TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pitt makes position clear: More scoring, better rebounding

ACC Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Pitt's Lamar Patterson during the CBI Championship at Petersen Events Center March 2012.

Pitt gameday

vs. MOUNT ST. MARY's

6 p.m. Petersen Events Center

TV/Radio: ESPN3.com/KDKA-FM (93.7)

Records: Mt. St. Mary's 0-0; Pitt 0-0

Line: No line

Of note: Mount St. Mary's was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast Conference preseason poll.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By John Grupp
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 10:48 p.m.
 

Pitt juniors Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore should spend a lot more time this season playing together rather than passing each other on the way to bench.

Coach Jamie Dixon is committed to getting two of his top returning scorers — who both play small forward — on the floor simultaneously during the 2012-13 season.

Patterson (6-foot-5, 221 pounds), the team's co-MVP last season, will return at small forward, where he started 37 games last season. Moore (6-6, 215), named the Panthers' most improved player, will man power forward when the Panthers go with a smaller lineup.

“That's probably the way of doing it,” Dixon said during Pitt media day last month. “You've got to get your best players on the floor. It's something you are going to see a lot more, for obvious reasons.”

The departure of three-year starter Nasir Robinson leaves 6-9, 230-pound junior Talib Zanna as the' only returning power forward for the Panthers, who open the season at 6 p.m. Friday against Mount St. Mary's at Petersen Events Center.

The small forward spot, meanwhile, is crowded with Patterson, Moore, sophomore Cam Wright and 6-6 redshirt freshman Durand Johnson.

Patterson (9.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Moore (7.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg) almost exclusively played small forward last season. They were at their best in the final month of the season. Patterson averaged 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in the final 10 games. Moore averaged 11.8 points in the final 13 games.

They were on the floor together for a combined 10 minutes and 46 seconds in the two exhibitions, including the final 4:03 of last week's Hawaii-Hilo game.

“It's been working out well so far,” Moore said at media day. “It spaces it out and gets guys open. I'm trying to screen better and rebound better for the team.”

The power forward in Dixon's system needs to be able to rebound and pass and be somewhat of a perimeter threat. Moore, arguably the team's best athlete, made at least one 3-pointer in each of the final 13 games last season, shooting 42 percent from behind the arc during that span. But he averaged only 2.9 rebounds per game, and managed only two rebounds in 78 minutes in the three-game CBI finals against Washington State.

If Moore plays power forward, Pitt will need strong rebounding from its centers — senior Dante Taylor and five-star freshman Steven Adams. After having surgery in April for a broken fifth metatarsal on his right foot, Moore devoted time to upper-body work.

Patterson led the Panthers in 3-point shooting percentage (41.0), steals (38) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.11) last season.

A Lancaster native who attended national power St. Benedict's (N.J.) as a senior, Patterson is embracing his new leadership role.

“I knew it was coming,” he said. “A lot of guys look at me as an example, and if I'm not doing the right thing, they aren't going to do the right thing.”

John Grupp is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jgrupp@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pitt

  1. Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season
  2. Preseason honors piling up for former Pitt tackle Bisnowaty
  3. New football coach Narduzzi is learning, along with Pitt players
  4. Pitt’s Boyd could have record expunged
  5. Pitt RB Conner top vote-getter on preseason All-ACC team
  6. Panthers freshmen give back, visit Mel Blount Youth Home
  7. Pitt’s Blair faces court date on DUI charge