Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pittsburgh 74 Oklahoma State 68

Another good, but not great performance against another good, but not great team.  But even though Pitt has not been great yet this season, I still see them having a good chance of going 16-1 as they go into Marquette next month.  They're 9-1 now and the only semi-tough game until Marquette is Notre Dame who is 6-4 and has lost Tim Abromaitis for the season.

How great was it to hear Jeff Van Gundy do a Pitt game?  Not only is he knowledgable, but he's entertaining and he clearly appreciates the Pitt program.  Has to make a Pitt fan proud when people like Van Gundy, Bobby Knight, Jay Bilas, and Rick Majerus says great things about the program.

Lamar Patterson was excellent with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists.  He also had zero turnovers.

Ashton Gibbs again led all Panthers with 17 points, while Nasir Robinson chipped in 15 points and 6 rebounds.

Think Dante Taylor got a wake up call with Khem Birch starting again?  He had another decent game with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks.  I think it's safe to say he will never be a star, but it's just as safe to say that he's not a flop.  He's a good player, not a great player, but that's okay.

Birch did add 5 points, as did Cameron Wright, John Johnson, and J.J. Moore.

The Panthers shot 53.1% from the floor and they needed it because they made only 4 of 11 threes and 18 of 29 free throws.  Robinson was 1-5 from the line and Taylor was 0-2.

Oklahoma State shot just 41.9% from the field and the Panthers out rebounded them 38-23.

Gibbs played 39 minutes, against Tennessee he played 38, and against Duquesne it was 36.  Hopefully he doesn't wear down and Travon Woodall comes back sooner rather than later.

Next up the Panthers will host South Carolina State next Saturday.  Yippee.


  1. I think Dante is just being more physical. He actually seems like he is awake and having fun. I still think this team will win the Big East, Jamie does have a knack of making players play D. I think JJ is getting more comfortable and has major upside, but while Lamar is playing all phases of the game it does not hurt Pitt. I'm a big Pitt Basketball homer(dick groat), but I think this could be a surprise team. I don't think a number 1 seed is out of the question.

  2. coming into the season i had hope taylor would develop into a star just like thomas robinson has done at kansas, but as each game passes he still hasnt had a breakout game( i dont consider that game against duquesne as a breakout) however as each game passes he still hasnt turned into a star he shows flashes but i still feel they dont use him in the offense as much as they could..your thoughts?

  3. They definitely don't use him in the offense much but I'm guessing it's just because the strength of the team offensively is on the perimeter. With Gibbs, Woodall, Patterson, Moore, and Johnson being such good outside shooters it's hard not to go with that.

  4. An early season trend seems to be letting teams get back into a game late. OK State was down 16 with 9 minutes left and I think Pitt had the ball. They were poised to blow their doors off and instead, they went cold, committed a few turnovers, missed some key free throws and suddenly the Cowboys had a chance at the end. Fortunately Gibbs got to the line at the end to ice it. Is the team losing its intensity when they get a big lead? Just inexperience?

  5. For the first time I saw a little of what Dixon must see in Wright. His stats don't show much but he is going to be a real good on the ball defender. He makes freshman mistakes but most freshman do. He won't be a star but I see him as a solid contributor. Johnson off the bench is electrifying and I think Dante may just be better coming off the bench. Some players are just wired that way. He could be the best 6th man in the Big East and that's not a bad accomplishment.

    Seing 14 TO's surprised me. They had a couple WTF moments but I thought they played under control the entire game.

    The rebounding and defense are coming around a bit and the offense has been clicking. Even with OKST chipping away at the lead I never got real nervous (minus the boneheaded pass back to the inbounder at the end) and the team didn't look rattled either. They continued to be patient and shoot smart shots.

    Van Gundy was excellent.

  6. I'm starting to believe that this team can be really good as long as they check their egos at the door ... which Dixon is very good at getting his players to do. The reason that I say that is that this a deep team and there are a lot of guys that are very close in talent and playing minutes ... and potentially players' egos ... are going to be difficult to manage, but they all the players bring something unique to the floor.

    Patterson looks much improved ... I wasn't aware that he is just a sophomore. Taylor is in great shape. Birch has top end hops. Gibbs is who he is, but he also seems to have taken a jump as far as his physical shape and athleticism ... one of his weaknesses ... hell, he's even made some decent defensive plays the last few games. Woodall has improved his outside shot. Moore has plenty of offensive talent and he seems to have picked up on the D end too. Robinson looks as slippery and crafty underneath as ever. Johnson has game and is very confident with his shot. Zanna has hops and can play some decent defense at times and even had a nice assist against OK State. Epps looked like he belonged in the little that I saw of him. Wright is more of a mystery to me, but at least he brings intensity on the defensive end.

    They remind me a lot of the 1987-1988 team, but they lack the top end talent on that team which had Charles Smith on it. They get it together on the D end and this team got the shooting and rebounding to make some noise. I sure wish that Dixon would work on developing a better press defense though ... that's a nice weapon to have in your arsenal when you have a deep team.


  7. What's your relationship like with Jamie? I seen Ray Fittipaldi said he's been bristling at a lot of media questions and I was just wondering what your relationship with him is like since you've been covering him so closely for so long?

  8. I've only met Dixon a few times. The truth is, I try not to talk to him too much because I don't want to know the coaches in that public setting. What you hear from coaches publicly and what you hear from them privately are two different things and if all you get from them is the public coach, you aren't going to learn much. And Dixon will NEVER tell you anything privately. That's why I laugh when people say that Andy Katz is friends with Dixon so what he says about Dixon is the Gospel. He's "friends" in the sense that they have an understanding in their business relationship. They don't hang out and talk about their kids or have a beer. And I bet I could get more from somebody on the staff than Katz could ever get from Dixon, because Dixon isn't going to tell anybody any real scoop.

  9. wow thats interesting, dixon has said they became friendly in the early 2000s when jamie was an assistant for ben and katz started working at espn, maybe hes just saying that though