Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Q&A for November 3rd

By Chris Dokish

This will be kind of a short Q&A because I have been on the road for the last month and I haven't had time to read all the questions, but I just got back yesterday and wanted to give any readers at least something to read. And, don't worry, I have been keeping constant contact with all of my sources throughout and I have missed nothing.

Q: What's the status with J.J. Moore, Mo Walker, and Durand Johnson?

A: Louisville has been the favorite for Moore for a long time and I haven't seen anything that would change that right now, though Moore is in today and that could always change things. The reason you see such a push for Johnson recently was because they knew getting Moore was far from a sure thing. But they love Johnson, too. He is a great shooter, plus he is Pitt tough. He just needs to add some size. From what I hear, I think the staff thinks they could get Johnson, but are waiting to see what Moore does first. Something may happen with Moore today that will make Pitt make a move. Either he says he wants to come to Pitt or Pitt will move on to Johnson. As for Walker, he is still waiting things out.

Q: You said before that the staff wanted Nasir Robinson as a SF and not a PF, but it seems like he played more PF at the beginning. What gives?

A: Well, for now they want Taylor at center and Dwight Miller has been ill. But Miller has been cleared to play again and will get more of a look on Sunday. The staff still prefers Robinson play at the three, but the four position is hurting a bit right now so they have to make do with what they have.

Q: Is it safe to assume that Talib Zanna will redshirt?

A: Not necessarily. He has been banged up, but they plan on getting him some time on Sunday to see where he's at in his development.

Q: Travon Woodall and Ashton Gibbs played the point mostly against Slippery Rock. Where does that leave Chase Adams? Is Woodall going to be the starting point guard at the beginning of the season?

A: Adams is still very much in the point guard race from what I was told and people shouldn't read too much into the early season. Woodall is a player that they want to see where he stands so he is basically getting a tryout.

Q: A few months ago you had Adams or Woodall starting at the point, Jermaine Dixon at SG, Taylor at center, Miller at PF, and Brad Wanamaker at SF. Do you still see that?

A: There is way too much emphasis on the starting lineup this year because it will change often, but I still think those players will get the most minutes at those positions, with Gibbs obviously getting a ton of minutes also.

Q: Is there reason to worry about the team struggling against Slippery Rock?

A: It makes me laugh how so many fans were raving for months about the job that Jamie Dixon will do with this team, then after one preseason game they are already talking about NIT. There will be growing pains with this team. They will surprise with huge wins and they will surprise with a few bad losses. But as the season progresses, they fully expect to find a few pretty good players develop along the way and battle for an NCAA spot.

Q: Is Dante Taylor going to play at power forward or center, and do you think he will start?

A: He will start at center, or at the very least come in the game early and get the majority of the minutes there. If he eventually proves he can play at the more demanding four, and they have nobody else there that can handle that spot, you could also see him go there and start Gary McGhee at center. But Taylor will be seeing more minutes than McGhee this year. He's a McDonald's All-American that just scored 27 points in his first game. I find it astounding that there are fans who doubt him.



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