More fallout from Bucknell's upset of Pitt

The loss to Bucknell cost Pittsburgh it's spot in the latest coaches' poll. The Panthers fell to No. 12 in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll released Monday.

Unlike the AP and Mid-Major polls, which showed the Bison some respect after their win, the coaches did not toss any votes Bucknell's way, even though two of the coaches with a vote, Phil Martelli of Saint Joseph's and Niagara's Joe Mihalich have lost to the Bison.

Before anybody gets upset with Martelli or Mihalich (or their Sports Information Directors, since they often are the ones actually casting these votes), it is worth noting that Pat Flannery also is on the panel, and chose not to vote for his own team.

Meanwhile, the spin in Pittsburgh is to blame the loss on Pittsburgh's youth.

In the postgame, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said:
We are young on the perimeter. I said all along our defense isn’t where it needs to be. I think our experience on the perimeter is a bunch of guys that haven’t played many minutes besides Carl [Krauser] and our post-defense has two sophomores.
Newsflash, Jamie ... the guys the sophomores in the post were guarding most of the night were Chris McNaughton-- a sophomore, John Clark-- another soph, and freshman Darren Mastropaolo. Chris Niesz, the only senior on the Bucknell roster, also saw time in the frontcourt. But Niesz is certainly no Chevon Troutman.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Dixon said the reason behind the struggles is mostly due to experience. Dixon graduated two of the best defenders in Division I after last season in Julius Page and Jaron Brown . . .

Their replacements -- senior Yuri Demetris, sophomore Antonio Graves and freshman Ronald Ramon, who are sharing the shooting guard and swing position duties -- are playing extended minutes for the first time in their college careers.
Over at the Tribune-Review, a similar angle:
Dixon said Pitt's young perimeter players have had difficulty meeting the expectations set by the defensive play of Jaron Brown and Julius Page in years past . . .
Dixon also said in the postgame, "We're a young team."

Come on Jamie. You have three seniors to Bucknell's one. All three are fifth-year kids. Sure you have nine freshmen and sophomores on the roster, but again, four are redshirts, as is junior Carl Krauser.

We are not buying the young team routine for a second. After all, six of the Bucknell kids who played against Pittsburgh are sophomores or freshmen. Not a redshirt on the roster, either.

Bottom line, Bucknell outplayed Pitt. Maybe if they played 10 times, Pittsburgh would win seven. Certainly they should. Hell, they should win all 10. But they didn't win this one and it's time to quit the whining and give credit where due.

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