Big Lead Sports Bar

1/16/2008

"The Mosh Pitt"

--Pitt beats Georgetown 69-60
Not long after the Dayton Flyers ran through Pitt in the worst loss of the Jamie Dixon era, Sam Young was asked when Pitt would feel comfortable again as a team. "I don't know" was all he could muster. That night, experts and fans alike began writing the '08 Panthers eulogy before the Big East schedule even began.
Fast Forward to Monday night. With Fields and Cook looking on (Levance, you need to get yourself a Pitt or Oakland Zoo t-shirt, stat), the Panthers took care of the visiting Georgetown Hoyas in a game in which Pitt never trailed. Ask Sam Young that same question after Monday night and I'm sure he'd have an answer.
DeJuan Blair has become a force inside. It's nice to see a big man make lay-ups (I'm looking at you, Aaron Gray). His contribution to this team can not be understated. Sam Young has averaged 18 points per game, as he continues to blossom into an NBA talent in front of our eyes. Ronald Ramon is coming around. His shoulder seems to be bothering him less, he's regained his touch, at least for the last couple games.
And if anyone has stepped up and filled the shoes of Fields, it's been Keith Benjamin. In the last 5 games, he's averaged more points (17) than Fields did in his 5 games leading up to Dayton (14.6). More importantly, he's freed up Ramon to play his natural position, which, as we found out, is not at the point. The depth on the bench has become less of a weakness with solid playfrom Gilbert Brown and Brad Wanamaker.
I can honestly say I never thought I'd have to say those words during their freshman seasons, but a lack of guards on this team is a glaring vulnerability. Look, Pitt is not out of the woods yet. The Big East schedule is still daunting. Because of the nature of Pitt's physical play, it's not out of the realm of possibility that one of the players listed above will find himself sitting next to Cook and Fields. But if they can stay healthy, and Fields can rejoin the team for a stretch run, all will be well. Then, we can organize some sort of Mondesi's House field trip to Madison Square Garden for the annual run at the Big East Championship. Then and there, Mr. Young, I think you'll find your answer. Pitt will feel comfortable again, where we, as Pitt fans find comfort most. Playing in the Big East championship and losing to a mid-major team in the sweet 16.
--Pitt Girls crack the top 25
I know what you're all thinking...girls play basketball? Well, apparently they do at Pitt. And apparently they're not half bad. But temper your enthusiasm: they play #5 Rutgers, #15 Notre Dame, #14 West Virginia and #1 UConn in 4 out of 5 games starting on Feb 2nd. If anyone wishes me to write regularly about the women at Pitt, I'll make a deal with you: if they can win any 3 of those games, I will follow them through the tourney at the end of the season and report on what I see. Sans sarcasm.
--Some dude who follows college football too closely ranks Pitt (pre-signing day, mind you) #22
Mark Schlabach of ESPN decided that he would waste my insufficiently alloted web surfing time at work and make available an article listing his very early season top 25 for 2008. He put Pitt at #22. Hooray!
Kidding aside, It's nice to see Shady McCoy get some love. 1,328 yards this season, and he was a freshman with more heart than LaRodStephens-Howling will ever show. I see a Curtis Martin-like career for this kid. Derek Kinder will be back next season, which will help the progression of Pat Bostick, and more importantly will instill some confidence in the coaching staff to open up the offensive playbook a little more. IfI have to hear Wanny tell the press that Pitt needs to "simplify" the offense again, I'm going to cry. Like a baby. Is that what you want Dave? Loyal fans to have to watch your press conference with a box of tissues handy?
--Notes
After getting in a few last visits to Ohio State and Michigan, Terrelle Pryor will be forced to make a decision to either defect to the Big 10 or Pac10 or stay at home with a Big East squad, namely Pitt, by February 6th. The best recruiting job for Pitt so far was the crowd chanting his name at the Georgetown vs. Pitt basketball game Monday night. Pitt would immediately be a conference favorite by landing the highly sought-after Pryor in next year's wide open Big East.
I'm thinking about naming this portion of my column something other than "Notes"...possibly "Weekend at Wanny's," or "Livin' la Vida Dixon." Your thoughts and suggestions in the comments, please. I'd also like you loyal readers of Mondesi's House to send emails to me with tips, suggestions, thoughts or insults. I'm thinking of calling that section "The Jason Mailbag"
--My fiance and I have tentatively decided on Heinz Chapel for our wedding on October 4th of this year. She nearly subsequently broke off the engagement after I suggested that the wedding colors would be Royal Blue and Gold. Apparently she isn't as much of a fan as me, or her father for that matter. My future father-in-law, Paul Liberati, was inducted into the Pitt Athletic Hall of Fame a few years back. He was recognized as one of the best soccer players in the storied history of the Pitt program. It's a foregone conclusion where the kids will end up going to college.
OK guys and gals. I'm out of here. Until next week, Hail to Pitt.

