I went to pick up my son from kindergarten this afternoon. The principal helps direct out car-riders. He brought my son over, and I noticed he was wearing a Michigan tie. I was wearing a Pitt shirt, so I tried to engage him about the game tonight. Big surprise, he had no clue.
Sure they have a top-5 team. They are playing a big non-con game in prime time on ESPN2. Considered the best game of the night. Nothing. It’s all about Michigan-Ohio State this week. Their news coverage is really, really limited. Basically it’s, “hey, this is the first real game for Michigan, but, whatever.”
[As an aside, here I was all primed to give the Trib some grief for not using a regular beat writer so far this season — leading to some uneven coverage — but compared to the effort in Michigan…]
For Pitt, it is a little more coverage. And, you know, actually caring about the game.
“We’ll see how good they are,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “And we’ll see how good we are.”
“They’ve got a lot of great players,” Pitt guard Tray Woodall said. “We’re all aware of that.”
Michigan, through three games, is one of the nation’s best 3-point shooting teams.
“They do a lot of things very well,” Dixon said. “What makes them so good is their guards, and how experienced they are.”
In classic Pitt fashion, don’t expect Dixon to alter his defense to stop Michigan’s outstanding guards. Instead, Woodall and blossoming freshman James Robinson will be asked to stare down Burke and Hardaway.
“We’re just going to defend,” Woodall said. “We’re a better defending team this year. We’re just going to defend and help each other. That’s what we do. You’ve got to love playing against guys like that. These are potential NBA players, all-Americans.”
The three point shooting will be huge. It is a Beilein team, after all. They are going to take a lot of 3s. Pitt is going to have to have the guards play a lot tighter on them. That means the front court has to be ready to defend if they drive and get past the guards.
While the talent on this Wolverine team is high, there is the fact that Coach Dixon has familiarity with the coach and his system.
As I said, it’s a 9:30 game on ESPN2. I’ll be on twitter tonight, because up until game time I have to do all the Thanksgiving prep for tomorrow. No time for setting up and being sure I won’t have to DVR delay for moments if need be.