Pitt

Kovacevic: Panthers shaky in Stallings’ debut but prevail … and that’s OK

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Chris Jones jams in the face of Eastern Michigan's Tim Bond. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

"I'm very happy for my team. And actually, despite what anybody else might think, I'm very proud of them."

Oh, Kevin Stallings was ready for this.

The University of Pittsburgh's new basketball coach had no sooner entered the equally new press conference room at the Petersen Events Center, one of countless renovations this summer no doubt aimed at giving the place that Jamie-Dixon-isn't-here-anymore feel, than he'd sat down, taken a sip of Aquafina, tilted into the microphone and taken on the establishment.

And hey, who can blame him?