11 comments:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

whoarethesepeopleshouse.com

TheStarterWife said...

A Heinz Chapel wedding? Did your bride have to do the thing where you stand in line and hope to get a date?

Operation Shutdown said...

The standing in line thing was brutal. Name calling, hair pulling... and the girls weren't much better.

Adam said...

Gilbert Brown is a starter now, he no longer comes off the bench. Coming off the bench is Wannamaker, Biggs and McGhee. If Ramon or Benjamin get into serious foul trouble Pitt will have a tough time winning. Biggs has been very solid of late though, which has been nice.

And Ronald Ramon has still been playing the point, I don't know when you have seen him go back to the 2. Ramon has improved dramatically at the point over the last 3 games, playing his best game there against Georgetown.

Other than that pretty good article.

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

I've heard some rumors that Bostick may redshirt next year because Wanny has so many QBs coming in this year's recruiting class and Stull is returning from injury.

Operation Shutdown said...

I haven't heard that. The QB's who have intentions on coming to Pitt are not the blue chip recruits you would expect to bring in and immediately place in front of Bostick or Stull on the depth chart. I'm not sure there's an argument to be made about holding on to a year of eligibility for Bostick as opposed to Z. Stoudt or G. Cross.

Big fan of Dukes Court, by the way.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

What happened to Penn State Adam?

Anyways, wouldn't it be wise to TRY and redshirt Bostick and put Stull and the JC transfer (I forget his name) ahead of him on the depth chart?

You can still burn his redshirt if one of those two gets hurt and/or sucks that bad.

What about Dorin Dickerson redhirting? I've heard rumors about that too.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

BTW, Pryor explicitly stated in an article I read in the Tribune-Review this morning that is definitely, 1,000,000% NOT going to Pitt.

He said he wants to play in a college town where 100,000 people go to the games every weekend.

Kendalls_Spittoon said...

Does anyone else care that Zack Stoudt is Cliff Stoudt's son (Pittsburgh Steelers). The Cliff Stoudt who was booed off of the Three Rivers Stadium's astro-concrete as a Steeler only to return in the form of a Pittsburgh Mauler to subsequently get booed off the field again... Let's just say, the same could happen for Zack. Ouch..

As for Wanny... This is a make or break year for the 'Stache. All recruiting stats aside... if Pitt doesn't make a bowl game this season, he is done. I'm not sure how good that actually is because the new AD, I mean old AD...ahh I mean old/new/current AD might bring in Bill Callahan, and that would...suck

PS. I love you Pat

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

That poor Stoudt kill will be killed when he throws his first INT. As Pitt fans, we can only hope that Wanny recruits Scott Campbell's kid to back him up.

Anyone else hear the rumor about Pryor and his girlfriend and why he may wanna stay close to home??

Penn State Adam was sent to the Schumann Detention Center.

Kendalls_Spittoon said...

The main question here is: If Pryor rolls the dice and commits to Pitt, will Wanny and Cav change the offense to play to his strengths?

More importantly, who is going to be the D - Coordinator for the Panthers? I'm pulling for Sal Sunseri. The PPG had an interesting take on the situation this morning naming Tom Bradley (PSU D Coordinator) as a candidate for the position. The paper mentioned something about a possible promotion if he joins the Panthers...not sure what that means, but all I can think of is what if Wanny gets canned after this season then Pitt could easily promote Bradley into the position.


ps. MLB pitchers and catchers report soon, the Pirates are simply waiting for anyone who can throw and catch to report to camp.