| Sports

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

Pitt basketball team almost done with inferior foes

ACC Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.


vs. Delaware State

7 p.m.

Petersen Events Center

Radio: KDKA-FM (93.7)

Records: Delaware State 5-6; Pitt 10-1

Notable: Since losing to then-No. 4 Michigan, Pitt has won six in a row by an average margin of 29.2 points.

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, 11:30 p.m.

As Pitt prepares to check its last two nonconference games off the schedule, the Panthers' first Big East game, against No. 11 Cincinnati, is less than two weeks away.

Their statistics thus far are impressive. The Panthers are outscoring opponents by a plus-24.7 margin, outrebounding them by plus-9.5 boards per game and shooting 51.8 percent from the field. But the only team they've faced with a skill set similar to what they'll see when conference play begins is No. 2 Michigan, a 67-62 loss and their only blemish so far on a 10-1 season.

So, just how ready are they to face some of the best teams in the nation?

“I feel we're pretty good, and we just have to go and prove it,” junior forward Lamar Patterson said. “We let one slip by us (against) Michigan. We just have to go out and play hard.”

Pitt beat Bethune-Cookman, 89-40, on Saturday for its most lopsided victory ever at Petersen Events Center. They'll face their second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent Wednesday in Delaware State, picked to finish second in the conference, before closing out the nonconference schedule against Kennesaw State on Sunday.

Delaware State is coming off an 80-76 overtime loss to Penn State.

Despite the lopsided scores against teams such as Bethune-Cookman and North Florida (89-47), Patterson said there is something to be taken from the games.

“It's a mental thing,” he said. “You can't play down to the competition, I've been told that the whole way growing up. It's good that we're doing what we're supposed to do against these teams, outrebounding them and playing defense. Us doing that in these games, it'll translate because we're not losing focus out there. We're focused the whole time, so when it's a tight game, I feel like our focus will be there.”

Coach Jamie Dixon said his greatest takeaway from the team's nonconference schedule is that they continue to be unselfish.

“We just want to execute,” he said. “Every minute is valuable. Everyone has a record pretty similar to ours, and you just hope you can sustain it for 40 minutes. Often times, as I look at other teams, it's closer scores. We've been able to pull away and distance ourselves even more. … Bottom line is we're playing unselfish all the way through.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pitt

  1. Movement along the offensive line continues for Pitt as opener approaches
  2. ACC faces many variables on potential TV network to rival SEC, Big Ten
  3. Pitt to open ACC play vs. Syracuse at home
  4. Youngstown State looking for repeat performance against Pitt
  5. Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
  6. College football preview: ACC
  7. Pitt junior RB Ibrahim out for season with Achilles injury
  8. Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
  9. Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt
  10. Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle