Washington: The Return Of Mike Cook

I have tried to be the voice of reason, the seeming lone defender of Mike Cook and Levon Kendall in the past few weeks. While Levon Kendall is still only averaging 2.86 points since his 10 against Marquette, Mike Cook has finally bounced back and given me some ammunition against his detractors.

In yesterday’s win over non-conference Washington, Mike scored 15 points, his most since 18 in the win over Georgetown. In the time between those two games, he averaged 6.38 points. He scored 5 or fewer points 4 times, and over 10 only twice. It might not sound like the end of the world, but he is still our second leading scorer with 10.4 per contest. Before the slump, Mike was averaging nearly 12 points per game.

Its hard to say what those 5 extra points per game would have done recently. Of course, Louisville would still have beaten us, but some of those close games might not have been so worrisome. All I know is that what Cook was able to do yesterday, to (if only temporarily) silence his critics, most likely won us the game. He shot better than 50% and ended up with 15 points. He grabbed 4 rebounds, all on the offensive end. He had 2 assists and a steal, and only 1 turnover.

With the likelihood of Gray missing tomorrow’s game at Seton Hall, or at least playing significantly fewer minutes, there is a lot more pressure on the rest of the squad. My prediction is that Levon will get the majority of time at center, with Sam Young and Tyrell Biggs taking over the Power Forward. Of course, I am hopeful that Aaron is going to play, but consider that Seton Hall is going to be significantly easier than the other three games on our schedule. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have Aaron in full strength against Georgetown than be still nursing the ankle in our biggest contest of the year.

What I really hope, however, is that Mike Cook believed what he said in his post game interview. Mike said that Jamie Dixon told him that he needed to have more fun on the court, and stop trying to force it. Cook added with a laugh, that it felt good “to finally make a shot.”

So all of you that enjoy being critical, don’t think that you are the only one. You might enjoy sitting there at your computer, trashing our struggling athletes. You might enjoy talking to your friends about the failures of our team, like you could do better. But remember, we are currently in first place in the conference. We have an opportunity to finish with a better Big East record than any other year in Pitt history. There is nobody more critical of these players than themselves. I sincerely doubt that Cook and Kendall felt that they were playing their best basketball out there. So instead of jumping on the bandwagon and jeering them, try to give them some support. It might just make a difference.


23 Responses to “Washington: The Return Of Mike Cook”

  1. Jason Cramer Says:

    Cook played much better yesterday. We are going to need him to keep up the way he played. His shot selection was good and he played hard. He is the only true finisher we have and we need him.Kendall on the other hand is going to be essential on Monday. He can’t get into foul trouble with Gray not being a hundred percent. Its do or die time to prove that he offers something as a starter. I hope he proves me wrong but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. I once scored 40 against the US national team Says:

    I agree, we need to support the team.So in order to support the team. BENCH LEVON KENDALL!We can’t have his Degroat type antics anymore. Last year Degroat lost his starting spot in the BET and NCAA tourney. I say send a message and start now. Levon can’t score and his defense is overrated. I’d much rather see Tyrell or Sam used instead of levon.Levon hasn’t done anything in 5 years here. Sam and Biggs are in their 2nd year and should be given more minutes than the walking canadian turnover.I know that I want Pitt to win more than all of the players on the team. When these guys lose or play poorly then throw a huge party at night, they dont give a rats ass. Meanwhile it puts the true fans into a deep depression.I don’t care for any of that, its just a game crap. People are passionate about things and I am passionate about Pitt athletics. So levon do yourself a favor, you’ve wasted 5 valuable years of Pitt’s time, so move on already. It must feel great to have more fouls than field goals eh buddy?Every year Pitt has a senior who just flat out sucks. Congrats Levon, you have won that distinguished honor for the 06-07 season.BTW your house sucks, it smells funny and is ugly. I hope when you move out your parents have to sell it at a loss.Air Bud sucks.

  3. Jason Cramer Says:

    He is going to have his chance to perform tommorrow. No way Gray gets his usual amount of minutes with the ankle problem. We could use some offensive production from Kendall. Hopefully he takes some added responsibility against Seton Hall. Coach Dixon has been limiting his minutes lately so he isn’t being given a free pass. Come on Levon and prove everyone wrong including me.

  4. Keith McBride Says:

    I can’t tell whether that comment was real or just a rant for a laugh.Either way, the greatest movie about being a sports fan is Fever Pitch with Jimmy Fallon.He realizes, after a Boston loss in the playoffs, that while he is drinking away his sadness, the players are just having a nice dinner out. It is merely a game, and the players know how to leave the game on the field, and pick up the rest of their lives off the field.I used to get really upset with a Pitt loss, even in the 2005 season when we lost in the first round of the Big East Tourney and the NCAA tourney. Now, I am just enjoying getting to watch a top 10 team while I can. I only have one more year of it, gotta make every minute of it count.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Levon is terrible. He wouldn’t be starting for most top 25 teams from the power conferences. You want to know what Pitt’s weakness is? Its not athletic teams, its Levon Kendall.79 Fouls, 49 Field Goals.Boy, thats impressive isn’t it?

  6. Jason Cramer Says:

    There is some anger here. Lets see what happens tonight. I think this is his last chance to prove his worth.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    What’s all the crap about Levon for? Seems like someone needs to spend some time in their happy place. Worry about yourself dude.

  8. Praise the lord Says:

    the only senior on this team that I will miss next year is Antonio Graves. Amen.

  9. Jason Cramer Says:

    I think people expect more out of him because of the minutes he is getting and the talent thats on the bench. People are fustrated that Biggs a player who has shown flashes of ability this year isn’t being given more time. Its all talk if people didn’t want to hear criticism of players why discuss the team at all. Vent away everyone its just words.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    How is it that one player is the cause of such turmoil? Is it not true that a basketball team is made up of a number of players? So, how can you point your finger at one player? You may not like Levon kendall, you don’t need to get personal. After all, he does wear the PITT jersey and he is part of a winning team!!!!!

  11. Jason Cramer Says:

    I can only speak for myself, I don’t think Levon is ruining the team or anything. Most of the exaggerated comments are very tongue-in-cheek. He isn’t performing and some Pitt fans are calling him out for it. We are all fans and want the team to win. I don’t want Levon to fail or anything. Criticizing a players production isn’t personal nobody is “seriously” calling Levon out as a person.Yes a basketball team is a group of players. In my opinion, certain players have been playing poorly. If I wrote this column pre-Big East people would have called me out for criticizing Antonio Graves. Now I think he is playing great basketball and have made many mentions of it.I want nothing more than this team to win the Big East and make a run in the tournament. I’m dropping a over 350 dollars and spending my spring break in New York. If Levon scored 20 points a game and hit game winners we would all be happy. Don’t take any criticism of a player you like personally I’m sure that player couldn’t care less what people have to say about them.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    that cute little ear ring matches levon’s mohawk and canadian striped suit real nice. He should get an endorsement deal for Tim Hortons.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    poor baby levon hurt his leg

  14. Anonymous Says:

    to the above comment:that “poor baby” saved our butts tonight. he stepped up BIG TIME.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    My gameball goes to Levance. He’s the man.Razor needs to learn how to beat the press.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Its 12:19, and yes, levon still sucks.

  17. Jason Cramer Says:

    We won against Seton Hall because of the second half play by Levance. Levon doesn’t suck though last game was fine. How did I become the voice of reason?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    because you have no idea what you are talking about. Levon is garbage. Levance is saving this team. If we had Chevy instead of levon we would be 27-1 and getting a number 1 seed. Jason you are out of mind defending Levon. He sucks, his movie sucks, his music skill suck.I’m sure his finely trimmed hair doesn’t suck though.Thats right.

  19. Jason Cramer Says:

    Bad move with the number 1 pick. But BT3 is the new Straka. I said it and you can quote me

  20. Jason Cramer Says:

    And yes I have no idea what I’m talking about. PSC is Holik. I can’t wait to meet Kovalev. Thats going to be great. INSIDE JOKE

  21. Derek Says:

    Who is Kovalev again? And no, not a bad move on the #1 pick

  22. Jason Cramer Says:

    Your number one is actually fine. The captain of your team isn’t cool with the commish. Kovalev is hypothetical. Doesn’t exist yet. I like the part of your team thats about tim hortons not the one thats about sucking at qb in wpiaal

  23. Derek Says:

    I’m with you now… I want details why there’s beef with my captain, but I follow. Kovy may be determined in NYC

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