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Thread: KP Report: Battle of Attrition -- WF at Pitt -- Tuesday March 2 6 pm ACCN

  1. #1

    KP Report: Battle of Attrition -- WF at Pitt -- Tuesday March 2 6 pm ACCN

    Our Deacs stagger into the final week of the season to face the depleted Pitt Panthers. FWIW, two weeks ago, WF had steadily risen up KP the rankings to #109 after the OT loss at FSU. Didn't realize that would be the high point of the season, but after 4 losses by an average of 23 ppg, WF has dropped to #157 (just behind vaunted programs like #156 UMBC and #155 Drexel - both with basketball budgets less than 25% of WF's). Ouch. Here is the breakdown of the Panthers, who have also had their season crater recently:

    The Pitt season: On January 23, Pitt played WF sitting 8-2 (4-1 - second in the ACC) fresh off a signature 6 point win over Duke. Well, the following month+ has not been kind to the Panthers as Pitt lost to WF as part of a ongoing 1-8 run to drop to 9-10 (5-9). Currently, Pitt is rated #81. Unlike the Deacs, despite the consistent Panther string of losses, Pitt has been competitive (only one conference loss has been by more than 10 points). Yesterday, minus their second and third best players, Pitt hung with NC State in Raleigh, losing by 3. The big news for Pitt was last week's decision of starting PG Xavier Johnson (14 ppg; 5 apg) and SF Au'Diese Toney (14 ppg; 5 rpg) to bolt the program and enter the transfer portal with games still left on the schedule. As result, the Deacs will be facing a lean and inexperienced Panther squad tomorrow.

    The line-up: Against State, the Panthers started:

    6-5 Fr. Femi Odukale - New starting PG; played more than 30 minutes for the first time yesterday (38 minutes) and scored a career 18 points; poor shooter 22% from 2
    6-3 So. Ithiel Horton - Delaware transfer; struggling recently (27% FG% over the last 4 games); has scored in double figures 7 times this year
    6-4 Sr. Nike Sibande - Miami (O) transfer; not a shooter (8 threes on the season; 28% from 2 on the season); only played 11 games all year, but logged 36 and 38 minutes in the last two
    6-6 So. Justin Champagnie - ACC POY candidate; leads Pitt in minutes, points and rebounds; struggled from 3 recently (1 for 14 in February); double digit scorer in every game;
    6-8 So. Abdoul Karim Coulibaly - can't score; his only double digit scoring game came against.... um... WF; not a great rebounder for his size

    Off the bench: The loss of Johnson and Toney has led to more minutes for the guys on the end of the Panther bench, such as:

    6-10 Sr. Terrell Brown - averaged less than 10 minutes and 3 ppg, but played 33 minutes and scored 11 and grabbed 11 boards against State
    6-7 Fr. William Jeffress - was a DNP coaches decision six times over the last 9 games heading into State, but played 19 minutes scored 3 points and grabbed 2 boards; 17% from 3
    6-5 So. Gerald Drumgoole - was a DNP coaches decision in every game, but one since December, played 5 minutes against State; can't score

    Analytics: Analytics don't really matter to preview in the WF/Pitt game because the numbers are largely based on the minutes played by and the Panther style of play using Xavier Johnson and Au'Diese Toney over 93% of Pitt's schedule; they are gone. Of relevant note, in the first game without those two, Pitt and State played at slow tempo (65 possessions), and Pitt DOMINATED State on the boards out rebounding the Pack 45 to 31; Pitt also essentially ignored the three point shot; shooting only 10 for the game and making only 3. Without Johnson and Toney, Pitt is bigger, and they play slow/half-court game as they pound the ball inside.

