Friday, December 23, 2011

Wagner 59 Pittsburgh 54

In what can best be described as an uninspired and awful performance, the Panthers lost to 13 point underdog Wagner 59-54 to fall to 11-2.

Turnovers and bad shooting were the main culprits as the Panthers shot just 39.6% from the field, 13.3% from three, and 60.9% from the line.  The Panthers also had an absurd 18 turnovers.

While Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 14 points, he was 5-16 from the field and 1-7 from three.  He also had 5 turnovers.  Nasir Robinson also had 5 turnovers to go with his 9 points and 9 rebounds, and Lamar Patterson had 4 turnovers to with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.  Patterson also shot 1-9 from the field and 1-5 from three.

Cameron Wright had 7 points while Talib Zanna came off the bench for 6 points and 6 rebounds.

Next up for the Panthers is a road game at Notre Dame on Tuesday.  The Irish are currently 8-5.

26 comments:

  1. Chris, is this the worst loss of the Dixon era? I couldn't think of a worse performance.

    Also, who is this team's leader? I don't think they have one and that's a major issue IMO. They look rudderless.

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  2. Pitt just doesn't have the players this year.....and Gibbs has to play the 2. The only way he's getting in the NBA is with a ticket.

    Pitt will really be exposed when their BE play begins. A 8-9 seed in the Tournament if they're lucky.

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  3. Uninspired and awful is an understatement. I can't think of a worse performance by Pitt since Dixon has been the coach. Wagner? Give me a break.

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  4. No senoir leadership. While Robinson and Gibbs are great supplemental players neither is a team leader.

    They missed Birch tonight. Both Taylor and Zanna could generate no court presence at either end. No inside intimidation on defense coupled with no inside offense.

    Jamie could have recognized his teams struggles and helped out by applying pressure sooner than 1:46 to go.

    Might be a tough year in the Big East for this edition.

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  5. First win for Wagner against a ranked team in 33 years. Another milestone for Pitt this year.

    Might as well wait until Robinson and Adams come in next year. If Dixon makes those guys ride the pine I'm done following them...

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  6. I think they badly need another guard in next year's class. Get rid of Epps. Can Wright is perhaps an eighth or ninth guy on a good team at best. Gibbs is leaving. I don't know that either Lamar or JJM are twos. Johnson looks like he'll be OK, but that's only him, Tra, and the frosh Robinson. Forget the PF and get a true scoring guard for once.

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  7. Robinson is going to be a great PG and a good fit for Pitt's style of game.

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  8. James Robinson:

    http://pittsburgh.scout.com/a.z?s=141&p=8&c=1&nid=4430218

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  9. I've been talking about Robinson for a long time. That kid is the real deal. He reminds me of Andre Miler, the former Utah All-American.

    I've also been saying for years that the one thing Pitt needs but can never get, is a big two who is both athletic and can score. Not SHOOT, but SCORE.

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  10. You have pages and pages of writeups on football, yet when basketball does this, you have a short writeup. This was an embarrassing loss. A NEC team??? This team is in serious jeopardy with their OOC schedule. What is their resume building win? Okie St? You can kiss Consol goodbye.

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  11. Im not writing a lot on it because it's two days before Christmas. I assumed it would be a slow time and that after Christmas I will write some stories about basketball so that everybody can delve into it. I only wrote something in case somebody was around and wanted to say something. I didn't expect so many people were ready to talk about it tonight.

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  12. Dokish, do you agree the CEC is now out of the discussion? And with this OOC schedule that a bid is jeopardy with zero quality wins?

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  13. It's way too early to say they won't get a bid. There is still a chance for quality Big East wins and 20+ wins. Dixon is too good of a coach to say he won't rally. He may not rally but my money is on him until it really gets dire.

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  14. The issue is they cant distinguish themselves from other bubble teams because the non-co was so bad. And to boot, they didnt beat the best team, LBSU. Look at Mich St. They have 2 losses to duke and unc. We have losses to lbsu and wagner. There is a huge difference in seeding there.

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  15. I said a couple days ago how ill-prepared Epps seems to be. It is hard for me to understand how after almost two years in the program that Epps still has no idea how to run the offense. It’s not like he would practice at two positions, he only plays the point. I looked at some old high school video of Epps to see why he’s on the team, and I can't figure it out.

    That said, without Woodall, they have not one even marginally talented ball handler. With four other guys who should be able to run the point a little, you’d think someone could break the d down occasionally.

    Wow, JD’s got his work cut out for him.

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  16. This is going to sound biased but both the lbsu and wagner games both opponents way overachieved. We were bad but they made a lot of big 3s and took advantage of sloppy play and got lucky with some ridiculous layups as well. A bad loss for sure but it;s ridiculous to question Jamie or not appreciate the program he has built for us.

