Pitt still in prime position to earn an NCAA Tournament berth


By John Perrotto Pitt would like to think it is back on track after nearly veering off course and out of the top 25. The Panthers have won two straight games following a stretch where they lost four of five and put themselves on the brink of going of the biggest surprises in the country this season to one of the biggest disappointments. The Pirates beat Seton Hall 83-58 on Saturday then dusted and Robert Morris 77-53 on Monday in a pair of home games after dropping Big East games to Georgetown, Seton Hall, South Florida and West Virginia during its cold spell. “I thought we played well in both games,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We moved the ball well. We shot the ball better. It was two good wins against quality teams that are playing well. I think Robert Morris will win its league (the Northeast Conference) andRead More »

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.

NCAA BB: Mountaineers await decision from top basketball recruit


Mountaineers vying for Tobias Harris 6-foot-8 Forward Tobias Harris (Dix Hills, NY), a 5-star recruit and the No. 7 rated player according to ESPN ScoutsINC, will announce his college decision on Thursday, November 19th. Harris made an official visit to West Virginia on November 10th and the Mountaineers are among the front runners to land Harris. Other schools vying for Harris include, Maryland, Syracuse, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Louisville. *On Wednesday, the Mountaineers received a verbal commitment from 7-foot-1 center David Nyarsuk. Nyarsuk is regarded as a 3-star recruit.

Pitt, WVU basketball Coverage


Finally the Big East Schedule has started and TIOPS will begin picking up our coverage of Pitt and WVU. Pitt 1-0 in the Big East has a tough task ahead of them Saturday afternoon when they take on #8 Georgetown. This is a great game to start the new year for the Panthers and now the real games begin Pitt 13-0 and ranked #3 nationally, have been in this territory before. The difference this year is maybe they actually have a player who can take over a game in Sam Young. The Panthers inability to have a player on their roster that could take over a game in the NCAA tournament is the reason they have yet to get past the sweet 16 during the Howland/Dixon era. Young is showing signs that he is that player. Dejuan Blair looks much improved this year. He did a lot of weight trainingRead More »

2009 NFL Draft Rankings: OL


The Steelers will likely draft an offensive lineman with two of their first four picks in April’s draft. They could address the tackle, guard and center positions. CENTERS Rankings 1. Alex Mack- California, Sr (6-4 316 lbs)- Legit first rounder. I don‚Äôt see a way he gets past the Steelers (if he does fall that far) 2. Max Unger-Oregon, Sr (6-5 300 lbs) – Unger is a very athletic and intelligent player. 3. Jonathan Luigs-Arkansas, Sr (6-4 314 lbs) – Luigs had Felix Jones and Darren McFadden there last year to make him look like the best center in the country. Well he should have left Arkansas with them because there is no way he is passing Alex Mack and at this point he has fallen behind Unger as well. 4. Antoine Caldwell- Alabama, Sr (6-3 293 lbs) – He has had some character issues but they were very minor.Read More »