Now Playing
B985 FM
Last Song Played
80s 90s & NOW
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
B985 FM
Last Song Played
80s 90s & NOW

sports

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >

Pat Signal: Michael Smith commits to Pitt

Pitt lands a three-star receiver from Florida

PITT IS IT! #H2P #SteelCity17— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) January 18, 2017

For the second straight day, Pitt has landed a football commitment. Michael Smith, a three-star wide receiver from Vero Beach, Florida, has decided to join the 2017 recruiting class. Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review was able to crack the case of the Pat Signal first. Smith himself confirmed it moment ago.

After Talking With My Family, I Have Officially Decided To Commit To The University Of Pittsburgh #H2P #PittIsLit pic.twitter.com/ad20X6vMGB— Michael Smith (@cantguardmike11) January 18, 2017

Michael Smith is a 6’2” 200 pound wide receiver from Vero Beach, Florida. He is graded as a three-star by Rivals.com. He burst onto the recruiting scene late in the process, after a record-breaking senior season in which he caught 24 touchdown passes. In total, he hauled in 66 receptions for 1,556 yards to go along with all those touchdowns while leading Vero Beach to a 12-1 record in Florida’s highly competitive 8A classification.

By virtue of the breakout season, his recruiting profile increased significantly. He chose Pitt over offers from Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Washington State, and Indiana. Perhaps he was sold on Pitt after his official visit, where he got to meet Antonio Brown of the Steelers. His highlights show him to be a big play threat, and one that could see the field early in his career.

Smith now becomes the 21st member of the 2017 recruiting class. He is the third receiver joining fellow Floridian, Dontavius Butler and Darian Street. Smith also becomes the sixth player from Florida in the class, a noticeable emphasis in this staff’s recruiting efforts.

Today marks 14 days until signing day, and Pitt still is after a number of players. There will be two more official visit weekends before February 1, so stay tuned for more updates to sprout up over the next few weeks.

Lady Gaga teases Super Bowl performance with behind the scenes video

On Feb. 5, Lady Gaga will take the stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Less than three weeks before the championship game, Pepsi, who is sponsoring the halftime show, released a teaser video of the pop superstar as she prepares for her performance.  

>> Read more trending stories  

In the behind the scenes video, Gaga can be seen at other appearances, and clips show dancers preparing choreography for the big event. "Bad Romance" is one song fans might expect from Gaga during the show, according to the video.

"This is, obviously, a humongous platform. This is, probably, like, the greatest 12 minutes of our lives," said choreographer Richy Jackson, who has worked with Lady Gaga for at least 10 years. "We're just going to see a humble, appreciative yet showmanship side of Gaga. And we haven't seen her like this because we haven't been on a stage like this. It'll be a new face, a different kind of energy."

"It will be special because I've been planning this since I was 4," Gaga said in the preview. "So I know exactly what I'm going to do." 

Hold on to your hats! Your first look#BTS of #PepsiHalftime as @RICHYSQUIRREL gets @LadyGaga's dancers ready to make us Feb 5th! pic.twitter.com/NlteGrS7Wa— Pepsi(@pepsi) January 18, 2017

Gaga, who recently performed at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, has teased photos of her Super Bowl preparations on Instagram and said that she and her dancers built a tent in her backyard with a dance floor to practice.

"The thing is, it's such a big world stage in terms of how many people see it," Gaga said in the Pepsi behind the scenes video. "It's been done so many times (that) I think the challenge is to look at it and say, you know, 'What can I do differently? How can I elevate certain little things here and there?"

Last year, Lady Gaga sang the national anthem before the start of the Super Bowl game. She released her fifth studio album, "Joanne," in October.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/lady-gaga-super-bowl-teaser/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/lady-gaga-super-bowl-teaser.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Lady Gaga Super Bowl teasers" on Storify]

Pitt defeated by North Carolina State, 79-74

Another game, another loss, amirite?

