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MALIK ELLISON is a junior transfer who averages roughly 10 points per game for the Pitt Panthers. (AP PHOTOS)

:10—And the reason was most evident as 12,000-plus filled up PPG Arena Friday night, Nov. 30, to see Pitt and Duquesne do battle. And do battle they did, well at least for the first 20 minutes. That second half was all the time Pitt needed to outlast Duquesne, while in the process, shaking off that loss to No. 14 Iowa a few days earlier. But, Duquesne showed they were serious about city bragging rights.

:09—To be sure, Pitt won the game, 74–53, and if you got the score on ESPN the next day you would think blowout. But, it wasn’t as much that as it was a Tale of Two Cities. Pitt is just a deeper, more overall talented team. They can go seven, maybe eight men deep and stay in stride. But don’t get me wrong, Duquesne has a talented five, but not as talented as Pitt’s starting five.

:08—And, that Pitt talent has been building and being talked about slowly but surely as Pitt has established a 6–1 record (their second loss came this past Monday, Dec. 4, to Niagara). The X-man, Xavier Johnson, leads the Panthers and has zero fear about shot attempts and trust me, the best is yet to come from him. He’s joined by several talented swing men in Malik Ellison and Trey McGowens and they are a pick-your-poison trio.

PITT TAKES THE CITY GAME—Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame blocks a shot attempt by Duquesne’s Brandon Wade, in the annual City Game. Pitt won, 74-53, at PPG Paints Arena, Nov. 30.

:07—Much the same can be said about the Dukes, but to a lesser degree. They have the goods and are an improving team under the tough and masterful direction of Coach Keith Dambrot. His hard-nosed, defensive style covers some loose ends, and the solid play of outstanding guard/forward Eric Williams and guards Mike Lewis and Tavian Dunn-Martin promises a great season on the Bluff for the Dukes.

:06—Oh, BTW, a tremendous attaboy to the city folks and surrounding communities for coming out to support the City Game. Basketball is back in Pittsburgh, big time!

:05—Let’s get this Part-Tee started right! I need to take care of…“The Locker Roomers,” my faithful readers and believers…yes sir!!! First, you, my man Greg Brown in the locker room. He’s been reading me while on vacation (you know, you know, you know!) and to the lovely Ms. Millie who I met this past weekend at the Reverend Darkins Senior Citizen Thanksgiving Dinner (sweet little thing but knows her stuff).

:04—I am going to have to give you this hard and fast cause we’ve got the late game and national spotlight so I am going in early. Steelers and Big Ben take on the Chargers and Phil Rivers. And here are your five reasons. Why? Because I know you like “the lists.” 1. Needless to say and hell yea, Ben has to make up for that panic pass a few weeks ago against Denver that cost us the game. Not Conner’s fumble, BTW. 2. A.B. not saying or showing it, but trust me, he’s ticked off about the lack of passes and JuJu shining brighter. 3. With any luck at all James Washington won’t be playing. 4. The Chargers’ record is better than the teams they beat. 5. Because…we are…Pittsburgh! Well, wouldn’t ya know…Ben throws a touchdown to A.B., but also a bad interception, our special teams can’t figure out which side of the ball to be on when it’s snapped, and the Chargers left town, Dec. 2, with a victory over the Steelers, 33-30. Unbelievable!

:03—The SEC Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia was certainly the best I’ve seen all year. I mean good! A down-to-the-wire, 35–28 win for the Tide. And a classic, legendary, miraculous finish that will forever lock quarterback Jalen Hurts into Bear Bryant football history forever more. If you don’t know, just Google it, man!

:02—If you need to know, here’s your moviegoers list. I know you love it, I know you need it, and I know you like those lists! 1. “Green Book”—a must-see true account of “when America was great!”…NOT!!! 2 “Creed II”—it’s just good, Rocky good. 3. “The Hate You Give”—but be ready to get mad. 4. “Robin Hood”—good, but not great; the wrong guy playing Robin. It should have been Chris Pratt. 5. “Bohemian Rhapsody”—if you lived through the music of the ‘70s and ‘80s, and, you know the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen, you will love it. Now go to the movies. You need a break.

:01—If you’re reading this you need to be reminded that the last “Champions Live” Sports Talk Show at the Savoy will be this Thursday, Dec. 6. Before we break for the winter cold, Thursday’s show will feature former ABA and Pittsburgh Piper legend Cal Graham and members of that world champion franchise led by the late great Connie Hawkins. Also on the show, Connie Hawkins League Hall of Famers, Myron Brown, Gerald Lovelace, Mark Pinnix, Darelle Porter, Barnett Harris, and Bobby Franklin. Special guests will be Tim Stevens and the All-Star team of B-PEP.

:00—GAME OVER.

 

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