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The Pitt Script Blog - A Pittsburgh Panthers Blog | Page 4

Written by PSB Bryan | 14 June 2012

When Pitt gets a new football commitment, Buddy the Elf dances. And Buddy is watching South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth (via the PG):

South Fayette receiver-defensive back Zach Challingsworth made a verbal commitment to Toledo Tuesday, but the commitment didn't last long after Pitt got more involved.

After Challingsworth committed to Toledo, Pitt got him to make a visit today. The Panthers had been showing interest, but had not offered a scholarship - until today.

Challingsworth said this evening that he has not made a verbal commitment to Pitt, but he said he did call Toledo tonight to "de-commit."

It sure seems like Pitt was trying to "slow play" Challingsworth and he turned the tables on the coaches by committing to Toledo.

Challingsworth is a two star recruit that has offers from most of the MAC.

It seems like he'll end up a Panther.

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Written by TFW Bryan | 13 June 2012

PLAYOFFS? DON'T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS.  In the ongoing saga that is the conference commissioners determining what the playoff format will be that replaces the BCS, ACC Commissioner John Swofford has taken a stand.  He's OK with one format, but is also OK with another.

JOHN SWOFFORD IS THE DUDE.  Talks of Florida State and Clemson have simmered recently.  However, regardless of what happens to the ACC in the future, John Swofford is the right man to maintain the ACC as a viable league.

RANKINGS, RANKINGS, AND MORE RANKINGS.  CBS Sports has ranked the basketball recruiting classes within each of the conferences.  Getting Steven Adams and James Robinson is good enough for 3rd in the BIG EAST, behind Providence and Syracuse respectively.  The ranking does not take into account transfers such as Trey Zeigler.

A FACE FOR RADIO.  This week, Paul Chryst joined the fellas on 93.7 The Fan in studio to discuss the upcoming season.  Take a listen if you have some time.

PENNSYLVANIA, KEEPING EDUCATION AFFORDABLE!  In a recent national survey, Penn State and Pitt ranked as the two universities with most expensive in-state tuition for a four-year public university.  All that money for a History or Psychology degree your kid will probably never use!

THIS MAN ONCE COACHED UNDER DAVE WANNSTEDT.  Paul Rhoads, now head coach of Iowa State and once the defensive coordinator of Pitt under Walt Harris and Wanny (think 13-9), has grown some mighty fine facial hair.

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Written by PSB Bryan | 13 June 2012

JRobinsonHSPitt will once again be represented on Team USA's Under 18 team this year. Incoming Pitt freshman James Robinson was one of 12 players selected to compete for America in Brazil next week. His high school teammate - and Syracuse signee - Jerami Grant was also selected to participate. Including Robinson and Grant, half of the players selected for the team are committed to current or future ACC schools, with Pitt, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Maryland each having a player on the team.

Robinson is following in the footsteps of Ashton Gibbs, who by all accounts had a great experience representing Pitt and America for the U19 team before his sophomore season, eventually winning the gold medal with the Jamie Dixon coached team. Hopefully Robinson will have a similarly positive experience.

The games begin Saturday at 3:00 EDT against the Virgin Islands. The team is being coached by Billy Donovan, with help form Mark Few and Shaka Smart.

Oh, and Robinson and Grant have another teammate, center BeeJay Anya, who's working with the Under 17 team right now. Anya might be the best of three Dematha players when it's all said and done. His recruiting has blown up recently, but it sure would be nice if he followed his friend James to Pittsburgh.

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Written by TFW Bryan | 12 June 2012

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.  The BIG EAST has just filed a suit against TCU for exiting the conference without paying the $5m exit fee (or playing a game).

UCONN'T TOUCH THIS.  A female NBA employee is suing UCONN Women's coach Geno Auriemma for making unwanted advances towards her on a 2009 Team USA trip.  She claims Auriemma tried to blackball her career when she said no.

