Friday, November 14, 2014

Pitt 78 Niagara 45

For at least one game, Pitt showed that it is more than just Durand Johnson. Obviously this was bad competition, but the Panthers played well. Some thoughts:

1. The best thing in this game is that the four Panthers in double figures are players that will get more minutes with the absence of Johnson. It's always nice to have a veteran scorer, but the truth is, Pitt has so much depth that his loss may not be a huge deal. That's if there aren't more injuries, suspensions, etc. 

2.  Johnson's replacement in the starting lineup, Jamel Artis, led the Panthers with 14 points.  He also had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and made 2 of 4 three pointers.

3.  The biggest surprise (though maybe it shouldn't be) is freshman Cam Johnson, who had 11 points in his first game, including 4-5 from the field.

4.  Josh Newark came off the bench to get 12 points and 5 assists. James Robinson had 8 points and 7 assists. Chris Jones, starting in place of injured Cameron Wright, had 10 points.  Combined, the guard trio had 30 points and 13 assists.

5.  Mike Young was not needed but had an efficient 7 points and 7 rebounds.

6.  Joseph Uchebo started at center and 1 point, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists.  Backup Derrick Randall added 4 points and 5 rebounds.

7.  Sheldon Jeter pitched in 7 points in reserve.

8.  The Panthers shot very well going 52.6% from the field, while making 7-18 from three, and 11-14 from the line. Five different players made a three pointer, with Artis and Jones both having two.

9. The Panthers out rebounded Niagara 28-16, and held them to 25% from the floor. In fact, Niagara only had 12 field goals in the game. 


  1. Really excited about this season. The team is gonna be solid.

    Any word on Rowan? Interested if he is still in the picture for Pitt.

  2. Honestly have a feeling this is going to be one of those Pitt teams that just wins basketball games totally without fanfare and pretty much under the radar.

  3. I got little feel for success or failure in the season ahead based on that game. Niagara was vastly overmatched. There were a few brief scoring droughts where it seemed like a typical Pitt team with no one able to create off the dribble. That concerns me. A lot of guys got a lot of minutes and that will change as the competition improves. Unlike many, I think Robinson is a solid floor general who can score when called on. I like Artis' game. I think there are plenty of guys capable of filling Durand's shoes - remember, they essentially played the entire ACC schedule without him last year and did OK. I'm interested to see what they get from Uchebo and Randall as the season goes on.

    1. The best team in the country has scoring droughts. You can't score every time you have the ball.

    2. My only point was they've suffered from scoring droughts in past seasons. Seems to cost them an NCAA game every year. They can't score on every possession. When the shooting goes cold its having a guy that can drive to the hoop for layups or get fouled to avoid the 5+ minutes without a basket type of situation. I think they are going to have a good year but need to see a bigger sample size.

  4. Hi Chris

    I think I sent you a question asking about some of your specific thoughts on our defense and some of our defensive tactics we used during the game. Also, what are your sources telling you about Durand?

    I don't see my question posted yet so I thought I'd try again.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.