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November 30, 2011

LiveBlog: City Game No. 80

Filed under: Basketball,liveblog — Chas @ 4:30 pm

The latest in urban rivalries.

Or something like that.

It’s a cold night. Bit of wind to make it feel worse. Definitely thinking either a porter or a Scotch ale to enjoy with tonight’s game.

Its the 80th edition of the City Game. Pitt holds a 48-31 overall advantage. Pitt has won 29 of the last 32. The Panthers haven’t lost to the Stage Magicians since December 2000. Someday (or night) it will happen. Pitt will lose the game. Hopefully this is not that night.

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Not A Casual City Game

Filed under: Basketball,History,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 2:18 pm

I don’t think Duquesne is that good this year. It’s just that Pitt is very much an uneven, work in progress right now. Duquesne has more experience, but is at a size disadvantage.

The Dukes will trot out an experienced guard-oriented lineup that is high on energy but short on height. Coach Ron Everhart’s tallest starter is 6-foot-7 junior Andre Marhold.

The Panthers have not been a consistent rebounding team, but two of their young post players are starting to come into their own. Freshman Khem Birch and sophomore Talib Zanna have combined for 40 points and 38 rebounds the past two games.

“It’s going to be key,” Pitt senior forward Nasir Robinson said of controlling the boards. “We’ll do a good job on the rebounds and take advantage inside. We have athletic guys like Khem Birch, Talib, Dante [Taylor] and me. We have to use our athleticism and get it done.”

The Dukes will try to exploit Pitt’s transition defense, which was leaky in its loss to Long Beach State. The Dukes, after scoring just 59 points in a season-opening loss at Arizona, have been much better executing their offensive game plan. With their up-tempo style, the Dukes have averaged 85 points in their four victories.

“Against Arizona we walked the ball up a little too much,” McConnell said. “Since then, we got the ball out every time and did not allow [opposing teams] to get set on defense.”

And no doubt they have been reviewing that Long Beach State game.

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