Ray Fittipaldo: I think the CBI folks wanted to make it a different tournament from the NCAA and the NIT so they came up with the idea of a championship series. Yes, it's on TV. It's on HDNet. Not sure if I get the channel, though. I have Comcast and I went through all of my channels last night and didn't see it. I don't know why Pitt got home-court advantage.
Ray Fittipaldo: I'll be up at Pitt practice toorrow so I'll try to get an answer on the home-court thing...
chicago_pitt_fan: do you think pitt is benefitting from playing in this at all?
Ray Fittipaldo: I have mixed feelings about it. When I spoke with Steve Pederson the day after the CBI invite was accepted one of the things he mentioned was how this was a young team and how it will benefit the younger players. Later in the day, I asked Jamie about playing younger guys more minutes and he seemed to indicate that would, though he gave no promises or well-defined answer on the allocation of minutes. For me personally, it was an easier sell if the young guys got more experience. But since that's not happening anymore than it did during the regular season I have a hard time believing this is anything more than an exercise in beating very mediocre low- to mid-major opponents for the sake of beating them. Then again, we knew they could do that in November, too, right?
Its only a game: Gibbs and Robinson were 1 for 16 last night. Is Jamie giving his younger players more minutes?
Ray Fittipaldo: I looked at the box score last night and it wasn't much different from what we had seen during the regular season. Moore is getting good minutes off the bench as is Zanna. John Johnson and Wright seem to be earn their minutes game to game. Gilbert didn't play at all unless I overlooked it in the box score. I'd like to see more GIlbert because I think he has more upside than Taylor. I guess Jamie has a reason for not playing him, though.
Ray Fittipaldo: One more thing about playing time. It's fairly obvious that JJ Moore is the team's best offensive player now. And even if you don't want to say that, he will be next season. So I have no idea why you don't see what a starting lineup might look like with him in there. When not start him at small forward and Lamar at power forward if that has a chance of happening next season?
chicago_pitt_fan: i completely agree with you about the cbi and younger players, so why wouldn't jamie give them minutes? does it really matter to win the cbi?
Ray Fittipaldo: I guess part of it you want to win the thing. Maybe Dixon doesn't think his younger players are good enough to beat these teams. Or maybe he has too much respect for Gibbs and Robinson and even Taylor to sit them at the expense of younger guys. I get that to an extent. But I think there's a way to play the older guys and still cut their minutes in a way that's not offensive to them.
chicago_pitt_fan: any prediction on the big east-big ten matchups tonite?
Ray Fittipaldo: I like Michigan State over Louisville even though this is not one of Tom Izzo's better teams. I still think it's good enough to beat the Cards, who were awful in that game vs. Pitt late in the season in Louisville. Pitt was a bad Big East team and absolutely handed the game to the Cards on a silver platter. Maybe they're better now, but how much better? Refresh my memory on the other matchups...
Ray Fittipaldo: I like Syracuse. I think there's something to be said for feeding off the negativity that has been around that team all season. It's an us against the world mentality that Boeheim has fostered and it worked in the first two NCAA games. I know that team is dsyfunctional and probably won't make the Final Four, but I question where Wisconsin has enough scoring power to beat them.
chicago_pitt_fan: maohio st-cincy
Ray Fittipaldo: I loved Ohio State's team when I saw the Buckeyes at Consol. Sullinger is as advertised and Thomas is really good, too. Plus they have Craft running the show and Buford on his side in the backcourt. I like the Buckeyes to get to the Final Fur. Very impressed with them in person, much moreso than watching on TV.
Yonco: Managed to watch the game last night. Even though JJ didn't start, he played what seemed like "starter minutes." Does it seem like the proverbial "light" has finally gone on for him?
Ray Fittipaldo: Yeah, it does seem that has happened. When JJ started to come on late in the season I wrote a story about that happening with Sam Young late in his sophomore season. I'm not saying Moore will be Young, but I think people feel a little better about next season with him coming into his own in February and March...And how did you watch the game? I don't think I get HDNet on Comast.
chicago_pitt_fan: i think marquette is only big east school still standing after tonite
Ray Fittipaldo: I voted for Buzz Williams for AP national coach of the year. Love the way he has his team consistently playing at a high level every season. I don't think the Golden Eagles are good enough to make the Final Four, but he gets a lot out of what he has to work with. Kind of like what Jamie used to do with Pitt.
