Pitt basketball team almost done with inferior foes
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 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.
- Pitt coach Chryst expected to take Wisconsin job
- Rossi: It’s OK if Pitt coaches don’t stay
- Pitt basketball’s fortunes turn on defense
- If Chryst leaves Pitt, list of potential replacements is varied
- Analysis: Stay or leave, Pitt football coach Chryst did his job
- Pitt recruit: Chryst seeking changes, could stay
- Rossi: Football failures fall on Pitt AD
- Coach Chryst continues his Pitt football duties amid an uncertain future
- Pitt AD: There is a ‘chance’ football coach will stay
- Starkey: Like Chryst, Pitt’s Conner should have choice
- Chryst could leave for Wisconsin, but Pitt AD hopes he won’t