Virginia 73 – Pitt 66; 2/6/21 Game Wrap-Up

By Dan72

Pitt lost to UVA by a score of 73 – 66 this afternoon in a game they had every right to lose and so writing this  summary is pretty easy…

Pitt lost to a much better team. A better shooting team and a team that had better basketball players. Pitt hung in for the first half while trading baskets and was down only by three points at the half. Then about five minutes into the second half UVA went on a scoring tear as Pitt went ice cold and lost their composure a bit. Things seemed hopeless when UVA’s two big men were hitting fall away and step back 3 point jumpers like they were layups and put Pitt down 17 points at the twelve minute mark.  To those of you who said Capel has no idea how to defend the three, I call BS. There is no defense for 7’1” and 6’11” studs hitting jumpers from NBA range like the UVA kids did.

Pitt made a valiant effort and came back to only lose by seven.  XMan did not have his best game but it surely wasn’t his worst. He ended with 10 points however was awful from three-land.  Horton played well with 15 points and Champ who was double and triple teamed (get used to it) had a game high 18 points. Toney disappeared off the floor for stretches of time (even though he was in) and had eight.

Pitt out rebounded UVA 32-31 but Pitt shot 30% from the three point line and UVA 50%. That’s the story of the game right there.   I did really like Pitt’s press defense at the end and hope to see more of it in the future. 

Now, onto the announcers!! Why do these ACC mouthpieces feel they have to fill every second of every minute with blabbering. Call the damn game! Tell me who is on the line, who just came in etc. etc.  Don’t talk about other ACC teams and other ACC events so much. YOU ARE HIRED TO CALL PITT Vs UVA!!!! Stick to that. Between the announcers and the ACC refs, I wonder why we stay. At one point  Champ was literally knocked to the floor by a UVA thug. Ref standing right next to them….no call.

And on a different note:

Last and least, I’ve been a diehard Penguins fan since they started the franchise. Tonight, on all but one goal, Chris Letang was directly responsible with an awful (or no) defense. On the Islander’s game winning goal he took a man already covered and then left his own man alone in the crease. Pens lose again. It’s time to ship Letang out and I think that’s exactly what our former GM Rutherford was trying to do. The Pens play much better defense when he’s not on the ice. He is downright awful every single night and is single handed killing this team!


Dan 72

63 thoughts on “Virginia 73 – Pitt 66; 2/6/21 Game Wrap-Up

  1. You have no letang fans here. He needs shipped out for sure now while the pens can still get something in return.

    Not sure if the new northern guy as ACC commish will help

    If I were AD I would take notes of the referee bias. I would get with my northern peers and share notes. And then go behind the scenes and present the evidence. If that didn’t work I’d publicly go out with a statement signed by all the northern directors.

    The ACC needs to hire professional refs that have no association with the conference. Plenty of good refs from euro leagues are out there. Give them work visas.


  2. Good stuff Dan, 100% agree with everything you said. The announcers are awful, and the refs, how about Toney’s last drive when he was hammered, but didn’t get the plus 1.Someone said the ACC would not let VA lose, too much at stake. Where did they get the old Big East refs?

    Also totally agree on guarding the three, that’s not Pitt’s problem, making the three is.


  3. Thanks, Dan. Appreciated your comment on the UVA 3-point shooting.

    Was watching some of the Pitt Women’s game a couple days ago. The analyst said that when she played for ND, there were just certain teams that she felt confident playing. Said she always had a big scoring game against VT, for example.

    Since Pitt has been so poor for so long, seems like maybe we have created nearly a whole league of shooters who look forward to playing Pitt and come into the game with a high level of shooting confidence…. Just a thought.

    Was nice to see the Panthers fight back after getting so far down…

    Go Pitt.


