Friday, May 29, 2009

Congratulations to Sedon

Pitt baseball isn't something that's discussed a lot (at least outside of baseball circles), but congratulations to Pitt 2B Chris Sedon, who was named as an NCAA All-American by Louisville Slugger.

Sedon became the third player in school history to earn Louisville Slugger First Team All-America honors, joining Jim Negrych (2006) and P.J. Hiser (2004).

“It’s such a great honor,” said Sedon. “Being an All-American is something you strive to achieve, and to be named to the first team along with some of the best players in the country is just awesome.”

Pirate fans might recognize Negrych's name as a minor-leaguer for the team.

Chris also set single-season records for Pitt in home runs (22), runs (65), and total bases (160). Not bad for a second baseman.

Again, congrats to Sedon on an outstanding achievement.

What 'Chu Talkin' Bout Willis?

That was the first thing I thought of when I saw that the Sporting News had picked Pitt to win the Big East and go to the Sugar Bowl this year.

From the Pittsburgh Panthers athletics site:

In its recently released annual college football yearbook, Sporting News has picked Pitt to win the Big East Conference and go BCS bowling in 2009.

“Dave Wannstedt has the personnel in place,” writes Sporting News, which predicts the Panthers will earn a visit to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

I guess it's not that far fetched, considering the successful season last year. But personally, I just don't see it happening. With QB still unstable coupled with the losses of key guys like Shady, McKillop, and Lee, I think it could be an uphill battle.

Certainly, the defense should be pretty solid and if they utilize Baldwin a bit more, anything is possible. But a LOT of work needs to be done.

TE Gets a Boost for 2010

Former Virginia Cavalier TE Andrew Devlin made it official - transferring to the University of Pittsburgh. He was moved to DE after a season at TE in which he had only three catches for 22 yards.

Unlike some other transfers, it sounds like he didn't have a problem with the school ...just it's system:

"I want to stress that I really liked my time at Virginia," Devlin said. "I loved my coaches. My teammates were great. But I couldn't be unhappy on the football field for three more years. Virginia runs the 3-4 [defense]. The two defensive ends who played last year were 290 and 285 pounds. I was playing a full 30 pounds lighter at the position. If you're light and you're going up against 330-pound tackles, it's not good.

"They tried to find a place for me to fit in, but I wanted to be happy playing football. I probably wouldn't have seen the field next season because of my weight. It didn't bother me to transfer because if I went somewhere else, I'd be sitting out anyway."

Hopefully things will be for the best for him. With the main TE's graduating, he should get quite a bit of playing time in 2010.

Devlin was previously a three-star recruit as ranked by Rivals.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

McCoy and Watters

Despite not being a first-round pick, McCoy is getting a lot of attention.

One guy he's been compared to, Ricky Watters, speaks out about him on

"LeSean has kind of renewed my interest in the game," said Watters, who donned an Eagles uniform from 1995 to 1997. "Everyone was talking about him. My cousins were saying, 'You have to check him out. You have to watch him, he is showing some of the moves that you had.' They know that always gets me excited because even more than teams, I am more about the players."

A second-team All-America selection in 2008, McCoy amassed 3,365 total yards from scrimmage and 36 total touchdowns in his two-year career at the University of Pittsburgh. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry in each of his two seasons, becoming just the third player in school history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing campaigns.

"I was trying my best to see every game he played at Pitt," said Watters, who currently makes his home in Orlando, Florida. "It's been great watching him play."

Meanwhile, Brian Bennett's blog Big East polls had a mild Pittsburgh flavor as fans thought Pitt would have the best defense in the league next year (tied with West Virginia) and that between McCoy and Donald Brown of UCONN, McCoy would be the harder player to replace.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is it Sinking in Yet?

Not sure. But one thing is clear - McKillop is now a Pro, having signed a contract a while back.

Scott always seemed well grounded, but this still struck me a bit:

Scott McKillop isn't ready to splurge.

"I bought a computer, but that's about it so far," said the former Pitt and Kiski Area star linebacker. "I'm not getting a car or anything like that. I am going to invest it in the bank."

Maybe it's just me...maybe the 'splurging' will come. But that's pretty disciplined - not even buying a car? I wonder how long that will last. Good for him - it seems like he's headed in the right direction.

I'm extremely curious to see what kind of pro he'll make. I think he'll be a solid 8-12 year player in the NFL, barring injury. Don't think he'll turn into a star, but then again, he proved everyone wrong on the college level.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Shavonte Zellous Honored

Former Pitt guard Shavonte Zellous will be honored in the women's basketball Hall of Fame Ring of Honor Section:

The Ring of Honor is one of the most popular displays in the Hall. It provides not only a colorful backdrop to the Hall of Fame’s numerous archives, but it is also used to recognize the achievements of young basketball players.

Representatives for the Hall say the Ring of Honor acts as a means to fulfill their mission to “honor the past, celebrate the present and promote the future” of women’s basketball.

Currently there are over 100 jerseys hanging in the Ring of Honor, including high school and college All-Americans from the 2007-08 season and the 2007 WNBA All-Stars.

Pretty impressive for the WNBA First-Round draft pick - congrats to Shavonte.

Minor Football Notes

Two minor football matters today:

Former Mt. Lebanon star Andrew Devlin is preparing to transfer to Pitt. With two guys at the position graduating (Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson), this move looks to make sense for him as he'll sit out next year.

Also, the other guy involved in the altercation with Adam Gunn, former Pitt player Austin Ransom, is looking to get out of a criminal record:

A former Pitt football player may avoid a criminal record after he was charged with taking a swing at a city police officer who was breaking up a scuffle earlier this month in Station Square.

Austin Ransom is set to go through the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program, which is for nonviolent, first-time offenders. If successfully completed, participants will have their public criminal history expunged.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

JoePa Backs Off

And seemingly as quick as it started, it ended just as quick...the request of Joe Paterno for the Big Ten to add another member, that is.

"Twice in recent weeks Paterno expressed his desire for the Big Ten to add a 12th team and a league championship game, which would end the regular season on the same weekend as the other five BCS conferences. He said Big Ten teams are at a competitive disadvantage by ending the regular season early, and the league loses relevancy during the long break before the bowl games.

Paterno took a less assertive position Tuesday at Big Ten meetings and expressed surprise that his initial remarks had created such a stir.

"I'm the newest guy in the league," Paterno said. "I've never been in a conference before. A guy like Delany that's been around the conference as long as he is, he's run this conference as long as he has, for me to come in here and tell him, 'Hey, Delany, this is what you've got to do,' I don't know.""

I don't know of anyone who took this seriously...especially Pitt being offered a spot in the conference. One coach isn't going to change things. There would have to be at least a handful of them to even get the conference to consider it.

Frankly, while a conference championship for football can help, I think it can hurt even more. Any team with a chance at playing for a National Championship has to go through one more hurdle. I know the arguments for them - keeps your team in front of the voters, could give a team another strong win, etc. I just think that in the world of college football where there's no playoff, if you're in a BCS conference, why run the risk of having an undefeated team lose a game, knocking them out of a potential championship? More times than not, if you're in a BCS conference and you go undefeated, you're going to play for the championship. Period.

Young Injured at Draft Workout

Sam Young got a little banged up in a workout for the Toronto Raptors.

Young, who is preparing for the June 25 NBA Draft, required a brief visit to a Toronto hospital but is expected to return to workouts later this week.

He was hurt while being tested for his vertical leap. He twisted his body as he leapt, and a screw on the vertical-leap pole pierced his left arm. Rather than risk tearing any muscle, the Raptors personnel removed the screw from the pole, left it in Young's arm and took him to the hospital to have it dislodged.

That sounds kind of painful, but it doesn't seem as if the injury is too serious. To me, the ironic part was Sam getting hurt on the vertical leap...if there's anything that he excels at, that's it.

More Trouble

The off-field issues continued with linebacker Adam Gunn drawing a suspension.

According to several sources, Gunn and former Pitt linebacker Austin Ransom knew the bouncers at the nightclub and jumped to the front of the line. When several people objected, a minor scuffle broke out and police quickly jumped in. Ransom allegedly punched one of the officers, and a Taser was used on Gunn, who was intoxicated and did not leave the scene in a timely manner.

