Stallings Says Pitt Players Aren't Bad, It's Just The Generation

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team was involved in an old-fashioned shootout on Wednesday night against Marshall University. The Panthers survived the offensive outburst, but almost blew a 29-point lead in a 112-106 win.

Pitt head basketball coach Kevin Stallings joined “The Fan Morning Show” Thursday in his weekly spot to talk about the victory. Stallings voiced some concerns about the attitude some of his players have been taking to the games.

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“When you’re 21 or 22 years old, sometimes the wrong things matter,” said Stallings. “When I was 19 and 20 and 21 years old, I thought it was cool to be different, too. It’s part of the age of being that age and things mattering that shouldn’t matter. Without me getting any more specific, we’ve just got a guy or two that are happy to be different, rather as opposed to just concentrating on being great.”

Stallings says that even in the finite details during the game, he sees some of his players being a little too relaxed.

“It’s dangerous when you take the game for granted, that’s a dangerous place to be and when you’re young you don’t understand that,” said Stallings. “Whether it’s being casual at the foul line, or just little things that you notice, little nuances that you notice as a coach that, ‘Hey, I’m going to do something that I saw an NBA guy do last night in his free throw routine.’ You know, they think I’m not watching. Well, of course I see it. That’s what I mean, you’re going to be cool instead of being good or being great. It’s not because they’re bad kids, it’s the generation. It’s just my job to help them see why it’s more important to be really successful, as opposed to being maybe really cool.”

Stallings was grateful that Pitt build such a large lead against Marshall on Wednesday night and that his players played well enough to do so, but almost blowing that lead is never something a coach wants to see.

“Yeah it’s frustrating, it’s frustrating that we can’t keep people put down, but maybe we’re just not that good, maybe we’re not good enough to do that yet,” said Stallings. “I don’t know or maybe it’s a flaw in our competitive character, I’m not sure. But, at least we had the lead and we played awfully well for about 25 or 28 minutes.”

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Pitt will begin the ACC portion of its schedule in its next game at home Saturday at 2 p.m. against Notre Dame. Stallings cited that The Fighting Irish are No. 1 in the country in foul shooting at 85 percent on the year so far as a team, a number that Stallings has never seen before. That being said, he isn’t as worried about that as he is about his team’s defense overall.

“I’m not worried nearly as much about fouling them as I am just being able to contest them and stay in good positions,” said Stallings. “They have as good a passing team as maybe I’ve ever seen. They’re very, very skilled on offense, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us defensively, hopefully we can put some pressure on them with our offense and hopefully have a great crowd and it should be a great game.”

You can hear the entire interview with Stallings on “The Fan Morning Show” below.

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