"Rutgers did what they were supposed to do."
Yeah, that's how bad things are.
Those were the immortal words of Dickey Simpkins after the game. If you're an NBA fan, you might remember Simpkins' days with the Chicago Bulls as he won three titles, mostly as a bench warmer. He was on color for the game tonight and it wasn't pretty.
This is one of those games you tell your children and grandchildren about, as I wrote in the SB Nation Pittsburgh recap. It's one of those times you'll remember where you were. It was only a regular season game, but will go down in history with Scottie Reynolds, Butler, and Pacific.
It wasn't bad, it was historically awful.
This team should, in a few words, be ashamed of itself. Not only did they shoot horrifically, there was no effort at all to play a competitive game. By holding Rutgers to only 40% from the field, you could say they played well defensively, I suppose. But to get outrebounded by 20? Twenty? 16 turnovers? Sorry, but that's flat out unacceptable.I wasn't at the game, but on TV, some boos were clearly heard. And guess what? Good for the fans that had the guts to do it. This team isn't untouchable and while I hold pro athletes and collegiate athletes to completely different standards, this was one of the worst efforts in recent memory.
Seriously, this isn't DePaul. Pitt held a sizeable lead in that game and fluttered it away in the final seconds on the road. In this one, they not only were not competitive, but were blown out.
With the upcoming schedule, this team doesn't only look like it's not reaching the NCAAs, but the NIT looks equally out of reach. I do expect Pitt to get better with the return of Tray Woodall, but by then, I think it's too little too late.
I don't know what it is with this team. I'm not going to go as far as saying they don't care - part of it was having a bad shooting night (although shooting 21% from the field is hard to swallow). But there was no heart out there as Rutgers started pulling away.
If you need any further indication of just how bad it was, Nasir Robinson probably played Pitt's best game. His line?
Five turnovers, 3-9 from the field for seven points, and nine rebounds. Forget Gibbs and his 2-11 - we're starting to expect that. Zanna 2-7, Johnson 2-8, Patterson 1-6, Moore 2-10, Wright/Epps/Taylor, 1-5 combined.
This. Was. A. Disaster.
This was also rock bottom and someone better fix this mess. Not because as a fan who feels he deserves a great team, but because this is flat out unacceptable. This team has talent and even though they're young, efforts like tonight are the kind that not only kill seasons, but kill programs. I'm not suggesting that the Pitt program as we know it is dying, but coming out and playing like this night after night is how it starts.
I don't care who does it, or how, but someone needs to remind this team that Pitt basketball has come too far for this nonsense to happen.