Pitt dropped its fourth straight basketball game tonight - this time to North Carolina State on the road, 79-74.

The Panthers were again sort of a mess in the first half. The struggles, at least, didn't last the entire way through and the team did get a little hotter earlier. But the start was again a slow one as Pitt had 12 points in the first 10+ minutes before finally getting going.

That Maverick Rowan guy is getting to be even more of a pest. He had 21 points and his play in the second half was one of the things that propelled the Wolfpack to victory. Former Pitt recruit. grumble, grumble.

Aside from depth, Pitt's problems are two-fold at this point. The defense isn't good enough and the slow starts continue to plague this team. The Panthers simply are not good enough to spot teams a full 10 or 20 minutes of bad play. Even though they trailed by only one at halftime, they wasted about ten minutes when they could have built up a lead going into the break. North Carolina State wasn't all that impressive in the first half but then they started raining three-pointers in the second half, and that's your ball game. The stagnant starts are beyond frustrating at this point.

The lone encouraging thing for me tonight was seeing the return of Michael Young. Young had his best game in some time with a game-high 25 points on 9-19 shooting. The mask that seemed to hurt him so much in the Miami game was replaced with a better model and it seems to have made a world of difference. Young, too, was probably feeling a little better with some more rest. But it appears he should again be a factor for Pitt, so that's great news, obviously.

Yesterday, I wrote about Pitt's lineup options with Young injured and Ryan Luther out for a couple of weeks with an injury. Of the three options I presented, head coach Kevin Stallings went in a different direction and simply chose to run the starters as much as he possibly could. All of the starters other than Jamel Artis played over 35 minutes and Artis played 34. The bench was a complete non-factor with Justice Kithcart, Damon Wilson, and Corey Manigault playing a combined 18 minutes and registering only one shot.

I don't really mind that strategy, to be honest. Pitt's starters are by far and away the best players with Luther out so playing them as much as possible is fine by me as long as those guys aren't getting worn out. No issues there from my vantage point. I just didn't think Stallings would necessarily go in that direction. But with a close game mostly the entire time, it was also probably difficult to take those guys out.

What I just can't shake the thought that this just doesn't appear to be a desperate team. As I said in the Miami game, Pitt needed that one and they needed this one even more. The bad turnovers, the horrible perimeter defense, etc., are all things the team can't afford to be doing right now. For the life of me, I don't understand the lack of urgency. Now, when you're playing 35 plus minutes a game, you can't exactly go all out every single play. But I just would expect things to be a little tighter, cleaner. Like every possession counts. You don't really get that sense.

One thing that's been brought up quite a bit is the coaching. Many fans believe that Jamie Dixon would have this team in a better position and probably just as many aren't so sure. But a couple of coaching related things stood out to me tonight that I thought were worth a mention.

First, Kevin Stallings' approach, without a doubt, is to let his players play the game. There was a lot of talk in the offseason about Pitt's players being glad to have the shackles off, so to speak. Under Stallings, they wouldn't be afraid to make mistakes for fear of being taken out of the game, etc. That playing a freer style would ultimately make them better. Well, halfway through the season I think we can safely say that's a load of crap. Even the most ardent Dixon haters couldn't reasonably say that Dixon's style would result in worse play. Under this system, the players may feel like they have more freedom but the idea that a looser, more happy-go-lucky system would make this team thrive is just silly at this point. That's not a voice saying that Dixon's teams hadn't plateaued - they had. But I can't with a straight face pretend like this philosophy of letting guys just play is working out.

Perhaps a freer style would work better with a different group of players. But under Stallings where there is seemingly less 'structure', I simply don't see how that has benefited the team this season.

Second, one coaching thing in this game that I found curious was how Pitt approached the final minute of play. The Panthers had just finished giving up another lead and trailed by three points with a little over a minute to play. The emphasis, very clearly, should have been that the team does not need a three-point shot. Instead, Pitt seemed determined from the get go to make sure they would get a three-pointer off. Sheldon Jeter took a three-pointer that was mostly contested and it was a pretty poor shot. The very next trip down the court, still trailing by three, Jamel Artis threw up a three-pointer.

I had less of a problem with Artis' shot, but here's the thing - with about 15 seconds or so left, instead of shooting a three, they took the ball to the basket. Why not try that earlier instead? Pitt actually nearly got a break with the late turnover that gave them another chance to tie things up at the end, but that seemed like the players either weren't told not to force a shot, or they simply didn't listen. There was no reason for Pitt to rush a three-point shot, particularly in the case of Jeter's attempt.

I'll have more on this later but at this point, if Pitt wants to make the NCAA Tournament, they're either going to need a pretty deep ACC Tournament run or pull off a few big upsets to really boost their resume. Losing games against the Syracuses, Miamis, and North Carolina States of the world isn't going to do it. From here on out, Pitt cannot simply win the games they should (which, if we're being honest, I don't even know how many of those there are) and lose to the better teams. They'll need some big upsets over some very good teams to get in.

There just doesn't seem to be any hope in sight. Clemson at home? I mean, I guess. But when you see Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, and a top ten Florida State team (wut?) still on the schedule, it's hard to have too much excitement right now. The good thing for Pitt in all honesty is that they have that many quality wins still available on the schedule. But at this point, Pitt not only needs to grab a few of those but also win the games against the weaker teams.

And right now, they're not even doing that.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

NBA considers changing game over millennials’ short attention spans

NBA basketball games are shorter than the other major league sports games like football and hockey, but the last minutes of a game can drag on for a considerable time.Commissioner Adam Silver said last week the league is considering making changes so they don’t lose millennials, who are tuning out in the final minutes of the game.

>> Read more trending stories 

“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said to ESPN.com’s Tom Hamilton.

“Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to,” he added.

During the last two minutes of a basketball game, coaches call time outs, they switch players, and plan for plays that could help them win, but it can turn those final two minutes into 10 to 15 minutes, or longer.“We are going to take a fresh look at the format, specifically in the last two minutes," Silver said. It’s ultimately up to the NBA’s board of owners, but there’s been no word on what kinds of changes might happen or when.

Pat Signal: Jason Pinnock commits to Pitt

Pitt lands a three-star cornerback

Pinnock to Pittsburgh. ✌ #412 pic.twitter.com/VPNj7WViH6— Jason (@Jason_Pinnock) January 17, 2017

Jason Pinnock just announced via Twitter that he is committed to the University of Pittsburgh. Pinnock is a 6’1” 190 pound cornerback from Windsor, Connecticut. He is graded as a three-star by Rivals, while just a two-star by Scout, ESPN, and 24-7. Pinnock was initially a member of the Boston College recruiting class, but de-committed shortly after a Pitt offer. After visiting this past weekend, Pitt was able to close the deal.

In addition to his Pitt and Boston College offers, UConn also offered, but he was receiving high interest from Notre Dame. Many suspected a Notre Dame offer could be nearing, but Pinnock opted to shut down his recruitment today.

Pinnock is a rare recruit for Pitt from the state of Connecticut, or New England in general. Rivals calls him the 8th best player in the Constitution State. He helped lead his Windsor High School team to a 12-1 season in 2016. Pinnock led his team on offense with 59 receptions, 1,172 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Still his impact on defense was also equal or more important. He posted 7 interceptions and recovered three fumbles and displays great coverage skills in his Hudl highlights.

Pinnock now becomes the 20th recruit in the 2017 class. He joins Damarri Mathis as the second corner in the class. As we saw with this past season, Pitt really needs to add depth and talent to the position. Pinnock will have a chance at early playing time, but a redshirt seems most likely for next season.

We are now two weeks away from signing day, and Pitt still has plenty of work to do. There are two more official visit weekends coming up, and Pat Narduzzi and his staff will need to lock down 4-5 more recruits, at least.

