Monday, November 17, 2008

Come on Kieran!

On Page 2 of, Kieran Darcy writes an article "Sixty-five reasons why this college hoops season will rock". Darcy has an entertaining post stating some of the more obvious reasons (that have been stated 5,000 times) this season should be fun, and some other reasons (such as the competitiveness of the Ivy League race, between last years champ Cornell, an up and coming Harvard squad led by Tommy Amaker, and an improved Penn squad). Although, he should have cut out the 30 some odd statements that everyone has been making (such as the Big East is the best conference this year). For the most part I thought Darcy put together a good list. One enormous exception Kieran: Numero 17. on the list. It reads as follows:

17. Once again, Pitt has no superstars.
Yet once again, the Panthers are one
of the top teams in the country.

Yes, the people of Pittsburgh appreciate how their blue-collar Panthers, make the most of their talents and outwork, outhustle, and weardown their opponents. But this year the no-superstar label doesn't fit. Yes, Sam Young is a gym-rat, a relentless worker, whom Jamie Dixon said has slept nights in the gym so that he could maximize workout time. Young is a guy who used to have bad knee problems because he worked so much on his game he was wearing his joints down. The soft spoken Young doesn't get enough credit for what he does. He may not be the media darling that Tyler Hansborough is, and he certainly won't cry because he gets a bloody nose. But the passion is there, the work ethic is there, and the talent is there. Young possesses the explosiveness and athleticism to become a lottery pick. So, Kieran Darcy, Sam Young is a superstar and deserves some credit. The reigning BE tournament MVP is looking to take his game to another level this year after another grinding offseason. I look for Young to overtake Harangody as the player of the year in the league. But, even if Kieran forgot Young for some unknown reason, the Panthers are eqiupped with other stars. Enter Dejuan Blair and Levance Fields. Fields's performance in the NCAA tournament alone merits superstar status (21 pt average), throw in a season 3.0 assist to turnover ratio (this would be good for fourth nationally had Fields played enough games) and clutch 3 point winner vs. Duke at the Garden and I think its fair to call Fields a superstar in the college game. Lastly, Dejuan Blair is the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year. Given that the 6'7" manchild has had an offseason in a college strength and conditioning program he will be primed for a huge season. So Kieran, yes, the Panthers will grind it out, they will dive for the loose balls, they will out work other teams. However, this year should be different for the Panthers. This year they have superstars, in fact they have 3 of them. Their stats may vary at times and some may shine brighter at times. That is only because the ball will have to spread around. But don't be fooled, Kieran. The rest of the country is referring to them as Pitt's BIG THREE because they are in fact superstars.

Addition to the above:
I wrote Kieran an email explaining why I disagreed with his comment and outlined reasons as to why Young is a superstar. I received the following reply "You’re right, Sam Young’s a very good player – just don’t see him as a superstar. But I could be wrong. I meant it as a compliment – Pitt never seems to bring in the huge-name recruit, yet they’re consistently top 10 it seems year after year."
I acknowledge it was meant as a compliment, but I believe Young deserves more credit. He is a superstar and just because he isn't in the media eye constantly doesn't mean he isn't. Being a high profile recruit doesn't merit superstar status. I hope Kieran keeps an eye on Young this year because he is as big of a star as you'll find in the Big East.


  1. Couldn't agree with you more, great post here. Hail to Pitt!

  2. Kieran is a shmohawk. He will be singing a different tune in a couple months. I know its early in his career but I am really excited about Jermaine Dixon as well.

  3. I thought a shmohawk was a bad driver?

  4. I was watching ESPN this morning before Penn and Drexel started there 10am game? Anyways, Andy Katz (I think it was Katz, it was early) and another analyst I am not sure who it was were picking their all-America team and final four teams. The other analyst picked Young as a first team all-American. So it is nice to see some giving him credit. I know it means nothing now, but if some people are picking him as a pre-season All-American, than he should be considered a super star. On a side note, both Katz and the other analyst picked Pitt as a final four team.

  5. haha you are right anonymous (or should i say ted danson?). Its great to see Levance Fields back on the court and healthy. He is such a difference maker. When he is on the court Pitt is 54-12. After 2 games this year he has 20 assists to only 1 turnover and is averaging 13.5 ppg. I know its early but if he keeps up that pace and leads this team to the final four do you think he will be considered for All American?

  6. Miami coach Charlie Coles after the game:

    Coles was asked which Top 10 team he liked better, UCLA or Pitt. He wouldn’t say initially but then changed his mind the longer he talked.

    “Dixon, boy, did he have a game? That’s what we weren’t counting on,” Coles said. “That hurt us. The front line? Whoa, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt. It would appear Pitt is a little bit better. They’re a Top 10 team and I don’t know who would be a whole lot better. They’re strong and physical — they’re not dirty — but they’re physical and they enjoy playing together. And they’re good.”

  7. First time that I've seen our Panthers play this year. I have to say, they looked good. I was especially excited about their quickness. Although some of those young guards made mistakes, they looked very quick. I like what Dixon is doing with the more agressive defensive approach with more double teams. Reminds me of the pressure that UCLA gave Pitt trouble with 2 years ago in the tournament. No matter what happens, I think we have a very exciting team this year.

  8. Sam are you a Umass fan? Minuteman? But yes I agree with your comments. I like the in your face D, a little like Carolina who looks impressive tonight. Kentucky also looks like garbage.