College Hoops

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El-Moldo
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Re: College Hoops

Postby El-Moldo » March 8th, 2018, 1:28 pm

let's hope we see felix culpa



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Re: College Hoops

Postby GoldenRamsFAN » March 8th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Thad Matta would be the best hire for Pitt IMO. He would be able to get better recruits and bring instant excitement back to a program that needs some.

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Re: College Hoops

Postby konjo78 » March 8th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Problem is Stallings did a number on Pitts program prestige. Even during the end of Dixons run and start of stallings run you could relate pitt to being a special program.

Now it feels all that prestige is gone and Pitt is at the Penn state/Wake forrest level. Lot of help needed just to point in back the way things used to be

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Re: College Hoops

Postby El-Moldo » March 9th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Read the article this evening in the Tribune about Stallings being let go by Pitt. Paragraph 4 started with "Stallings was JUST 24-41 in two years at Pittsburgh". Did you guys know that Pat Chambers was 22-41 after his first two years at Penn State? Hope Pitt didn't jump the gun.

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Re: College Hoops

Postby konjo78 » March 9th, 2018, 8:18 pm

I mean did chambers ever have 0 conference wins in a season?

Also the expectation of both programs are quite different. Pitt was a main player for over 10 years while penn state rarely makes the tourney.


Also are you saying chambers was a good hire for penn state? You love to put him down

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Re: College Hoops

Postby El-Moldo » March 9th, 2018, 9:48 pm

Did Chambers ever have 0 conference wins? No. But his 2nd team, in 2012-13, was 2-17 in the Big Ten. That's something to be proud of. Did Chambers start 5 freshman most games that year? No. In fact that year he had DJ Newbill playing and Tim Frazier was a senior. And expectations? Was PSU hoping that Chambers would take them to the NCAA's in 7 years, not right away as Pitt expected Stallings to do? And no, I'm not saying that Chambers was a good hire for PSU. But I'll give them some credit for at least giving Chambers a chance. Again, hope Pitt didn't jump the gun.

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Re: College Hoops

Postby konjo78 » March 9th, 2018, 9:53 pm

Hell might of just froze over... Moldo just gave penn state some credit

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Re: College Hoops

Postby Crimson's Ghost » March 9th, 2018, 11:58 pm

I'm encouraged Pitt has higher standards for its basketball program than Penn State.  I think getting rid of a bad hire than never made sense is the right call. The whole thing was shady from the beginning. 

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Re: College Hoops

Postby Crimson's Ghost » March 10th, 2018, 1:38 am

Here is the Pitt Basketball timeline as best as I can explain from my perspective with some half-hearted research.  Not everyone will agree with me, but this is how I watched it unfold. 

-- Under Jamie Dixon Pitt had just reached the tournament for the 11th time in his 13 year tenure. Pitt's best stretch ever in school history.   They were able to sneak in as a 10 seed, and played Wisconsin and lost with abysmal 47-43 effort. 

-- Following that game, it became rumored TCU was very much interested in making Jamie Dixon its next head coach.  As a basketball program with virtually no tradition, it was a dream hire for the Horned Frogs.  Jamie Dixon was making top 10 money at Pitt. He received numerous extensions while at Pitt and had a healthy buyout.  Pitt opted not to take the full buyout from TCU, thus making it easy for the Horned Frogs to hire him away. 

*Sidebar* The Jamie Dixon debate is an interesting, and very much overplayed one.  I'm in the camp of, Pitt never should have fired him, but I think he needed to move on for himself.  Pitt screwed up hiring his replacement, but it started to feel stale here. His recruiting started to become atrocious, he never liked the ACC, the program was slipping slowly. So what's done was done.  Pitt gets painted in a bad light nationally because it looks like Pitt flat out got rid of him, and I get why people see it that way, but I don't think that's exactly what happened **Sidebar over**

-- Jamie Dixon partly left because there was a rough relationship between him and new boss Scott Barnes. He offered some changes he wanted Dixon to make, and I don't think the two ever got along.  It was a lot of his doing why Dixon isn't here anymore.  He lowered the buyout, and let him walk. 

-- Meanwhile at Vanderbilt, Kevin Stallings was nearing the end of a moderately successful career at Vanderbilt.  He made the Commodores relevant, but it felt like he was nearing the end.  As a matter of fact days before Pitt made him the head coach, it was rumored he was on his way to being fired. Vanderbilt took exactly $0 from Pitt. No buyout at all, it was more of a "here, take him."

-- Pitt now had a coaching search on its hands.  The Sean Miller/KDKA thing well, we'll never know the whole story there.  But Pitt had a chance to make the program in a new direction.  Pitt seemed to be after Will Wade, Andy Enfield, and some other bright and upcoming coaches.  But Scott Barnes used a friend's search firm.  That friend was also tied to Kevin Stallings. It seemed like a back hand deal that now Pitt and Scott Barnes have since been ripped for. Just the other day national writer Jeff Eisenberg summed it up pretty well, 

"Seldom has a hire been more clearly bungled from the get-go than Kevin Stallings to Pittsburgh. He had underachieved the previous couple years at Vandy, he had no recruiting momentum or ties to the Northeast and his candidacy was a product of search firm nepotism."

 "Search firm nepotism"  Interesting, yet accurate term. 

-- Kevin Stallings was introduced as Pitt's head coach, and he walked into quite the buzzsaw. The Pittsburgh media picked up on how much this hire was poorly handled, they even played up the Sheldon Jeter situation and played that up pretty big. Fans were in an uproar, and national media pundits more less made fun of Pitt for the hire.  In this instance, Stallings did nothing wrong. I thought it was BS how he got thrown under the bus, because most of the bad feelings were and still are directed at Barnes.  And Barnes did not endear himself on this day calling fans and boosters "noise"  Not his best choice of words. 

-- So the Stallings era began, and Pitt had to sell it.  They told it would be an upbeat style of play, something people thought Dixon's style of coaching lacked. They even got quotes from members of the coaching fraternity to try to sell it to Pitt fans with graphics on the internet, something I've never quite seen.

(sidebar) At this point, I got over the frustration of the bad hire and was willing to give the guy a chance. He retained Pitt's recruiting class, didn't lose any key players to transfer, and was saying all the right things (sidebar over). 

-- Pitt returned six key members from a tournament team. Jamel Artis and Michael Young had all-league talent. Sheldon Jeter and Chris Jones were key contributors, while Cam Johnson and Ryan Luther seemed to be promising young players. All they were missing was a PG, as four year starter James Robinson graduated. Rather than using his final scholarship to try to add one late, he carried an empty scholarship, which proved to be a big mistake. 

(side bar) This Pitt team was OK, were they a sure bet tournament team? Eh, they were thin depth wise, didn't have a point guard, and the ACC was a beast last season. Could Dixon have gotten them there, maybe. But Stallings still likely had enough firepower to win more than four conference games at the very least (side bar over)

-- Pitt entered the season picked in the bottom third of the ACC. But again, there was some optimism with four starters returning.  Pitt lost an early season battle to SMU, but bounced back to beat Marquette. Pitt moved to 6-1 with a convincing win over Maryland on the road. But followed that with a loss to Duquesne for the first time since 2000, a pretty inexcusable loss. 

-- All throughout the season, Stallings was pretty open and candid to the media, but sometimes was caught throwing players under the bus.  Not the worst thing in the world, but again rubbed people the wrong way. 

-- Scott Barnes left Pitt for the Oregon State AD job. 

-- Pitt started conference play with a narrow loss to a good Notre Dame team, and an overtime win over a very good UVA team. But from there, they fell off the plank. Pitt lost its next eight games, including a 106-51 home loss to Louisville, the worst Pitt basketball game I've ever attended in person. Obviously the ego's of the seniors and Stallings never really meshed well together. 

-- Pitt had a few wins down the stretch including an upset over Florida State, but all in all they ended the year with a meager 16-17 record going 4-14 in the ACC. They lost in the ACC Tournament, and the only memorable highlight was Kevin Stallings being caught on camera swearing at one of his players while another play was down on the floor injured. 

-- So the season ended. Four of Pitt's best players were seniors.  Ryan Luther and Cam Johnson figured to be the anchors for next season's team.  Until roster Armageddon happened. Justice Kithcart was kicked off the team, Damon Wilson, Corey Manigault, Crisshawn Clark, Rozelle Nix all transferred, then the unthinkable happened - Cam Johnson transferred. Thus leaving only 2 players, 
and creating 11 roster spots being opened. 

-- It should also be mentioned at this point, Pitt's recruiting was very lackluster under Stallings. Nearly every big recruit they hosted went elsewhere.  Even 2 of the better commitments they secured, also turned on Pitt after the mass exodus. Stallings to his credit, put together a roster, albeit a very bad one. But he found 11 guys to join Ryan Luther and Jonathan Milligan.  Outside a few of them, most were big reaches to play in the ACC. Some guys had no other options aside from Pitt. 
 
-- So the season began.  Pitt was picked dead last in the ACC. It opened with losses to mid majors, Navy and Montana. After a narrow win, came a 30 point loss to Penn State. Pitt beat Duquesne and played West Virginia semi-close for a while, but ended the non-conference with an 8-5 mark. 

-- Pitt's ACC season got off to a bad start. 2 quick losses to Miami and Louisville.  During the Louisville game, Kevin Stallings turned around mid game to yell at a fan, which again got himself in the national spotlight, for well - nothing that had anything to do with winning basketball games.   It was reported in the Post Gazette that this was the deciding game in Stallings' career, he was getting fired after the season. 

-- Pitt followed that was five blowout losses, and then a close game against NC State where they almost got a win.  The NC State game was the only time in the 18 game ACC slate that Pitt held a lead in the second half.  In other words, Pitt was losing for 340 minutes straight in every other second half of every other ACC game. 

-- More blowouts ensued.  Pitt had more 20+ point losses this season, than it did during the entire Dixon/Howland era.  

-- Pitt scored 7 points in the first half against Virginia, the lowest scoring half in college basketball this season in any Division.  Pitt shot an all-time low field goal percentage for a half. 

-- Pitt completed its worst season in recent memory with a hard-fought loss to Notre Dame. 

-- Pitt's final attendance went from 8,000 to 4,000 in one season. Pitt set records for lowest attendance in the Petersen Events Center multiple times this season alone. 

-- Pitt fired Kevin Stallings just two days ago, and he finished with a 4-32 conference record and dropped Pitt's attendance by 50%. 

(sidebar) Pitt is trying to lower the buyout and fire him for cause. I don't think it'll work, and they'll probably pay him the entire 9.4 million (Thanks Scott Barnes for that last parting gift) but I guess on their end they think it's worth a try. The Louisville incident wasn't a great look.  He also is rumored to have cancelled recruiting visits to go to his son's baseball games. Heck there was a picture of him floating around today of him sleeping while he was scouting a game. So it seemed clear he wasn't very into his job if those things are in fact true. (sidebar over)


Pitt made an easy choice to fire him.  He was hired under shady circumstances. He underwhelmed in year one with a team that had four starters back. He ran off nearly the entire roster. He replace the roster with under qualified players. He lost to bad teams in the non-conference, he lost to every team in conference.  The team never showed improvement. The recruiting isn't there at all for next year either. There was no signs it was getting better.  It made all the sense in the world to cut bait with the guy now.  Giving him a third year wouldn't have made sense.

I still think Stallings caught some over the top hate from the very beginning.  But he didn't have an impossible job to do. So you can't let him off the hook because a few fans never warmed up to him. He just wasn't doing a very good job. 

Pitt should try to hire a guy like Thad Matta if it can, but at the same time, I think any coach not named Kevin Stallings will appease the fan base for the next few years at least. 

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Re: College Hoops

Postby knowitall » March 10th, 2018, 5:30 am

Boston College was 7-9 in the ACC this season.  It went winless two years ago.  The bar has been set for the new Pitt coach.  If Kevin Stallings was nearing the end when he was hired I would hope that Thad Matta is not the next coach seeing how he is past the end and apparently can barely walk, sit or stand.  I suppose it’s good that Pitt fans aren’t yearning for Dave Wannstedt to be hired for this job.


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