Pitt ready for former Big East foe Cincinnati in Jimmy V Classic
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 10:39 p.m.
Pitt's next game will have a familiar feeling, everything from the opponent to the venue to the event to the style of play Jamie Dixon and his Panthers anticipate.
It will be a reunion of former Big East foes when Pitt (10-0) plays Cincinnati (7-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
This is the third time the Panthers have played in the event. They beat Memphis, 70-51, in 2004 and lost to Indiana, 74-66, in '09.
“When you are playing in the Jimmy V,” Dixon said, “you are going to play somebody good.”
In this case, Pitt also is playing a team it knows very well. This will be the 19th meeting between the schools in a series tied at 9-9, one that was split with home losses last season. It is their first game since the Big East breakup after Pitt, Notre Dame and Syracuse left for the ACC and Cincinnati joined the new American Athletic Conference.
“Pitt and Cincy, we've had so many bloodbaths, we decided we'd continue it as a non-league game,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “Playing Jamie's team is always a challenge because you know they're always going to be well-prepared and going to physically compete. They're so good defensively that you've got to find ways to score.
“I like it as a non-league game because you're going to learn a lot about your team, because if you have weaknesses, they're going to exploit them.”
Cincinnati did that to Pitt in the Big East opener last New Year's Eve, using full-court pressure to hand the Panthers a 70-61 defeat at Petersen Events Center.
It was the first conference game for Pitt point guard James Robinson, an eye-opener at that.
“I could definitely feel the change,” Robinson said. “I am expecting the game to have a lot of energy, real physical, up-paced.”
The onus will be on Pitt's backcourt to stop senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who averages 19.3 points. The Panthers know it will be an emphasis, after allowing Youngstown State's Kendrick Perry to go for 28 points Saturday and Penn State's Tim Frazier to score 27 earlier this month.
“He is basically going to attack the whole game,” Robinson said of Kilpatrick. “He is going to try and score any way he can.
“He's physical. He's going to go for the entire game, whether it be to the bucket or shooting 3s.”
Pitt avenged its loss by winning at Cincinnati, 62-52, on Feb. 9.
The Panthers are expecting another up-tempo game against the Bearcats.
“We are going to have to really focus on our defense first and allow our defense to get us going on the offensive end,” Robinson said. “I'm sure they are going to press. It's going to be a fun game.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.