Saturday, January 18, 2014

Syracuse 59 Pittsburgh 54

There's no such thing as a good loss, but Pitt showed they can play with what is generally considered one of the two best teams in the country.  Some thoughts:

1.  Lamar Patterson struggled in the first half and then, holy moly.  Raining down threes like hellfire, Patterson ended up with 18 pounds, including 4-9 from three.  And three of those threes came in succession just when it looked like Pitt was going to get blown out.

2.  Talib Zanna had another double double, this time going for 12 points and 11 rebounds.

3.  Cameron Wright showed great bounce and hustle for the entire game but he also was a little out of control at times. He had a team high 3 turnovers.  But he did add 9 points and 6 rebounds.

4.  James Robinson started fast but then slowed down. Eventually he was outplayed by Tyler Ennis. For the game he had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, and just one turnover.

5.  Mike Young continues to struggle offensively in the paint. He's a physically strong player but he's lacking in confidence so much that he's playing weak. He had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 turnovers.

6.  The Pitt bench was weak with just 1 point on 1-6 shooting.

7.  Pitt shot just 38.3% from the field and uncharacteristically 13-24 from the FT line.  Syracuse shot 51.2% from the field.

8.  Pitt out rebounded the Orange 35-24.

15 comments:

  1. Pitt just couldn't make buckets today.
    Whether on the line or field. Shoulda, coulda, woulda won that game.
    Actually, the game should provide a boost to the teams confidence even though they lost. Seth Davis is eating plenty of crow now for not putting Pitt in Top 25.

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  2. They seemed to clean up the FT in the second half. I think its easy to criticize Young but you have to remember who he was going up against. It looks like his game may not suit what is required of a 4 at Pitt. Has either him or Artis shot a jump shot in ACC play?

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  3. The loss should not hurt their ranking. They showed they can go toe-to-toe with Syracuse on their floor. Unfortunately Pitt didn't play well in the last four minutes when they had a three point lead and then when they got behind.

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  4. A couple of points on Syracuse. They are long and tuff to stop in the paint, and Innis seems to be calm and was the key to the win. If Wright makes that shot with a minute left Pitt probably wins, but to have a game that went to the wire with the number 2 team at their place is not to bad. I do think Dixon has to decide if he is going to play Jones or not. Putting him in a minute here and there does not help his confidence and never lets him get in the flow. Jamie has to bite the bullet and let him play extended minutes. Jones is a better free throw shooter than his 2 bricks he put up near the end of the game but nerves will do u in when u do not have any experience to draw from. Dixon is a favorite of mine, but I think he cuts his bench short at times.

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    1. I think he was forced to play Jones because Newkirk had several defensive lapses that led to Syracuse opening up the big lead.

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  5. I've been impressed with Zanna. He goes up strong for rebounds and he finishes his inside opportunities well.

    Speaking of finishes, Pitt is 2 for 2 in finishing poorly in close games this year. It was great that they competed against #2 on the road, and it was great that they fought back to take the lead. But they didn't play well in minute #40. This doesn't bode well for the tournament.

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  6. Inside the 3 minute mark they came up empty on 3 possessions. That was the game...

    Looks though like a win coming up at the Pete Feb. 12th for the rematch. The freshman got some good experience today. Need to make those FT's too....

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  7. I am happy coach Dixon has made some adjustments this year like playing more zone from time to time and pushing the ball on offense more when available, but if I am an opposing coach, I am running a high ball screen at the end of every close game if I have the ball because I know Pitt will hedge and end up switching, getting my guard on a Pitt big one on one. That Ennis drive against Zanna was the dagger today and caused by the hedge against the high ball screen.

    This isn't to criticize Coach Dixon as I know he is an excellent coach, but it seems like teams know what Pitt will do defensively at the end of games and acts accordingly. Maybe a trap there instead of a hedge or a zone look (which I think they played well today) would throw them off. I was also a bit surprised that on that possession they didn't switch back to the Wright-Ennis match up they started the game with and put James back on Cooney (sp?). Robinson didn't do poorly against Ennis most of the game but was obviously beat for a couple of key buckets later.

    Durand missing was big in my opinion. Two non-shooters with Wright and Robinson on the perimeter makes that high post pass much more difficult to get because Cuse doesn't have to extend the zone as much. It was there occasionally but not as often as past games at the Dome.

    All in all though, a good performance today against a great team at their place. A few bunnies made in the first half (or even that late Zanna jumper that I still don't know how it didn't go down) makes a big difference.

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    1. I was wondering why Wright wasn't on Ennis at the end as well. Robinson has the size to guard any opposing 2. I am sure the adjustment will be made for the next meeting.

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  8. Pitt was outrebounded?

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  9. Too many missed bunnies and free throws, Robinson is the man who makes the offense run (sorry to those who Newkirk at the helm) and Zanna is real -- no fading today against the best he's seen. This is a very well coached, very good team, and it should be a good ride the rest of the way.

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  10. Jamie going man to man with 2:39 left vs. staying in the 2-3 zone that was working was the difference. Syracuse had 3 straight drives right down the lane while we were in man to man. I am so tired of us losing games on layups every year in a close game because we are in a man to man and afraid to foul. hey Jamie, wasn't scottie reynolds and sheldon mack layups enough? so frustrating. We had them.

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  11. Jamie needs to figure out how to get the bench involved or they are done.

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  12. Too many missed shots & poor FT shooting was the dagger today. We destroyed them on glass we should win the game when that happens.

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  13. I know this is a football and basketball site but I we need to give a shout-out to Pitt's wrestling team's win over Oklahoma State today! First year coach Jason Peters' team will probably be the first Pitt team to win an ACC championship, hopefully this year. Hail To Pitt!

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