KEEPING ON THE TOPIC OF LEGAL TROUBLES.  A sad weekend near Auburn University as two former football players were shot and killed.  Two suspects have been arrested, one remains at large.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S NEW HIRES.  Sporting News ranked the Top 7 new head coaches by their chances of success in their first year.  Paul Chryst came in at #7.  Todd Graham did not make the list, but Charlie Weis came in 3rd.  I guess they rate success in Kansas by ones ability to eat a 96oz. steak in a single sitting.

AND THE SEARCH BEGINS.  The BIG EAST has hired a search firm to find their next commissioner.  Talk about a fun job...not only will the new commish have to find balance between basketball only schools and football/basketball schools, but also football only schools...across three time zones.

SO NOT COOL.  Our friends over at the Card Chronicle are running a bracket for "The 2011-12 Least Cool Person Tournament."  The current matchup places local Louisville newspaper The Courier-Journal against Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.  Hey, it's not his fault you guys didn't accept that ESPN TV Contract.  Oh wait...

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Written by PSB Bryan | 12 June 2012


With just about a week to go until Pitt fans get their first look at the 2012-12 Pitt Panthers, the Greentree rosters have been released. Once again, the league features players from most local teams as well as local products who played elsewhere.

Of particular interest to most fans is checking out Pitt's new contributors - likely starters Steven Adams and Trey Zeigler as well as James Robinson. Funny thing, they're all on the same team (via Pantherlair):

12 Pitt players are split over five of the teams. The team most fans will be interested in seeing is the PGT squad, as the four Panthers on the roster might be the summer league's biggest draw. PGT features freshmen James Robinson (who will join the team after playing with USA Basketball's U18 team until June 20) and Steven Adams, which would be intriguing enough for fans. But the team will also have transfer guard Trey Zeigler, who was recently declared eligible for the upcoming 2012-13 season, as well as redshirt junior forward Lamar Patterson, who should be one of Pitt's main contributors this season.

First tip-off is Monday, June 18 at 7:00. Should be a good time.

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Written by PSB Bryan | 12 June 2012


Pitt held a prospect camp on the South Side over the weekend and so far, it's yielded at least one new commitment. Meet Tony Harper, Pitt's "H-back" commitment who doesn't really play offense (via the Trib):

“Coach Rudolph is real confident in me,” Harper said. “He said he thought I could get it done. I just loved working with him.”

Harper, 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, was a playmaker on defense last season for St. John’s, with 64 tackles, five pass breakups, four tackles for a loss and two interceptions.

He’s looking forward to switching positions at Pitt.

“I could have played more offense (last season), but our coach said they needed me on the field on defense,” said Harper, who’s rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com. “This season, I’ll get to play offense. I think I can do it.”

Harper committed to Pitt over MAC offers.

While the Trib calls Harper Pitt's third tight end in the five man class, there's likely only one. Orndoff will be a tight end, but Jaymar Parrish is likely a tight end. Plus, the H-back position for Wisconsin, while similar to tight end in someways, was a separate position.

With fantastic size, Harper is a medium risk / high reward type io player. While he's not an overly experienced offensive player, he did play offense before last year. And it's not like there's a shortage of places for 6'4", 200+ lbs athletes (via):


Highlights after the jump (sophomore year).

Hail to Pitt!

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Written by TFW Bryan | 11 June 2012

RUSHEL SHELL IS REALLY GOOD, REALLY.  His numbers say that he is the best running back in the history of Pennsylvania.  But is he the best athlete to come out of Western PA?  The Beaver County Times talks about their Co-Athlete of the Year.

HAS EXPANSIOPOCOLYPSE COME TO AN END?  It sounds that way, after Florida State made up their entire budget deficit, in part by receiving an additional $1.6m from the ACC that they were not expecting. Hmm...

PUSH THE CIRCLE BUTTON.  EA Sports released their team ratings for NCAA '13.  The Panthers come in 58th overall with a team rating of 85.  Their offensive value is an 89, good enough to tie for 24th.  Their defense, however, ties West Virginia at 77th with a value of 76.

THE BIG EAST/ACC YEAR IN REVIEW.  If you read this blog, then you already know everything that happened this past year involving Pitt, Syracuse, the BIG EAST, and the ACC.  The Syracuse SNY blog decided to put together a nice recap if you need a nice little refresher.

