21 February 2012
Internet issues and general apathy conspired to push the USF game recap a day late. Brief summery: this game sucked. Pitt can't score. Pitt can't play defense. Pitt still throws lazy passes and can't make layups. Pitt is not good at basketball.
Among the biggest disappointments in a game with several was Ashton Gibbs, who scored just three points (via the PG):
Gibbs was 1 for 7 Sunday night and the school's all-time leading 3-point scorer was held without a 3-pointer for the third time in the past four games.
"It was a mix of them playing tough defense and me missing a couple of open shots," Gibbs said in a solemn postgame. "I had some opportunities, but I didn't take advantage. They play tough defense. It's something I have to live with."
South Florida senior Hugh Robertson once again was assigned to defend Gibbs and did a masterful job. It was Robertson who forced Gibbs into a 2-for-9 shooting performance in the game at South Florida
The players and coaches should play the credit game, but that doesn't really tell the whole story. If Gibbs is being shutdown, then someone else needs to be able to take advantage of that. Where was Woodall (1-for-4)? Where was any semblance of a low post game (Nas, Dante and Talib combined for 14 points in 66 minutes played)?
Nasir Robinson shot a three. Twice. And they weren't even the worse things about this game. Dante Taylor had five offensive rebounds and didn't make a single put-back. As bad as that is, at least he got the ball. Talib Zanna was thoroughly unproductive with two points and two rebounds in a whooping 20 minutes played.
One of the only bright spot was JJ Moore who finally seemed to put it all together. Moore finally came out of his slump Sunday night and his battle for minutes against Lamar Patterson should keep the final games at least somewhat interesting (via the Trib):
"We tried to talk to him about not focusing on how he is shooting but do other things, and he has," coach Jamie Dixon said. "He can do other things and not rely on outside shooting at this point, and that will come as he feels more comfortable."
Patterson has three points in his past two games, spanning 54 minutes. Moore has 31 points in his past 52 minutes.
Patterson could play more opportunities at power forward down the stretch to increase Moore's time.
"It's good to see J.J. continue to play better defensively," Dixon said. "That will keep him on the floor."
The problem with Moore's numbers are that if you take away the breakaway dunks (four, of which he created just one), he was just 4-for-10 shooting. Obviously that's leaps and bounds better than what anyone else did Sunday, but it's not all that great.
If nothing else, maybe Moore kept the football recruits entertained.
As a whole, this team just stinks. That might be all there is to it. They can't score and they can't defend (via the PG):
This team has bigger issues. It is one of the worst offensive teams in the Big East. The Panthers are averaging a meager 63 points per game in Big East games and have scored fewer than 50 points three times this season. The previous time that happened was 1968-69.
While the offense sticks out like a sore thumb, the defense is far from Pitt's standard. The Panthers are allowing 66.4 points per game, which is on pace for the most since the 1999-2000 season when they gave up 67.0 per game.
Pitt is off this week before going to Louisville on Sunday.
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