I don’t know why I have more animosity towards Seton Hall than any of the other schools that will form the corp of the Big Priest. It might be a Jersey thing coupled with being a private school that creates a particularly noxious breed of self-entitled fanbase and program that enjoys more relevance than, say, Farleigh-Dickenson simply for its Big East affiliation. At least Providence had a whole New England basketball culture to claim from the 70s with BC, Holy Cross, etc.
I guess it’s worth mentioning that the Pirates are coached (technically) by a former Pitt player in Kevin Willard. They aren’t particularly good. They sit at a righteous 13th in the Big East. Ahead of the only teams they have beaten this year — USF and DePaul. They have shown themselves capable of being blown out (74-52 to Georgetown) and playing a great game to only fall short (65-59 against Cinci).
The Pirates have had injuries — losing Patrik Auda to injury — and not getting their own transfer waiver to go — Ashton Gibb’s little brother, Sterling from Texas. They have tried to rebuild quickly from the Gonzo years with transfers. They have Brian Oliver from Georgia Tech and Gene Teague from SIU providing an impact.
They have a very good guard in Fuquan Edwin. I do expect Edwin to give Pitt some problems. He’s a wing player so Lamar Patterson will have primary defensive duties. Durand Johnson better be ready to play, because I am betting that Patterson will have some foul troubles tonight.
Coach Jamie Dixon is preaching that the team still hasn’t played a great game in over a week. And that all the games really matter at this point.
“It’s not like it gets easier,” Dixon said. “I think every game is a must-win. That’s the kind of standard we’ve developed here and play with.
“We were extremely disappointed with how we played against Louisville. We didn’t get it done with a three-point game on the road against a good team. You’ve got to finish off and get it done here (Saturday), and we did. We were down after that game because we didn’t feel we played well — or up to our standards.”
Tray Woodall is closing in on the 1000 point barrier to go with 500+ assists.
The list of others that reached 1,000 points and 500 assists reads like a who’s who of Pitt’s all-time great guards. It includes Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser, Jerry McCullough, Sean Miller, Levance Fields and Darelle Porter.
“It would be an honor to join those guys,” Woodall said. “I know when I got here no one expected me to do it.”
There was a time when fans cringed when he shot a 3-pointer. He made just 1 of 12 attempts from behind the arc as a freshman. He shot 27 percent the next season and 29 percent the following season.
Now he’s one of the team’s best outside shooters. He improved to 38.6 percent last season and is shooting 37 percent this season. More than one-third of his 978 points have come from behind the 3-point line. He can thank his improved shooting stroke when he becomes the 41st player in school history to reach 1,000 points.
“It would mean a lot to do it,” Woodall said of scoring 1,000 points. “There have been a lot of great players here. But I’m not focused on it. I’m just doing whatever I can to help the team win.”