PITT Basketball: A Sinking Ship?

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I know the title may have gotten your attention and may be a little harsh considering it is Kevin Stallings first season at the helm.  But, when you talk to most PITT fans you would think the ship was sinking and there is no way to right it.

But, this was not a good basketball team even last season.  Jamie Dixon’s recruiting was below average and he was starting to rely on graduate transfers to help the program rather than building the team with recruiting and a player improving each year for all 4 years they were with the program.  Now, could that be because the pressure of being a top tier Head Coach was getting to Dixon, Maybe?  But, the way he recruited his last 3 years at PITT we all should of saw this downturn coming.

When Kevin Stallings was hired to the dismay of a majority of Panthers fans because of the false reports of Sean Miller being in the Pittsburgh area.  He was already coming into the program fighting an uphill battle with the fans and then add on the fact his team was not very good.  The cabinets were not bare, but they were aging with very little young talent left in them.

Stallings has 2 NBA caliber talents on this roster in Michael Young and Jamel Artis and that led to a part of the fan base believing they can sneak into the NCAA Tournament, if not at least get an NIT berth.

Then you look beyond those two and you see Cameron Johnson and Ryan Luther who are still young, raw basketball talents.  This season was still going to be a learning season for the two of them and unfortunately for Luther, most of the ACC season he was sidelined with an injury.  You could tell it was still a learning year for Johnson as well because he was very inconsistent at the start of the season, but lately he has started to prove that he will be a key player for PITT the rest of his career, especially from beyond the arc.

Ok, so PITT has 2 NBA caliber players, 2 promising young stars and who else?  Well, that’s it and they don’t have a true point guard or center either.  Justice Kithcart could have been the point guard of the future, but as we found out today Kithcart was dismissed from the PITT Basketball team for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

For the full PG story go here: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2017/03/03/pitt-panthers-justice-kithcart-dismissed-kevin-stallings/stories/201703030209

As we saw many times this year, Jamel Artis was not who you wanted bringing the ball up in late, key moments of games.  A