Kevin Gorman's Take 5: Five thoughts on Syracuse 60, Pitt 55
1. Pitt goes retro: After years of haggling over whether to go by Pitt or the University of Pittsburgh, changing Panthers logos and going from the block PITT back to the script Pitt, it's good to see the university embracing its classic uniforms.
Against Syracuse, the Panthers not only wore all-white uniforms with the old Pitt royal blue numbers and gold trim that invoked memories of their Fitzgerald Field House years.
They also paid tribute to the program's all-time greats by wearing shooting shirts with the names and numbers of Brian Shorter (00), Vonteego Cummings (3), Don Hennon (10), Steven Adams (12), Sam Clancy (15), Brandin Knight (20), Jason Matthews (22), Sam Young (23), Larry Harris (24), Ricardo Greer (25), Charles Smith (32), Aaron Gray (33), Billy Knight and Jerome Lane (34) and Clyde Vaughan (42).
2. Send it in, Jerome!: The coolest moment was Pitt celebrating the 30th anniversary this week of The Dunk, Lane's backboard-shattering tomahawk jam at Fitzgerald Field House.
During a timeout at the 13-minute, 39-second mark of the first half, Pitt showed the video highlight of Lane's dunk against Providence. When it ended, Lane was introduced to the crowd to a rousing ovation.
It was a great reminder of one of Pitt's greatest moments.
And a sad reminder of how far the program has fallen.
3. Streaky shooting: Pitt's Jared Wilson-Frame followed a season-high 22-point game against N.C. State with a strong start to the first half against the Orange.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior swingman made 5 of his first 6 shots (including a pair of 3-pointers) in scoring 12 of Pitt's first 14 points, as the Panthers jumped to a 14-6 lead. Wilson-Frame added a free throw at 8:05 to extend it to 15-10.
Unfortunately, Wilson-Frame went 0 for 5, missing three 3s, the remainder of the first half.
4. Dealing with the drought: Pitt continued its streak of scoring droughts, this time going 8:55 between field goals to allow Syracuse turn a 14-6 deficit into a 17-15 lead.
The Panthers went from 13:39 until 4:44 without a basket, broken when Khameron Davis scored on an up-and-under layup to tie it at 17-17.
Pitt got zero points from its bench in the first half but also had two starters who went scoreless. Only three Panthers put up points in the first half, with Davis scoring four and Marcus Carr making an off-balance 3 with 0.8 seconds left to cut it to 22-20.
Then again, Syracuse did the same.
5. A new low: With the loss to Syracuse, Pitt fell to 0-9 in ACC play for its worst conference start ever.
The Panthers blew two chances this week to win home games against unranked opponents in blowing leads against N.C. State on Wednesday and Syracuse on Saturday.
The Panthers went 4-14 in the ACC last season with four seniors, so this shouldn't be totally unexpected given the high turnover and number of newcomers to the program. Pitt was picked to finish last, but their inability to win at the Pete was inconceivable not so long ago.