Bob Smizik

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It won’t be an especially Happy New Year for seven NFL head coaches and two general managers. Or for the Pitt basketball team.

Seven coaches were fired today in what has become Black Monday in the NFL. Fired were:

* Andy Reid of Philadelphia, who was 4-12 in 2012, 130-93-1 overall with the Eagles.

* Lovie Smith of Chicago who was 10-6 in 2012, 81-63 overall with the Bears.

* Norv Turner of San Diego, who was 7-9 in 2012, 55-41 overall with the Chargers.

* Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt, who was 5-11 in 2012, 45-51 overall with the Cardinals.

* Kansas City’s Romeo Crennel, who was 2-14 in 2012, 4-15 overall with the Chiefs.

* Buffalo’s Chan Gailey, who was 6-10 in 2012, 15-33 overall with the Bills.

* Cleveland’s Pat Shurmur, who was 5-11 in 2012, 9-23 overall with the Browns.

Additionally general managers A.J. Smith of San Diego, Rod Graves of Arizona, Tom Heckert of Cleveland, Mike Tannenbaum of the New York Jets and Gene Smith of Jacksonville were fired.

Whisenhunt is a former Steelers offensive coordinator, who had a Pittsburgh-heavy staff, including Russ Grimm, who will immediately become a candidate to be the next Steelers offensive line coach. Former Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt was the defensive coordinator for Gailey, who also is a former Steelers offensive coordinator.

* * *

Pitt had an eight-point lead at halftime, but lost by nine, 70-61, to eighth-ranked Cincinnati this afternoon at the Petersen Events Center. It was the first game against a high-caliber opponent for Pitt in five weeks. The Panthers have played a long string of weak opponents before this game.

Talib Zanna had 16 points for Pitt, Lamar Patterson 13 and Cameron Wright 10. Pitt dropped to 12-2; Cincinnati is 13-1.

Comments (62)Add Comment
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written by The Blob, December 31, 2012 - 03:10 PM
I sure hope people here don't jump on the bang wagon to call for Tomlin's head. That kind of stuff has a way to snow ball.
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written by SonnyDrysdale, December 31, 2012 - 03:13 PM
Grimm from what I know will not be asked to come back here nor would he apply for the job. Tomlin should have his pick of position coaches after the carnage today. The choices he makes will have big impact on the team going forward. I hope he is up to the challenge. If anyone hires Andy Reid they're stupid
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written by BBnG, December 31, 2012 - 03:18 PM
I would love to see Russ Grimm come back to coach our OL. But I don't think it's likely.

And as much as others here may want and call for it, I don't think the Steelers will fire Todd Haley and pick through the carnage for a new/old OC, such as Whis or Gailey. And I for one will view that as the correct decision.
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written by Darkhorses, December 31, 2012 - 03:23 PM
If I was Grimm, I'd want any agreement in writing, signed by both Rooneys.

My guess Lovie Smith will be he Rooney Rule interviewee for most teams
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written by 123, December 31, 2012 - 03:24 PM
With all the other jobs out there to fill, can you imagine how hard it will be for Buffalo to find a coach that won't make you snicker. Ready for a snicker? Dave Wannstedt.

A team whose owner is older than the Pyramids, a stadium falling down and thier bags always seemed packed for L.A., London or Toronto, what a tough sell!

Still would not be surprised to see Haley interviewed...maybe Buffalo? Was OC on the Arizona SB team and led KC to 10-6 to the division title before the fallout there which seems to suggest it wasn't his fault.
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written by Franklin_Bluth, December 31, 2012 - 03:29 PM
Tomlin is, and should be, safe through next year. If he coaches as poorly next season as he did this season, the Rooney's should take a very close look at his job.

It's a pipe dream, but I'd love to get Lovie Smith as the Special Teams Coach. The Bears always had one of the best ST units under his watch - and it wasn't just because of Hester. I believe he'll probably get a HC job elsewhere though.