  4. Dan, I found this synopsis to be your best ever because it resonated with me on every level

    — UVa was the much better team, and when their stars bring their A or B+ games, teams like Pitt will srugle to keep place

    — “Why do these ACC mouthpieces feel they have to fill every second of every minute with blabbering” This has been a pet-peeve of mine for years …. not only for ACC basketball, but for all televised sports. We are watching the game. Identifying players and pointing out a few things about them are OK …. but never shutting up has been getting on my nerves since the days of Howard Cosell. We do not tune him to listen to them ramble on

    — Kris Letang, who was was once a premier defenseman, has been a liability the past 3 years. In fact, he handed the critical series between the Pens and Caps on a platter the year Wash won the cup, The problem is that there are so many Pens’ defensemen out right now, we are stuck wiht him

    Continue with the great work


  5. Another good summary, Dan. Thank you.

    I was critical of Brown in the couple of minutes he played in the first half to give Coulibaly a blow. He was guarding 7’1” Huff who drained a 3 over Brown, then blew by him for a layup on the next possession. Coach Capel had to be counting the seconds for a dead ball to allow Karim back in from the scorers table. After watching Huff drain a couple of other threes later in the game, I realized what a task Brown was asked to perform. It is weird to watch your center guarding his man out at the 3 point arc. Probably even more weird for the your center to have to do it.


  6. Good write up. It is funny how different people like to hear a game called. I hate play by play, stick to the facts announcers. I feel like I’m watching the game and don’t need the pre-school help watching it. I much prefer conversational announcers like yesterday’s game (not that they’re good). Bias either way doesn’t bother me either … it’s sports … you’re supposed to have a bias.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t like insight. I love when a knowledgeable announcer will point out the finer points of the game … I just don’t need to hear every play called … I’m watching it not listening to it.


    1. What…..a national network is not supposed to have a bias. Now a local tv channel of a local team doing a broadcast…is supposed to have bias. Not a National Network.

      And neither of those 2 clowns were knowledgeable at all. Bias’d yes. All these little stories/caveats of
      one team (which they favor)they repeatedly tell during the game is supposed to make that team more likeable to the viewing audience,

      And the Pitt team gets very few of those little stories or caveats of information from these bias’d clowns.
      Hell, they barely find the time to tell you what Pitt player scored, because they’re harping so much
      on their continued UVA stories about this one and that one.

      You like that ? Really ?


      1. It doesn’t bother me. UVA’s earned the right to be talked about on a national broadcast. Pitt hasn’t. There was a time when Pitt got the publicity and the opposing teams didn’t. I just don’t get upset or annoyed by natural tendencies. Sports is better with bias. Neutrality in sports is boring. The chip you’re getting is what makes it fun. Who cares if they announce who scores? You’re watching the game and if you’re a Pitt fan you know who scored. Lol.

        I put in parentheses “not that they’re good”. I was making the a blanket statement and not really about yesterdays TV crew. Just in general, I hate straight play by play announcers. Give me a TV crew that can have basketball conversations vs. 2 hours of on-the-court talk any day all day. Same goes for football. Pittsburgh hates Chris Collinsworth but I’ll take him over Aikman 10/10 times. I’d rather have some odd tangents and distractions. Like I said, I’m watching the game … I know what’s happening.


  7. Spot on about the horrendous ESPN announcer clowns. The color man is particularly an irritant.

    That guy has no insight, he’s not the least funny and has no wit. Just an utter bore, who is not qualified to be announcing anything, since he’s not interested and apparently isn’t capable of calling/commenting on a game in progress.

    If the Pitt radio broadcast was synchronized with the TV feed, I’d mute the TV.

    ESPN has the worst announcers and we know why. Just like their unqualified
    boorish studio hosts.

    ESPN new motto should be. ESPN, ruining sports a little bit more Everyday !


  8. I don’t think anyone mentioned that VA had a guy come off the bench and make as many threes as the entire Pitt team and he only missed once. More and better players.


  9. Only way you can defend the 3 better…. when you have tall players like yesterday shooting them. And the Wake Forest kid that had a career game against was 6’8″ as well. And this works as well with
    shorter players like ND shooting them.

