God bless, Aaron Donald. Not only did he sweep the awards this week. He did it during finals week at Pitt when there was no real news or games. (Let’s try not to think too much about the student part of the student-athlete, I’m sure the athletic department worked something out with Donald’s professors on the finals.)
Not sure what kind of crowd will be at the game. The weather looks like it will be kind of nasty. A wintry mix of snow and ice. Up here in the Cleveland area, it’s just snow. A noon start. But, hey, it is on-campus so you know that’s all people need as motivation to show up for games.
Okay, so about the game and other stuff.
“He’s a workaholic,” Wright said about [Kendrick] Perry, a 6-foot-1 senior who was teammates with Pitt’s Lamar Patterson and Mike Young in the Greentree Summer League. “In the summer league, he was very aggressive, a very athletic guard. He was a guy in the summer league that I really had respect for his game.”
Pitt (9-0) hosts Youngstown State (7-4) on Saturday at Petersen Events Center.
The Horizon League preseason Player of the Year, Perry leads YSU in scoring (20.7 points) and assists (4.9) while ranking seventh nationally in steals (2.9) and shooting 51.4 percent from the field. He is the only player in school history with 1,500 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals.
Perry kind of fell to YSU. A Florida native, he was getting a lot of attention from FSU, Florida and Miami as a high school sophomore, but suffered a broken leg as a high school junior.
I guess we will see how much Pitt worked on its defense during finals week.
After the Panthers’ 85-68 win against Loyola Marymount Friday, Dixon said they still are not playing well enough consistently in either area to be the team he would like them to be.
“I thought early on we were not aggressive enough with our hands on defense and they hit some shots,” Dixon said. “We did a better job as the game went on and there were some stretches in the second half where we did lock them down and make them take some tough shots, but we have to get better. We have to continue to try to play a complete game.”
The hands were definitely not as active. In the first couple weeks, Pitt was really moving their hands on defense. Not putting them on a guy, but keeping them in motion so that it obscured the offensive player’s vision and helped create more turnovers. When they stop moving their hands and just keep them up, it makes it easier for teams to move the ball.
“We also didn’t get a lot of offensive rebounds, but you don’t get a lot when you shoot it as well as we did. But we also need to do a much better job on the other end and not give up 16 offensive rebounds.”
Of course Coach Dixon would also toss in the rebounding.