Kudos to Syracuse Alums Helping Flint’s Water Crisis

Eric Devendorf had some great on-the-court moments as a Syracuse Orange, as well as some questionable off-the-court moments.  Most Syracuse fans “liked” Eric, but most opponents certainly did not.  There was nothing about Devendorf’s on-the-court persona that endeared himself to others.  But, Syracuse fan or otherwise, one has to be proud of what he (and other Syracuse alums) are doing to help Flint, Michigan, with its water crisis.

Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf is one of many former college basketball players to lend their names to a charity game to support Flint, Michigan.

Look, there is nothing particularly notable about playing in a basketball game.  That is what basketball players do.  But Devendorf is also promoting the game–making stops on sports radio and promoting the gofundme page.  For a guy with a questionable reputation, good for him.

Kudos to Mookie Jones for also agreeing to participate.  Frankly, kudos to ALL the former players who are donating their time and name (with ranges of value) to the cause.  Mateen Cleaves and the other Michigan “Flint-stones” will certainly be a big draw too.  Even Derrick Coleman and Mark Ingram (NFLer) will be participating.  Let’s hope that the event is a success.

Naturally, if you want to help or donate, the above gofundme page is a good start.



#9 Virginia vs Pitt recap…

This could have been a great win for the Pitt Panthers knocking off the #9 ranked Cavaliers but once again only two players showed up to play, Jamel Artis and Michael Young. Pitt hung in there through the first half only down 2 pts at halftime, 29-27. The 2nd half was a different story as Virginia took off from the start and never looked back. Virginia shot 48% from the field with the Panthers only shooting 39%. Pitt continues to show their biggest weakness as they have no outside shooting at all unless Artis decides to get hot. Pitt was 2-13 behind the arc while Virginia was 9-16 which was a big difference in the game. Until Jamie Dixon finds a way bring in some outside scoring threats this team will never make it far in the big tourney or ACC.  It won’t get much easier for the Panthers next week as they travel to play Miami and UNC.


ACC Recruiting Recap

With another football letter of intent signing day passing by yesterday, the analysis begins.  The major outlets take their subjective weight given to players and look at how those players accumulated at schools.  If there was ever an example of “garbage-in, garbage-out,” it would be this task.  Nevertheless, throwing out all the subjectives, there is certainly some sort of correlation between “good recruiting classes” and results (except at Texas and Miami).  So here is what folks think of the 2016 football recruiting classes.


Here is the overall top ten listed at Rivals.  As you can see, Florida State and Clemson crack the top 25.

Rank School Total 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars Avg Points
1 24 5 10 9 3.83 2885
2 25 1 18 4 3.72 2816
3 24 2 15 7 3.79 2704
4 28 1 15 12 3.61 2603
5 22 3 10 6 3.59 2530
6 23 0 15 6 3.57 2515
7 24 2 10 12 3.58 2507
8 20 2 11 7 3.75 2429
9 21 2 11 6 3.62 2403
10 20 3 10 6 3.75 2387

As for all the ACC schools:

  • #2  Florida State-twitter seems to suggest a disappointment that this is not deemed the #1 class.  But the Seminoles would certainly prefer a national title over a recruiting rankings title.
  • #5 Clemson–in-state rival South Carolina was way down at #26.
  • #12 Notre Dame–between UCLA, Texas, and Florida makes sense.  Behind Mississippi does not.  And rival USC is a few spots up at #8, while Stanford is a few spots down at #18.
  • #22 Miami–Miami has never had trouble getting talent and this is a decent class for Mark Richt in just a few weeks.
  • #24 North Carolina–ahead of historical blue blood Nebraska, neighbor South Carolina, and current elite school Oregon.  Good things happening in Chapel Hill.
  • #30 Pittsburgh–Pitt has had good recruiting classes year after year–the benefit of being located in Pennsylvania, adjacted to Ohio, and next to both New Jersey and the D.C. Corridor.
  • #31 Duke–we are used to top classes in hoops, but the Blue Devils on-field success is translating into better football recruiting classes, including a class better than football stalwarts Wisconsin and Arkansas… and a top half class within the ACC.
  • #37 Louisville–a decent class, but Cards fans cannot like seeing Kentucky up at #28.  There is an SEC bias, to be sure, but who would have expected that?  Still, #3 in the Atlantic.
  • #43 NC State–squarely in the middle of the Atlantic at #4.  Ahead of Wake Forest, but behind Duke and UNC.  Ahead of Syracuse in the division, but behind Louisville.  Not good, not bad.
  • #49 Virginia Tech–as a ranking, this must be disappointing.  Houston, Northwestern, and Brigham Young should generally not out-recruit the Hokies.  Chalk it up to a new coach.
  • #57 Syracuse–being behind Washington State, Iowa State, and Indiana is ordinarily disappointing, but new coach Dino Babers worked some magic to get Syracuse above four other ACC schools in just a few weeks.
  • #62 Virginia–former coach Mike London was a good recruiter, and the coaching switch seemed to cost Virignia slightly.  Not much of a new coach bounce.  UCF, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Colorado State were among the schools to have better ranked classes.
  • #63 Wake Forest–hey, anytime the Demon Deacons avoid the basement, it is a good thing.
  • #68 Georgia Tech–having only 18 recruits hurts, but should Georgia Tech EVER be below Western Michigan in recruiting?  They do recruit for a system, though, and the system players usually suffer in the rankings.
  • #82 Boston College–sigh.  Only Kansas has a worse recruiting class among P5 schools.  Miami of Ohio has a better class.  But better than neighbors UConn and UMass.  And similar classes did not prevent BC from having a great defense.

What do you think?  Are you happy with your school’s class? Disappointed?  Dispute these RIVALS rankings?  Let us know.

Virginia Tech vs Pitt recap

Just when I thought the Pitt Panthers didn’t have much of a chance to win unless Jamel Artis or Michael Young led the way they proved me wrong. Last night at home against the Virginia Tech Hokies they were led by another junior forward named Sheldon Jeter. Sheldon led Pitt in scoring putting up 23 pts on 9-13 from the field and also added 7 rebounds.  Pitt’s future looked bright last night as their top 2 freshman, Cameron Johnson and Duane Wilson added 9 and 8 pts respectively. Johnson also pitched in with three from the arc and James Robinson dished out 10 assists. The Panthers do have a lot of depth and hopefully last night was a sign of things to come.  Pitt travels to UVA this Saturday to play the 9th ranked Cavaliers. They will need all the help they can get!


Pitt basketball season review…

Let’s take a look at Pitt’s basketball season so far in 2015-16. As of today, the Panthers are 16-4(5-3 in ACC) which has them tied for 5th place in the conference.  They spent a couple weeks in the AP Top 25 poll but losses to Louisville and NC State knocked them out for now. I thought they had a shot to jump back in after their win at Florida St but for some reason the poll Gods thought Notre Dame should be ranked. The Panthers beat the Irish on their home court earlier this year.

Pitt has pretty much relied on their two junior forwards, Jamel Artis and Michael Young. Both are logging over 28 MPG with Young averaging 17.3 PPG and Artis right behind with 15.7 PPG. Young has been huge for the Panthers on the boards this year pulling down almost 7 rebounds per game. They are both shooting over 50% from the field and 78% from the free throw line. Pitt is actually 3rd in the nation in FT% coming in at 77% per game.  Pitt has good depth and a lot of experience but in reality they will only go as far as their senior PG, James Robinson will take them. They really need him to step up and help out Artis and Young with some outside scoring.

It doesn’t look like things will get any easier for the Panthers. They play VA Tech at home tomorrow which they should win but then Virginia comes to town next Saturday and then they hit the road to go play Miami and UNC. We will see what my boys are made of in the next 2 weeks.