    Bottom Line: KP projects a 74-65 Pitt win, but that projection is based on numbers generated with Johnson and Toney. On the flip-side, WF is in free fall and only attracts action from masochists at this point. FWIW, the under in this game appears to be the call. The total is not going to be the 139 projected by KP, but if its 134 or higher, it's an auto-play. WF has AVERAGED 51 points per game over its last 4, and no one on this team has shooter's confidence right now. Pitt has lost their 2nd and 3rd leading scorers, and is playing a different style. Also, outside of Champagnie (who's offense has dipped), no one else on Pitt's roster can be considered a consistent scorer. Finally, Pitt can't shoot the 3 right now, and WF has had a string of opponents that have been unconscious from outside the arc. To avoid getting killed on the boards, WF is going to need Ody to stay out of foul trouble, and everyone is going to have help on the boards. Yes, WF basketball has hit the wall, but Pitt has WON a single game since January 19, and their PG has never had to close out a game (BTW, Odukale is a horrendous FT shooter; 49% on the season). If WF is getting 8+ ATS, given the style of play and lack of experience of the Pitt roster, I will take the Deacs. Yes, I need help.

    For those that like to tout about how the ACC is down, tomorrow's game should be Exhibit A. This is going to be low-level rock fight.
    Last edited by Pilchard; 03-01-2021 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Iíll be watching because I hate myself.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by WRS View Post
    Iíll be watching because I hate myself.
    https://www.ogboards.com/forums/show...-off-this-fall

    Join me brother and save yourself.
    boorish ruffian

  4. #4
    Sam "Ace" Rothstein
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    Pitt played basically 6 players last night.

    We'll have an extra day of rest relative to the Panthers.

    Another game I am likely to not wager on. Expecting us to lose bigly again, but Pitt is so undermanned right now that I can't justify taking their side.

  5. #5
    Steve Lepore
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    Pitt will have some motivation as they would be highly embarrassed losing twice to us. Have no good feelings about this game.

  6. #6
    Sam "Ace" Rothstein
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    Forbes spoke this morning about Wake recently running into teams with something to play for... Here we have a game where Pitt has basically packed it in. Let's see if we get a different result.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacsATS View Post
    Forbes spoke this morning about Wake recently running into teams with something to play for... Here we have a game where Pitt has basically packed it in. Let's see if we get a different result.
    Wish I could hear the context of that. Iím sure itís not as LOWF as it sounds. But if our players arenít tired of being cellar-dwellers and using that as motivation to match the other teamís motivation, then they all need to move on.

    And I love Forbes still but I hope he removes the phrase ďWe keep running into teams with something to play forĒ from the excuse playbook.

    Again, it sounds much more like something the previous two coaches wouldíve said, so I suspect seeing it out of context isnít allowing me to see the full picture.

  8. #8
    If we win, that gives us 4 ACC wins...Most fans were expecting 4/5 ACC wins this season based on the cards we were dealt. Just sayin

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeacDaddy View Post
    Wish I could hear the context of that. Iím sure itís not as LOWF as it sounds. But if our players arenít tired of being cellar-dwellers and using that as motivation to match the other teamís motivation, then they all need to move on.

    And I love Forbes still but I hope he removes the phrase ďWe keep running into teams with something to play forĒ from the excuse playbook.

    Again, it sounds much more like something the previous two coaches wouldíve said, so I suspect seeing it out of context isnít allowing me to see the full picture.
    He mentioned this in the VT post game, but it was in the context of all the things going wrong, so one of many factors.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacDaddy View Post
    Wish I could hear the context of that. Iím sure itís not as LOWF as it sounds. But if our players arenít tired of being cellar-dwellers and using that as motivation to match the other teamís motivation, then they all need to move on.

    And I love Forbes still but I hope he removes the phrase ďWe keep running into teams with something to play forĒ from the excuse playbook.

    Again, it sounds much more like something the previous two coaches wouldíve said, so I suspect seeing it out of context isnít allowing me to see the full picture.
    This was the full question and answer -- definitely more to it than "we're playing teams that have something to play for."

    I know this might be wrecked a little bit by recent results, but looking at what you thought this season would look like for your team and what it's actually looked like, what's played out the way you wanted it to and what hasn't?

    I think weíve gotta be realistic and we beat Longwood by seven and we beat Catawba by nine. So it wasnít like we had any prerequisite going into the ACC that we were going to win the league, by no means.
    I really liked where we were at up until after the Florida State game. I thought we were very competitive. You know me, I hate moral victories. Iím not into that, and I had a lot of people trying to tell me that.
    And I understand it, I do. But I just Ė I didnít want that thought process to ever be in our playersí heads.

