Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Officially Moved

The blog has moved to 

Good Day

I've moved on to bigger and better things

In this blog's humble beginnings, well who am I kidding this blog was never humble, I wrote game recaps and posted them as Facebook notes.  It seemed like a fun way to enjoy my senior year.  I lived about 3 blocks from the Pete so I could race home, shoot the breeze with the roommates and then go write about what I just saw.  And I'd like to think I had about 10 loyal readers, and then another 10 or so that would occasionally look at them if they saw them on their news feed.

Now, was there really a point to write to only twenty people, I think so, but I decided to try and branch out.  Some people said other people would want to read my thoughts, so created this blog.  I began posting recaps on here and not on facebook.   The blog also gave me the ability to post pictures and links and photoshops that facebook didn't have.  The postings became more colorful to say the least.
I'm not sure if my readership declined because they were more easily accessible there or not, but I needed to make the transition anyway.  Manifest destiny bitches.

I tried pimping the blog on some more well-known Pitt blogs like and I got a few encouraging comments from the regular commenters there after the owner of the site linked to me in one of his posts.

But still, not a lot of readers.  So I sold my soul to the twitter devil.  As defense for my reliance on the Internet, I would say, "I may use Facebook and YouTube and whatever a lot, but at least I don't have a f*ckin twitter."  I thought it was the dumbest idea ever.  I don't need to know what famous people are doing, and why would I care what my friends were doing.  I already get enough of them on Facebook or in actual real life.  Welp, can't say that anymore.  However, the most important aspect of twitter for me is to get the word out.  So I got a twitter for that.
Well that and a desire to play the #PaulMartinPowerball contest they have at the Pensblog.  Seriously, every night you guess a time you think Paul Martin is gonna score.  Closest to the actual time wins money.  If he doesn't score then the pot goes up.   The problem is that Paul Martin can't score to save his life.  The pot has gone from $5 to now $145.  

So I've started tweeting my recaps with hash tags like #hailtopitt and what not.  Only 11 followers right now but apparently some wvu fan followed me after I wrote about the last backyard brawl.  Honestly I did nothing but rip on them in that post, and he hit follow.  It almost makes you think maybe not all...nope wvu still sucks.

I really don't care to follow people.  Right now I'm basically only following a few friends and some news sources for the Pens, but it appears I'll have to do more if I want people to ever see these tweets and thus read the blog.

Commence whoring myself out to all Pitt fans on twitter.
If you enjoy Pitt basketball, and are on twitter, I'm going to find you, and follow the shit out of you.

Allow Breaking Benjamin to explain.

I've also edited the info of all the YouTube videos I've posted of Pitt basketball over the past four years to now include links to this blog and my twitter.

Hey anything I can do to spread the word.

So is there even a reason for this post?  It's officially the first post that doesn't recap a game.  The answer is yes.

When I was making this blog, I picked the name iampittbasketball because it was an inside joke with my friends to say that WERE stuff, with emphasis on the were.
To a friend who's quite skilled with computers:  Yeah well you ARE the Internet
To a friend who's a missionary.  You ARE Focus
And mine was always "You ARE Pitt Basketball"  Hence the name.

The downside of this is that it's not very easy to remember.  When I was looking for a catchy name for the blog, I just kept JO's Basketball blog as default.  Now that I have found a kickass name in View From The Zoo, it made sense to change the url so that it matched.  The only problem is I'm not sure if there were any readers I'm no longer in contact with that bookmarked the site long ago as iampittbasketball.  

Therefore I've created a new blog at

The great thing about blogger is that you can import old posts from another blog into your new blog, so when you click on that link it'll look exactly like this one does except with the new url and title and the lack of this post.  And it only took me like 45 minutes to format all the colors and background and gadgets link text color and all that other crazy shit so that it looks the same.

In conclusion I wanted to change the blog url so that it was something that was easier to remember and matched the blog title and my twitter handle.  But I didn't want to delete this blog's url in case some people had bookmarked it.

