Cold as Zeise: Odds at trey zeigler landing at Pitt?
Ray Fittipaldo: First off, love the tag line. Zeigler is visiting this weekend. I guess a lot of it will depend on how Pitt sells his role next season if he is eligible. I have been told the coaching staff sees his as a shooting guard. So I am sure they'll tell him he'll be the starter there. And quite truthfully, Dixon needs an upgrade at shooting guard. Both John Johnson and Cameron Wright had multiple opportunities to start there tihs year, and neither grabbed hold of that opportunity. Let's remember, though, that Zeigler also has options with Duke and UCLA. Duke is in a mini-rebuilding mode, too.
93.7 poni Express: Better postseason tournament: NHL playoffs or NCAA tournament?
Ray Fittipaldo: Two of my favorite sporting events of the year along with the Super Bowl and NFL playoffs. I love the NCAA tournament, but the NHL playoffs but top it just by a little. There is a rhythm to the NHL playoffs with the games every other day (for the most part). There are ebbs and flows. As much as I enjoy the NCAA tournament it is a crapshoot to some extent. In a best-of-seven series, the best teams wins almost always, save for the rare goaltender stealing a series here and there. Can't wait for next week.
steigerdogs: I"ve heard of Jamie Dixon to tcu rumors, i'm assuming they are total bs can you confirm
Ray Fittipaldo: You ruined it, steigerdogs. I thought I had just gone through an entire March and early April without hearing about any Jamie Dixon coaching carousel rumors...Don't pay any attention to that rumor.
Cold as Zeise: When you do your final ap poll how do you weigh what teams do in the tournament vs regular season ie duke and missouri vs ohio
Ray Fittipaldo: The AP poll is different for football and basketball. For the AP football poll, they ask you to file your final poll minutes after the BCS title game. In basketball, the final poll is the one before the NCAA tournament starts. So my final poll -- and everyone else who votes -- was based on teams' performances after the conference tournaments.
Cold as Zeise: Was Zanna's emergence during the cbi attributed to weaker competition or actual improvement
Ray Fittipaldo: I wrote about this on my blog, but I'll give you the same recap here. I was much more enthused about Patterson's emergence in the CBI than I was Zanna's. For one, Patterson had a different role. The offense was being run through him on occasion. He was the guy who was getting the ball in late-game situations. He was taking the last shot. With Zanna, he put up good numbers in November and December, but he was not as consistent in Big East games. I forget the exact number of games, but Zanna went something like 17 games in a row without reaching double figures in scoring until he did it in the CBI. I'm not down on Zanna, but I do want to see him perform on a more conssitent basis. And until he does that, I'll have questions as to whether he can be someone the team can count on.
Cold as Zeise: After watching the tournament it seems like most of the games come down to the wire, how big of a factor has it been for pitt not having a closer like sam young or dejuan blair these couple of years and can you see anyone becoming that type of closer next year
Ray Fittipaldo: Well, Patterson did pretty well in that role in the CBI. He made a big 3-pointer when the Panthers were down by three with 36 seconds left in the Butler semifinal game. Pitt won in overtime. In Game 1 of the championship series vs. Wash State, he took the last shot, a desperation 3-pointer. He missed, but it was on line. Then in Game 2, he nailed the winning jumper with a little over a minute left after Wash State tied the score late. Woodall did it fairly well last season, but he did not do well at all when looked to for big plays this year. Maybe someone else will emerge like a JJ Moore, but I'd say Patterson is the guy who will be in that situation, at least at the beginning of the season.
Mike Pillsbury: I know it's easy to rip on Taylor, but is he even good enough to be a role player on a top 25 team?
Ray Fittipaldo: Valid question. It's actually a fairly important role given the way centers get into foul trouble. It's especially tough on freshmen centers like Steve Adams to learn how to stay out of foul trouble, so Taylor or Gilbert will have to be at least adequate next season. But if Taylor cannot do it well enough I am sure Dixon will just turn to Malcolm Gilbert for that role. If Taylor proves capable, I think Gilbert could get redshirted. We'll see what happens. There's a long way to go between now and November.
Sean Connery: I think you've seen that espn has ranked pitt as "on the cusp" of preseason top 25 for next year. I'm a huge pitt fan, but I don't think we deserve to be that high whats your take. And as much as i dig the egg When are you going to update your twitter picture?
Ray Fittipaldo: Gotta do the twitter picture soon...I'm sure Andy Katz was taking into consideration that Steve Adams is regarded as one of the top five players entering college basketball next season. I think all of our projections for next season assume he'll be an impact player. I think Adams has to average around 10 points and seven rebounds per game if Pitt is going to return to the NCAA tournament. But you're right. Based on who is coming back without taking the freshman class into consideration, there are some big questions marks.
Matt: Hindsight being 20/20, was there a benefit to being in the CBI?
