Ray Jr. on Sports


  1. Pitt basketball gets back into action as they face 17th ranked Florida State (21-5, 9-4 ACC) Saturday at the Petersen Events Center. The game will begin at 4 pm. This will be the week that the Panthers will wear those sharp throwback uniforms which are a tribute to the 80’s teams.
  2. Unfortunately, those unis may be the only bright spot left in the Panthers 2016-17 season. It’s been a long time since they’ve had a worse conference record. Pitt is 3-10 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play (14-12), and any talk about them having a chance of making the NCAA Tournament is about as much of a chance of me picking up my car, and throwing it.
  3. Yes, the Panthers can still win the ACC Tournament, but let’s be real Panther fans, that’s certainly not a guarantee. Sure, they may get a win, possibly two but they’ve struggled in this conference in the regular season, I can’t see that changing in the postseason.
  4. In their two wins vs. Boston College and Syracuse, the Panthers played like a hungry team. They kept Virginia Tech close and probably should’ve beaten them too, but their lack of hunger late in the game is what hurt them as they fell to the Hokes 66-63. The best thing for this team to do is finish their remaining games with hunger, urgency, and pride.
  5. It isn’t fair to blame this all on new HC Kevin Stallings. After all, there were some folks that wanted a change in style and offense and were tired of the ‘boring’ offense that former HC Jaime Dixon has had since he took over from Ben Howard in 2003. But when Jaime took over from Ben, he honestly had better talent than what Kevin had when he took over from Jaime. The results confirm that.
  6. Speaking of Jaime, his TCU Horned Frogs are 17-6, (6-7 Big 12) They may not be overly impressive in conference play, but they will have an outside shot at the Big Dance.
  7. It’s also unfortunate that Stallings will lose both Mike Young and Jamel Artis after this season. It’s almost scary to see what this team will look like next year. But Stallings will get to implement his talent and recruits so that it will be interesting.
  8. Speaking of Young, once again he under-performs and the Panthers lose. I’ve said it all season, and I’ll say it once more: As Mike Young goes, so does the Panthers. Not Young and Artis, just Mike Young.
  9. As for the rest of the ACC, apparently, the cream of the crop is once again North Carolina (10-3, 22-5) who headed for the #1 seed in the tournament. They’re ranked #10 in the nation and will probably wrap up the regular season conference title. And this was the team that Pitt almost Go figure. But both teams play Feb 25th again at the Pete.
  10. In other ACC news, the NC State Wolfpack announced that they’d fired HC Mark Gottfried, but will allow him to finish the season. I guess there’s some honor in that with the season winding down, but that’s weird in my opinion. Why not just fire him after the season? Anyway, the Wolfpack (14-13, 3-11) are the reason why the Panthers aren’t in the last place in the ACC, but somehow they still managed to beat Pitt earlier in the season.
  11. As for the CBB AP Top 5, Gonzaga is still at #1 and the only undefeated team in the country. Followed by defending National Champ Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, and Arizona who is coached by former Pitt player Sean Miller. And folks honestly thought Miller would give up what he has at Arizona to coach at Pitt? Please.
  12. Now onto the NFL, as the news Pittsburgh Steelers news continues to buzz around them locking up All-Pro WR Antonio Brown to a long-term deal. It will happen soon folks, just a matter of when. Does he want $16.7 million a year? I can see the Steelers giving him that in a 5-year deal worth $83 million. And of course, most of that can go in that signing bonus.
  13. As for RB Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers will give him the Franchise Tag, which is $12 million for running backs. Franchising Bell will give the sides an opportunity to work out a long-term deal. Smart move by the Steelers.
  14. Now, what about LB Lawrence Timmons? I honestly would not be surprised if he left because he’s a free agent. The Steelers signed Timmons to 2 deals since he was drafted in 2007 and reportedly, the Steelers are in contract talks with him. But here’s what GM Kevin Colbert said about #94: “He has to see what his market is. He’s never been a free agent, and we have nothing against him finding out.” And that’s why I won’t be surprised if he left. Stay tuned.
  15. The Steelers did make news Wednesday when they announced that they’d signed LB Stevie Johnson to a 1-year deal. Johnson played primarily on Special Teams until his season ended when he hurt his knee vs. the Cowboys.
  16. The Dallas Cowboys finally said what we expected them to say, that they will either release QB Tony Romo or trade him. He’s 36, but he’s a good A team like the Broncos should snatch that dude up. QB Dak Prescott is the Cowboy’s future.
  17. There are reports that NY Jets (and former Panther )Darrelle Revis was involved in an altercation in Pittsburgh’s South Side over the weekend. He does face multiple charges, but his attorney states that he was the victim. It’s never good when an athlete is involved in issues like this.
  18. As for the NBA, the defending champion Cleveland Cavilers suffered a massive blow when F Kevin Love will be injured for 6 to 8 weeks. He’s replaced in the All-Star Game by NY Knicks F Carmelo Anthony. I think that should be a reality now that Love is out.
  19. As for the NBA Standings, the Golden State Warriors 47-9 are still the best in the NBA; the San Antonio Spurs are #2 at 43-18 and the Houston Rockets (wow!) are 3rd best at 40-18. The Eastern Conference-leading Cavs are 4th best at 39-18.
  20. Wow, MLB is back in full swing as Pitchers and Catchers have reported. And the Pittsburgh Pirates have already made news as they ‘won’ their Arbitration case with close Tony Watson. He wanted $6 million, and the Pirates offered $5.6 million. The judge ruled in the Pirates favor. I fell sorry for Watson. #not.


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