PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to break down Pitt’s opening round NCAA Tournament loss to Wichita State, and to offer his expectations for the program as it heads to the ACC.
He explained that the Panthers just weren’t ready to compete in the game.
“They weren’t mentally prepared to play,” DeCourcy said. “It’s not like they had never seen a great defensive team before. They did not have great belief in themselves. I didn’t think they played with any particular confidence. I thought that they were sloppy in the way they handled themselves.”
He does feel, though, that people expect a little too much out of Pitt’s current group of players.
“They’ve got good players,” DeCourcy said. “With the exception of Adams, who has the potential to be great, they don’t have any great players at all.”
He doesn’t a reason that coach Jamie Dixon would suddenly want to bolt for another job, but he didn’t rule out the possibility.
“A lot of the things that kept him in Pittsburgh are still in place, and that’s to Pitt’s advantage,” DeCourcy said. “But I do think that he will give it some thought.
He thinks Dixon’s system isn’t necessarily the problem, and is more concerned about Pitt’s ability to draw the sort of talent that a program needs to be truly elite.
“The system can work,” DeCourcy said. “If you give them DeJuan Blair and Sam Young again, then they’re going to be right there to win it. But it’s not easy to find those guys. There haven’t been more than a handful of high-major basketball players from [Pittsburgh] in the last fifteen years.”
He expects this problem to only get worse once Pitt heads to the ACC.
“I think, over time, they’re going to have more trouble competing in basketball than they have over the last ten years,” Decourcy said. “If you’re in Washington, DC., Pitt’s a wonderful place, but why would you go there?”
The interview can be heard here: