December 14, 2013

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.

The primary storyline is that Youngstown State has a dynamo guard. The third straight team Pitt will be facing that has one of those. This one, however, played in the Greentree Summer League.

“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.

The game is a nooner. It is on, but also ACC Network affiliates. Root Sports (Pgh) has it. As does NESN, SportsTime Ohio, CSN-Mid Atlantic, MSG+ and a bunch of regional Fox Sports stations.

We don’t have the best talent. But we do have seasoned vets who can bring out the best from our young’ns.

It’ll be a fun season.

Comment by steve1 12.14.13 @ 8:24 pm

CBS ridicules Dixon, Panthers:
from Cardiac Hill:
Gottlieb and the rest of the CBS team took repeated shots at Pitt’s schedule during every break of the Az v. UM game. Every time they’d show clips from the pitt-ysu game they would follow up with jokes about us. We’re getting no respect at all. We need a statement game in NYC against Cincy. Otherwise, we’re really going to get hurt come tourney time.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.14.13 @ 8:26 pm

Tony, I’ll be there to watch us dominate.

Comment by steve1 12.14.13 @ 8:33 pm

I know this is a basketball thread but here’s another Aaron Donald accolade:

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.14.13 @ 8:45 pm

Gottlieb takes great joy in dogging Pitt. We have made him eat his words before, let’s do it again.

Comment by gc 12.14.13 @ 10:36 pm

No one is talking much about Jamel Artis, but that touch pass assist last night along with 70% FT, 60% 3pt, 6’7″ not so small forward size, and otherwise solid play and hustle are impressing at least ME.

He looks like a great 3-star find having had a 71 or 72 Scout grade rating.

Am I missing some deficiency?

Comment by TVax 12.15.13 @ 8:46 am

@TVax, no question he’s a great find. He’s much better than he was in high school, partly because he has trimmed down.

His playing time is being limited by his weaknesses on defense this year. Next year he could start at the 3.

Comment by Howard 12.15.13 @ 9:22 am

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