Brawl breaks out during college basketball game in Memphis

A brawl broke out during the Lemoyne-Owen College vs. Lane College basketball game on Saturday, January 14th in Memphis, Tennessee. 

>> Read more trending stories  

 Police said no ambulances were called to the scene nor was a police report filed. 

No one was taken into custody. 

Both colleges are investigating. 

Against the Odds: NC State is the home favorite over Pitt

The line is moving in the direction of NC State for tonight’s game.

Pitt is on a losing streak and so is NC State. Both teams will come into tonight’s contest at 12-6 and 1-4 in the ACC Conference. Vegas opened the game up by giving the Wolfpack a 1.5 point advantage. The money seems to be trending towards NC State more and more as the line moved to 3.5 as of this writing. So, the odds are not in favor of Pitt being the team that snaps a losing streak this evening.

After being embarrassed at home, Pitt needs a strong effort and would like to get Michael Young and Ryan Luther healthy to make it happen. Young appears to be ready to work through it, but he has to be better than this past weekend. Luther will remain out for a little while, which clearly hurts this team.

The game will tip at 7PM tonight at PNC Arena, in Raleigh, NC. Head coach Mark Gottfried’s team puts up a lot of points and has five players averaging over double figures per game. Pitt’s defense will have to step up and score themselves. The Pack and the Panthers have each dropped four out of their last five to put themselves in this hole. Both need a win badly. Vegas is betting it will be NC State. Pitt’s fan base is already on life support. A loss here won’t help matters.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

With injuries to Michael Young and Ryan Luther, Pitt needs to make some lineup decisions

I'm still having a problem digesting the hot mess that was the Pitt-Miami fiasco this weekend. Part of the real problem for me was not only that the chance for a seemingly winnable game is gone but that the Panthers looked so abysmal without Ryan Luther and a diminished Michael Young, who clearly isn't 100%.

The bigger issue, of course, is that things go far beyond that one game. Pitt will be without Luther for a couple of weeks and Young isn't going to be 100% right away. And as head coach Kevin Stallings said afterwards, he'll be continuing to wear the mask that hampered him a bit.

In other words, things could get bumpy.

Over the long haul, the Pitt basketball roster is going to need quite a bit of reworking after this season. But in the immediate future, Pitt has limited options. That's part of the problem. The Panthers have really only gone seven deep this year and are down to somewhere around 5 1/2 right now with Luther out and Young playing hurt. Pitt, whether they want to or not, is going to have to bring some more guys into the mix.

After the game, when asked about how Pitt would compensate (specifically, it was asked if Manigault would get Luther's minutes), Stallings said they team may need to go to a smaller lineup. That got me to thinking, what kind of options does he have?

Here are some ideas as I see them:

1. Start Kithcart and/or play him more

Freshman Justice Kithcart hasn't set the world on fire, but let's be honest here - there are few options. At the very least, particularly if Pitt is going small, he is going to have to play more than the six minutes he's averaged in the past three games. Starting Kithcart (along with Johnson, Artis, Jeter, and Young) might seem odd because you're actually penalizing Chris Jones for not much of a reason. But the flipside is that you would add some experience to a paper-thin bench.

Unlike Corey Manigault, Kithcart has played quite a bit this year. He averages about 15 minutes a game and is almost always in double figures (minutes). His assist-to-turnover margin is a close second only to Cam Johnson. He's nowhere near the level of a James Robinson even in terms of just that statistic, but that's a start. As we all know, Kithcart's biggest problem is his shooting and despite all the playing time he's getting, he shoots under 33% from the field. No amount of increased time is going to fix that this year and the best hope here is that, if he plays more this season, he's more of a facilitator and works on merely taking care of the ball and finding open men. Any scenario where Kithcart is asked to score more is simply a foolhardy one.

If Kithcart were able to give Pitt 20 capable minutes a game until Luther returns, that would fix quite a bit. Is that asking a lot? Depends on what your version of 'capable' is. Ten points and five or six assists per game? Too much. Five points and four or five assists? Closer.