Pitt: Typical Jaime Dixon team. No go-to scorer and can't make clutch free throws. JJ Moore hasn't progresed as needed to take this team to the next level - he's the best natural scorer on the team. To advance past the Sweet 16 (unlikely), Adams must continue to improve and Robinson must be more assertive offensively - he may already be the best player on the team. Zeigler is a bust - I envision him rarely playing as the season progresses.
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written by fullsgold, December 31, 2012 - 03:32 PM

I wonder where Bill O'brien will end-up.

It appears his buy-out will be unenforceable given the NCAA sanctions against Penn State.

Accordng to more than one expert, Cleveland is the favorite to land O'brien. Given may Penn State Fans are also Steelers Fans, the next few Steelers-Browns match-ups will be turbo-charged in intensity.

Therefore, I hope O'brien ends up in Cleveland.

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written by SonnyDrysdale, December 31, 2012 - 03:35 PM
O'brien will take any offer, he is as good as gone.
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written by The Blob, December 31, 2012 - 03:36 PM
Wonder why the experiment in Arizona didn't work. They tried to copy everything the Steelers do. It worked for the Ravens.
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written by SDWC, December 31, 2012 - 03:36 PM
Can any team in this town FINISH a game?

No problem Jamie, just schedule more tomato cans for next season.
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written by MasumiKuwata, December 31, 2012 - 03:38 PM

It worked when they had a QB. Didnt work when they didnt have one
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written by csf, December 31, 2012 - 03:40 PM
SDWC, you have that right. Not only did Pitt play patsies for over a month now, they had an 8 day layofff.

The one positive (maybe) ... Dixon's teams usually peak in January, this team MAY peak in March
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written by Florida Steeler, December 31, 2012 - 03:56 PM
When you play JV teams like Jamie does every year to pad his record; you only reap what you sow!!!!
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written by Max, December 31, 2012 - 03:56 PM

I wouldn't expect Grimm to be interested in a Steeler job again, after the way he was treated before Tomlin was hired. Of course, if Pittsburgh has the best offer . .

Tomlin will have a lot to pick over to fill OL and ST vacancies, with at least 7 coaching staffs in limbo.

Of course those 7 new coaches will be hiring, too.

Have any of Tomlin's assistants been hired away? Arians doesn't count, Tomlin decided to fire him; at least that's what he claimed.

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written by pitt9498, December 31, 2012 - 04:05 PM
Like I said before, Dixon is not using Adams whatsoever on offense. I was at the game and I don't think I saw one time where the half court offense got the ball down low to Adams and let him work the paint. This team is just as bad as last year. Due to the cupcake non-confernce schedule, they will have to win at least 11 big east games to get a ncaa tournament bid.
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written by Rittersdiner, December 31, 2012 - 04:14 PM
Nice effort by Pitt. Good to see the tomato cans they scheduled at beginning of the season toughened them up. They rolled over like a dead fish in the second half.
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written by Sandman1, December 31, 2012 - 04:14 PM
Another disapointing loss for Pitt. They have no go to scorer they get no offense at all from Adams and no 3 point baskets made. You just can't win like that, if they don't turn some of these things around there will be plenty more losses this season.

JJ Moore to me is as big of a disapointment as Adams. They both must play much much better if Pitt plans on making the tournament this season and as of right now they both don't look like they are heading in that direction.
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written by Franklin_Bluth, December 31, 2012 - 04:17 PM
Steeeellva, can you even name 3 other Defensive Coordinators in the NFL - without googling it? Doubt it, nor can you name 3 Defensive Coordinators who are better than LeBeau. Must be nice to live in a warped version of reality.
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written by thudder, December 31, 2012 - 04:23 PM
In a perfect world.....The Rooneys would fire Tomlin and elevate LeBeau to head coach just to see SteelVa's head explode.
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written by Franklin_Bluth, December 31, 2012 - 04:31 PM
SteelVa, my point - which you not surprisingly missed, is that there are very few to no candidates to replace LeBeau that would be an upgrade. It seems like you might believe you are a good replacement - you should go to the Steelers and ask for an interview. Let us know how it goes.
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written by fullsgold, December 31, 2012 - 04:34 PM
written by pitt9498, December 31, 2012 - 04:05 PM
Like I said before, Dixon is not using Adams whatsoever on offense. I was at the game and I don't think I saw one time where the half court offense got the ball down low to Adams and let him work the paint.


