Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pittsburgh 69 South Carolina State 55

Once again, the Panthers played a vastly inferior team but with the victory they are now 10-1.

Ashton Gibbs shot horribly going 6-18 from the field and 2-12 from three.  He ended up with 14 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds.

The leading scorer for the Panthers was Lamar Patterson who scored 16 points, thanks to shooting 7-11 from the field and 2-5 from three.  He also added 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal.  Needless to say, the sophomore is really coming on and turning into a pretty good player.

With Khem Birch no longer on the team,  Dante Taylor once again got his chance to start, but he disappointed with 2 points and 4 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Picking up the slack for both Birch and Taylor was Talib Zanna who was impressive with 12 points and 14 rebounds in 26 minutes.  He did have some trouble holding onto the ball though and had 3 turnovers. But for the most part, if he played like this the rest of the way, Birch may not be that missed that much this year.  But consistency has been Zanna's weakness for all of his career.

Nasir Robinson had another decent all around game with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Once again Cameron Wright started and didn't score, and once again John Johnson got more minutes than him off the bench.  He did good with 8 points in 20 minutes.

The Panthers won the rebounding battle with a 38-24 advantage.

Pitt held SC State to 38.9% from the floor but also shot 5-21 from three, 21.7%, and 57.1% from the line.

The Panthers next host St. Francis (PA) on Tuesday.


  1. Was at the game tonight. Dixon has got to find a way to get Gibbs off the court a few more minutes a game. Epps looks lost and on offense, it looks like the game moves way too fast for Epps and especially Cam Wright.

  2. this team hasn't looked right all year. i'm hoping they get way better as the season goes on but to be honest i'm bracing myself for a down year. they look really good in spurts but can't seem to put it all together consistently. and i agree that if gibbs keeps having to play all these minutes its going to be a big problem sooner rather than later. some of these players really have to start upping there game soon. once big east play starts if things stay the way they are it could get ugly.

  3. If they want to get Gibbs a rest, they should just bring Zanna and Johnson in, take Wright out, and move Patterson to shooting guard. Patterson is shooting well enough from the outside this year to adequately man that spot, Johnson is very capable of handling the ball plus able to hit the outside shot, and Zanna is playing well right now.

    Birch leaving probably affects Zanna's minutes more than anyone else but Gilbert's ... who hadn't played yet this year.

    Patterson has a very solid overall game ... I've been surprised at how well he has been playing.

    I hope that JJ Moore doesn't get pissed off about playing time. He really should be getting some of the minutes that Wright is getting IMO. I know that they are at different positions and I guess Wright is a better defender, but Patterson can play guard anyway and Wright doesn't bring much else but defense from what I've seen. Moore's earned more minutes than Wright and hopefully tonight is a sign that Dixon has begun to believe that as well.


  4. It seems like they are missing chemistry at times. Gibbs has not shot well. Wright hasn't done much but play defense. Dixon's still trying to find the right mix. And though their defense has improved, I'm still not sold that it won't end up being a problem throughout the season ... not to mention their best shot blocker just left town. But there are some promising signs.

    Patterson, Zanna, Robinson, and Johnson have all have played well. Taylor's been playing okay and he's still got some considerable upside. Woodall will be back within a couple of weeks and he was shooting well from the outside. Moore has promise; he also makes sure that he gets his fair share of shots ... if not minutes.

    The pieces are there ... they are deep. I just wish that Dixon worked on a full court press defense more ... with a team this deep and equally talented that could be a valuable weapon to have.

    The conference looks loaded, but the real basketball hasn't begun.


  5. Chris, I believe you meant "vastly inferior" in that first sentence, correct?

    Hey, however they actually played getting a win after having a defection like Birch's is good for the team to experience. Gets them on the road to the rest of the season an the right foot.

    The more I read about Birch in the media - and the detailed info on this blog - the more I respect how Jamie Dixon handles himself and the players who are under his care. The national media recognize Dixon's character and applaud it regularly.

    We are lucky to have him in more ways than just Ws & Ls IMO.

  6. Jamie's still trying to figure things out. Saw glimpses of Patterson and Moore out there together for the first time at the 2/3. I like that. I agree with letting Johnson get 4-5 minutes at the point, especially in these non-con games. Hopefully Tray will be back for Big East time to get the rotation set and get Gibbs some rest.

  7. To be honest, I thought they were not going to go far in the tournament even with Birch, but now without him, it makes me even more confident that they won't go far. The best players right now are the upperclassmen but they aren't good enough to beat any top level teams in the tournament, and the talent is with the underclassmen, but they aren't good enough players yet.