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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: No. 20 Pitt 76, Clemson 43

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to tipoff ..

Game: No. 20 Pitt (16-2, 4-1 ACC) vs. Clemson (13-4, 4-1)

Time: 8:05 p.m.

Site: Petersen Events Center

TV, radio: WTAE (local), ACC Network (national), 93.7 The Fan

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt pageKevin Gorman and I are on the scene.

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.


  1. Jim S. says:

    Anyone have suggestions on general parking for the Pitt hoops game at the Pete tonight?

    DK: I don’t know the name of the garage, but the one that’s adjacent to the new baseball stadium — way up there on the hill — always has spaces. Bit of a walk, though.

    Don’t try the main stuff around the Pete. Waste of time. All are either full or committed to hospitals.

  2. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt returns to the friendly confines of the Pete, and not a moment too soon. The Polar Vortex has returned with a vengeance. Currently, a balmy 4 degrees here in the Upper Midwest. A perfect night for college basketball. But, frankly, when is it not ? A great game played by enthusiastic youth who are, no doubt, not tempered by life enough to hang onto the loss at the Carrier Dome. I see good things happening tonight as the Panthers are almost unbeatable in the cacophonous realm of the Pete.

    Clemson’s noteworthy alumni include entertainment reporter, Nancy O’Dell. The pleasant mannered Ms. O’Dell was also a Miss South Carolina. Royalty doesn’t end there. Former Miss Universe (how’s that for the ego?), Shawn Weatherly, is also an alum. Ms. Weatherly starred on the greatest show of all time, ‘Baywatch’, and also was featured in a summer guilty pleasure I watched with my drunken college roommates, ‘Oceanquest.’ Gunther, the coffee barista who pined for Jennifer Aniston’s character on ‘Friends’, apparently he is really actor, James Michael Tyler, and he went to Clemson.

    Before he went to Pittsburgh to claim his fortune, and to strip bars to claim his wife, Kris Benson pitched for the Tigers. Former Bucco reliever, who may very well be in their organization for all I know, Steven Jackson, also went to the South Carolina school. One of my favorite hoopsters growing up, simply for his great nickname, Wayne “Tree” Rollins, dunked basketballs for the Tigers. US Open champ (my a lot of golf’s US Open champs played in the ACC), Lucas Glover, went there. And, just for JAL, Oguchi Onyewu, kicked PK’s on the Clemson soccer field.

    I would be remiss not to mention that one of my elementary school friends went from the Iowa cornfields to Clemson on a full ride golf scholarship. And, finally, I could be mistaken, but I believe our own Patton lives in Clemson, South Carolina.

  3. Strohdave says:

    Didn’t former #1 draft pick Daniel Moskos pitch for Clemson? Not sure how noteworthy he is, if at all. Just another Clemson/Pgh connection to add to the list.

  4. Arriba Wilver says:

    You are correct, sir. Good catch. I think John’s still trying to forget (as are all Pirate fans).

  5. tpbco says:

    Pitt definitely needs somebody else to step up to replace some of the points DJ was averaging. Right now, too much of it is on Patterson.

    If he’s cold or gets in foul trouble….

  6. Arriba Wilver says:


  7. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Stohdave. Consider him added. And “noteworthy” is a low bar for my purposes. :)

  8. pattonbb says:

    Nice list, John.

    I’m 30-40 minutes east of Clemson. Close enough though, right?

    Can’t mention Clemson connections to Pittsburgh without mentioning Levon Kirkland. I met him when he was coaching high school football in our area. Very nice guy that loved to talk about Pittsburgh.

  9. Saw something last night I didn’t think I’d see in the near future, John. A Buckeye loss to Nebraska in basketball. (A team they beat handily earlier in the season).

    Something not right in Buckeye-dom.

    Counting the last two football games and these 4 basketball games, there’s six losses that are crushing.

  10. Lad9 says:

    Expecting a barn burner tonight. Will miss the first half at a high school game. Bring it home lunatics. Let’s go Pitt!

  11. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, that is a head scratcher. That was Nebraska’s first win in the league this year, I believe. They just opened a new on campus arena this season with intentions to work on strengthening their basketball program. That was a big win for them, but something is going on in Columbus.

    Maybe the Buckeyes and Badgers were just a bit overrated.

  12. I think the Buckeyes were. Even Craft had a dozen TO’s in that game.

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    Here we go…

    Clemson wins the tip off. Looks like a full house despite the frigid weather. Pitt opens in man to man.

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    First media timeout: 7-2 Pitt.

    This KJ McDaniels/Lamar Patterson is going to be a good one to watch tonight. Patterson already has a trey.

  15. JRay3 says:

    No hangover or carry over for this Panthers squad from the Syracuse game. Zanna, Patterson, Wright doing things at both ends as Pitt jumps on Clemson 11-2 and forces early Tigers TO.

  16. JohninOshkosh says:

    Clemson with the timeout as Pitt looks strong early. I think they are 4-5 from the field. Wright has a layup. A decisive dunk from Z precipitated the timeout. 11-2 Pitt.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Talib Zanna might be my favorite player to watch. The improvement he has made is amazing.

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cam Wright with the rate “3”. Filling the DJ void nicely so far tonight.

  19. JohninOshkosh says:


  20. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt firing at a blistering 71% from the field. 100% from beyond the arch (2-2).

  21. JohninOshkosh says:



  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Plan.

    Wondered if you were watching.

  23. JohninOshkosh says:

    Interesting, with 26-13 lead and Pitt dominating the half with seven minutes to go, Dixon goes from man to man to zone.

  24. JRay3 says:

    Great passing, very good outside shooting, typical stingy defense, and just out hustling the opposition, this has the recipe for a running a team out the gym.