I've in Pittsburgh my whole life and have watched a lot of basketball.

Adams is the type of player that typically ends up at Duquesne, and that ain't good for Pitt.

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written by sammieg, December 31, 2012 - 04:37 PM
One of these days the lebeau haters are going to get a serious dose of 'be careful what you wish for'. And they aren't going to like it.
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written by thudder, December 31, 2012 - 04:39 PM
Ha SteeellVa...... You recognize sarcasm as well as you recognize defensive coordinators. Next!
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written by Rbilak, December 31, 2012 - 04:50 PM
1. Bobby April is available again, go get him now!

2. San Deigo Oline coach, who took 3 guys off street, made Stelers look awful available, go get him.

3. If Haley leaves you have several o coordinators to consider.
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written by Steeellva, December 31, 2012 - 04:52 PM
Hmmm, lots of legitimate coaches firings.

Too bad Dick LeBeau wasn't one of them. Must be nice to have lifetime employment.
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written by Dubble Trubble, December 31, 2012 - 05:16 PM

Lovie Smith's teams had good defenses, decent special teams, and questionable offenses - especially in the red zone!

Does this sound familiar to anyone?
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written by Nick Cain, December 31, 2012 - 05:28 PM
I'm surprised that cheater Scott Pioli still has a job in KC...

As far as Pitt goes.. I still have problem with Pitts starting lineup.. Cam Wright or JJ Moore should be starting over Tray Woodall.. also all this years Pitt team does the same thing.. last years Pitt did is settle for jump shots.. they never go inside and just pass ball around perimeter.. all Adams does is set screens on offensive.. and barely touches the ball...
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written by Darkhorses, December 31, 2012 - 05:30 PM
"Does this sound familiar to anyone?"

All except decent special teams
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written by Nick Cain, December 31, 2012 - 05:32 PM
written by csf, December 31, 2012 - 03:40 PM

The one positive (maybe) ... Dixon's teams usually peak in January, this team MAY peak in March


And what do you base that on.. because I don't see a go to scorer or anybody on the team that can create their own shot...
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written by hammertime, December 31, 2012 - 05:32 PM
the number of coaching changes is impressive. also the fact that some of those coaches had decent records. there's not a lot of patience with losing in the nfl and with the money that's at stake, them pressure to produce winners that get to the playoffs is increasing. the rooney's are among the most loyal owners in the league but i agree with the other posters that comments that tomlin is going to be under the gun next year. he may have plateaued but he gets a bit of a pass this year on the basis of injuries but that's not going to fly next year.
as far as pitt, its the same problems we saw early this season when some suggested it was too early to make an assessment. poor rebounding, too many turnovers and no three point shots. you don't win many games against quality opponents with that kind of performance. woodall missing the front end of a 1 and 1 that would have brought them within a point with well over a minute remaining was huge.
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written by Catanzaro, December 31, 2012 - 05:44 PM
I know Jamie Dixon has been and will continue to be a successful coach. I know from experience how difficult it is to have a successful program. But how can you have a 7 footer who during the preseason was a highly thought of freshman not be a focal part of your offense? Adams played 24 minutes and didn't attempt a single shot today. I realize that Zanna scored well today, but not getting Adams more involved in the offense is going to hurt Pitt down the line. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if he left Pitt after the season for another program or went to the NBA as a project.
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written by AHab35, December 31, 2012 - 05:53 PM
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written by Darkhorses, December 31, 2012 - 03:23 PM

My guess Lovie Smith will be he Rooney Rule interviewee for most teams
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Lovie Smith should get interviews on merit alone.

He took over an organization that was 36 games below .500 in the previous 12 years and went 18 games above .500 in 9 years. He went to a Super Bowl...with Rex Grossman as his QB.

I laugh when Steeler fans criticize Colbert's drafting. Jerry Angelo could have put together an all time bust team at every offensive position with his awful draft picks. I've never seen one GM miss so blatantly bad on so many picks. The one time he lucked in to a good player, Thomas Jones, he spent two years desperately trying to give him away.

Even now the Bears have one of the worst offensive lines in football; only one quality WR, and a QB who mimics Jeff George. And yet they won 10 games this year and were a hair away from the playoffs.

As far as I'm concerned, Lovie got a raw deal. I'm betting the next Bears coach will not come close to Lovie's record.
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written by AHab35, December 31, 2012 - 05:57 PM
I go back and forth on Whis getting canned in AZ.

On the one hand, its hard to win when your QBs are John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley (not to mention former Steeler 4th stringer Brian Hoyer). Whis also took a shot with Derek Anderson after he personally ran Matt Leinhart out of town.

On the other hand, Whis apparently pushed hard to get Kolb and he ran off Leinhart who is mediocre but better than any of those guys. And Arizona is a pretty mediocre organization that Whis lead to its most successful two years ever (with Warner whom he originally had on the bench).

In the end, I think it came down to the 58-0 thrashing in Seattle and the blowup with his Dockett. That gave the impression, right or wrong that he was losing the team.

It will be interesting to see if he gets another HC gig or he has to go the O/C route again for a few years.
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written by pitt9498, December 31, 2012 - 06:05 PM
I agree with you cantanzaro, I think Adams will leave after this year either to the NBA or another program. After watching the game, he seems almost like he is just going through the motions. The offense is not even trying to get him the ball down low. Now I know why Birch and Gilbert left. The inside game is an after-thought in Dixon's gameplan.
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written by hunter, December 31, 2012 - 06:27 PM
Seems some are into the New Year's libations early. Without its two best players for much of the season the Steelers D was the best in the league. Giving Tomlin "one more year" is laughable. Tomlin is not going anywhere. Cowher had multiple non-playoff years and wasn't fired. Nor is Haley going anywhere unless its a head coaching job which is not out of the realm of possibility. There is zero chance of Grimm coming here. Zero. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!
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written by Darkhorses, December 31, 2012 - 06:52 PM
"Lovie Smith should get interviews on merit alone'

I agree, canned after a 10-6 record,, one SB apearance and nearly a second. It's just some teams treat the Rooney rule as a technicality and a "hot" minority coach is ran through the system every year.
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written by BiC, December 31, 2012 - 06:53 PM
written by Nick Cain, December 31, 2012 - 05:28 PM

I'm surprised that cheater Scott Pioli still has a job in KC...


No kidding. That guy's nuts. Equally surprised Ryan and especially Sporano are still with the Jets.

Lovie Smith got a raw deal. Then again, the Bears have a new GM -- and Lovie wasn't his hire. One of these days they'll figure out the real problem is Cutler.

Biggest surprise of all? The Steelers haven't canned their Special Teams coach.

Will be interesting to see if Haley gets any calls. If he does go, I won't be heartbroken. Plenty of guys which decent chops like Mike Martz ready for a new challenge.
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written by genius, December 31, 2012 - 07:01 PM
I seem to remember some reports stating that Bill Cowher wanted to draft Philip Rivers from his alma mater NC State rather than Roethlisberger. Was this indeed the case, and if so wouldn't that make the San Diego job that much more attractive to him?
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written by jayh63, December 31, 2012 - 07:13 PM
Don't be surprised if Bruce Arians doesn't end up as head coach of the the Chargers. Can you imagine coaching Big Ben, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers in a 3 year span?
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written by jayh63, December 31, 2012 - 07:25 PM
Wonder why the experiment in Arizona didn't work. They tried to copy everything the Steelers do. It worked for the Ravens.


A mixed bag for Whiz. He got the Cards to their one and only SB, not a small feat given their history. Of course a hot Kurt Warner throwing to the likes of Fitzgerald and Boldin had a lot to do with that. When Warner retired, the Cards became the Cards again.

Whiz will get another head coaching job, maybe even next year.
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written by turbolover, December 31, 2012 - 07:27 PM

Can I oombine the topics of discussion?
Please fire Bill Hillgrove ("rebound by the Panther defender"), Dick Groat (groan) and Curtis Aiken to be replaced by Rob King and Julius Page ... immediately. Anyone with me?
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written by turbolover, December 31, 2012 - 07:30 PM
Not to pile on ... but if anyone has Sirius XM and listens to the home-team calls of other team's games, then you realize just how horribly bad Bill Hillgrove is. And as bad as he is, Groat and Aiken are even worse.
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written by luv da show!, December 31, 2012 - 07:38 PM
written by SDWC, December 31, 2012 - 03:36 PM

No problem Jamie, just schedule more tomato cans for next season.


Denny Crum, former Louisville coach, and winner of 2 national championships, had an interesting view on scheduling. He said you always want to schedule the best teams you can, then your team will be ready in March. Worked pretty well for him, as he went to 6 Final Fours.

Dixon needs to schedule better teams.
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written by fullsgold, December 31, 2012 - 07:39 PM

In another topic, it looks like things are going to get ugly again in State College.

Graham Spanier is attempting to flee the country to Europe, but has been stopped by Judge:

http://www.pennlive.com/midsta...ier_2.html

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written by luv da show!, December 31, 2012 - 07:42 PM

"Black Monday"

Ok, teams stink, and coaches get fired.
In other news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow......

Now it becomes silly season, with the usual suspects getting mentioned for HC jobs. Cowhers name will be linked to 6-7 of them alone.

Let the fun begin.
oh, and Tomlin really needs to get a competent ST coach.
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written by Mr. Pitt, December 31, 2012 - 07:51 PM
Trey Ziegler has been a huge disappointment. I was expecting much more Pitt didn't lose to scrub team, so I won't get too down with disappointment. You aren't going to win many games when you 0 for from 3 point range.

I am hoping Saban tries the NFL again so that Robert Foster may reconsider his commitment to Alabama, and play for the hometown team.
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written by pitt9094, December 31, 2012 - 07:52 PM
Todd Haley is good as gone. He'll take one of the newly available HC jobs or maybe the Jets OC job.

O'brien will step in as OC.

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written by pitt9094, December 31, 2012 - 08:00 PM
The Dixon era is getting stale.

Tired of the same story.

With the move to the ACC it may be time for a house cleaning.
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written by ItsMyLife, December 31, 2012 - 08:06 PM
Grimm is not coming here unless it's the last job on earth, and even then he might turn it down.

Grimm insists that he was offered the Steelers head coaching job and then it was quickly retracted.

By all accounts, he has a strong dislike for the Steeler organization now.
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written by AZburgher, December 31, 2012 - 08:10 PM
Ken Whisenhunt was doomed here from day one. This is one of the most poorly run franchises in sport, meaning the Cardinals.
These guys, the Bidwell family, rival the Pirates in frugality and success. Lots of cheap and very few wins.
I mean, almost 80 years of mediocre or worse. Wiz should have his head examined to even interview here.
Here in Phoenix they actually had a marketing ploy and slogan calling this football dump "Pittsburgh West". I used to wince....Try winning some games first! Yoi!
Steeler fans...Please do not complain too loudly about this season. We are pretty lucky, really.
Go PITT
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written by wee willie wallace, December 31, 2012 - 09:49 PM
Belated Christmas Wish List:

Fire Haley and Hire Gailey.

Grimm comes back to coach the O line. (I know it will never happen).

Bobby April or some coach who actually knows how to coach special teams is brought in to replace Tomlin's BFF.

Tomlin promises no more stupid one-liners for at least one season.

J-Peazy is given a free class in on-line banking.

Coach Dixon wakes up and realizes that you are allowed to press before you are down by 7 with less than one minute to go in the game.

Steve Adams figures out that at 7-ft in height, it would be a good idea if he attempted a shot.

Nutting sells. FC is sentenced to jail. NH is promoted to Assistant GM of Mexico City Reds.

PNC Park is renamed BFD's Ballyard. (S/O to ya BFD)!

All posters hopefully had a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

PS-- My buddy, "Bill," finally gets his Dana Eveland autographed rosin bag.

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written by STATONJM, December 31, 2012 - 09:51 PM
This Pitt team is a year away. Fortunately, we know Adams will not be a "one and done" player. He has a lot of ability, but he needs at least one more year of training.

