Pitt finding out that shooting guard Wright has all-around game
When Sam Rowley glanced at the scoresheet, the Albany forward couldn't help but notice Cameron Wright's statistics line didn't match up with the scouting report.
Where the Great Danes concentrated on shutting down Pitt fifth-year senior swingman Lamar Patterson's scoring and assists, they had no answer for Wright in either category.
Wright, who turned 22 on Wednesday, had one of his most well-rounded performances of the season in the Panthers' 58-46 victory over Albany on New Year's Eve.
The 6-foot-4 redshirt junior shooting guard from Cleveland finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists (with no turnovers) and three steals. He made 7 of 12 shots from the field and scored eight points during a 12-0 run that turned the momentum in Pitt's favor late in the first half.
“He was just really consistent,” Rowley said. “We struggle against that, when guys are that athletic in so many ways.”
Wright long has been defined by his athleticism, whether it is being regarded as a strong perimeter defender or a slashing scorer.
But it also has come with the criticism that he doesn't fit the mold of a prototypical shooting guard. Most of his shots come from inside the 3-point arc — Wright is only 2 of 16 from beyond the line this season — and their flat trajectory gives the impression that he's not a pure shooter.
“He's not a 3-point shooter, per se, but he can make jump shots,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “You can't say he's not a shooter because he's going to knock down open jump shots, especially mid-range shots. He's playing to his strength, and that's what he did.”
Wright killed Albany with his mid-range jumpers, especially from the baseline. That's where he is most dangerous, not only as a scoring threat but also one who can set up Pitt's post players.
“I like roaming the baseline a lot, and they know that. My big guys are aware of that, and they do a great job of getting me open,” Wright said. “I was able to knock down some open shots.”
Dixon stressed that Wright needs to concentrate on taking balanced shots when he is squared to the basket and continue moving well without the ball, using screens to get open looks.
“He's good in his own way,” Dixon said. “He doesn't have to be any different. He doesn't have to fit a stereotype. He just needs to do the things that he does well.”
Wright has been one of Pitt's most improved players, as his 147 points have surpassed his total from last season. His scoring average has jumped from 4.3 points to 11.3, and his rebounds (3.2) and assists (2.9) have more than doubled.
“I definitely feel myself getting better,” Wright said.“I'm confident out there. My teammates provide a lot of confidence for me. I know I'm surrounded by a great group of guys, so whether it's passing or rebounding, scoring, defending, I'm willing to do anything for my teammates.”
Patterson said he believes Wright's work ethic will pay off as the Panthers enter ACC play.
“I knew Cam had it in him the whole time,” Patterson said. “Just by his success this year, he's just showing what hard work can do for you. We haven't seen the best of Cam yet, so be ready for that.”
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.
- ACC faces many variables on potential TV network to rival SEC, Big Ten
- Movement along the offensive line continues for Pitt as opener approaches
- Pitt to open ACC play vs. Syracuse at home
- Youngstown State looking for repeat performance against Pitt
- Pitt defense is entering new season with something to prove
- Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
- Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
- Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle