Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pittsburgh 61 Tennessee 56

Tennessee wasn't as good as they have been in the recent past, and in fact the Panthers were a slight favorite on the road, but this was still an impressive win.

Ashton Gibbs never will have point guard skills but he will go down as one of the best pure shooters in Pitt history.  He didn't shoot well today, however, going 7 for 26 from the field and 1 for 6 from three, but he had 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, not to mention a key tie up at the end of the game.

Khem Birch was up to one and half straight games of lackluster play but that changed in the second half, especially on defense and rebounding, his two specialties.  He ended up with 4 points, 3 rebounds, and a couple of blocks, but they were well timed.

I don't think John Johnson is going to be the point guard of the future, that's reserved for James Robinson, but they may have found their SG of the future.  A 5'11" SG is not ideal but he may be too good not to start.  Even better would be an elite good sized SG entering the program so that Johnson could be a topnotch third guard.

Nasir Robinson got back on track with 16 points and 6 rebounds while going 8 of 11 from the field.

Cameron Wright got his first start and went 0-6 from the field.  Still don't know how much he's going to offer in the future.

I wrote the other day about the two options Jamie Dixon had in replacing Travon Woodall.  He clearly chose the wrong one.  Johnson ended up with 8 points an 3 assists, plus the breakaway basket to seal the game.  The kid has balls of steel.

Bad free throw shooting at the end almost cost the Panthers.  Both Lamar Patterson and Dante Taylor missed the front end of one and ones  (Taylor twice) with less than a minute to go.

10 comments:

  1. Tennessee will finish at or near the bottom of the league. This was anything but an impressive win.

    I watched the KY/UNC before this and came to this conclusion: Pitt is nowhere close to a final4 team this year. I mean literally not even close.

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  2. I don't think anybody thought Pitt was close to a Final Four team this year.

    As for an impressive win, any time you win on the road against a major conference team, it's an impressive win. Pitt fans take it for granted but it's not something most programs can do regularly.

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  3. i was a little disappointed with taylors play missed a few bunnies and missed two key free throws at the end

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  4. Tennessee has played Duke and Memphis very close as well. Considering we lost Woodall and it was our first game without him, the team responded well in the second half. And they finally started showing some grit as a team.

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  5. I too was disappointed that Dixon started Gibbs at PG. I think it took Gibbs out of his game, and Pitt is lucky to win when that happens. I would rather see JJ or Wright play PG and gets some more minutes.

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  6. Butler was a final four team last year. If Birch can get better alongwith JJ and John Johnson, and with luck on their side I still say Pitt can do some damage. As for the guy who said Tenn. will finish at the bottom of the league, we will see. I think they are better than what you think. On any hot night Pii could be able to light it up from 3. Now with Johnson shooting well, and Woodall over 48% along with Gibbs please, they are capable of beating most teams. Thoughthe top 3 teams this yr are really good.

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  7. "The kid has balls of steel." - Love your assessment of John Johnson! I think the team has made steady but slow improvement since the Long Beach loss. Not saying that are a national championship contender but they should be a factor in the Big East and look good enough to go to the NCAA tourney. Who knows? Maybe they have better results in a season with lower expectations.

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  8. Chris, I see nothing from Wright that merits playing time. He is a hindrance on offense because his shooting and skills are so lacking on that end. I can't believe Dixon praised him all off-season and even said he played well after TN game. He may have some jumping ability, but his first step is not that quick, his feet aren't that quick, and he can't shoot. What are your thoughts? I just can't understand the love affair.

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  9. I honestly never saw a lot of upside when Wright was recruited and I'm still not seeing it. But hopefully he can be a solid four year contributor. Nothing wrong with that. But I would love to see Pitt add a legit big time SG to combine with Robinson and Johnson.

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  10. Doke i know your at all the home games as a member of the United States Basketball Writer's Association but are you also at away games? i know you covered the big east tournaments for pittsburgh sports reporter so will you be going to new york for the ok state game for them too?

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