Big Lead Sports Bar



Down goes Pitt: It was bound to happen sooner or later, but the Pitt Panthers finally lost their third game of the season by a count of 74-66 to the 12th ranked Georgetown Hoyas. It was only the 11th loss all-time for Pitt at The Pete, where they are now 10-3 against ranked opponents.

While the Hoyas' Greg Monroe did have a double-double, putting up 13 and 11, the bigger problem for Pitt was guard Chris Wright, who dropped 27 on the Panthers. The Hoya defense locked down Pitt for a four-minute stretch late in the second half, blanking the Panthers from the 7:48 mark until the 3:48 mark, when Gilbert Brown hit two free throws.

Pitt was led by Brown's career-high 20 points, but Jermaine Dixon was the only other Panther to score in double digits, finishing with 14. Brad Wanamaker grabbed 13 boards and had five points, with seven assists. Leading scorer Ashton Gibbs was held to just eight points, less than half his season average.

It was not the best of nights for the Pitt guards, who struggled en route to an 11-for-39 shooting night. Gibbs was the coldest of the cold, at 3-16, while Wanamaker was 4-for-12 and Dixon 4-for-11. The Panthers were also cold at the line, shooting just 58% on 17 chances, well below their 68% season average. And beyond the arc was equally poor, as the Panthers were just 4-for-18 (22%).

Pitt tries to get back in the W column on Sunday with a 2 PM game at Seton Hall. The Pirates feature Herb Pope, the well-traveled 6'8" forward from Aliquippa who is averaging 12.4 PPG and 11.4 RPG. [ESPN]

Dotel officially a Pirate
: The long flirtation of Neal Huntington and Octavio Dotel has finally been consummated in a one-year contract, with a club option for 2011. His salary is expected to be in the $3 million range, which sadly makes him the Pirates' most expensive free agent signing by far this offseason. [PBC Blog]

Bucs attend Ben Sheets session: If he used to be a star and is now in the big-league equivalent of Big Lots, odds are the Pirates will take a look, which they did on Tuesday with the oft-injured 31-year-old. He hit 92 on the gun, but the Buccos are not expecting to join in the bidding. That sure was fun while it lasted. [MLB Trade Rumors]

Ben declined Pro Bowl invite: OK, so Ben Roethlisberger actually WAS invited to the Pro Bowl ahead of Matt Schaub and declined the invitation based on a recommendation to rest his shoulder. That information would've been helpful had I known it before boo-hooing on Ben's behalf yesterday, but them's the breaks. [KDKA]

Pitt players accept All-Star invites: Unlike Big Ben, four former Pitt Panthers have accepted offers to play in postseason all-star games.

DL Tommie Duhart, who actually finished his career at Valdosta State after parting ways with the Panthers this spring, will be playing in the Texas vs. The Nation game on February 6 in El Paso, Texas.

TE Dorin Dickerson is headed for the Senior Bowl on January 30; CB Aaron Berry will represent the Panthers at the East-West Shrine Game on January 23, joined there by TE Nate Byham. Maybe now that he's moved on, Wanny will learn his name and stop calling him "Nate Bynam". [, PG]

More accolades for Dion Lewis
: The freshman sensation was just named as the Breakout Player of the Year by Yahoo's Dr. Saturday blog. As the article reminds us, the only other schools to offer Lewis a scholarship were Tulane and Miami (OH). What can be said, other than Lewis' case being a loss for college scouts everywhere and a huge, ginormous win for Wanny. [Dr. Saturday]

Tumpkin out, Getsy in at Pitt: Proving that the Steelers aren't the only team in town capable of coaching changes, the Pitt Panthers have some pending moves with their staff as well.

LB coach Joe Tumpkin is likely headed to Central Michigan to become their defensive coordinator, so the Wannstache will have a hole to fill there. But another vacancy, that of offensive grad assistant, is going to be manned by former QB Luke Getsy, who was with the 49ers in 2007 when Frank Cignetti was their OC.

Much like Joe Flacco, Getsy was a one-time Pitt QB who moved on for playing time after being beaten out for the starting job by Tyler Palko. Getsy was a four-year starting QB at Steel Valley HS, which is also the alma mater of one Charlie Batch. [Redshirt Diaries]

Everything you ever wanted to know about the McMutrie sisters: Jamie and Ali McMutrie are undoubtedly the biggest story in Pittsburgh these days, and their Haitian orphan story was the most-searched term on Yahoo last night. Pittsburgh Magazine happened to do a lengthy story on the saintly sisters back in January of 2009, and it is definitely worth your clickage. [Pittsburgh Magazine]

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BurressWithButterflywings said...

Tough loss for Pitt, that will happen when you get out shot from 3 point land that badly. G-Town played smothering defense as well.

Anybody check out Smizik's blog today about the NHL and the Olympics. I don't understand how he can honestly deny his disdain for the NHL, it is so blatant.

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

Hoya Saxa baby! Good luck to the Panthers the rest of the way...see you guys in Madison Square Garden in a few weeks -- hopefully in the Big East Finals.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

That's basketball. Some nights your shots don't fall and the other guy's do.

Brown looked like an absolute beast for portions of the game at least. Too bad Robinson got in foul trouble early too.

Chip said...

Good for Ben. He didn't deserve that Pro Bowl invite so it's better to let the more worthy player go instead. Besides, if you're gonna fake an injury and sit out the most important game of the year, why not do it for the most meaningless?

And I'm going to go ahead and say it: The McMutrie Sisters are really fine. Not just Pittsburgh-hot. Like hot-hot.