Pitt basketball working inside game
Pitt senior guard Tray Woodall said after Friday's season-opening 80-48 win over Mount St. Mary's that the Panthers didn't want to settle for jump shots.
So they spent the night driving to the basket, ended with 58 points scored in the paint and set a school record for highest field-goal percentage (70.8).
“We've got big guys inside and guards who can attack and get to the basket,” Woodall said. “We have athletic players. We didn't want to settle, and we just know we can get layups. Once we got them early, we were confident that we could get them at the end.”
Next for Pitt is Fordham in the NIT Season Tip-off at Petersen Events Center on Monday at 6 p.m. Robert Morris plays Lehigh in the second game at 8:30. The winners meet Tuesday night.
Fordham dropped its season opener at Texas State, 86-76, and turned the ball over 23 times in the loss.
Forcing more turnovers was a focal point for Pitt leading up to the season opener, and it scored 24 points off 16 turnovers by Mount St. Mary's.
“In any game, not just a high major game, you can't afford to turn the ball over,” Mount St. Mary's coach Jamion Christian said. “We had a couple of live-ball turnovers and didn't stick to the plan we set for the guys. In games like this against good teams, it can get away from you.”
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon stressed that this isn't the first year the Panthers have emphasized forcing turnovers. But after finishing last season ranked 269th in the country in turnover margin, it is an area in which the Panthers needed to improve.
“It's not like the light bulb turned on,” Dixon said. “We've tried to do the things we do and force turnovers but still be one of the best in the country as far as field-goal percentage defense. But we're trying to do it a little more. I think we did it in the exhibition games. We hope to play solid defense by also causing some turnovers and getting some deflections and, hopefully, that leads to some easier baskets in transition.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.