February 21, 2010

Won at the FT Line

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 2:47 pm

And by won. I mean won by Pitt. Odd though that seems after all these years.

Pitt ended up shooting 20-57 (35%) and 4-12 on 3s. Nova shot much better to finish 24-53 and 6-14 on 3s.

What Pitt did was make free throws.  26-34 for over 75%. Pitt went at Nova. The Wildcats are reckless with fouls in no small part because of their depth. Pitt made them pay.

The other major factor — rebounding. I’m sure I’ll get the arguments again, but rebounding margin misleads. Pitt only ended up with a +3 rebounding margin.

Pitt had 18 offensive rebounds while Nova only had 20 defensive boards. That’s huge. Pitt dominated Nova on the offensive glass despite the volume of bricks they threw up. That many second chances and forcing Nova to foul.

On the other end, Pitt had a 15 defensive rebounds to 10 offensive Nova boards. Would have liked more at that end.

Only a 5 point win, but Pitt did so much right — other than shooting.

16 assists on 20 baskets.  Only 11 turnovers. 6 steals and 6 blocks. Huge win.

UPDATE 4:00: Offical boxscore is out, Pitt is officially credited with 21 offensive boards and a total of 40 rebounds. Nova had 12 offensive and 34 total. That makes the offensive rebounding even more astounding.

Nova shot 15-27 in the second half and Pitt was 10-28. The diference again. FTs. Nova was perfect, but only 7-7. Pitt was 17-25 in the second half.

Since I was criticizing him for it earlier in the week, I’ll give him (and the coaching staff) props for doing better this week: Taylor, on the hedge. He actually came out and impeded the guard’s progress on several occasions and then rotated back quickly to his man.

Comment by Carmen 02.22.10 @ 9:53 am

Comparing resumes, it definiely seems like Pitt has a better resume than WVU at this point. I dont know if the selection comittee will see it the same way, but we should be headed for around the same seed (or better) than WVU.

Comment by Matt D 02.22.10 @ 10:12 am

Great atmosphere at the Pete yesterday! We, season ticket holders, have gotten our money’s worth.

Best defensive performance this year, by a lot. Nova is averaging 85 points, they are a great screen and roll team. Pitt’s ability to switch on ball screens and then defend despite mismatches was outstanding. Pitt defended the three point line very well. Nova had very few assisted hoops, most of their baskets were on one-on-one moves. Pitt really disrupted what they wanted to do.

What is with the refs and Nova – Pitt games? The game was a little hard to watch at times, the ref’s called it VERY TIGHT. Lots of nickle dimers.

Pitt also did a great job of controlling tempo. If pitt keeps improving, keeps playing tough d, keeps controlling the speed of play and gets some timely shooting (free throws), then the sky is the limit. WVU is the one team I don’t want to see them play again. Their athleticism and size are really tough for Pitt to handle (despite the recent win at the Pete).

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.22.10 @ 10:22 am

I just read the article in the P-G about the game. Jay Wright comes across as being classy. So does Scottie Reynolds. Both appear to represent their university well.

Comment by BigGuy 02.22.10 @ 10:30 am

Pauly P…I can’t let the “stats lie” statement with regard to A. Gray slide by…The guy is an NBA Basketball player…To say the least, that is a very exclusive club to be in…Only on this blog could I read a negative comment about a former Pitt player who is making a nice living in the NBA. Not to mention, stats aside, all he did when he was at Pitt was make just about every team we played move the majority of their offense to the perimiter…In fact, if this team had A. Gray at center, we would be a Top 10 team right now. I’m not knocking McGhee, I love his play this year, but Gray was just a better player in his days at Pitt.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.22.10 @ 1:01 pm

McGhee is a better defender than Aaron Gray. That is the only area where he is better than Gray. McGhee is a better athlete and really gives maximum effort on defense. An athletic guy that plays hard and understands the rotations is pretty much all it takes to be a good defender. Athleticism and effort are the most important variables. Gary has both. Gray had much better hands and a softer touch on offense. This made him a better rebounder and offensive player.

Wanamaker is Pitt’s best “overall” player. That is what I said. There are other players on the team that are better at certain things, but Wanny’s aggregate skill set is the best. Wanamaker can defend, rebound, handle, shoot, and pass the ball. No player on the team can do all of the things Wanamaker does. He is a very important player for Pitt.

Wanny struggled the last couple games specifically because teams emphasized taking him away. Pitt runs the offense through Wanny now. Teams are trying to disrupt that and have denied him the ball and have scouted him well. Wanny loves to drive to the hoop with his off hand. Teams have noticed this and will not let him go baseline with his left hand. He is frustrated and has rushed things a bit leading to charges and travels. Wanny needs to pick his spots with that move. Teams know that move is coming and he will only be able to do it a few times a game.

I also think Wanny needs to trust his jumper more. Teams are playing off him a bit. He needs to take that shot when it is there instead of forcing himself to the rim. He is a capable shooter and can hit the shot.

I don’t know what people are looking at. If Wanamaker doesn’t pass the eye test, then I don’t know who does. The kid is 6’4″ tall, strong as an ox, can handle and finish with both hands, grabs tough rebounds on both ends of the floor, is shooting well from the line, and has above average athleticism. He sure as hell passes the eye test for me. One bad game doesn’t mean he can’t play. Especially, one bad game where he didn’t force it and Pitt led the entire game.

Comment by Omar 02.22.10 @ 3:33 pm

Thanks, drgags.

Comment by dugdog 02.22.10 @ 10:09 pm

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