Sunday, January 15, 2012

Game 18: Pitt 57 Marquette 62

Another game, another loss.  What is encouraging is that Pitt actually played well in the first half.  They even had a five point lead.  I'm not much for recapping all of what happened so this will be brief.  Point is that Pitt had another second half  meltdown and they're 0-5 in the Big East.  In my four years as a Pitt undergrad, Gameday never came to Pitt.  They didn't come when they were #1 for 3 weeks and had a first team all american (Blair) and another guy who was honorable mention on some aa lists (Young).  They didn't come when Pitt won a conference outright that got 11 ncaa bids.  Yet it is becoming increasingly likely that this year, Gameday will come to Pitt to feature a Panther team that is 0-6 in the Big East and losers of 7 straight.  They play @ #1 Syracuse tomorrow night.  They seem to have the cuse's number but with the way both team's are playing, I don't have high hopes for this one.  As strange as it sounds, this game may be Pitt's last chance to salvage an NCAA tourney bid.  I know there are 11 BE games after this but 0-7 is damn difficult to come back from seeing as how I think around 10-11 conference wins will be needed to get a madness invite.  A win over the #1 team could be just the kickstart the panthers need to salvage a 9-9 record in conference.  And it would certainly help the RPI when the Panthers end up on Bubble watch in March.  A loss here and they're done for real.
For the first time in I'd say 10 years Pitt will go into a game as massive underdogs. Even when they were facing teams with a higher ranking than them, you were never incredibly surprised when Pitt pulled off upsets.  Pitt was always a tough game, especially at the Pete, but everywhere really.  It's because Pitt really hasn't been overmatched in a game since the 2001 Big East Tourney Final.  That would have been the year before Pitt started their Madness run.  They won 3 straight (remember at the time no one had won 4 straight to take it).  They beat Miami, then shocked an ND team with Troy Murphy on it, and then a decent Cuse team before getting obliterated by Troy Bell and Boston College on Saturday night.  Pitt had no chance.  They lost by about 30.  Another game might have been the Regional Semi in 2007 against UCLA.  It was a #3 vs #2 matchup but did anyone really think a team led by Aaron Gray was gong to have any chance against a UCLA team in the midst of a 3 straight final four run that featured idk maybe like 6 players who got drafted.  No chance.  Anyway, that's the type of matchup pitt faces tomorrow.  But quickly, let's go over Marquette since that's the point of this post.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams has beaten every BE team, except Pitt.  Until now.

I'm not giving everyone grades but there are a few things I'd like to highlight.

Gibbs put the team on his back.  If Pitt is going to be successful this will have to be the norm the rest of the way.  He put up a career high 29.  Something that is unfortunate is that Gibbs having a huge game is usually a sign that Pitt loses.

Robinson and Patterson flat-out sucked.  Every time I think, "Hey the Panthers should give Nas the ball more, he's like their only low post presence,"  he finds a way to turn the ball over 7 friggin times from the forward position.  Unforgivable.  Patterson had his fair share of turnover problems as well.

Epps started and he actually played well.  He still hasn't made a shot all season (like 0-12 from the field now) but this game had to be a huge confidence builder.  He ran the point well, he was driving into the lane then dishing off.  And most importantly he took the ball out of Gibbs' hands and moved him to the 2.  It's a shame that Johnson and Epps are two players because we could combine Flipp's shooting with the way Epps ran the point today we'd be in business.

Lastly, concerning Dante Taylor, I'll let a quote from the comments on PittBlather take it from here.
From some guy named Keith:

"I think Taylor became a McD’s all american by eating 67 McNuggets in 90 seconds,because it surely couldnt have been for basketball"

Well said my friend,

No comments:

Post a Comment