November 12, 2007

Majerus praises Pitt in loss to the Panthers

St. Louis head coach Rick Majerus is no stranger to Pitt basketball. Panther fans painfully remember March 16, 1989 and March 19, 1993. In '89, Majerus led his Ball State team to a 68-64 win over the Panthers, knocking them out of the NCAA Tournament, and he did the same when he was at Utah in 1993. The Panthers ended a 3-0 series run by St. Louis, and a 2-0 run by Coach Majerus with a 69-58 win over the Billikens Sunday at the Petersen Events Center.

While many Panther fans may not be able to forgive him for those heartbreaking losses, Majerus actually has some ties to Pitt's successes of late. He has worked numerous basketball camps out west with Jamie Dixon, and he also was a big Pitt fan during his stint as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. The two were also at camps this past offseason, with the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets. After the game tonight, despite loss, Majerus had a lot of good vibes about Pitt's 2007-08 team.

"Pitt is very good, they played their hearts out," Majerus said. "They're tough. They're very deep. Marquette has better guards. If I could take Pitt's team or Georgetown's team, I'd take Pitt's team. They played good together. They have unbelievable depth. They have size, they have talent. We didn't play well, but it was because of Pitt. They're going to have an excellent year. If Louisville is better than them, I don't want to be facing Louisville."

Two players who stood out to Majerus were Levance Fields, and freshman DeJuan Blair. Fields had his best game of the young season, with a game-high 16 points and six assists Blair matched Fields with 16 points, and a game-high eight rebounds.

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