Looks to me like Horton needs to lose some minutes to Femi and Nike.

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  31. Entertaining 1st half….these announcers are a gazillion times better than last
    game’s clowns. These guys actually talk about the game in front of them !

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  32. W_F can sure shot the three

    Pitt is in trouble if they go into any kind of a scoring drought.

    So far, not a problem…

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  33. Pitt needs to clamp down some on defense. Allowing too much room for three point shooters. Justin should hopefully will heat up in the second half. Will be interesting to see if Capel abandons the zone and goes man to man.

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  34. team ball on offense stopped and Wake just switched person hitting 3’s

    needed to defend the 3’s aggressively sooner, now tightening up on O

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  35. 0-5 W_F looks to be the better team tonight – let that sink in –

    EE – not wasting time on Capel _rap show anymore

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  36. X gets shafted on his drives, never gets calls and then gets calls against

    in addition to his out of control short misses and ball losses

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  37. I’m so sick of theACCN. LOST MY FEED and irritated beyond words. Pitt in big trouble. A lot of it on X man. Totally out of control. So F n sick of getting beat by teams raining 3s on us in the last 20 years. I thought this crap was over! Oh well, some days you get the bear! And thanks Reed for the post.

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  38. They should have been isolating Champ all 2nd half…to get Mossud in foul trouble and OFF
    THE COURT ! Poor coaching there.

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    1. Femi took a very Freshman like shot…in that last 2 minutes. When you had to get Champ the ball.

      Champ owned that Mossud character. Yet Pitt didn’t exploit it, till the last 7 minutes of the 2nd half.

      Like

  39. Too funny…that was the time….YOU WANTED X-MAN or Champ…taking it to the hole..
    to either score and/or get fouled.

    A pullup off balance 15 footer….not so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. All the missed FT’s in the 2nd half….was another factor in losing this very winnable game.

    I guess Forbes was just destined to get his 1st ACC win as HC for Wake….against us.

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  41. I’m sorry, but X Man sucks. For every play he makes, he causes two other bad plays. Everyone knows you drive the hoop in that last play and make the layup or draw a foul. And his drives to the basket are sloppy and out of control when he does take them. Long shots produce long rebounds which can’t be controlled and converted in 5 seconds. 5 seconds is enough time to get a shot and a rebound and put back if the play is worked properly. Just a terrible loss tonight, on a night when Champ is merely human and no one else picks up the slack. They will not ever go far with X as the PG…

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    1. I blame Capel….for not instructing that Champ got the last shot.
      All he needed was 1 ball screen to get open or roll to the hole.

      At that point, Champ was 7 of 12 FG or 58%
      X-Man was 6 of 14 FG or 42%.

      Who would you pick to take the last shot ?

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  42. Well, we didn’t quit….I put 85% of this loss on Xman. His many turnovers before we could even get a shot off killed us against a Red Hot shooting WAke team. Going 8-16 from the free throw line did not help. So another hot (unconscious) team kicks our butt. Think, Pacific, Marquette, ND, UConn, etc. etc. Capel tried every defense known to man to stop the air attack but when we doubled Massaud, the Australian guy killed us. XMan utterly sunk us but THERE WAS NO EXCUSE FOR LOSING THIS GAME! H2P

    Liked by 2 people

  43. not really off balance but obviously just a bit long, then Femi knocks ball out of JC’s hand and neither gets clean last shot with just under 1 sec

    X should’ve driven the lane then scoop pass to Coulibaly who had inside position and the defender in the middle would’ve needed to go up to defend X’s shot

    should not have pulled up with 3 sec to shoot

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  44. Choke job tonight by our Panthers despite a chance to win it at the end. X was poor tonight and especially for being a junior to play that bad.

    Capel not fouling at the end of the half with three fouls to give gifted Wake three points. Terrible job by the staff on that one and it proved costly.

    Between the missed foul shots and complaint to the officials after every call I can’t decide what is more annoying.

    Bring Hugley back now. Brown and AKC just aren’t ACC caliber.

    Other than that, we have arrived since we beat a Duke team no one will ever remember.

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  45. No Jeffries or Collier the last 2 games. Wonder what’s going on there, since those 2 were in the car with Hughley on Night 1 of that incident. Jeffries particularly was in the rotation.

    That’s damn near the whole recruiting class from last year.

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    1. The coaches are choosing to redshirt the two even though they are needed and get a free year.

      These coaches are BAD!

      Pitt fans were fooled by us beating poor cuse and Duke teams. Big losing streak ahead,

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      1. Redshirt ? I was under the impression…that this year doesn’t count anyway….against your
        4 years of eligibility.

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  46. Dan, don’t you think X at least in this game got hit a couple of times and refs just maybe don’t give him call because he looks out of control?

    he also drove close with 3-4 minutes left(I forget) and missed a close one where he didn’t use the back board

    all forgiven if he hits that last shot which again I think wasn’t bad, probably 60% chance, but still should’ve finished drive and dished or get the foul call

    Like

    1. Yes of course X was fouled numerous times with no call but you’re on Tobacco Road and the refs are never going to call those as he is out of control Now, if X went to the hoop with any semblance of control, he might get a call. You can nitpick the coaches all you want but XMan is almost singularly responsible for this loss. And…he still hasn’t fixed his jump shot. WHY WHY WHY on that last shot did he not take it to the hoop? Instead that egregious hang in the air one handed jumper?
      Again WHY? One of the worst unnecessary losses in Pitt BBall history

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Really bad W_F loss tonight.

    I turned it off with 6:01 to play and went to chop wood.

    Felt productive and entertained. Can’t say the same for Pitt BB tonight.

