Pitt sophomore Zanna showing improvement
College Football Videos
Pitt sophomore forward Talib Zanna is learning there is no shame in missing shots.
And now that he has overcome that daunting hurdle, something else has happened: He doesn't miss them often.
"My confidence is really high," Zanna said after practice Monday, as the Panthers prepared to meet St. Francis (Pa.) Tuesday night at Petersen Events Center.
Zanna, who scored a season-high 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds Saturday against South Carolina State, has risen to second on the team with a 67.6 shooting percentage (23 of 34). Nasir Robinson is No. 1 at 69.1 (65 of 94).
It helps that Zanna is 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, and many of his shots are put-backs or launched from close to the basket. But there were times when he missed a few shots and decided to pass up his next attempt, even if it was a good one.
"I just have to stop thinking and move onto the next play," he said.
With the departure of freshman Khem Birch last week, Zanna probably will get more minutes off the bench.
He played a season-high 26 minutes against South Carolina State and was an impressive force around the basket.
Physically stronger than he was a year ago, Zanna is second in the team in rebounding (64, 5.8 per game).
Coach Jamie Dixon said Zanna is finishing plays better than he was last season, but there's nothing he appreciates more than good defense. And Zanna is giving his coach what he likes.
"Defensively, I think he really understands what we are doing, guarding the ball screens, post defense, help-side defense," Dixon said. "He has really improved the most in those areas."
St. Francis (Pa.) at No. 15 Pitt
When/where: 7 p.m. Tuesday/Petersen Events Center
On air: Comcast Channel 188 or 210; WWGE-AM (1400), KDKA-FM (93.7), Pitt Radio Network
Records: St. Francis 3-7; Pitt 10-1
Series: Pitt leads, 28-0
Of note: Pitt has won 111 of 113 home games against nonconference opponents.
Players to watch
St. Francis: Scott Eatherton, So. F — Leads the nation in field-goal percentage (77.6 percent, 52 of 67).
Pitt: Lamar Patterson, So., F — Scored a career-high 16 points against Long Beach State and South Carolina State.
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.