This could have been a great win for the Pitt Panthers knocking off the #9 ranked Cavaliers but once again only two players showed up to play, Jamel Artis and Michael Young. Pitt hung in there through the first half only down 2 pts at halftime, 29-27. The 2nd half was a different story as Virginia took off from the start and never looked back. Virginia shot 48% from the field with the Panthers only shooting 39%. Pitt continues to show their biggest weakness as they have no outside shooting at all unless Artis decides to get hot. Pitt was 2-13 behind the arc while Virginia was 9-16 which was a big difference in the game. Until Jamie Dixon finds a way bring in some outside scoring threats this team will never make it far in the big tourney or ACC. It won’t get much easier for the Panthers next week as they travel to play Miami and UNC.
Just when I thought the Pitt Panthers didn’t have much of a chance to win unless Jamel Artis or Michael Young led the way they proved me wrong. Last night at home against the Virginia Tech Hokies they were led by another junior forward named Sheldon Jeter. Sheldon led Pitt in scoring putting up 23 pts on 9-13 from the field and also added 7 rebounds. Pitt’s future looked bright last night as their top 2 freshman, Cameron Johnson and Duane Wilson added 9 and 8 pts respectively. Johnson also pitched in with three from the arc and James Robinson dished out 10 assists. The Panthers do have a lot of depth and hopefully last night was a sign of things to come. Pitt travels to UVA this Saturday to play the 9th ranked Cavaliers. They will need all the help they can get!
Let’s take a look at Pitt’s basketball season so far in 2015-16. As of today, the Panthers are 16-4(5-3 in ACC) which has them tied for 5th place in the conference. They spent a couple weeks in the AP Top 25 poll but losses to Louisville and NC State knocked them out for now. I thought they had a shot to jump back in after their win at Florida St but for some reason the poll Gods thought Notre Dame should be ranked. The Panthers beat the Irish on their home court earlier this year.
Pitt has pretty much relied on their two junior forwards, Jamel Artis and Michael Young. Both are logging over 28 MPG with Young averaging 17.3 PPG and Artis right behind with 15.7 PPG. Young has been huge for the Panthers on the boards this year pulling down almost 7 rebounds per game. They are both shooting over 50% from the field and 78% from the free throw line. Pitt is actually 3rd in the nation in FT% coming in at 77% per game. Pitt has good depth and a lot of experience but in reality they will only go as far as their senior PG, James Robinson will take them. They really need him to step up and help out Artis and Young with some outside scoring.
It doesn’t look like things will get any easier for the Panthers. They play VA Tech at home tomorrow which they should win but then Virginia comes to town next Saturday and then they hit the road to go play Miami and UNC. We will see what my boys are made of in the next 2 weeks.
Hello ACC Confidential world! Dean Olivieri here, my friends call me DeanO. I was born and raised in DaBurgh. Yinz know what I mean?? By now I’m sure you probably figured out which ACC team that I am going to blog about for The Confidential. That’s right, PITT! I lived a good 21 years or so in Pittsburgh and enjoyed every bit of it. I’m currently living in Charlotte, NC where I have been living now for the past 15 years. I’m probably showing my age here and more than likely the old man on the site.
As you could imagine I was ecstatic when I heard that PITT would be moving to the ACC. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the good old days and hard-nosed battles of the Big East but it’s very cool having PITT in the ACC. Anyway my plan is to provide game summaries, player news, opinions, predictions, recruiting news and so on about PITT Panthers basketball and football.
I would like to thank the Commander for giving me a shot on his site to blog about Pitt hoops and football!
I hope you enjoy!! GO PITT!!