Scouting Report: No. 17 Pittsburgh @ No. 6 West Virginia; Dixon expected to play


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — The Pitt men’s basketball team could get a boost for its game against No. 6 West Virginia Wednesday night at 7 at the Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va., as senior guard Jermaine Dixon is expected to return after a one-game absence. Jermaine Dixon practiced Tuesday, the first time since he sprained his right ankle — the same foot he broke twice before the season began — early in the second half against St. John’s at home. Pittsburgh played without Dixon Sunday and lost at South Florida, the Panthers’ third in four games. Jermaine Dixon practiced Tuesday and is expected to play at WVU Wednesday night at 7 at the WVU Coliseum. “In our Conference, you have to play well every night, and you’ve got to play even better on the road to get a win,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “So, that’s what we’ve got toRead More »

Coaches Poll: Pitt falls to No. 21; WVU moves up to No. 6


The Pittsburgh Panthers (16-5) took a plunge in the coaches poll for the second straight week. Pitt fell four spots to No. 21 after a 1-1 week, defeating St. John’s 63-53 (1/28), and losing to South Florida 70-61 (1/31) Sunday afternoon on the road. Meanwhile, West Virginia continues their climb in the top 10 and have moved up three spots to No. 6 in the latest coaches poll. West Virginia beat DePaul 62-46 (1/26) and Louisville 77-74 (1/30) last week to improve to 17-3 on the season. Pitt and West Virginia meet Wednesday night for a Big East showdown.

Pitt gets back to their defensive ways in 63-53 win over St. John’s


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Its offense still sputtering along, the Pitt men’s basketball team returned to an old standby to secure a victory. Pittsburgh forced 15 turnovers and held St. John’s to 32.8-percent shooting from the field during a 63-53 Big East win Thursday night at the Petersen Events Center.

Former Pitt recruit hands Pittsburgh their second straight loss


The No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers (15-4) lost for the second straight game, losing to Seton Hall 64-61 Sunday afternoon. The Panthers who have been the talk of the Big East after a 5-0 start are now 5-2 in conference play after back-to-back losses. Pitt’s five-game road win streak was also snapped. Former Pitt recruit Herb Pope had 19 points and nine rebounds, leading Seton Hall to their biggest win in over four years since head coach Bobby Gonzalez took over at Seton Hall. Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 23 points but was 4-for-15 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3-point range. It was an off night for Gibbs who for his part was 14-for-14 at the free throw line. Jermaine Dixon added 11 points for Pitt as the Panthers only had two players score double-digit points. Pitt rebounded defensively after Wednesday’s lackluster performance but were not efficient in the offensiveRead More »

Georgetown hands Pittsburgh their first Big East loss


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — That thud heard emanating from Oakland was the Pitt men’s basketball team’s eight-game winning streak and undefeated start to the Big East season coming to an abrupt halt. Pittsburgh fought gamely, but in the end poor free-throw shooting and off games by key players — as well as hot shooting by opposing guard Chris Wright — led to Georgetown’s 74-66 win against the Panthers Wednesday night at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt falls to 15-3 overall, 5-1 in the Conference, while the Hoyas are 14-3 and 5-2. The Panthers, who were ranked ninth this week, also had their 31-straight home winning streak snapped and dropped to 125-11 overall and 51-10 against Big East opponents at the Pete. “We’re very disappointed in the outcome, because I thought we really could have played better,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “And I really haven’t felt that we’ve defendedRead More »

Pitt Hoops Insider: Pittsburgh-Georgetown Preview


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — While some wondered early this season whether the Pitt men’s basketball team would make a ninth straight NCAA Tournament or have to settle for the NIT, the Panthers have played so well lately that they’re on the verge of setting a record for the program. No. 9 Pittsburgh (15-2) has won eight straight and 11 of 12 overall, but the Panthers are going for a 6-0 Big East start for the first time. Pitt faces No. 12 Georgetown (13-3, 4-2) Wednesday night at 7 at the Petersen Events Center. This is the 73rd matchup in the all-time series that the Hoyas lead 39-33, but Pitt has won three straight and is 3-1 home. The Panthers and Georgetown have met in two of the past three Big East Tournament title games. “They’re a tough team to guard, so we have to do a good job onRead More »

TIOPS Newswire: NHL, NFL & MLB news and notes


Daily installment on the latest buzz in the NHL, NFL, MLB and the college ranks National Football League ***The New York Jets magical run in the 2010 playoffs continued Sunday afternoon as the Jets stunned the 7 point favorite San Diego Chargers. The Jets knocked off the Chargers 17-14 to advance to the AFC title game for a rematch with the Indianapolis Colts who laid down in week 16, resting starters against the Jets. For the Chargers, it was an another disappointing playoff run. Among the most talented teams in the NFL, there has always been something missing. Despite Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez throwing for a measly 100 yards, the Jets played dominate defense and exposed the Chargers run defense. The Chargers last lost prior to Sunday’s 17-14 defeat was against Pittsburgh in week 5 when Rashard Mendenhall torched the Chargers defense, rushing for 165 yards. While the Jets haveRead More »

No. 16 Pittsburgh beats Louisville 82-77 in overtime


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — It’s been said that this year’s Pitt men’s basketball team certainly is better than the sum of its parts, but a different one of those individual parts was instrumental in keeping the Panthers’ unblemished in the Big East. Sophomore Nasir Robinson tallied a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 16 Pittsburgh to a heart-stopping 82-77 overtime win against Louisville in a Big East Conference matchup Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center. “Outside of a game against Duke with Christian Laetner (a 104-103 Duke win against Kentucky in the NCAA East Regional, March 28, 1992), this was the worst loss that I’ve experienced from a team playing so well and putting itself in a position to win,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “I thought we executed terrific, but in overtime we did things we didn’t do the entire game. We needed toRead More »

Pitt exceeding expectations after what was supposed to be a rebuilding year


By John Perrotto Pitt, without question, has been one of college basketball’s biggest surprises this season. The Panthers were unranked and expected to finish in the middle of the Big East pack at the beginning of the season. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for coach Jamie Dixon after losing four starters from a team that reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and came within a whisker of advancing to the Final Four before losing to Villanova. Yet, Pitt will take a 14-2 overall record and a 4-0 conference mark into its game with Louisville (12-5, 3-1) on Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center. Each of the Panthers’ last three games have resulted in conference road victories as they have beaten Syracuse, Cincinnati and Connecticut. “This team has been interesting in that it has improved so much from the start of the year,” Dixon said.Read More »

Panthers (14-2, 4-0) put together another impressive road victory


The No. 16 Pittsburgh Panthers put together another impressive road victory Wednesday night, defeating No. 15 Connecticut 67-57. The Panthers (14-2) won for the seventh straight time and improved their record to 4-0 in the Big East. After a nine day layoff between games, following two key road wins against Syracuse and Cincinnati, Pittsburgh didn’t lose any of their momentum. Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs each scored 19 points and the young Panthers have a swagger about them. Pittsburgh dominated on the boards, out-rebounding Connecticut 40-31, including 26-13 in the second half. “We out rebounded them by 13 in second half, and clearly that was the difference, ” head coach Jamie Dixon said. Pitt is playing Jamie Dixon type of basketball in the defensive end and on the boards but are playing more of an up-tempo style in the offensive zone that suits the athleticism they have on the outside.Read More »