This Panther team starts two freshmen. They will improve as the year goes on. Unfortunately right now they do not have a go to player. Accordingly, when they go cold in the second half (as they have in both losses) there is no one who can carry them.

I expect they will get to 20-22 wins and make it to the NCAA tournament. But, next year will be the year for them to be good enough to win big. This team reminds me of the 2007 DeJuan Blair freshman year team. If next year is like the 2008 team, Pitt will be a power.
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written by ironcityinJax, December 31, 2012 - 10:01 PM
Part of the problem with Pitt is that they have Adams providing high ball screens on the majority of the possessions..it's not his fault he is not getting shots and is stuck in horrible rebounding position half the time..
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written by STATONJM, December 31, 2012 - 10:04 PM
written by turbolover, December 31, 2012 - 07:30 PM

"Not to pile on ... but if anyone has Sirius XM and listens to the home-team calls of other team's games, then you realize just how horribly bad Bill Hillgrove is. And as bad as he is, Groat and Aiken are even worse."

You must not be a native of Western Pa. Let me explain, Bill Hillgrove, in the Western Pa. tradition is a homer. It goes all the way back to Rosey Rosewell, was carried on by Bob Prince and lifted to its finest moments by Myron Cope.

Consider yourself educated, and don't post this stuff again until you study your Pittsburgh sports history.
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written by MasumiKuwata, December 31, 2012 - 10:05 PM


"Dixon needs to schedule better teams."

I hear (or read) what you are saying but scheduling is a two way street. Pitt isn't the only ones that do this. IMO, Pitt is just good enough that other teams arent very eager to play them out of conference. They arent a top 10 team either where it could help you catapult up the rankings.
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written by BarelySane, December 31, 2012 - 10:12 PM

Not planning to stay up past midnight, so to all of you that frequent this space, have a happy healthy prosperous New Year. 10-7
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written by FantasyTom, December 31, 2012 - 10:38 PM
Still like the Pitt team a lot, Cinci has three seniors and they piled on in the second half. Good learning game for Pitt, they will do very well this year....
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written by MSE93, January 01, 2013 - 12:16 AM
Happy New Year Bob! Thanks for keeping me in touch with home and hosting this forum for us.
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written by emoneypitt, January 01, 2013 - 12:31 AM
Happy New Year everyone!
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written by fried003, January 01, 2013 - 06:50 AM
written by pitt9094, December 31, 2012 - 08:00 PM
The Dixon era is getting stale.

Tired of the same story.

With the move to the ACC it may be time for a house cleaning.


Pitt hoops losing to a quality opponent is no longer news. He can't recruit well enough to compete with the better programs. It's amazing they've done as well as they have without anyone making a significant contribution on a current NBA roster. Moving the ACC won't help - not as many Providences, DePauls, Seton Halls.

It's hard to say if it's time for a change though as there's no natural local recruiting base to draw from. It may be as good as it's possible to be.
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written by Salary Captain, January 01, 2013 - 01:50 PM
Pitt may not have played a lot of powerhouses in preseason, but they were beating teams by 25-30 points. They can be very good when clicking on all cylinders. Against Cinci, they had some broken pistons (where the hell was J.J. Moore?). Adams was being called for fouls by being in the way when a Cinci player fell on him, so only played 10 minutes in the second half. If they can step up to the level of Big East play as the season goes on, I think this team will progress and make the tournament.
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written by pghrt, January 01, 2013 - 11:55 PM
*t is going to take a lot more than an 8-8 season that was loaded with injuries for Tomlin to be fired. I'm not crazy about him as a coach, but he doesn't deserved to be fired as some have more or less stated on this blog post.

Pitt basketball: Why would anyone be surprised they lost this game? Dixon is a good coach and Pitt is an above average program, but it isn't an elite program. The results speak for themselves over the past decade. I don't say that to be critical but it is a realistic statement. One thing they can do, though, is schedule some better competition. Not only does lame competition do nothing to prepare a team for tougher opponents/tougher game situations, but it is also boring for fans and supporters.

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