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Morning Java: What an air ball

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK – Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Wednesday column from the Garden covers Pitt’s hideously dull loss to Cincinnati through the broader issue of how these Panthers are prepared.

Here’s the game story, from beat man Kevin Gorman.

Here’s some of what Jamie Dixon had to say afterward …

And here are Cam Wright and Lamar Patterson

Random randomness from the scene: College kids have a distinct category when it comes to being criticized, in my mind. They choose to be in the spotlight, but they’re still playing for nothing more than a scholarship. In that context, I’ll share here that Patterson is a talented player who still needs to step up in the biggest situations. All Pitt needed from him last night was a couple free throws near the end. Or even one of two. At the same time, if you click the video above, you’ll see by his response to my question that he took it so much harder than anyone else could. … Easy to get the feel in press row that the New York/national guys were ready to pounce on Dixon’s light schedule if the Panthers lost. Presumably, some were voters. That’s fine. I can tell you I’d prepared to write that topic no matter the outcome of the game. It’s part of what makes this Pitt team such a tough read. … Don’t forget: Talib Zanna missed a couple big free throws late, too. … I cringe anytime it looks like James Robinson even thinks about shooting from the field. Sorry, but only he can change that script. … Durand Johnson was an infinitely better player through the first 10 games than the 11th. Only he and Wright are capable of the classic stop-and-pop, and Johnson seemed to get caught up in trying to go all Carmelo to the hoop with each possession. … Stop and picture how different the take would be on Pitt this morning had they, say, clubbed Cincinnati by 20. Just saying. … Man, the Garden looks great. I guess it should after a $1 billion facelift that pretty much gutted the interior, but it’s finally once again a venue befitting the market.

>> The Penguins are next on the Garden marquee to face the Rangers here tonight. And, as Chris Adamski reports, they’re expecting quality chemistry out of former minor-league partners Simon Despres and Philip Samuelsson.

I’ll be sticking around to write a column off this one, too.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Stop the presses: LaMarr Woodley is on IR. So what happens as related to his long-term future? Alan Robinson examines.

Antonio Brown ranks among the NFL’s elite, by Robinson.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage., including compelling stuff from Mike Tomlin about bypassing Eddie Lacy in the draft. (Ahem.)

Here’s Packers news from the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Pirates and Mets are discussing a trade involving Ike Davis. Travis Sawchik has that exclusive.

>> Duquesne had quite the struggle to overtake St. Francis. Chris Harlan reports from Loretto.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. live from the Garden, in lieu of doing the full Wednesday show. Hope you can give us a listen. Click that link, and you’re right there.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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