BECAUSE I NEED TO FILL SPACE.  If you are like me, you hate this song but can't get it out of your head.  So I present to you Jimmy Fallon, Carly Rae Jepsen, the Roots, and a bunch of elementary school music class instruments...you can thank me later.

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Written by PSB Bryan | 09 June 2012

KDKA's Bob Pompeani took Steven Adams on a tour of Pittsburgh. Of course, they went to Primanti Brothers' and had a sandwich. No word yet on whether his listed weight of 240 is being adjusted accordingly.

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Written by TFW Bryan | 08 June 2012

JAMIE DIXON'S GOT TALENT.  I'm sure Coach Dixon has plenty of talents (like yo-yoing or maybe he makes a mean guacamole), but it's the talent of the incoming class that has everyone's attention.  Today, James Robinson was named to the USA Men's U18 National Team.

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER.  Atleast that's how ESPN SB Nation is portrating Robert Foster's Top 7 schools he tweeted yesterday.  Despite many recruitniks considering Pitt one of the top candidates to land Foster, SB Nation glossed over the Panthers, not even linking to their SB Nation team site.

PERHAPS A BASEBALL ANALOGY IN PITTSBURGH ISN'T THE SMARTEST IDEA.  ESPN's BIG EAST Blogger is doing a series called "Home Run Summer", naming a player for each team that really needs to "knock it out of the park with their preparations for the start of training camp in August."  Her player for Pitt is...Tino Sunseri.  Here's a tip Tino, just watch the last quarter of the WVU game, that pretty much encompassed your entire season.

WHAT IN TARNATION (PUN INTENDED) IS A "RAYCOM"?  Remember the name Raycom, fellow Pittsburghers...it is a name you will learn to know in the ACC.  Raycom is essentially the ACC TV Network, broadcasting on local channels in the teams' respective markets.  Many proponents for the FSU/Clemson move to the Big XII cite the ACC's relationship with Raycom as part of the reason.  ACCSports.com says that isn't the case at all.

THIS WEEK IN "SH*T TODD GRAHAM SAYS."  As many have said, if Todd Graham would simply shut his mouth, much of this would go away.  Instead he keeps talking to the national media about Pitt, trying to "clear things up."  This time, it's Sports Illustrated.  I'm sorry, but I've begun lose respect for writers who continue to push Graham's "it was a bad fit" and "I did it for my family" messages without offering up any additional content.

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Written by TFW Bryan | 07 June 2012

This afternoon, NBC released it's schedule for nationally broadcast football games this fall.  The only item of interest to us is that Pitt's game in South Bend on Movember 3th will be a 3:30pm kickoff as almost all Notre Dame home games are.  I'm just thankful that Indiana has adopted Daylight Savings Time.  Previously, Indiana did not change their clocks, so some of the 3:30pm kickoffs there were 2:30 eastern...and that just throws off your entire football watching schedule.

The BIG EAST and ESPN also released a slate of 68 games.  Game times for Virginia tech, Gardner-Webb, and Buffalo were included.  The updated Pitt schedule is as follows:

Date Opponent (TV) Time
Sept. 1 Youngstown State (ESPN3) 6 p.m.
Sept. 6 (Thurs.) @ Cincinnati* (ESPN) 8 p.m.
Sept. 15 Virginia Tech (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) Noon
Sept. 22 Gardner-Webb (ESPN3) 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 Open  
Oct. 5 (Fri.) @ Syracuse* (ESPN) 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 Louisville* TBA
Oct. 20 @ Buffalo (Big East Network) 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 Temple* TBA
Nov. 3 @ Notre Dame (NBC) 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 (Fri.) @ Connecticut* (ESPN2) 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 Open  
Nov. 24 Rutgers*  
Dec. 1 @ South Florida* (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) TBA

Biggest home game of the year, it's on a day where the Pirates are on the road, and it's a Noon kickoff.  Color me surprised.  That will also likely rule out ESPN GameDay making a visit (wishful thinking, I know.)

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