Pitt basketball team seeks another 4-0 start
So far so good for the Pitt men's basketball team, a normal state of affairs for this time of year. A win Saturday over Oakland at the Petersen Events Center would make it 14 of the past 15 seasons in which the Panthers started 4-0.
After that, Pitt takes a giant step up in class, facing fifth-ranked Michigan in the preseason NIT semifinals Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Not that the Panthers are overlooking Oakland, although history is working against the Golden Grizzlies, who hail from Rochester, Mich., and compete in the Summit League.
Pitt is 94-3 in non-conference games at the Pete and 3-0 against Oakland, including a 23-point win in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament — the last time the teams met.
Also in Pitt's favor is how it has played in the first three games.
The Panthers were expected to win each one but still looked impressive, defeating Mount St. Mary's, Fordham and last year's NCAA Tournament darling, Lehigh, by an average of nearly 31 points.
“What I'm really excited about is the improvement we've made from our first exhibition game (on Oct. 26),” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.
Against Lehigh, Pitt held preseason All-American C.J. McCollum to 17 points in a 78-53 win. McCollum got off just 11 shots. He made seven, but his teammates went 9-of-30 from the field.
Pitt's foes have shot 37.2 percent. With 10 players averaging double-figures in minutes, the Panthers are shooting 56.4 percent.
Senior guard Tray Woodall (16.3 points a game) and junior forward Talib Zanna (16.0), lead the scoring. Woodall also has 20 assists in the three games.
Building on last season's strong finish, Zanna, 21 of 28 from the field, has made the most of his time. He has played just less than 20 minutes a game so far.
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7810.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Heyward-Bey looks to make impact on special teams with Steelers
- Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse, dies at 89
- Pirates notebook: Liriano shrugs off rain-ruined start
- West Virginia football pair Gibson, Howard prepared to step up
- Bethel Park SB approves contracts for secretaries, paraprofessionals
- Police charge man with homicide for deaths of former girlfriend, her grandmother in East Hills
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Knoch ace Shinsky commits to Ohio
- Steelers notebook: Spaeth on baby watch
- No rest for ex-Kittanning wrestler Nolf
- Tagalong app: Let your smartphone be your tour guide to Pittsburgh