Could I have just told you that last paragraph and skipped everything before it?  Probably.
Will I probably make another post and say exactly that?
But I just wrote a 16 page paper in 3 hours tonight so I was in a writing mood.  And 16 pages for me is a lot.  I'm a friggin high school math teacher for crying out loud.

Hail to Pitt for the last time on this blog,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Game 29 The Race for the Losing Record Continues Pitt 54 Louisville 57

Dixon is the worst late game coach I've ever seen in my entire life.

Moore had another big game with 16 points, but I'm just going to talk about the last 90 seconds.

Pitt turned it over 19 times, but anyway.  Pitt was down 53-48 with the ball.  Robinson got an offensive rebound and was flagrant fouled by Dieng.  Two shots and the ball.  Time to make a comeback.
Me to my Dad: "I bet he misses both and they turn it over."



Pitt loses the ball turnover, no points on the trip.

I hate being right.

After a Louisville miss, Woodall, who was 0-8 at that point hits a jumper from the right elbow, and Bill Raftery calls Woodall clutch, or says "ONIONS!' or one of his stupid catchphrases.

Another Louisville miss and Patterson makes a great pass underneath that Taylor actually catches and dunks.

Pitt 52 The Ville 53, 29 seconds left.

Oh man, oh man oh man.

Pitt with a good foul, and Louisville misses the front end of the 1 and 1.  Rebound Pitt.  They cross halfcourt with 18 seconds left.

"Timeout Pitt!  Set up a play"

Woodall almost turns it over.

"Nooooo what are you doing?!?!"

Woodall doesn't give it up, forces some leaning jumper that barely touches iron.

Rebound Louisville, they make 2 free throws.  And NOW Dixon calls timeout.

"Okay, plenty of time to set up a good 3 to tie."

Woodall takes 9 seconds before going for a quick two.

Are you kidding me?  There are only 4.1 seconds left now.  Siva makes 2 free throws and Gibbs misses a 29 footer to tie.  No recapturing of Providence game magic there.

Woodall and Dixon blew this.

Pitt's 15-14.  Losing record looms.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Game 28 Why is this team so bad? Pitt 47 USF 56

Moore is the only one who showed up.  He had a career high 21.
Preview for next season when Moore plays like this every game.
Actually the equation should look more like this.
Poop - (Hustle - Talent) + Actual 2 Guard who does more than shoot yet still can + Junior Jumps + One and Done - One dimensional player + Healthy abdominals = Return to tournament

So let's review the math.  We take our current team which is poop, subtract Nasir Robinson, who offered Hustle without talent.  But according to the distributive property, we gain in talent by getting rid of Nas.  We add in James Robinson a guard who does more than shoot yet still can and factor in what I hope to be typical junior year increases in play for Moore and Patterson (even if this is Lamar's 4th year).  We add in a potential one and done big man in Steven Adams and some healthy abdominal muscles for Tray as well as subtract Gibbs and his one dimensional play and we have a return to the NCAA tournament.

Any questions?

Hail to Pitt,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Game 27 The End: Pitt 48 WVU 66

The end of an era.  This will be the last backyard brawl, perhaps for a while.  Next year wvu will be in the big 12, and getting to see at least 2 basketbrawls per season (and sometimes 3 in the BET) will be a distant memory.

I enjoy when Pitt beats wvu more than any other school (UCONN is up there as well) but I'm not too bummed about it.  I hope wvu enjoys getting 60 pts hung on them from some of those big 12 offenses next year.

I guarantee you Pitt wins the Big East next year and gets slaughtered by someone in the BCS.  Only because Pitt is a master of winning watered down conferences.

Alex Smith still gives Pitt nightmares.

So now that we don't have to see the hoopies anymore, let's take a walk down memory lane to all 5 home games against wvu since I've been at this lovely university.