Hello ACC Confidential world! Dean Olivieri here, my friends call me DeanO. I was born and raised in DaBurgh. Yinz know what I mean??  By now I’m sure you probably figured out which ACC team that I am going to blog about for The Confidential.  That’s right, PITT! I lived a good 21 years or so in Pittsburgh and enjoyed every bit of it. I’m currently living in Charlotte, NC where I have been living now for the past 15 years.  I’m probably showing my age here and more than likely the old man on the site.

As you could imagine I was ecstatic when I heard that PITT would be moving to the ACC. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the good old days and hard-nosed battles of the Big East but it’s very cool having PITT in the ACC.  Anyway my plan is to provide game summaries, player news, opinions, predictions, recruiting news and so on about PITT Panthers basketball and football.

I would like to thank the Commander for giving me a shot on his site to blog about Pitt hoops and football!


I hope you enjoy!! GO PITT!!

2016 ACC Football: Games of the Week

The ACC released the football schedules for all schools earlier this week.  By now, fans have had their first thoughts on how positive and negative the specific schedule will be.  From an ACC fan perspective, the schedule analysis is broader–for example, what is the “must see” game of the week.  Here is the Confidential’s early prediction on what will be the games to watch each week:

  1. Week 1… with all due respect to Florida State and UNC, who are coming off great 2015 seasons, it was Clemson that carried the ACC in 2015 and the Tigers open Week 1 against Auburn.  If they can pull of that road win against a tough SEC foe, it will be a good omen.
  2. Week 2… with apologies to Virginia Tech and Syracuse/Louisville… Pitt hosting Penn State gets the nod.  These two Pennsylvania rivals have not faced each other often of late, but it will be ACC vs Big 10 in week 2.
  3. Week 3… no real contest here… if Louisville and Florida State are both 2-0 at this point, it will be all the more important to the Atlantic/ACC race.  And if either school has lost heading into this one, there could be desperation.
  4. Week 4… Duke vs. Notre Dame has historically been more interesting in basketball, but these are different times and the Blue Devils are quite competent.  They will give the Fighting Irish something to think about.
  5. Week 5…  a fair amount of good conference games, but the slight edge goes to Clemson-Louisville.  If Clemson is a top ranked team, the Cardinals will either be rolling or desperate.
  6. Week 6… Florida State traveling to Miami should be interesting.  Miami under a new coaching staff needs to start taking advantage of its talent.  An upset win over FSU would be a big momentum boost.
  7. Week 7… Virginia Tech and Syracuse used to play annually in the Big East.  While Frank Beamer coached all of those games for the Hokies, these two former rivals play as ACC foes in 2016, in the Dome, with Syracuse under a new coaching staff as well.
  8. Week 8… Speaking of new coaching staffs, Virginia has one as well.  In Week 8, rival North Carolina will come to Charlottesville.  Keep an eye on this one.
  9. Week 9… The biggest ACC game of the year in recent years has not been the conference championship game, but Clemson-FSU.  This year, Clemson will travel to Florida State.  Circle this one on your calendar for sure.
  10. Week 10… a difficult week to know which game will be the most important.  Will Clemson have looked past Syracuse in a post-FSU matchup?  Florida State has struggled at NC State recently.  Pitt-Miami is a Coastal clash, as is Georgia Tech-North Carolina.
  11. Week 11… with apologies to Duke-UNC, the Confidential ponders whether Pitt traveling to Clemson may feature the top teams in each division.
  12. Week 12… while many teams are slowing down to prepare for ACC/SEC rivalry games, a Northeast rivalry between BC and UConn will resume.  This game may feature less than 10 total points, but both schools detest each other.  Tune in.
  13. Week 13… of all the rivalry games, chances are that Florida State/Florida will be the best combination of high ranked teams and great teams.  South Carolina should struggle this year.

What do you think?  How do you rank the games of the week for each week?  Let us know.