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Pitt basketball notebook: Dixon eyes return to 10-man rotation

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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
 

Redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Wright has played five minutes in the past three games — none Tuesday in Providence — but coach Jamie Dixon said he believes that will change starting Saturday when Pitt plays DePaul at Petersen Events Center.

“We really want to get back to our 10-man rotation,” Dixon said. “I talked to Cameron about getting ready to go Saturday. He needs to be in there. He makes us better.”

Wright is averaging 14.6 minutes and 4.3 points per game with one start.

“We need the defense and rebounding that he brings,” Dixon said.

All 10 players are averaging at least 12.3 minutes and 4.3 points per game.

• Competition in the Big East leaves little room for error, with Pitt (16-4, 4-3) tied for fourth place with Cincinnati and St. John's. Notre Dame, Georgetown and Villanova are only a half-game behind (3-3). Four of Pitt's conference games have been decided by eight or fewer points, and the Panthers have won only two of those. “I said to our guys today, generalizing, half the games, probably close to three-quarters, are going to come down to two or three possessions,” Dixon said. “That has been the history in my 14 years in the conference and probably more so in the last couple years. It's foul trouble, it's an injury. Those are the things that often times change teams or seasons.”

• Junior guard Trey Zeigler, a transfer from Central Michigan, is finally starting to adjust to his new surroundings. He has averaged 8.0 points and nearly 23 minutes in the past four games. “He is shooting free throws better (5 of 6 against Georgetown),” Dixon said. “I think he is making better decisions with the basketball. That is only natural. It's something we expected and hoped for and are seeing.” At 6-foot-5, 203 pounds, Zeigler also has at least one offensive rebound in each of the past five games. “I'm not as big as other guys, but I can sneak in there,” he said.

• Zeigler played for his father, Ernie, the former coach at Central Michigan. That means Zeigler has two coaches in his ear during and after games. “He analyzes everything I do,” the younger Zeigler said. “He's still my coach.”

• J.J. Moore was a little under the weather on Thursday. But the junior forward “battled through practice,” Dixon said.

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