Ray Fittipaldo: I think for a guy like Patterson, yes, that experience could be invaluable. But let's put it this way, I don't think you'll be hearing Jamie Dixon saying during a news conference next January that Pitt is doing better because of the CBI.
Upone: Hey Ray, Just how good will James Robinson be? Can he contribute immediately like BK and Levance did?
Ray Fittipaldo: He's ranked higher than those two guys, so there are expectations. But Knight had to play early. Levance was a role player his first year and saw his role become bigger as the season wore on. That could be the case with Robinson. Woodall will be the point guard, but I could see a scenario where Robinson is playing a bigger role by season's end if he is ready to take that on.
Cold as Zeise: Would the NBA increasing the minimum age by one or two years hurt pitt in the long run since they haven't been able to recruit a ton of nba talent.
Ray Fittipaldo: I don't think the NBA is going to do that. I read an interview with David Stern recently that basically said the NBA isn't going to do that because the NBA players association would want something in return, and I don't think Stern is very eager to give anything back to the players to get that accomplished. But if it did happen, certainly the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world would have it easier.
Upone: I think patience with Cameron Wright will pay dividends but not sure about John Johnson, think Johnson will be Epped next season?
Ray Fittipaldo: Johnson's problem is he can't play any defense. For a freshman, he was a good offensive player and can get better. But playing defense is all about effort and paying attention to detail, wanting to be good. He has to show that he wants to do that. Wright is the opposite of Johnson. He is a good defender, but can't play any offense. Is it any wonder Jamie Dixon is out there looking to recruit a shooting guard to start next season?
Matt: Starting 5 in 2012?
Ray Fittipaldo: As the roster is currently constructed, I'll go with Woodall, Patterson, Moore, Zanna and Adams. If Dixon is able to land Trey Zeigler, I'll go with Woodall, Zeigler, Patterson, Zanna and Adams. But with the latter, Moore would play a lot at small forward and Patterson a lot at power forward. How bout you?
Yonco: Thanks so much for everything, Ray. Have to admit I kinda enjoyed the year, I guess because I'm an insane junkie. I am a Duke alum (although a Pitt lifer) and follow Duke blogs, etc. pretty closely. Interest in Zeigler does not seem to be very strong at all on Duke's part, I must say... There are a bunch of kids who kind of fill the same role on that team, inlcuding one who redshirted this past season. I think Pitt has a good shot.
Ray Fittipaldo: Forgot to mention earlier that Trey was here for four years as a grade schooler. Was here thrugh sixth grade in the North Allegheny school district. Mike White reported that on his blog this morning. I am sure Trey has some nice memories of his time in Pittsburgh. In talking to some people at Pitt this week they remember him running around the Pete as a little kid.
Cold as Zeise: How much stock should we put into players performances at the green tree summer league?
Ray Fittipaldo: It's nice to go out there and see how a guy plays, but it is pickup basketball. There is no structure. It's not worthless, but I wouldn't put much stock into it. You can certainly tell who is a player and who is not. I remember watching TJ McConnell play out there when he was a high school senior and it was obvious he belonged on the same court as Pitt players. For stuff like that, it's good to watch. But as far as how players play within a system it's not good at all because there are no systems and virtually no coaching.
Upone: Ray what ever became of Jaron Brown and Levon Kendall? They were great contributors! Thanks for your good work Ray!
Ray Fittipaldo: I believe Jaron is coaching high school basketball in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. I haven't heard about Kendall in quite some time. He might be playing overseas somewhere, but he had a lot of other interests as well. He was a very different guy. Good guy but not your typical college basketball player.
Yonco: Did NZ qualify for the Olympics, do you know? And if so, will Adams be playing?
Ray Fittipaldo: Adams will be here in June getting acclimated to Pitt and college basketball.
Cold as Zeise: Should Jamie of benched nas after air balling that 3 in the cbi title game (ala andrew bynum). i thought that was ridiculous
Ray Fittipaldo: Nas actually took three 3-pointers in the CBI championship series. He made both of his other attempts in Games 1 and 2. Honestly, I don't think Nas cared at that point, and Dixon wasn't going to say anything to him.
Yonco: Epps played a few minutes in the Butler game, so I didn't really think of Rivers playing so much as a slap in his face as it was a chance to play the kid in his last game as a senior. Meaning, I didn't think Jamie was saying he thought Rivers was the better player, but was doing it for other reasons. Did you see it as a direct shot at Epps?
Ray Fittipaldo: I saw Jamie playing Epps 16 minutes in the final 18 games as a direct shot at Epps...I also saw playing a walk-on ahead of him as a sign that he definitely was not coming back. But we all kind of had that figured out after the DePaul game, or shortly thereafter.
Thanks for all the great questions all season. Stay tuned to my Twitter account @rayfitt1 for all of the offseason happenings. The spring signing period begins next week, so we should have some news going on. Next chat in October.
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