Saturday, January 03, 2009


January 3, 2009

The marquee Big East game of the day gets off to an early start as Pittsburgh travels to meet Georgetown for a noon tip-off. Pittsburgh is the lone undefeated Big East team left and the third-ranked Panthers will be putting that mark on the line against the 8th-rated Hoyas on Saturday.

Here are some of the game stories and previews found on the web this morning:

Pitt's Wanamaker Makes His Move (Tribune-Review)
Whole at the Center (Washington Post)
Jury (well, Me) Still Out on Pitt (FoxSports.com)
The Court Gets Heats when Pitt Plays Rival Georgetown (Post-Gazette)
Pitt’s Young Hopes to Finally Win at ‘Home’ (Tribune-Review)
Early Big East Edge at Stake (Washington Times)
Monroe Making it Look Easy (Wash. Times)

Pittsburgh will be playing their third consecutive road game on Saturday, following wins at Florida State (56-48) and at Rutgers (78-72), which opened Big East play for the Panthers.

The win over the Scarlet Knights was a true team effort as Pitt got a career high from Brad Wanamaker (15 points) as the Panther bench picked up the slack with DeJuan Blair having an off game. Blair averages 13.7 points a game and 12.1 rebounds, even after the game with Rutgers in which he played just 8 minutes.

Seniors Sam Young and Levance Fields have been through the Big East battles over the years and were key performers in Pitt’s Big East Tournament championship run last season that included a win over Georgetown in the finals. Young had 18 in the win over RU and leads the Panthers in scoring at near 20 a game in his senior season. Fields is still rounding into top shape following a foot injury that kept him out of the entire preseason. He is also on the verge of a personal milestone, entering the game with 996 career points.

The Hoyas are in the midst of a brutal stretch of games that began with Monday’s impressive defeat of Connecticut in Hartford. The Hoyas led from start to finish with freshman Greg Monroe completely neutralizing 7’3 Hasheem Thabeet.

After their game with Pittsburgh, Georgetown will meet Notre Dame on Monday night, completing a run of three top-10 match-ups in a week’s time.

In the win over UConn, DaJuan Summers had a team-high 18 points and Monroe and Chris Wright each added an efficient 16 a piece. The Hoyas have lost just once this season, on a neutral floor against Tennessee and have some revenge on their mind for the two losses they suffered to Pitt last year, including the Big East finale.

It is a heavyweight match-up to kick start your Saturday of hoops with two teams certain to be in your March Madness betting pools. The Hoyas are a 3 1/2-point favorite in this contest.


Georgetown 68
Pittsburgh 65



At 9:48 AM, Blogger rkohberger said...

Doke - it's good to see you in print again.

Hey, it really is how you state the PITT football program, and personally, that's good enough for me.

I'd love to see us have as many wins as possible up on the scoreboard - and I was happy with the way things played out this season. In some ways it could have been better, and in some ways worse, but it was exciting and fun to watch. Which, truth be told, is why I follow the team. If it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it.

I try to put things in perspective when discussing PITT football, and the truth of the matter is that we are not, and probably never will be, an 'elite' football program. There are many reasons for that, but the one that I feel is the strongest is that the PITT administration isn't that concerned about it. I don't necessarily disagree with that either.

Football at PITT has been, and always will be, a supplement to other, more important aspects of the University's missions. When we were 'elite' in the late '70s and early '80s we caught lightning in a bottle, and was the beneficiary of some very good WPA recruiting (I believe the WPA players are, for the most part, overrated at this point in time) and of some great coaching. Our schedules were pretty easy back then also IMO. That was a convergence of positive things to get those good years. The football landscape has changed since then.

So, I don't think we'll see that again anytime soon, if ever. We'll do what we have done over the last 50 years - hit some peaks and valleys but overall be an average to good football team in the long run.

I do think we are in for a good run now though, and this season was certainly a nice one. Were we 'elite'? No, but really, I don't care. We did well, the team won games, the kids played their hearts out, and we fans had a lot to observe and talk about. For a hobby, which football is to me, it was a great year of interesting times.


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