If you're in favor of Kithcart starting, this option potentially replaces a starter since it likely means that Jones gets bumped. While replacing a starter right now might seem sort of ridiculous, consider that it would help upgrade the bench a bit and add a little more experience there. Plus, Jones isn't exactly producing a ton as a starter, anyway. But even if you don't start Kithcart, the idea is that he's playing more here and that Artis moves into the frontcourt.

2. Making Corey Manigault a featured player

If he doesn't start, Kithcart would remain the top guard off the bench. In this scenario (and really any scenario), Manigault becomes the top big reserve. Manigault is the top reserve big man, but here, he would play more, spelling both Jeter and Young. If those guys stay out of foul trouble and Young gets back close to his former self, that might not mean more than 15 minutes. Luther himself played less than that at times, after all.

Here, Manigault is the top reserve and Pitt basically maintains the status quo. Same starters playing the same minutes and no moving around. Manigault simply fills the role of Luther. Manigault certainly has not made much of an impact this year but a big reason for that is because he's barely played, only getting on the court for more than five minutes three times this season. His low averages shouldn't be alarming simply because he's not been out there much. Now, I'm not saying he deserves to be playing more. What I am saying is that his low totals are simply a product of not playing. If he plays more, his averages would be better. And as I wrote recently, it's not as if Luther had been tearing things up lately. If Manigault plays 15 mintues a game, the dropoff might not be big as it seems compared to Luther's recent production.

3. Small Ball

As Stallings alluded to, Pitt has the chance to go small. What does that look like? In a nutshell, more of Kithcart, Wilson, and/or Milligan. Maybe on a lesser scale, something like Kithcart, Johnson, Artis, Jeter, and Young, or some combination thereof to start. Then, instead of playing Manigault off the bench much, perhaps everyone simply moves up a spot. For example, if Young needs a break, Jeter moves to center, Artis to power forward, Cam to small forward, and Jones or Milligan comes off the bench to play shooting guard. Or if Artis needs a break, same scenario - guards move up a spot.

Have two guys coming out? Say, Artis and Jeter? Outside of inserting Manigault, perhaps you go with something like Young, Cam, Jones, Milligan/Wilson, and Kithcart. Ideally, I don't see how Pitt takes two bigs out at once barring an injury or foul trouble and doesn't go with Manigault, so I'm not even sure something like this comes to fruition ... at least not for very long. But you get the picture. In a small ball scenario, Artis almost has to leave his point guard role and move somewhere like small forward to make up for the loss of Luther and a diminished Young. If you're not convinced that Door No. 2 with Manigault is a good one, there's simply no other realistic option as a big man off the bench.

Frankly, I'm less enthused about the small ball option unless you have something like Milligan getting hot from three-point range (which is possible). Pitt's backcourt bench has been a weakness all year and asking those guys to do more seems like the wrong way to go. At least with playing Kithcart more, you're limiting it to one guy instead of potentially involving all three.

Conclusion

In the end, this really all comes down to do you want to play the guards more or would you rather play Manigault more. To me, Nix isn't an option other than for maybe 4-5 minutes.

The good news is that Pitt doesn't need these new guys to come in and produce huge games. They can lean on Artis and hope Young returns closer to 100%. Cam, although he hasn't shown it lately, is able to score. What Pitt needs these guys to do is defend capably and make a few buckets. Not much more.

Obviously there can be some mixing and matching here, so Pitt isn't forced to rely only on one of these options. If two bigs exit a game, for example, you could try Manigault and one of the guards. But if you had to choose only one path above, which would it be?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll With the Luther/Young injuries, if you had only one choice, which option would you prefer? Pitt features Justice Kithcart Pitt features Corey Manigault Pitt goes small, relying on trio of Kithcart, Wilson, and Milligan   4 votes | Results

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >