Woodall, Pitt hope to bounce back in Big East
By Karen Price
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 10:44 a.m.
NEW YORK — Tray Woodall didn't want anyone to know what shape he was in after returning from an abdominal injury last year, and his numbers helped him keep up appearances.
But Pitt's fifth-year senior point guard played in pain the final 20 games of the season after missing 11 of 12 contests with the injury, then had offseason sports hernia surgery.
Now, Woodall plans on staying healthy and making the most of his last season — and Pitt's final hurrah in the Big East.
“Personally, I think this could be my best year of my career,” said Woodall, who earned a preseason All-Big East honorable mention.
“And as a team, I think we can accomplish great things. I think we could finish with a Big East championship. I think we could be the best team in Pitt history.”
After finishing last year 5-13 in the Big East and missing the NCAA Tournament after 10 straight appearances, the Panthers were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll, announced Wednesday.
But a healthy Woodall running the floor certainly helps put them in the position to bounce back before their move to the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning in 2013-14.
Coach Jamie Dixon said he wasn't sure what to expect from Woodall after he missed five months recovering from surgery, but he has been pleased with what he's seen the past six months.
“Very few teams are able to survive with a point guard going down,” Dixon said. “You design your offense for a guy and he goes down, there's no harder position in basketball to replace.”
If Woodall gets injured again, the Panthers have highly regarded freshman James Robinson as well as sophomore John Johnson, who could pick up minutes.
The Panthers were 5-7 in the two months Woodall was hurt last year.
“We missed him dearly last year, and it showed,” junior forward Lamar Patterson said.
“As soon as he left, our season went down. But if he stays healthy this year, we should be good, and he looks great. He looks like the old Tray and better, actually.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or email@example.com.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.