Freshman year - February 8, 2008
Pitt had a rough year this season, "The General"  Levance Fields hurt his ankle in non-conference and Pitt struggled without its top point guard and leader for a good 2 months (sound familiar?)  By this time though, Fields was back and Pitt was making a run toward winning the BET.  WVU wasn't very good this year, but you knew it would be a close game.  Pitt would get destroyed by wvu in morgantown in about a month because some joke named Joe Alexander  would score unlimited points.  He used 5 or 6 good games at the end of that year to get drafted #8 overall by the Bucks.  He played a year then was out of the league.
This was actually the one game freshmen year I didn't go to because I got Pens tickets.  I got to watch some of it during intermission by trolling the people who had tvs in their sections, then my dad called me when this happened.
What a shot.  Also that play by Blair earlier is amazing.  WVU choke city on the free throws.

Sophomore year - Feb 9, 2009
Dejuan Blair and Sam Young.  WVU had no chance this year.  Pitt won both by double digits including this one at the Pete.  WVU would beat us in the BET but only because we wanted to lose and rest up for a final four run, which we failed to attain.  Friggin scottie reynolds.

Junior Year - Feb 12, 2010
WVU had the superior team this year.  They were ranked #4 headed into this matchup with a rebuilding Pitt (still ranked #23 though).  Nine days earlier they had slaughtered the Panthers by 19.  I can't do this game justice by talking about it.  It was the greatest game I've ever witnessed in any sport.  Luckily the last 6 minutes of regulation and onward are all on youtube.
The hoopies would get the last laugh though.  They made it to the final four.

Senior Year - Feb 24, 2011
Pitt shot 57% as they swept WVU for the second time in 3 years.
Box Score

Final Undergraduate Totals
Pitt 6 wins (4-0 home, 2-2 road, 0-1 neutral)
wvu 3 wins

Which finally brings us to this year.  Pitt won in wvu a few weeks ago.  Read about it here.

Unfortunately, my undefeated streak against wvu ended tonight, much like my undefeated streaks against a lot of teams ended this season.

WVU controlled most of the first half, holding leads of up to 7.  Pitt went in front briefly at 23-22, but it ended with wvu up by 1 26-25 at the half.  Brawls are usually low scoring so this wasn't a cause for concern.  It would be a big second half.
Side note, the Pete passed out Gold T-shirts for a "GoldOut".  They also gave the Zoo towels to wave with the phrase
"Brawl So Hard" on them.  There are several things wrong with this.
1. "Brawl so Hard"
2. The towels were like terrible towel color gold, which matches up with the gold trim of the wvu unis and not with the vegas gold of the pitt logo and of all the zoo shirts they gave out.
3. Again, "Brawl So Hard?"  Really?...

I went to get food during halftime because I had to work tonight and hadn't eaten in forever.  Got the chicken finger french fry combo.  Smart.  The fries were kind of plain so I decided to put a little salt on them.  I opened a pack and sprinkled a little on.  Way too much!  Ahh!  Oh then I started to eat them.  Turns out that wasn't salt it was sugar.  Sugar fries?  Don't try it.  It's not good.

Then the buzzer went off and it was time to start the second half.
Pitt stayed in the locker room.  I'm pretty sure my 6th grade rec team that went 2-7 played the second half.  Unlimited bricks.  Now I'm going to give grades because the whole point of this post is to talk about what happened but I really don't want to.  I had to sit up in peanut heaven because I didn't get out of work in Monroeville until 8.  But I had the lovely Miss HK with me so it wasn't a total loss.

Oh one more rant.  Pitt oversold tickets to this game.  They sold out the bottom bowl of the zoo, and the two overflow sections, then they sold SRO tickets for that little concourse area.  Effin don't sell SRO tickets, because then I get screwed and end up there with my 5230523523 loyalty points, and the people that probably only get a ticket because of the SRO chances get to sit in the lower bowl.

Here's how they should fix it.
If you're one of the last names to get picked in the lottery, you're automatically in the upper deck.  Save the lower bowl for people who care (and those who write blogs about the games) and not jokes who only go to big games.