Yonco: I understand this thing is not the most important thing in the world, but seems like a rematch against Butler warranted at least an article, even if by a stringer, in the paper...
Ray Fittipaldo: We had a game story from a stringer in today's paper. Did you have a hard time finding it on the web page?
Yonco: Any idea what specific things they're working on in practice? They really struggled with inbounds plays last night, so I wonder whether they are skipping the basics...
Ray Fittipaldo: Jamie is just coaching them like he always does, trying to get them better in all areas. He felt like they were finally getting healthy late in the season and wanted to keep playing because he feels like they underachieved to some degree.
Yonco: Ashton really seemed completely uninterested last night. Hard to understand why he needs any minutes right now...
Ray Fittipaldo: I'd play him, but I wouldn't play him 30-32 minutes a game.
Yonco: Any idea why JJ Moore stopped wearing a headband? His surge in good play seems to have coincided roughly with the sartorial transition.
Ray Fittipaldo: I have to believe there is a connection...By the same token, why did Ashton stop wearing those leggins from last season? Maybe a connection there too. LOL
Yonco: What's better for a team, winning something like this or losing a first round game like the Pacific game in Boise?
Ray Fittipaldo: I still think making the NCAA tournament does more for your schools even when you lose in the first round. It's better for recruiting and exposure and confidence within t he program. No matter what took place before this season those players coming back are going to have some self doubt until next season starts and they win some big games again.
Yonco: In the post-game interview, Jamie seemed to pull a con game. He kept saying how this was good for his young guys, but he talked all about Lamar and JJ and Talib, all of whom played a lot during the season already...
Ray Fittipaldo: Well, in that regard it is better for them to play against other teams than sitting around Oakland and feeling miserable about not being in the NCAA tournament. I'd just like to see more of Gilbert and Johnson and Wright because they presumably will have roles on the team next season, and they could benefit from being put in some pressure situations.
Yonco: I'm a DirecTV subscriber, it's channel 306 there. Live out of town, so I need my NFL Sunday Ticket!
Ray Fittipaldo: I might switch to DirecTV. Comcast raised my prices again.
Yonco: I assume you're not heading out to Pullman. Which I get. But seems like, by that logic, you shouldn't cover most of the November/ December games either, no?
Ray Fittipaldo: We're hiring a stringer for the game at Washington State. We cover Pitt every game home and on the road except for his tournament, which is only five years old and quite frankly not taken very seriously by anyone in college basketball. Some of the Big 12 reporters who were at Consol over the weekend said there is an unwritten rule that Big 12 teams won't play in the CBI because it's too embarrassing. I think you have to look at the situation.
Yonco: I thought I saw Gilbert in for like 1 minute, so he didn't sit the whole time! See, that one minute could be crucial going forward.
Yonco: Do you think ACC for 2013-14 season is 100% lock at this point?
Ray Fittipaldo: 99 percent certain it will happen for 2013-14. One more season in the Big East and that's it.
Yonco: Thanks for the time, Ray, I am sorry to monopolize. You're the best!
Yonco: I'm out of ammo for this week, Ray. Can't wait for the Best of 3 next week!
Ray Fittipaldo: Me too!
chicago_pitt_fan: over/under on attendence for game 2, no way there is more than 5k, right?
Ray Fittipaldo: Well, it was 1449 for the first one and then around 2000 for the second. I'll guess 2,500 unless they give away free pizza to students or something goofy like that to draw fans in.
chicago_pitt_fan: last question, when does steve adams arrive on campus?
Ray Fittipaldo: He'll be here in June for the first session of summer school unless there is a hiccup with his grades from prep school.
Ray Fittipaldo: OK, thanks for taking part. Maybe we'll be talking about a CBI banner being lifted to the Pete rafters next week at this time! Same time next week.
|< Prev||Next >|