Friday, November 9, 2012

Basketball: Pittsburgh 80 Mt. St.Mary's 48

Very impressed, as I expected I would be.  This team has the potential to be excellent.

Other thoughts:

1.  Talib Zanna had 20 points on 10 of 12 shooting but I'm not sure I'm ready to call him a major offensive threat.  The truth is, they were the easiest 20 points he'll ever seen with easy transitional baskets coming at will. He also added 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block.

2.  Welcome Steven Adams and James Robinson.  Adams had 8 points on 4-5 front he field, with 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a steal.  What struck me most is that unlike most big men, he never, ever stops moving.  And Jamie Dixon didn't exactly take it easy on his freshman playing him for most of the game.  Robinson was as steady as can be with 6 points, 4 rebounds, a steal, and just one turnover.  Amazingly, though, he did not have one assist.

3.  Travon Woodall had a good all around game with 14 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and an assist.  He had 3 turnovers but the team had only 8 turnovers, a big improvement over last season.

4. Lamar Patterson had no points or rebounds, and the fact that the Panthers looked so good without him shows just how deep they are.

5.  I was very impressed with Trey Zeigler.  His defense was excellent and he apparently got the message that that matters at Pitt.  On offense he showed that in transition he is as good as gold with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

6.  J.J.  Moore came off the bench with his normal offense.  This time it was 9 points.  Cameron Wright played despite his father dying and showed great heart by doing so.  He looked much improved with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.  His defense was exceptional.

7.  The Panthers had 10 steals.

8.  Only 1 for 6 from three but it wasn't a needed weapon since there was no defense for their transition game.


  1. Pitt basketball is the anti-Pitt football.

  2. Chris, why did you pick pitt 15 by season end? Top 10 I would say. They could seriously have over 30 wins also.

    1. Nobody else has them in the top 25 so I had to show some constraint!!

    2. I have them as an Elite 8 team...

      yes... pessimistic me...
      I think they will be coming together just fine by year end.
      I'm surprised Wright got as much playing time as he did.
      Robinson looked good... but I'd rather see Zeigler get the start. I'd rather see Zeigler slash and drive to the basket instead of Woodall.

  3. Adams looked great.....didn't try to do too much. He will anchor the D for Pitt. As soon as he came out in the 2nd half MSM was able to score. I didn't see Adams foul...

    Pitt will end up somewhere in the top 3 in BE for sure.

  4. Caught the game on ESPN3. Panthers perimeter defense looked bad early but they adjusted or MSM just went cold. Adams and Robinson are really going to contribute. Adams looks really athletic, moves well and has offensive and defensive skills. I think Robinson's presence will really help Woodall. Have to wait and see how things go when conference play starts but this team looks more than capable of returning to NCAA tournament.

  5. The competition was obviously inferior, but I'm excited by what I saw. Pitt showed great length and athleticism (particularly on defense), got out in transition, and shared the ball willingly. What a difference a year and an influx of talent makes.

    I still think Pitt could have some trouble beating teams that clog the paint and force outside jump shots. I am also concerned that they may not have a reliable big man who can score with his back to the basket down low. I'm not saying they are guaranteed weaknesses, but those are questions that I had going into the season, and they didn't have to be answered against MSM.

    For now, I agree with Chris. I'm not ready to anoint them as a definite top 5 or 10 team, but I can't imagine there being 15 teams in the country better than Pitt.