No need to introduce this 21-point debacle. Let's just get to the thoughts, because this game boils down to 3 things:
- NO REBOUNDING
The Pirates have one of the best rebounders in the conference in Herb Pope. He did his job, being the best Pirate on the floor the whole night with a double-double of 15 PTS and 10 REB along with 6 BLK. Great game by Pope, who did his best in front of his family in the Pittsburgh area.
But here's the stat- 45 to 26. That is the rebounding margin. That, my friends is an EMBARRASSMENT. The Panthers are a great rebounding team. Watch 5 minutes of film on them, and you can see that. The Pirates were embarrassed on the boards tonight because they quite frankly were not prepared to adequately combat the Panthers on the boards.
- NO LAYUPS
Fuquan Edwin missed a wide open layup ON A THREE-ON-ONE FAST BREAK! THREE-ON-ONE!
That's all you need to know.
- NO CONFIDENCE
Every time I saw this team in a half court set, they were tentative with the one exception of Herb Pope, who apart from the opening few possessions, was in attack mode. Jeremy Hazell was pretty much the same way, except reverse- he was aggressive in the early going and then settled for threes as the game went on (he didn't have his legs under him tonight, which is understandable).
Everyone else was passive. Jordan Theodore started to drive to the basket, but only when the Pirates were down by 20 and the game was no longer in doubt. The kid is an EIGHTY PERCENT free throw shooter. His modus operandi if he is looking for his own shot (which he shouldn't be doing too often) should be to drive to the basketball. Take contact. Get fouled. Go to the line. Knock those shots down. He's not the best shooter, so why should he be passive and look to shoot constantly? It doesn't take a village to realize what Theodore's strengths are. Players should play to their strengths. Theodore should start playing to his.
Was I the only one who noticed how AWFUL the broadcasters were? Here are several reasons why:
- the play-by-play person, on a shot that was close to going in, said the word "bending" over and over again. As in "bendingbendingbendingbendingbending... no good!" Gag me with a spoon. Almost as bad as Chris Berman calling the home run derby ("backbackbackbackbackbackback...")
- the same broadcasters said that the Rock was "new." The Pirates have been playing in the Prudential Center since the 2007-08 season. This is their 4th season in the building. The KFC Yum! Center in Louisville is new. The Rock is not.
- the broadcasters said that Ralph Willard (Kevin Willard's father) was the Associate Head Coach at Louisville under Rick Pitino. He is not. He is the Director of Basketball Operations. Get your facts straight, please, SNY people.
I could go on, but I don't want to pick up any bad habits.
Part of this loss was the fact that Pitt is quite frankly one of the best teams in the country. They lead the nation in assists per game at just over 20 per contest, and they moved the ball exquisitely. Pitt came as advertised, while Seton Hall came out flat, with poor shot selection. Pitt also came out in the first 5 minutes with poor shot selection, but they corrected it. The one thing that was missing tonight was Ashton Gibbs. Gibbs had by all accounts a bad night. But it didn't matter.
Georgetown got back on track Saturday with a win over Rutgers, so they are not sliding any longer. After that, this team faces Rutgers at the Rock. Some home cooking might be exactly what this team needs right now.