    You have to lessen the amount of time they have to setup to shoot those 3’s on the shot clock.
    And you do that by making them take 9-10 seconds advancing the ball across mid-court.
    Which hurries the whole process….and hurried 3 point attempts are less successful than
    ones that are non-hurried.

    Constantly trapping on the sidelines or when opportunities
    present themselves can also take more time off the remaining seconds of the 35 sec shot clock,
    which should be in the 25 seconds or less range by then.

    And you might also get some turnovers in the process.

    Now you would have to use more players to play this type of harassing defense.
    But you have athletic kids that are tall like Jeffress and Collier who could be used here.

    But sitting back, letting these teams set-up for 3’s is why in the last 5 games, Pitt opponents
    have made 53 3’s and that is taking account that UNC only made 4 since they pounded
    the ball inside. In the other 4 games, those 4 teams made 49 3’s. That is an avg of 12 3’s per game

    Pitt made 32… 3’s over the last 5 games. An avg of 6 per game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great analysis! Agree with all you said except Pitt doesn’t have the horses. Love the 1-3-1 trap. My fave defense because you can extend it to full or half court press.


      1. Thanks dan…enjoyed your analysis as well. Well let’s examine who we got.

        If you got 10 minutes each out of Sibande, Jeffress, & Collier that would be adequate.
        And Femi could play more, in the 15 to 20 minute range.

        X-man, Horton, Champ, Toney & Kareem, the 5 starters or whatever. Wouldn’t mind
        seeing X & Horton come off the bench more, as they bring in Instant Offense ala Vt game.

        Brown can give you 10 minutes…so that brings you up to 10 players in the mix. Drumghoul
        could also be used as a body/fouls if needed. 11 players.

        I think that would be enough bodies. In a 1-3-1 trap they all don’t need to be great, just know
        their roles.


          1. Well yes that would be a problem if you brought them all in as a unit.

            But just as similar as to most reserves…you mix them in with the unit on the court,
            at that moment. And that would be one or two (as they got better) at a time.

            You really have not much to lose. As if you do nothing… L is a result anyway.

            The Upside is, you could have a much better team, a much more threatening team to an
            opponent, knowing they’re going to be harassed all game.

            And you have a much more cohesive team, engaged team…as they’re all pulling for eachother,
            as 10 or 11 of them are involved in the mayhem.

            Nolan Richardson, HC of Arkansas….called it…..”40 Minutes of Hell “

            Liked by 1 person

  10. That disparity (53 opponent 3’s to Pitt’s 32) also belies Pitt’s 2 big problems.

    1) Lack of an inside game, with little to no post presence.

    2) Lack of a 3 point shooting Outside game.

    Hard to win against decent to good teams when you lack both of those elements


      1. Tru. And he should have a plan by now to guard against those 3’s.

        There may be a reason why he was an assistant for so long at duke. He couldn’t win big with Blake at Oklahoma. I don’t buy that he was coach in waiting at duke.

        Heathers job is on the line with Capel. Even peak said so. Next year is his make or break. But so again was this year for Narduzzi and he got a covid pass.

        Pitt is the very best at screwing up one car funerals.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Failure to recruit and develop at this point. That’s on coaching. Stick a fork into this season. Pitt is a tough flavorless steak. Why is coaching so difficult at Pitt? Maybe because Pitt has the wrong coaches? Could the answer be that simple?


  12. Vince Scully was a great BB announcer. Most of his stature are gone. Today we hear flowery stuff that distract from the game. No one anymore just talks about the game action as it happens. Maybe the best ones are the radio people who usually describe and stick to the action play.

    I hope the Super bowl announcing today does not distract from the action unfolding. I may have to turn off the sound.


  13. Jay Bilas was good last night announcing the UNC vs Duke game, of which he play in prior games as a dookie.

    For both teams having down years and not being ranked, they produced a great, entertaining game that was announced well for the TV viewer.

