Internet issues and general apathy conspired to push the USF game recap a day late. Brief summery: this game sucked. Pitt can't score. Pitt can't play defense. Pitt still throws lazy passes and can't make layups. Pitt is not good at basketball.
Among the biggest disappointments in a game with several was Ashton Gibbs, who scored just three points (via the PG):
Gibbs was 1 for 7 Sunday night and the school's all-time leading 3-point scorer was held without a 3-pointer for the third time in the past four games.
"It was a mix of them playing tough defense and me missing a couple of open shots," Gibbs said in a solemn postgame. "I had some opportunities, but I didn't take advantage. They play tough defense. It's something I have to live with."
South Florida senior Hugh Robertson once again was assigned to defend Gibbs and did a masterful job. It was Robertson who forced Gibbs into a 2-for-9 shooting performance in the game at South Florida
The players and coaches should play the credit game, but that doesn't really tell the whole story. If Gibbs is being shutdown, then someone else needs to be able to take advantage of that. Where was Woodall (1-for-4)? Where was any semblance of a low post game (Nas, Dante and Talib combined for 14 points in 66 minutes played)?
Nasir Robinson shot a three. Twice. And they weren't even the worse things about this game. Dante Taylor had five offensive rebounds and didn't make a single put-back. As bad as that is, at least he got the ball. Talib Zanna was thoroughly unproductive with two points and two rebounds in a whooping 20 minutes played.no comments
Hi everybody. I would like to introduce you to our friend Sean.
As you can tell, Sean is a fan of our work. It just so happens that on his blog, Sean's Ramblings, he also runs the Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament. Essentially, it consists of a 32 team bracket, made up of 4 divisions of 8 blogs each.
This year, the 4th edition of the tournament, the field of contestents consists of:
3 Pitt blogs
1 Penn State blog
5 Pirates blogs
6 Penguins blogs
11 Steelers blogs
6 general Pittsburgh sports blogs
All of these blogs, even Bob Smizik's blog, met the criteria set forth by Sean.
Oddly enough, neither this blog, Cardiac Hill, nor Pitt Blather are in the "Vonteego Cummings Division". However, we will have some touch competition in the "Kip Miller Division" against Seth Rorabaugh (#1 Empty Netters) and Brian McElhinny (#2 Raise the Jolly Roger) in our division. So we will need everyone's help to move forward. Hell, in typical Pitt fashion, at least help us get to the Sweet Sixteen before bowing out. Up first:
What's worse than losing to South Florida in basketball? Losing to South Florida twice in basketball. And not just losing - being thoroughly out-performed.
What else sucks? Four starters combining for six points. SIX POINTS.
Pitt has now lost seven home games this season - the same number they've lost the past six seasons COMBINED.
Recap in the morning as long as the maw of hell doesn't open below the Pete and swallow the city whole.no comments
Name: Adam Breneman
Position: Tight End
Weight: 225 lbs
School: Cedar Cliff (Camp Hill, PA)
From Home to Heinz: 202 miles (3 hours, 44 minutes)
Position Need: High
Offer from Pitt: Yes
Other notable offers: Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford
We all know the meme about the decline of Pennsylvania football - demographic changes have moved the talent base down south. The players that grew up in places like Oil City, Mercersburg and Bethlehem now all seem to sprout up in the old Confederacy. It's a sign of the times, but the Keystone State still pumps out a few true "national recruits" every year. This year, Camp Hill tight end prospect Adam Breneman is one of those recruits. The 6'5" 220 lbs high school junior was recently named the top recruit in the state and the top recruit at his position (via PennLive.com):
The junior, who had 72 receptions for 1,120 yards with 12 touchdowns this past season, came in at No. 22 overall. He was given a 4-star rating by Rivals and was the top rated tight end on the board.
Adam talked to ESPNHS.com about what's important to him (via ESPN):
ESPNHS: As you’ve piled up offers and information from all these coaches, have you started to think about what’s important to you?