    But realistically, we were in every game, we played really hard. But then, you know, weíve hit the wall here.

    What happens in February, guys, and I said it a little bit after the game, is you have teams that have an air of desperation to them in February.
    And Iíve typically been on that side of the fence where youíre playing for something. So youíre playing (with) something to prove, youíre trying to get in the NCAA tournament, you have this air of desperation, you play really hard and you Ė I thought thatís the way Ė
    If I had closed my eyes in the game, I could hear Virginia Tech communicating, I could hear them running up and down the court, I could hear them running their offense. I didnít have to look.

    That is what Iím talking about. We donít have that. And thatís on me. Thatís on me.
    But we have played teams that are playing for something. Carolina [**I think he means Duke**], Clemson, Virginia Tech Ö N.C. State has played well. And so, thatís probably been the biggest thing.
    Plus, like I tell my team, other teams scout too. Weíre not the only (team) that watches tape. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of our team, and so they take them away.
    And so, youíre exposed.

    I think weíre going through that some, too. Weíre pretty limited on a lot of things that we can do. Thatís no disrespect to my players.
    Itís just who we are. Weíve gotta make 3s. Well, the other team knows that, they take it away. They make us put the ball on the floor and we only have probably three guys that can really do that effectively.
    Then we turn the ball over at a high rate. We have one guy, really, that can score with his back to the basket. And teams can switch us one-through-five because theyíre not really afraid of the matchup.

    Iím not saying anything that you donít know, that Jeff Capel donít know, that Brad Brownell donít know. And so, how do you fix it? Thatís what weíre trying to do.
    The thing that Iíve failed the most as a coach is Iíve failed to get my team to understand just because your shot is not going in doesnít mean you canít win and you canít affect the team in different ways.
    We have too many players that equate success with scoring. Thatís on me. Iíve done a poor job of teaching them that defense and rebounding win championships.
    And defense and rebounding travel on the road, not just scoring.

    I think thatís kind of where weíre at, if you take an honest assessment and really, truthfully look in the mirror of where weíre at.


    If you've made it all the way down here: Preview for subscribers on tonight's game.

  12. #12
    Sam "Ace" Rothstein
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    Yeah, I wasn't saying Forbes was making excuses... I was just pointing out that we haven't matched the intensity of our opponents over the last couple of weeks (and that he also mentioned it).

    Forbes talks about the "air of desperation"... Pitt shouldn't have that. If we get stomped tonight, it'll be hugely disappointing because Pitt is in many ways in a worse situation than we are. But it is also easy to mail it in on the road, so we'll see.

  13. #13
    Sam "Ace" Rothstein
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    PITT -6 at my book, FWIW.

  14. #14
    Banhammer'd
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeacsATS View Post
    PITT -6 at my book, FWIW.
    Come on, think of it from the Wake POV
    Westgate +5.5
    Wynn's +5

  15. #15
    Gonna be a BATTLE for sure! Riveting.

  16. #16
    Broderick Hicks
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    Get. Your. Tickets.

    This ought to be a fun one, on the Ocho!

  17. #17
    "Smart" money is on WF as the line opened at 7, and it has dropped to 5 (even 4.5 at some places). Tested betting adage is that you have to bet the trash to win ATS in the long run, and WF currently qualifies off of 4 blow-out losses.

    FWIW, the total opened at 138 and is down to 136.

  18. #18
    If youíre a competitor, you always have something to play for. Pride.
    Doesnít matter where you are in the standings. Go out, play hard and smart and try your best to win the damn game.

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  20. #20
    If FSU had not scored in the last 6 seconds of the game, I think we would be looking at a different past two weeks. The guys put in a tremendous effort for 39 minutes and 54 seconds, only to see it wasted in the last six seconds.

    I think a lot of motivation went away at that point. The tired legs became that much more tired as the brains followed the legs rather than the motivated brain pushing tired legs to give just a little more.

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