    Bilas by the way, called a fair and unbiased game and his knowledge of the little details is unmatched.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What could Bennett possibly have been arguing with the ref regarding the technical called on them at the 6:33 mark of the second half? I went back and watched it. During a dead ball, they had two guys come in from the scorers table and only one went to the bench. As their guy was attempting to inbound the ball, you could see Bennett telling his player to get off the court with a ref standing right next to him. Should have been an “oh, crap” moment and we shoot two technicals. But Bennett argued like they were being wronged in some way. Strange.


      1. Yeppers….UVA has joined the Duke/UNC Club of Blueblood Jerks.

        They expect (and mostly get) all the calls at Home !


  15. The problem is not that the bench doesn’t have talent (not as much as the starters, obviously), but Capel just doesn’t trust them. He is using fewer players as the season goes on. This is a coaching issue, and the assistant coaches should be held accountable. There is no reason why some of these guys can’t get in for 10 minutes a game to play some harassing defense. They can deny the ball on defense, and maybe take a few fouls that a tired starter would have taken.


  16. When you are down late and trapping and double-teaming if you don’t get the ball someone is open for a 3. If they are 7′ and shoot 50% you,re sunk. At the end of the game their press was effective against 3s also.

    I think their pressing defense is excellent but agree it is unsustainable unless more players are used. Va. Is the best in the ACC. Pitt has a shot at every other game if they are cohesive. Capel should switch into the press more often to keep the other team off stride.

    I didn’t know H2P meant hail to the Penguins.


  17. When you are down late and trapping and double-teaming if you don’t get the ball someone is open for a 3. If they are 7′ and shoot 50% you,re sunk. At the end of the game their press was effective against 3s also.

    I think their pressing defense is excellent but agree it is unsustainable unless more players are used. Va. Is the best in the ACC. Pitt has a shot at every other game if they are cohesive. Capel should switch into the press more often to keep the other team off stride.

    I didn’t know H2P meant hail to the Penguins.


  18. On a football note… Aaron Donald once again voted No. 1 Defensive Player in the NFL. Narrowly beat out another Pittsburgh Favorite. Let’s see how the numbers stacked up.

    TJ Watt… versus… A. Donald

    Tackles…… 53 vs 41
    Sacks…….. 15 vs 13.5
    TFL………….23 vs 12
    QB Press… 55 vs 42
    QB Hits…… 41 vs 26
    Forced Fum..2 vs 4
    Pass Def…….7 vs 1
    Int………………1 vs 0

    A HUGE AD fan like most Pittsters. But some interesting math obviously at work here!


    1. But AD is interior. Watt on the outside. Easier for watt to produce. Him not showing up for the playoffs is reason alone to lose out.

      Steelers are becoming a poorly run organization. Pitt had better distance themselves from the stench. Cans of Lysol help.

      Malkin and letang should be traded for draft picks. Steelers waited too late to trade AB.


      1. The Rams move Donald all around. He is given the opportunity to attack from all kinds of angles. Granted he gets DOUBLED just about every play.

        But keep in mind too that Donald also played one more game than Watt.

        As for the Steelers, posted the last few years that the Team has benefited from having a HOF Quarterback keep them competitive.

        Once that luxury is gone, watch the losses start piling up… and not just in the Playoffs.


        1. Understood. But one can also argue that watt was helped by Dupree. Either way, both were very good this year. I don’t have a problem with either of those guys but I am more happy for AD. Gordon was right all along.


  19. Thank you for indulging my Penguins comments. Appreciate. Let me relate it to Pitt Basketball. What Letang does that breaks down his own defense is freelance. He goes where and when he wants to much like Xman for Pitt. If you have set defensive assignments and you have one guy freelancing, you’re dead! It always leaves a shooter wide open and frustrates the hell out of the disciplined defenders who are doing their job. Xman has gotten much better, Letang, much worse

    Pens are not talented enough to overcome and neither is Pitt


  20. Super Bowl Prediction.

    A SB win for Brady today would add in exclamation mark to GOAT.

    Taking another team, other than the Cheatriots to a Super Bowl Win.

    So for that reason and the fact we’re living in GOAT times, and the Bucs have more
    Pittsburgh Connections…..Bucs Win !


  21. Dan – Another good article.

    Tex – I am late in congratulating and thanking you for the article you wrote. It was a good job of expressing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks Dan! I always hate hanging losses on refs but they certainly play a part. There were so many travel calls not made on uva it was disgusting. I don’t know how coach contains himself. One pathetic one was early in the second half. The uva guy gets the ball down low stops the dribble, has the ball above his head looking to pass the ball out to the arc. Mind you the ref is RIGHT ON HIM WATCHING. He then takes a step, without a dribble. Stops again, dribbles, stops and then passes down low for a layup. Absolutely pathetic.

    I wasn’t expecting a win here and was pleasantly surprised at the half. They just can’t hang for an entire game (yet) with better teams. Also need a consistent second star to complement Champ.


  23. Check out all the Pittsburgh Connections on Bruce Arians Coaching Staff:

    Harold Godwin – Asst HC- Spent 4 seasons as Steelers O-line coach, 2 Steeler SB appearances

    Byron Leftwich – OC – Spent several seasons as Steelers backup QB

    Antwaan Randle El – Off Asst – Spent most of his career with Steelers WR, SB TD pass

    Larry Foote – LB Coach – Spent most of his 11 career as Steeler LB

    Cody Grimm – Special Teams Coach – Son of former Pitt great OL, Russ Grimm

    Roger Kingdom – Speed & Conditioning Coach – former Pitt RB and Track Star, Olympic Gold Medalist

    Tom Moore – Asst Coach- Legendary Coach with Steelers, Western Pa Hall of Fame

    Anthony Piroli- Strength Coach – Coached at Pitt under Wanny, Worked a Power Train Sports Institute in Burgh, Native of Aliquippa

    Nick Rapone -Safties Coach – Coached at Pitt & New Castle HS….Native of New Castle, PA

    Pittsburgh South Buccaneers

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Very astute on your traveling comments. Unfortunately you should be glad refs weren’t calling them because I counted 5 on Toney and 11 on Xman. Only 1 on Femi but he shuffles his feet the worst of all but X.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…If they actually played by the written rules….there’d be almost nothing but constant whistles,
      resulting in turnovers.

      These games are very hard to watch anymore. And which is why i watch no others and no NBA
      for years. A total travesty. And yet they still bitch & moan.

      Spoiled entitled brat kids.


  25. Dan – thanks for taking the time to enlighten us with your understanding of the game of basketball and the team coached by Capel.

    Can you tell us why Nike is not getting more playing time? Fresh legs and a few breathers for Champ and Toney would have helped some last evening. Numerous times Champ was late down the court on a UVA possession and charging his open man from the backside of the play – most of those shots dropped for the cavs.

    Champ was clearly gassed and frustrated at the constant hacking he endured with no calls. The great ones play through because that mimics the NBA – Champ needs to play through to be a first round NBA pick.


    1. I love Nike and have no idea why he’s not playing more except Pitt was never ahead by more than 4 and Capel and staff don’t trust him yet. I tell you he has the best shooting form of anyone on the team. Coach sees him in practice daily. I don’t.


  26. Dan,

    Great post and thanks. Your analysis and 1-2-1’s (Arnold Ziffel’s alter ego?) make a lot of sense. Hope they learn something from that 18-0 run by the Cavs. Fix that and they might have a chance to beat the Cavs, who really are better the Pitt.

    Been a Pens fan myself since 1967. Letang has been a liability for a long, long time and as much as I love Mario, he’s just wrong for wanting Letang to reire a Pen….unless Letang is willing to do it tomorrow.

    Its also taking way too much energy to find the right linemates for Geno. Way too much money tied up in those two guys. I’ve stopped watching this year becasue its the same crap we have seen in past years.

    I subscribe to the theory that Rutherford quit because at age 71, he finally got tired of havings his hands tied on dealing one or both of those guys. And I don’t blame him.


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