Grade time:

Gibbs - When Gibbs gets his name called for the starting lineup, his little celebration or whatever is to get patted down by a teammate.  This is simple and yet clever.  Because Gibbs is a deadly shooter, so he is armed and dangerous, get it?  Or at least I thought so.  But in reality when Nick Rivers pats down, Gibbs he finds nothing.  If Gibbs was armed, then Rivers would find something, then take him back into the locker room and give him a full cavity search.
Gibbs shot 2-11 tonight and missed all 5 of his 3's.  Clearly unarmed.  Grade D

Woodall - Remember when Tray scored like 800 points that one week against wvu  and Villanova?  Well that's a lifetime ago.  He shot 5-16 this game, missed all of his threes like Gibbs and made several careless decisions in the second half.
Grade: C-

So Pitt's two best players combined to shoot 7-27 from the field and 0-9 from three.  For the record, every other Pitt player shot 10-19.
That's how you lose games.

Robinson - This would be another one of those games where you wonder why Nas is trying to play the power forward position in the Big East.  He just couldn't get anything going down there among the trees in the post.  Only 5 points.  Also, he had the assignment of trying to check the best player in the Big East and probably a 2nd team All America, Kevin Jones.  Jones is like 6'8" with 3 point range.  Nas is 6'5" maybe with 3 ft range.  Mismatch city on both ends.  He did pick Jones' pocket once down low which was probably his only highlight.
Grade for Nas C+ because at least he didn't foul anyone 90 feet from the basket today.

Patterson - Patterson is the one player on this team who could stand to be a little more selfish.  He's a big guard who can drive and has the strength to finish with contact.  Unfortunately, he didn't attempt a shot inside 20 feet 9 inches (that's the length of the 3 point line fyi).  He was 1-3 from deep with 5 rebounds and that's all she wrote.  Grade C

Zanna - Zanna actually tried.  He had a nice tip-in and attempted to play defense on the Turkish Hammer Deniz Kilicli.  Grade B-

Dante Taylor -
JJ Moore - The FAN postgame show made JJ their player of the game.  He shot 3-3 from the field and made both of his free throws for 10 points.  His second three cut the wvu lead to 10 with like 4 minutes left and you thought for a second they might make a comeback, but then they didn't.  Grade B+

Epps - It was so bad that Dixon actually had to put Epps in for an offense/defense switch in order to foul people then put Gibbs and company back in for offense.  Epps managed to not foul anyone in his two minutes despite that being his primary purpose.  Also once Dixon was not able to switch back so you had a backcourt of Epps, Wright and Johnson trying to lead a comeback for one possession.
Dixon should be fired for allowing those three guys on the court together for any amount of time.  Nothing against those guys, but there should never be a moment when Gibbs Woodall or Patterson have a pulse that at least one of them isn't out there.  Grade n/a

Wright - Same thing as Epps, only he played 5 minutes.

Johnson - He made a jump shot and missed a pair of threes.  Grade C

Gilbert - Love the kid, but he is absolutely terrified of having the ball in his hands for more than two seconds.  He got an offensive board in the first half, and very easily could have gone up strong and either dunked it or got fouled, but instead he frantically tried to pass the ball out.  I know he wants to be a team player and he knows his limitations (which is to say everything on offense) probably better than anyone on this team, but come on big fella, take a shot.  He did provide the defensive highlight of the night when he sent some guard's floater into orbit.
Grade B

Pitt stands at 15-12 (4-10 BE) with 4 games left + the BET
They are home against USF, away against Louisville, home against St. John's and away against UCONN.  So you can pretty much book Pitt's first non-20 win season since the 2000 season.  I think it will be more of a race to see if Pitt can avoid a losing record.  One win would clinch at least .500 record regardless of what happens in the BET.  Though Pitt might get invited to the CBI at 16-16 and lose to some joke school like Wagner in the first round.

Wait a minute?  You mean to tell me Pitt already lost to Wagner this year?  And at home?  Son of a...

Only a few more weeks and this season will mercifully end.
Praise God,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Game 26: Pitt 66 Herb Pope 73

Okay, so Pitt played Seton Hall today.  And as is always the case when Pitt plays the Pirates, I must talk about Herb Pope.

