Friday, March 13, 2009

NO, THAT SOUND WASN'T A GARBAGE TRUCK FALLING OFF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, IT WAS JUST PITT



If you're going to lose, go all out. Shoot poorly, foul stupidly, don't rebound, don't have a game plan, turn the ball over and sprinkle in some lousy refs for good measure. Oh, yeah, and wait to lay this egg until the Big East Tournament arrives.

Pitt played one of its' worst games in memory last night, losing to arch-rival WVU 74-60 after having the benefit of a double bye in the long grind that is known as the Big East Tournament. The game wasn't as "close" as the final score indicated either, as the Panthers seemed to lack intensity after DeJuan Blair got into early foul trouble with Pitt leading 9-4 at the time. Blair, in particular, seemed completely unprepared to play as not only were some of his fouls needless, others were downright head-scratchers such as the technical that he got in the second half for throwing an elbow. Even when he wasn't fouling, Blair, who was just named the co-Big East MVP with UConn's Hasheem Thabeet, uncharacteristically missed many layups that he routinely feasts on. Okay, everybody's entitled to a bad game. After all, he has been the cornerstone of this team all year. But what's the rest of the team's excuse?

Above right: The memorable "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" had the unforgettable phrase ..."Like the sound of a garbage truck falling off the Empire State Building." Since the Big East tournament is held in New York City, we thought the reference was apropos.

Above: It's not that far from Madison Square Garden to the Empire State Building. Pitt took the express elevator last night and the result wasn't real pretty.



Sam Young and company had a very bad shooting night (34.8% from the field) and didn't make one three pointer the entire game. The team looked lethargic, particularly Young, and was just completely out of sync. Afterwards, players were remarking that WVU's 1-3-1 zone had given them problems. Well guess what? Every team in the NCAA field that will have a chance at playing Pitt will be studying this tape carefully as it appears that WVU indeed may be on to something. If anything, the recipe for beating Pitt probably reads like this: "Try to have several different players engage Blair early-on hoping to get some quick whistles. See if you can get the same refs that WVU managed to get. Then, play the 1-3-1 zone as masterfully as WVU did and you should have Pitt completely out of their game."


Pitt was even out-rebounded in this game 33-27.


Above Left: It's a long way down without an elevator. Right: Hopefully these workers will quit "b-s-ing" and get this big mess cleaned up before "Selection Sunday".

So what do you take away from a loss as bad as this? All you can do is dust yourself off and hope that the bad taste in every Pitt player's mouth today will motivate them during the week they have off until "the big dance" begins. Oh, and work on that 1-3-1 in practice Jamie. That should be about the only defense you'll see between now and the end of the season!

Above: Madison "Square" Garden appears to be circular-like in appearance. From this shot it appears to have emerged unscathed from the Pitt crash last night, that's the good news.