Pitt's 3-1. That's all I'm gonna say. They won. There are some things that went well (huge rebounding margin +18) and some things that were awful. They struggled a ton against the press (21 turnovers). I missed the first half for class (joke city).
Due to some comments from some people where I work (aka a student), I've decided to be more sure of stuff when I report it...even though you know, it's a friggin blog, not USA Today. So no more will I say things like, "I don't know, [insert event here] probably happened. If I remember it, you'll hear about it. If not, then you won't read about it.
You know what. Never mind. I'm not changing a thing. Let it ride. I should go grade this jobber's quiz.
100%...touche kid...touche. I give all the credit to me being an awesome teacher obviously.
Back to the game,
La Salle is one of the Big 5 schools in Philadelphia (along with Villanova, St Joseph's, Penn and Temple). La Salle and Penn get beat on by the other Big Three on a regular basis when they have the Big 5 tournament. For the record, the Big 5 are just 5 schools in Philly and they all play each other in a round robin around the beginning of the year in non-conference (La Salle Temple and St Joe's in A10, Penn in Ivy, Nova in Big East).
Let's go back to 1954.
Final Four = La Salle over Penn State, Bradley over USC
Final = La Salle over Bradley led by Final Four MOP and future 5x NBA All-Star Tom Gola. Also fun fact, Gola is the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history with 2,201. Enough La Salle history.
Truth be told, I don't really remember much from this game. One reason being I missed the first half, the second being, it was one of those games I knew Pitt would win, but it was still frustrating to watch.
Side note - Pitt 3-0 with me, 0-1 without me. Coincidence? Nope.
Gibbs was awful. He couldn't get anything to fall. He was still scoreless when I showed up with 3 min left in the half. Pitt will get bounced early in the tourney if Gibbs shoots anywhere near as bad as he did tonight. However Pitt was saved by the strong play of Nasir Robinson, who is quickly becoming the leader of this team. He's just so solid. And now a few specific points I'd like to bring up.
Tray Woodall's block - With about 20 seconds left in the game, Pitt was up by 3 with the ball, but the shot clock would expire with about 10 seconds so Pitt would have to shoot and La Salle didn't have to foul. Flashback to the Butler game when Pitt was up by 1 but would have to shoot with about 10 seconds left. They pissed around and Gibbs threw up a 27 footer from the top of the key that missed, Butler scored to take the lead and that that weird shit started happening, but we all know that story.
Anyway, similar thing happened with La Salle, someone's three point attempt was blocked or stolen but whatever La Salle on the fast break with 10 seconds left. Tray, the only man back, one-on-one. The La Salle player (a 6'2ish guard) goes for the quick two. HUUUUUUUUGE STUFF by Tray. I swear he had a ladder to block the shot. He was up up and away, the elevator man baby! (Sorry for the Dicky V reference). Anyway, Taylor gathered the rebound, was fouled, missed the first, made the second to ice it and that was the game.
Some strong defensive play from Khem Birch. Without a doubt Birch's best game so far. 6 rebounds and 3 huge blocks (Tray also had 3 blocks and his 3rd double double with 12 and 10). Fun story, when I was leaving Quaker Steak a bunch of the players were entering and about a half block down the road was Khem. Now I normally don't say stuff to players when I see them around campus, whatever, I mean they're just students. But then I thought, well maybe I'll say "Nice game Khem" in passing. But then I thought about it...they beat friggin La Salle by four. Now I sound like a sarcastic asshole. So I went with "Hey Khem." and he turned and said hey back, clearly confused cuz he has no idea who I am. Doesn't matter, I was halfway down the street already.
So as a whole, Pitt won despite turning the ball over 21 times and Gibbs shooting 3-15. Those two numbers should spell doom for Pitt in almost any game, so the fact that they still won is kinda nice. Pitt's turnover counts in the first 3 games (7, 9, 12-loss) So if they stay around their average, it probably changes the score to Pitt winning by about 15. Add in a normal shooting night from Gibbs and we're looking at an easy 25 point win by Pitt. So in conclusion, Pitt's freshmen still need to grow up some more, we need more from Taylor, their defense needs to get better, but they're still going to be fine.