Simply put, Herb Pope is one of my favorite players of all time, of all time.  And now a brief history.  He played basketball at Aliquippa High School and graduated the same year I did (2007).  He was a beast there.  But he also grew up with the wrong crowd.  He verbally committed to Pitt as a sophomore, but he realized that he had to get away from here.  He had bounced around to several different homes and schools his entire life.  
A timeline:
2006 - Was the Post Gazette player of the year as a junior
On another note, the fabulous five that year was Blair (NBA), Pope, DJ Kennedy (4-year starter at St. John's), Terrelle Pryor (#1 football recruit in nation and 3 year professional at the ohio state university) and Jonathan Baldwin (you're reading a Pitt blog, you know what he did).  For western Pa not having a big reputation for basketball, that's a hell of an all-star team.  Pryor and Baldwin both had several d1 offers for basketball as well.
Fall 2007 - 2010 - Enrolls at New Mexico State, but is ruled ineligible for the first half of the season because some class he took online didn't count.  (Oh I'm sorry, it was kind of hard for him to keep track of his credits when he was in 4 different high schools and had 4 bullets in him).  Anyway he played the second half of the season and was a beast.  He transferred to Seton Hall, sat out the 08-09 season then proceeded to lead the league in rebounding during the 09-10 season.
Now - Is one of the favorites for Big East POY, Excellent Sports Illustrated article about him from this year

Honestly, it's impossible to not root for this guy.  He's been through more crap than any 22 year old should ever have to deal with.  He's become a cult hero to my dad and me.  The phrase "yeah but he's no Herb Pope" is said quite frequently.
Me:  [Insert player name] scored 25 last night.
Dad:  Yeah, but he's no Herb Pope.
Me:  Few people are.

He's currently projected as a second round pick.  I really hope he makes it.

Oh, there was a basketball game played today...oops.

Why you shouldn't hate the Hall:  If Herb Pope wasn't enough, one of my best friend's fiancee works as a missionary there.  Oh and it's a Roman Catholic school.  Boss.

This game wasn't supposed to be on television, which is probably some type of evil sorcery orchestrated by people who are threatened by this blog (cough cough The Pitt News).

I haven't ripped on them in quite some time.
The Pitt News is awful.  In fact, if you write for the Pitt News you shouldn't even be on this blog, you should be at home, coloring.

"Aren't you going to talk about the game?"

Shut up haters.

The game was eventually picked up by WTAE so it was all good.

Recap city:
The first half was all about some joke player from the Hall named Cosby hitting unlimited 3's.  He was 5-6 at one point.  Patterson kept the Panthers in it, and the Hall led by 2 at the break.

Pitt had a player named Attila Cosby during the dark ages.  He was a decent shot-blocking forward.  He was also crazy.  He was kicked off the team for fighting assistant coach Orlando Antigua.  Then he transferred to George Washington where he beat up a 46 year old prostitute.  A lot of people how messed up the Pitt program was when Howland took over in 1999.  At one point, I am pretty sure almost every player had been arrested.  Two players who weren't involved with the popo?  Brandin Knight and Jaron Brown, and you know how they turned out.  Howland kicked like 6 guys off his team and basically started fresh.  Anyway, the coach who recruited all of these criminals and almost directly caused the end of the Pitt Panther basketball team,  Ralph Willard, also has a son.  And of course that son, Kevin Willard, now coaches you guessed it, the Seton Hall Pirates.

Ahhh man, I told you there was a point to that story.

Is this post even about this game?

I don't even know anymore.

Anyway, Pitt had a 61-55 lead in the second half, and I was starting to believe.  Gibbs was carrying the team (he had 26).  But then they went ice cold and the Pirates got hot again from 3.  Back to back triples and suddenly Pitt was down 66-62.  It was 67-66 when the Pope got lose off a pick and roll and layed it in with 30 seconds left.  Zanna completely lost him.  So then on the next possession Woodall had his pocket picked, and when Seton Hall tried to play keep-away Robinson tried to murder Pope and was called for a flagrant one.  Okay, it wasn't that bad.  Total bs call.

It's probably not a good idea to piss off Herb Pope.

Pope hit the free throws, was fouled again and hit 2 more and Pitt didn't score again.  Final.

Robinson was a combined 0-10 from the line and field until 5 minutes left when he got a layup.  Woodall was 2-10, and none of the bench helped out.  It was the Patterson and Gibbs show and it wasn't enough.  This officially ends Pitt's streak of 10 consecutive seasons with at least 10 Big East wins, the streak of 20+ wins is also in jeopardy.


I predict Pitt will get to the Average Eight of the NIT and then blow it in spectacular fashion because they can't make the Final Four of any tournament.

Hilljacks come to the Zoo on Thursday night,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Game 25: Pitt 51 South Florida 63

I had to teach CCD from 7:00 - 8:15 tonight, therefore I only caught the last 10 minutes of this game.

This is what South Florida just did to Pitt's NCAA tourney hopes.

That's all I got,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Game 24: Pitt 79 Villanova 70

Another game, another win for Pitt.  I'm sitting here at the place I'm watching the Super Bowl so I'm going to try to do this recap quickly before it starts to get crazy.  That and I have a short assignment I have to finish before then as well.  I could always do it during half time, or during the commercials.

"But the commercials are the best part."
You are what is wrong with this country.

I'm being serious, if I hear one person (and I'm watching the game with about 60) say, "Shhhh" during the commercials, when they weren't quiet during the game.  Well, I might just punch them.


Giants 31 Patriots 27 (that's what Dirk said and I have to side with him)

Why you should hate Villanova:

I had final four tickets if Pitt won.  Courtside.  For twenty dollars.  Heartbreak city.

Villanova hit a couple shots early on.  They were up 21-16 midway through the first half.

And then Tray Woodall took over.

He hit back to back threes, then found Gibbs who got fouled and threw up a desperation shot that went in for the and 1.  Unbelievable run and Pitt was suddenly up 15.  They got up as much as 18 in the second half before nova made a bit of a run, getting to within 3 and having a chance to tie it, but Maalik Wayns (pronounced like wayans) is a joke and missed the three (7-22 on the day for their best player including 1-10 from three).  Nova's big Mouphtaou Yarou (just checked it I nailed that spelling first try) had about 14 boards but shot 3-13.

Anyway, Pitt won and here are the grades.

Woodall - 29 points from him.  That's all you need to know (Career high).  He and Gibbs combined to go 19-19 from the line  to put the game out of reach.  There were a couple awful passes from Tray (he threw the ball into the stands twice) but still what a performance.  If he ever learns how to reduce his turnovers he could be a Ty Lawson type player for this team.
Ty Lawson won a championship.
Grade A+

Gibbs - 25 points, vintage Gibbs is all you need to know, shot 50% from three and above 50% overall.  Grade A+

Patterson - He and Nas both got into foul trouble.  He had 8 points but he spent a lot of time on the bench.  He fouled out in the last 30 seconds on a bogus charging call.  Grade C

Robinson - After going 13-13 in his last two games, Robinson came back to earth percentage wise with a 2-7 performance.  He also had 4 fouls and 3 turnovers.  Bad game from Nas.  Grade C-

Taylor - He had 9 points and 5 rebounds and made a couple nice plays but the one thing I remember from him is absolutely blowing a layup when he was all alone.  He was on the right block and tried to bank it, but missed the rim completely.  Awful.  Grade C

J Johnson - Not much from him.  9 minutes, missed his only shot.  Grade C-

C. Wright - He missed two layups.  One he got stuffed and another he just blew it.  Bad game.  Four steals though, so I guess that's good.  Grade C-

Moore -

(Just so you guys get it, I didn't forget to write a recap of Moore's performance, it's actually in invisible ink...or font...or something)

Zanna - 4 points 8 rebounds.  He had a nice putback in the first half, that's all I remember from him.  Grade B-

Pitt's 4-7 in the Big East.  They're slowly climbing back into it.

One game at a time,