    W_F 0-5 in the ACC coming into this game – SOP

    Like

  48. Nada from the 2 guard position tonight. Horton & Sibande were damn near invisible !

    5 measly points between them.

    Like

    1. Nike seems to come in every game and promptly hit a three then is never seen or heard from again. Very odd. If Horton isn’t making threes he is pretty much useless as a player. Defensively he’ll give up threes in a heartbeat.

      Zero recruits in the 2021 class, too. I’m not sure where upgrades at the 2 and 5 spots are coming from but Hughley needs to be allowed back ASAP.

      Like

    1. Yep….as natebailey4 pointed out….Capel had 3 fouls to give there….and didn’t instruct Pitt players
      to foul….if needed several times…..to avoid that 3 point shot even getting launched.

      A case where doing all the little things wrong…adds up to a loss.

      Like

  49. If you look at the game stats, Pitt was better in almost every category except D.

    This team played horrible D tonight and failed to dominate on the boards against an 0-5 team in ACC play coming in to tonight’s game.

    This team blew their chance – period!

    Sad overall performance = SOP

    Like

    1. On the bright side….we don’t have to worry about why…..the Poll voters didn’t rank Pitt next week.

      They don’t deserve to be ranked….losing to a winless team in conf. A team who’s only 3 wins
      were against, these juggernauts. Longwood (?), Delaware State and Catawba (?)….omg

      Like

  50. Wake shot it better from 3 land (47%) than it did from 2 land (46%)….on 32 three point attempts.

    And yet Capel and his crew of 3 other former HC’s assistants, had no clue on how to defend
    the mostly static WF perimeter shooters.

    Like

    1. Coaches and player leadership failed to show up for this game. Coaching mistakes list the game. Leadership on the player side was missing tonight.

      Like

  51. Throw everything out until the last 5 seconds. Pitt is down 1 point with an extended time out to draw up a play that could get a layup or a foul. And they can’t execute it because X Man is a dead head. Say what you want, but I think he had visions of reading his name in the paper tomorrow as the guy who nailed the last shot to win the game. It’s the same with his “razzle dazzle” plays that cause turnovers or fouls. He has a terrible basketball IQ, and at times looks like a hot dog player who is just in it for himself.

    Like

    1. True…however Pitt should have never been in that position to begin with.

      Had they:

      1) Shot 70% from the FT line in the 2nd half.
      2) Defended the perimeter better
      3) Exploited Champ on Mossud before 7 minutes were left in the game

      And it’s on Capel that Pitt has no true PG on the roster after 3 recruiting classes.
      And no-one is recruited for PG, to this point for this years recruiting class.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No shooting guard either after three classes. Waited a year for this from Horton? Wake had two transfers who shoot better than Horton, the two white dudes. Not sure what this staff is doing but most of its top targets have signed elsewhere.

        Like

        1. Massoud is from NYC, Harlem to be exact. We seem to recruit a lot of tweeners, who can’t shoot
          very well. The tweeners being 6’4″ to 6’7″.

          Wouldn’t you love to have Massoud instead of …say Gerald Drumghoul. Who is useless.

          Like

  52. Dan will say the same thing: there is no reason why a double pump finish to a lay up is needed when the objective is simply to put the basketball in the basket. There are no extra points for degree of difficulty. I doubt X Man will ever learn this.

    Like

  53. A lot of teams in the top 25 lost today – Pitt with a golden chance to join the top 40, lost to an 0-5 ACC bottom dweller.

    Possibly the 2nd worse loss this season to their top 3 worst teams to play in 2020/21

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Similar to the Doozers…..it’s always 1 step forward…..and 2 steps back.

      Going nowhere, stuck in the neutrality of …….Mediocrity.

      Like

  54. —I thought it was a good, open shot that X took at the end. I can’t believe you guys wanted him to drive given his lack of success driving the whole second half.

    -Got to expect losses like this until we can add more talent. For about 10 minutes in the second half, Pitt couldn’t have played any worse. Went from up 6 to down by 9.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. X-man had 6 baskets…..5 of them were layups and 1 was a dunk. 90% of his misses are outside shots, where he has a really bad form.

      Yes….we wanted him (or really Champ) to go to the hole….as Wake would not
      want to foul….to put a player at the line with 2 shots to win the game.

      A pullup jumper from somebody as bad a shooter from the outside as X-man, was the last man
      you’d want to take a 15 footer.

      Like

      1. I only saw the second half – well the last 15 minutes. I remember X driving to the hoop maybe 5 times and he made only one basket, and that was a tough, circus shot. WF was ready with multiple bodies for him to drive. Perhaps he could have dished it to somebody, but I hadn’t seen any of that either.

        I still like the shot he got.

        Go Pitt.

        Like

        1. X had 8 assists….I watched the whole game.

          Champ was 7 of 12 FG’s or 58%….X was 6 of 14 at that point or 42%.

          You still like him taking the shot ?

          If so….so be it !

          Like

  55. This is all part of growing up as a team. It hurts and hurt can be good. It reinforces hard lessons.
    I’m beginning to wonder if we don’t have too many cooks (4 head coaches as assistants). There were a few more things the coaches could have done but it is Capel’s philosophy to let his team play their way-out of trouble.

    We are all stuck with X man. There is no one else.

    Like

  56. It would have been nice if X makes that shot, but the game was lost on the foul line.

    That also was the best three point shooting I ever saw.

    Like

  57. When a guy goes 8-10 from the 3 point line and gets 31 total when he averages 8 you know you are in trouble. Horton scores 2 points in 17 minutes and he is your shooting guard.

    Like

    1. What was also incredible, I don’t remember one of their 3 points shots, rimming out. lol
      When they missed it was a clanger off the rim.

      Which when you take that many 3’s….usually 3-5 do.

      Like

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