Or hold on to the ball?
Ashton Gibbs has been really bad at 3-point shooting since having to take over point guard duties. That has become glaringly noticeable during this three game slide. He is a dismal 3-16 (18.75%) in the past three games. Sadly enough, no one else is helping. The rest of the team is shooting 5-32 (15.63%). In fact all but one of those 3s came from Lamar Patterson — and he had three of his four last night. Wright, Moore and Johnson have combined to be 1-14 during this losing streak.
Just as maddening as the missed 3s, though, are the turnovers. It isn’t exactly a huge leap of faith to suggest that Pitt would have won two of these past three games — regardless of the piss-poor 3-point shooting — if Pitt could have done somewhere approaching average against pressing defenses of Wagner and Cinci.
Heck, if they could have done either at a tolerable clip, Pitt wins both of those games. Maybe not with ease, but without the drama that accompanies this losing streak.
Honestly, I’m more concerned about the bad, bad 3-point shooting. The turnovers. Frustrating, but given Pitt’s history, not unexpected when they get pressed. Regardless of Tray Woodall’s presence. Remember Long Beach State and Duquesne? But not having Woodall out there seems to have destroyed Pitt’s ability to get good looks from outside the arc.
In Pitt’s first 7 games, the team shot 65-140 — 46.43% — on 3s. Remember when we were worried because Gibbs was only around 40-something percent early in the season? How we would love to get that back.
First 7 games, 3-point shooting
Ashton Gibbs: 24-56 — 42.9%
Rest of Team: 41-84 — 48.8%
Last 8 games (Woodall injured), 3-point shooting
Ashton Gibbs: 15-53 — 28.3%
Rest of Team: 21-86 — 24.4%
Woodall started out in those first 7 games going 16-35 (45.7%). The loss of Woodall has been much more devastating than originally believed. Between the threat of Woodall’s shot and simply better flow on offense, Pitt simply has not been the same team offensively. As I noted before, this team plays offense first, and that feeds the defense.