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  17. Gibbs is playing way too manay minutes and its really starting to show. when woodall gets back things should start to improve for the panthers. there are no excuses for the losses to LBS and now Wagner buome to expect from themt i believe they will do well over the course of the season. maybe not as well as we have come to expect from them and have become accustomed to over the years. every team has an off year and this may well be that year for pitt. but remember though UCONN did not not look like world beaters until very late in the year last year. sometimes it takes teams a while to start putting things together. i trust in dixon and his ways to wring everything he can from this team and put them on the right track. i also won't start bashing them like some have started to. its also way to early to be worrying about what seed they might be in the big dance. not saying i like the losing but come on folks its a long season so lets just wait and see how things play out.

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  18. This loss was not a fluke.

    No-one else seemed to notice (or at least comment) that against St. Francis that Pitt struggled with even the mediocre defensive pressure that the StFran 2-3 trapping defense put on the Panthers.

    Turnovers last night, 18 in all, in this awful loss has now made it more clear that this is a terrible ball handling team without Woodall.

    Given how poorly this team handles the ball, it is quite unlikely that Woodall's return at point guard is going to make enough of a difference for these Panthers to win against the much more athletic and soon to be trapping/full court pressing defenses (at least against the Panthers) of the Big East.

    Things look grim and I suspect that Jamie Dixon knows it ...

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  19. Teams that Pitt would normally beat by 20+ points and almost have to apologize for playing have hung close all season. Still seem to be gaping holes in their defense with easy baskets coming off pick and rolls. When has Pitt ever handled full court pressure easily? They can expect to see a lot of it this season I think. They had at least three straight possessions with a turnover when they cut the lead to four. A basket at that point and maybe Wagner crumbles. It looked like they were trying to give the game back to Pitt and the Panthers just kept making mistake after mistake. Maybe it's different with Woodall but then, how many guys on Wagner's roster would even get a sniff from Dixon when he's recruiting. This should have been a case where superior depth simply won out in the end and it didn't.

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  20. I think you just chalk this up to a bad game. Between the holiday and ND coming up, it was a perfect trap game. It's a young team with an unathletic backcourt so the press will be a pain in the ass all season. By no means is this an elite 8 team or better but they could sneak into the Sweet 16. I see enough light at the end of tunnel to make me a believer.

    I think that Dante is better off the bench. Maybe Dixon should consider starting Zanna. I was also hoping to see Patterson at the 2 and Moore at the 3 to start - he seemed to like the combo a lot according to the papers this week.

    No need to panic though. These types of losses are typical at most programs. We've just been spoiled. I expect a rejuvinated effort Tuesday.

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  21. Wagner copied ND's game plan from last year. Pressing D, and hold the ball as long as possible before shooting. It worked then and now. Gibbs just isn't a ball handler, so pressing him is good strategy. Let's see how it goes with Woodall back. I'm betting Gibbs and the rest of the team gets better on offense. The defense this year, well, let's hope we score a lot of points.

    Happy holidays all.

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  22. Since Birch left is there any chance of finding someone to take his spot on the team for the 2nd semester?

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  23. I doubt it...they played an entire season with an extra scholarship recently. They'll add someone decent to next years class.

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  24. I find it amusing that some of you are bagging on Epps, when the second Dixon put both Epps and Johnson in the game, they completely dominated Wagner. Score went from 32-44 to 38-44 and it was a huge difference in intensity and defense for sure. Epps is a terrific passer and can actually play some defense. To write a 6'2" PG who could help them is ridiculous based on seeing him play 3 minutes - which the team was better during I might add.

    Pitt lost that game because they simply weren't athletic enough to break anyone down even with low D1 guys in their face. But when you put a lineup out there for the majority of the second half with no more than 2 above average athlete's at their position on the floor, that's what you get. Gibbs, Nas, and especially Patterson are simply not terrific athletes and are going to be overmatched against most teams. It was apparent on the defensive end where they couldn't run and chase the Wagner players and on the offensive end when they struggled to get free for open looks. Jaime should be playing Johnson and Moore a lot more. He should also be giving Epps a lot more of a look with Woodall out as he's a real pass-first point guard. Wright is also a supreme athlete, but you also can't have him gunning 3s when he can't shoot. The point is, when your starters aren't playing well, you put in their backups unless they have proven to be truly superior players. These guys have not done that.

    Many of us have praised Jaime for recruiting better the last couple years. The intent isn't for that to pay off 3 years from now. Jaime needs to play the younger, more athletic guys. Birch may be immature, but he should have been playing more, as should the two JJs, and Epps frankly.

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  25. Bottom line is win now and often with the players that can do it. I agree with _anon_ above that its about playing certain young guys more when appropriate, like, for instance, birch, the JJs and maybe even epps (I mean a real pg).

    Working a system is great especially when you have grit but lesser talent. Pitt's talent isn't amazing, but with birch, etc., they're young guys were quite good (imagine if bond was there). Someone posted that Dixon will have evolve to as a coach to understand how to better work younger, talented players into the system earlier.

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  26. ...And that's what is needed

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