    Just so impressed at the growth of Patterson and Zanna, showing the younger players how it is done at Pitt.

    Had to really like the leadership Robinson showed with his quote after the Syracuse game about could the team pull any positives from the loss, a bit of a moral victory and his response there are no moral victories at Pitt we expect to win.

    Really feel this team has a very high ceiling as we continue on through the season.

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    Zanna could start for the Milwaukee Bucks right now!

  26. JRay3 says:

    35-18, taking Clemson to the wood shed and another Tiger TO, and this is a Clemson team that came in 4-1 in league play.

    Patterson to Zanna as good as you will see on the court.

  27. Barb says:

    Pitt is firing on all cylinders tonight.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, I am here, but busy with other stuff.

    Pitt looks very solid in the 1st half.
    Imposing their will, so to speak.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    That is not saying much! ;)

  30. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt drops 37 on the Tigers and the halftime score is 37-20.

    As solid a half of basketball you will see-both from the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

    Keep it up in the second half and be mindful of the inevitable Clemson run.

  31. casper in a-town says:

    Hey Plan — I hope you’re well. Canes beat Pine-Richland 93-61 and clinched a playoff spot. Big games by Malik Hooker and Anthony Richards. I guess Urban Meyer was at the Fieldhouse to watch the game.

  32. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is Pitt’s night. Patterson hits a fade away three pointer with Clemson guard in his grill to beat the shot clock.

  33. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, I got many texts about Urban in the house.
    That team is having another magical year……

  34. theplanisworking says:

    I think the rest of the ACC underestimated the advantage Pitt has on its home court.

  35. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Jaron Blossomgame, Ibrahim Djambo, Sidy Djitte, Adonis Filer, Landry Nnoko … at least Clemson’s players names are more interesting than Pitt’s. That’s about all they have on Pitt.

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Ladies and gentlemen………. Talib Zanna.
    That is all.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! They don’t even have a run in them this second half. I thought every team had at least one run in them.

    McDaniels has not looked impressive at all. This is a Clemson team 4-1 in the league.

    Focused effort by the Panthers. Have looked strong defensively. Clemson now 6 minutes without a field goal.

  38. JRay3 says:

    Yes Pitt is beating a 13-4, 4-1 Clemson team by 30….there are just not any words at this point.

    Jamie Dixon can just flat out coach, and flat out develop kids….that is all.

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    30 point lead!

    Have a good night, everyone. Family obligations are calling.

  40. Don’t forget the player deemed better than Weiters: Daniel Moskos, Pirates past #1 Draft pick.

  41. Sorry Shroh’s Lite! Now that I read further down, you already had added Moskos.

  42. JRay3 says:

    Pretty amusing to listen to the ACC announcers discussing looking forward to the Feb 12th rematch between Pitt and Syracuse and than mentioning there is another ACC game that day that usually is pretty big in Duke and Carolina but how that game would be an under card.

    The power these Big East schools have brought to the ACC.

  43. theplanisworking says:

    And, former Big East champion Louisville comes into the league next year.

    Along with Sheldon Jeter for Pitt. If he is half as good as my friends have described him, I look forward to great things.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    No bad effects from the Syracuse game, eh?
    Talib Zanna almost scored as many points as the Clemson starting 5.
    Pitt also had 24 assists, resulting in many easy baskets.

    Next up, Saturday at Maryland.

  45. JRay3 says:

    Just your typical 33 point conference victory, as Jamie Dixon improves to 279-88 in his career, have to imagine some day in the future he will have the court inside the Pete named after him.

    Great performances turned in by Zanna, Patterson, JRob, Wright, and Newkirk as Pitt moves into sole possession of second place in the ACC at 17-2 and 5-1.

  46. Jerry Lynch says:

    You need to get your science correct when you talk about the weather. When the polar vortex returns to normal, the freaky cold weather will go away. The problem is that the polar vortex has virtually disappeared and that normal vortex activity is what keeps the frigid air in the polar region where it belongs. What has happened is that as the planet has warmed it has caused the polar vortex to divide itself rather than confining the cold air near the pole.

    Instabilities in the flow can allow the cold air to briefly migrate to lower latitudes. The vertical movement by elevation can allow weather systems from the lower atmosphere to drive a wedge into the vortex from below. Cold air in the gap between the two sections sinks and warms in events known as sudden stratospheric warming. Such events can cleave the entire vortex in two and allow a much larger mass of cold air to reach southward, according to atmospheric researchers Darren Waugh, at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Lorenzo Polvani of Columbia University in New York.

    The flow has been relatively weak on average during the past six weeks or more. The current outbreak began with a warming event and with a weaker flow to hold back the cold, forecasters say.

    But don’t take only my word for it. Watch the video embedded in the following article.

  47. michael DE Pitt says:

    Been shoveling snow pretty much all day noon-11pm here in Newark (~14″ with ~6 more hrs to go) but
    as Gamp use to say holly molly
    Pitt 76, Clemson 43
    why exactly did the Big East break up
    just to dominate the new conferences?

  48. michael DE Pitt says:

    0-2 big east
    otherwise 17-0

  49. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, DK. I ended up at Soldiers & Sailors Garage, and it worked out great. I would recommend that for anyone who doesn’t mind a 7-10 minute walk. I met some very nice Pitt students who directed me there. It’s always nice when someone is willing to stop and give you specific directions when they have somewhere to go – and, it’s freezing!

  50. Jim S. says:

    The Trib’s own, Travis Sawchuk, I believe, is also a Clemson Grad.

  51. Jim S. says:

    This has surprised me, Lucky. It is amazing how a few bad outings can snowball. I think they’ll get it back on track.

  52. Jim S. says:

    A dozen just for Craft?

  53. Hopefully, from my standpoint.

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