Breneman: When I look at a school, there’s three aspects. I look at the school academically, I look at the football team and the offense I’d be playing in, and then I look at the school spiritually to see if these are the right guys for me. I’ve started to make some opinions in my mind, but I’m nowhere close to making a decision.
With offers from nearly everyone, Breneman can afford to take his time and be choosy. The good news? He seems to want to stay close to home. The bad? He is reportedly a "life long Penn State fan." The guys over at the Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries stalked him down for an interview and it appears that Bill O'Brien is all over him already (figure of speech!). PennLive.com already pegged him as a Penn State "lean," but I think Chryst will be keeping up the contact until letter of intent day 2013.
For Pitt, the tight end position will be a priority. Yes, Pitt just added WPIAL standout JP Holtz, but Pitt will be losing Hubie Graham after this season, leaving the position with only three TEs on scholarship for 2013 (assuming Anthony Gonzalez changes positions, which I expect). Wisconsin ran several multi-end sets last season, so that would basically have every tight end on the roster on the field at once. I'd expect Pitt to attempt to land at least two tight ends for 2013, and if Breneman is one of them, he will almost surely come in and contribute right away along side a then-sophomore JP Holtz.
Highlights after the jumpno comments
Bob Bostad is gone. That's a tough loss for Pitt because of his reputation as an offensive line guru, but his replacement should be pretty solid as well.
Joe Rudolph has been moved to offensive coordinator and tight ends coach while current tight ends coach Jim Hueber has been moved to the offensive line. From Chryst (via Pitt):
"Joe Rudolph and Jim Hueber will be tremendous assets in their new assignments," Chryst said. "Joe and I worked closely on the offensive side of the ball at Wisconsin. He has a thorough knowledge of our systems and what we want to achieve offensively.
"Jim has coached some of the finest linemen in the game, pro and college. He is tremendously accomplished as a teacher of offensive line play, and his overall experience as a coach benefits our entire staff and program."
Both guys are very much qualified for their positions, but my outsider's preference would have been to keep Rudolph as assistant head coach and then used the offensive coordinator title as bait for the new hire. Right now, Pitt needs to hire a quarterback and running back coach. I can't see Chryst bringing in someone he isn't familiar with and giving them the title assistant head coach.
Fun times.no comments
Good morning world:
I'm waiting for another credible report before I officially panic, but there's reason to suspect this is true. The biggest of which is that Alex Marvez is a respected NFL reporter, much more so than the fairly anaonymous CBS Radio Chicago report that had him off to the Bears.
We'll be updating this post throughout the day/weekend.
Off to find some morning beers....
UPDATE 1: According to friend of the blog Jeff of Black Shoe Diaries, 4-star Ohio QB Malik Zaire is visiting Pitt this weekend. Pitt needs to crush these rumors ASAP if untrue.
UPDATE 2: And here's Marvez's article on Fox Sports.
UPDATE 3: No confirmation or denial yet by Pitt or Tampa Bay and no further reporting yet this morning. If Pitt does lose Bostad, there's always the possibility that Chryst could hire his brother, Geep Chryst. Geep is currently the quarterbacks coach for the 49ers and certainly deserves a fair share of credit for Alex Smith's improved play. Here's his blurb from the 49er's website. And here's a nice article from out west on Geep.
UPDATE 4: Bob Bostad was removed from Pitt's website. Seems rather official. Crap.
UPDATE 5: Thinking about the possibility of Geep Chryst as OC. I'd add quarterback coach to his title as well. That would allow Chryst to allow Joe Rudolph to coach tight ends (like he did at Wisconsin) and current tight end coach Jim Hueber to coach OL like he has for most of his career. No idea whether Geep wants to come aboard, but food for though.
This is a tough game to write about. Not just because of the frustration that has become commonplace with this team's performances this season, but because there is almost nothing positive to point to. I suppose JJ Moore played well, scoring 10 off the bench. And Malcolm Gilbert played adequately in increased minutes due to Zanna and Taylor's foul troubles.
Pitt played adequately for the first half. The second half was a completely different matter (via the Trib):
But West Virginia (17-10, 7-7 Big East) outscored Pitt, 40-23, in the second half, highlighted by a 12-0 run midway, on the way to its most lopsided victory over the Panthers in Pittsburgh in 45 years.
"Obviously, the game got away from us in the second half," Dixon said. "We're disappointed in how we played. There's not a lot more we can say. We didn't play well. They deserved it. West Virginia outplayed us."
It was Pitt's sixth home loss of the season; the Panthers had lost only 12 games at the Pete in the previous nine seasons.
The negatives just overwhelm any positives from this game. And that is mostly as a result of the turnovers. Pitt turned the ball over 17 teams. Coincidentally, Pitt only made 17 shots. Pitt's starters were an absolutely dreadful 1-for-12 from three, with Gibbs going 0-for-5 and Woodall going 0-for-4. WVU played well, but their defense was hardly suffocating. Rather, Pitt's effort getting open was lax and they failed to take any care of the ball.
As for the rivalry, I think that's about all we'll see of it for a long, long time. With both teams moving to nine conference game schedules the football side is shot until further notice. Yes, there's more flexibility with basketball schedules, but there's no reason to believe either team will make room for the game. I'd assume West Virginia will want to find a way to continue the series, but why would Pitt want to increase WVU's basketball exposure on the east coast? Particularly when Pitt will be in the premiere eastern conference? WVU needs to recruit ACC country, so why would Pitt afford them another opportunity to do so? Not to mention that Jamie Dixon hasn't exactly been daring in scheduling nonconference game during his tenure at Pitt; preferring to play the likes of South Carolina State and Wofford to warm up for conference play. Everyone is saying the right things, but it's done. That sucks, but it's true. And WVU got the last laugh.
It was a terrible game during a terrible season. Before the season started, I argued that Pitt was overrated as a top 10 team. Never in my worst nightmares did I envision this mess. But there is hope:
- Pitt has elite facilities
- Pitt has one of the top-tier coaches in college basketball
- Pitt has easy access to the fertile recruiting grounds NJ/NY/DC/NE
- Pitt has a commitment to basketball
- Pitt has a secure future in a stable and prestigious conference
- Pitt has a top 5 and a top 60 player coming in next season
These are dark days. But it will get better. There's no where to go but up.no comments
Tonight's loss at home against West Virginia would easily be the worst loss of the season if it happened any other season of the past decade. But it happened this season - a season in which the title of "biggest disappointment" invokes some fierce competition. The Mountaineers came into the once unbeatable Petersen Event Center and manhanded Pitt in the second half. Pitt couldn't score, couldn't rebound, couldn't hang on to the ball. Just an absolute mess.no comments
This is our first gameday post in quite some time: way back when I missed one game and Pitt won. The lazy superstitious part of me decided "well, let's ride this out and see what happens." That turned into a four game winning streak, and then the USF game happened. Dejection then kicked in. Next up is the Backyard Brawl though, you can't NOT get pumped for this game.
Enjoy this Backyard Brawl because it could be the last one for awhile. The worst kept secret over the past week was finally made official Tuesday: West Virginia is headed to the Big 12 starting July 1, 2012. The BIG EAST of course held its ground and did not let the hoopies leave the conference early, instead choosing to terminate their contract.
So lets sum that up in one sentence: HoopieU (and some of their new Big 12 friends) paid $20 million to be "fired"? Way to be strong Marinatto, Dan Beebe is laughing at you somewhere... and he's unemployed.
University of Pittsburgh
|15 -11 (4 - 9)|
West Virginia University
|16 - 10 (6 - 7)|
|Official Game Notes: Pitt|
Location: Petersen Event Center,
|TV Coverage: ESPN|
|Announcers: Marc Kestecher, Bob Knight
|Radio Coverage: 93.7 FM - The Fan Pittsburgh|
|All-Time Series: HoopieU leads 88 - 95|
|Last Meeting: 1/30/2012, Pitt 72, HoopieU 66|
|Vegas Line: Pitt -3, Over/Under 135.5|