Tasered? The article, mentioned that former Pitt player Austin Ransom threw a punch, but did not say that Gunn was physical. You'd almost think he would have had to be if he got tasered, but apparently not.

Look. I'm not going to shout gloom and doom, but in a year when Pitt could have trouble selling tickets, these off-field issues can't help their public relations. They're early enough in the year when they may be forgotten about by the Fall, but not a good thing...especially when two players such as Baldwin and Gunn are expected to be a big part of the team this year.

Seems like more trouble than normal this year...even Joe Pa thinks Pitt needs to reign in their players.

Gunn's hearing is set for May 21st.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More WR Troubles

When I first saw the headline that another Pitt receiver was in trouble, all I kept saying was, 'Please not Jonathan Baldwin, please not Jonathan Baldwin...'

So much for that.

Pitt sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was charged with a misdemeanor indecent assault as well as summary harassment and a summary disorderly conduct after an alleged incident on a campus shuttle bus involving a female student on April 19th.

I have no idea what will come of this, but I guess we'll know more later.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

University Tidbits

Freshman Center Pepper Wilson will be joining the USA Women's Under 19 Team. She was a rookie starter last year and a member of the Big East All Freshman team, leading the team in blocks and averaging about 7 points and 6 rebounds a game.

Former Pitt great and NFL player Jimbo Covert also gets an induction to the WPIAL Hall of Fame. Kind of odd to me that he is just now getting in, but, whatever.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Scott McKillop Checks In

Scott McKillop is the latest athlete who will be doing one of the tired rookie draft diaries. His first entry doesn't share much - the most eventful part is when he talks about his bumpy flight out to the West Coast:

We actually hit some pretty bad turbulence flying into Denver. It was probably the worst turbulence I’ve ever had in my life, so I started to say my Hail Mary’s and the Lord’s Prayer over and over again. I’m sure everyone was a little worried; meanwhile I was gripping the chair in front of me as tight as I could.

Um, hopefully these get's a long way till football season.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NBA Draft Notes

With the NBA Draft coming up (okay, so it's still about two months away), I've made the rounds to dig up some stuff:

Andy Katz asked NBA Draft decision-makers some questions including who could bring some good value at the end of the first round. Sam Young's name was frequently heard.

The most popular answers to the question of which player will be a high-value late-first-round pick were Louisville senior Terrence Williams and Pitt senior Sam Young. Both players proved to be leaders this past season and could have made a claim to Big East Player of the Year, an honor shared by Young's teammate, sophomore DeJuan Blair, and Thabeet.

Meanwhile, in an earlier article, he lists Blair's decision to leave early as questionable:

DeJuan Blair, So., Pitt: Blair will go in the first round, but the questions about how much he can play above the rim will dog him in the spring. If he can be like Glen "Big Baby" Davis, then he won't disappoint. But Davis went in the second round and had to prove his value. Blair probably won't drop that far, but he may be in a similar situation wherever he lands.

If he really thinks Blair will go in the first round, not sure how questionable move it was, unless you subscribe to the theory that he could have moved up to the lottery next year.

Here's one mock draft that still has Blair and Young going in the first round.

In another, DeJuan Blair is curiously picked to join Aaron Gray and a million other big men in Chicago as the 12th overall pick.

More you say? Another has both Young and Blair in the top 25.

I saved the best for last - HoopsHype has BOTH Young and Blair going to the Chicago Bulls. With Gray, they'd have a trio of Panthers.

Late Blue / Gold Game Highlights

With a slow week, thought I'd post something I meant to earlier. The Pitt website has a link to some highlights from the Blue Gold game - you can view the link here.

The Jonathan Baldwin play was the offensive highlight of the day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dixon Named as Coach of USA Basketball Team

Jamie Dixon has been named as Bob McKillop's replacement as the USA Basketball 19 and under men's team for the FIBA National Championships in New Zealand this Summer.

The team may include Pitt recruit Dante Taylor.

In other minor news, Dixon will also be a part of Dick Vitale's upcoming gala to raise money for cancer. Say what you will about him, but Vitale has done an unbelievable amount to not only raise money, but also awareness, for cancer.