Poll question: Who will be Pitt's leading scorer next season? Lamar Patterson (0%) Tray Woodall (0%) Steve Adams
(0%) J.J. Moore (100%)
CW BOB: let's say a year or two from now kentucky's national title is vacated and I end up winning my poll by picking uk. Would my win also be vacated and if so what would be protocol on the winnings?
Ray Fittipaldo: Take the money and run. Go on take the money and run.
CW jory: was jim boeheim as big of a jerk as everyone says he is when he was in pittsburgh
Ray Fittipaldo: He definitely got on his soapbox and spouted off about subjects when he wasn't even asked about them. I kind of enjoy him in small doses, but I can see how people get sick of his antics. And by the way, if not for a miraculous comeback by Louisville last weekend, my prediction about no Big East teams making the Final four would have been correct.
one eyed mike: do you think gibbs has officially quit on the team
Ray Fittipaldo: Gibbs sat out the game Wednesday night because of an injury to his right ankle. Not sure if he'll play tomorrow night. Quit is a harsh word to apply in this situation. I think he got frustrated early on because the pieces around him were not the same as previous season. I think he saw it was going nowhere, and I think he got a little selfish at certain times throughout the season. He was and still is a bad defender. But I wouldn't say he quit.
Gary Chicago: how in the world did louisville make the final four. i've watched them all year and they always struck me as average
Ray Fittipaldo: That team does one thing well and it's play defense. Pitino has his guards pressure, and they force turnovers. And they're good in the half-court, too, on defense. Just goes to show how fickle the tournament can be. There is no way this Louisville team is as good as four or five of the teams Jamie has coached at Pitt, but to Pitino's credit he is a great coach in the tournament and knows how to win. But you're right. This team isn't very impressive. I think Kentucky wins by 15 or so Saturday night.
steigerdogs: in all seriousness if pitt wins this thing on friday will steve pederson have a cermony like the villanova game last year and hang up the banner and will it be the cover of the media guide for next year
Ray Fittipaldo: I think the banner (if there is one) or the trophy will end up the same place as the trophy for the City Game -- in a closet in the sports information office somewhere. I haven't asked about that, but I cannot imagine anyone associated with the team wanting to be reminded of Pitt's participation in the tournament after 10 p.m. Friday.
HEF: is there anything to the rumors of either b knight or antigua with the duquesne job
Ray Fittipaldo: My source tells me Antigua is interested, but as of earlier this week Duquesne had not yet reached out. Haven't heard Knight's name at all. Brandin is still pretty young and could probably use some more seasoning.
Dennis: who's been the most improved player on the team
Ray Fittipaldo: I assume you're asking about the games in the CBI. If that's the case I'll go with Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson. Jamie Dixon made a good point last night. He noted how Zanna has been productive for most part the whole season, but he has been hamstrung by foul trouble. Dixon said he has learned how not to foul, and it has helped his productivity. Patterson has been good all season, albeit a bit inconsistent. Now in these CBI games he's taking the important shots, the offense is being run through him. It's obvious they have high hopes for him next season. He can be a Brad Wanamaker type of player I think.
Dennis: is wvu heading for a year like the one pitt had this year
Ray Fittipaldo: I don't think so. Huggins actually had it worse than Dixon this season, and he still managed to make the NCAA tournament. The difference was he had a guy like Kevin Jones to carry the younger players. Pitt had Ashton Gibbs, but we all know that didn't work out. Yeah, I know Huggins loses Jones, but he had some guys sitting out as transfers this season, and they should be ready to step in and play at a high level next season. Not sure how that will translate in the Big 12, but it can't be more difficult than the Big East. Huggins can coach. As long as he is there, the Mountaineers will be fine.
patt: does pitt plan on playing anyone besides duquense at consol next year
Ray Fittipaldo: Not sure yet. I know Dixon has told me he will never play a Big East opponent there. He thinks the Petersen Events Center home court advantage is too good (before this season obviously). I guess it depends if Pitt is in the Big East/SEC Invitational again. A game like that versus, say, Kentucky would draw well. Maybe even against a team like Florida. But with Pitt moving to the ACC, I don't know if the Big East will have the Panthers fill a slot in that invitational or not. As you'll remember, Pitt played Tennessee at Consol last season in the Big East/SEC event.
What about bob: How good do you think woodall could be next year
Ray Fittipaldo: Woodall will be a big key. I think he's fine as a scorer and shooter. He's not a very good penetrator, however. And he turns the ball over way too much. And he's not a good defender, average at best. I think Pitt can be an NCAA team with him as the point guard, but he'll need help around him. Guys like Adams have to be ready to play, and Patterson and JJ Moore have to take the next step in their development.
Vinnie and Cook 93.7: You know for how bad of a season it's been pitt's still won 20 games do you think people are overreacting a little bit this season
Ray Fittipaldo: This team was 5-13 in the Big East after being ranked in the preseason top 10. It's not like the cupboard was bare. Dixon had two three-year starters returning, an experienced point guard in Woodall. Where he was let down was by injuries and players like Dante Taylor and Isaiah Epps not panning out. The great thing about college basketball is the blame is easily placed. It's all on the head coach. He's the person who is doing the recruiting. There is no GM. So no, I don't think there was an overreaction this season. Dixon has set extremely high expectations by winning as often as he did in his first eight season. Everyone is allowed to have an off year, but that doesn't mean he or the program cannot be critiqued.
Vinnie and Cook 93.7: why does notre dame lose early every year in the big dance and do you think uconn is heading towards a big shakeup with the ncaa penalties and calhouns potential retirement
Ray Fittipaldo: Well, Oriakhi already transferred out. I am very surprised a recruit like Omar Calhoun ( a guy Pitt recruited hard since his freshman year) would commit to UConn with everything that was swirling around that program. I guess that's what winning national titles does for you. It puts deodorant on the problems, but it doesn't make them go away. I would imagine there would be more transfers after Oriakhi. Plus, Jeremy Lamb is likely headed for the NBA, so yes UConn is in for a rebuilding period. As for Notre Dame, I think Mike Brey gets the absolute most out of his talent. He's like Dixon. He's not recruiting McDonald's All-Americans, but he gets good players, coaches them up in his system and wins every year. The NCAA tournament is a crap shoot sometimes. They kind of blew that game vs. Xavier. I don't have a good reason for them struggling in the NCAA tournament anymore than I do for Pitt. I guess it all comes back to having NBA type of talent. Most of the time that's what you need for a deep run in the tournament.
Vinnie and Cook 93.7: why hasn't gilbert played more
Ray Fittipaldo: The only reason I can imagine is Dixon does not feel like he is ready. But the question I keep coming back to is: How much worse can he be than Taylor? And wouldn't he benefit from playing more than Taylor considering what you see with Taylor is pretty much what you're going to get? I'm with you. I'd like to see him play more, but it's a moot point now. The season will be over tomorrow night.
Ray Fittipaldo: Thanks for all the good questions this week. I'll do one final chat next week, wrapping up the season that was and looking ahead to next season. Enjoy the Final Four games. And if Pitt wins tomorrow night, I'll try to get that banner question answered for you guys.
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