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February 5, 2014

2 game losing streak. Road game. Another slow-paced defensive-minded opponent.

Miami is off to a 2-6 start in the ACC. In no small part because their schedule has been brutal for what should be a middle to lower middle team in the ACC — Syracuse (twice), Duke, FSU, at Maryland.

The team plays a matchup zone defense.

“Theirs is a matchup zone, we haven’t seen a lot of that matchup zone this year. We’ve seen more of it in other years, but not so much this year,” Dixon said. “They also play a little bit of the Syracuse zone, a type of 2-3, but we saw it a little more in the Big East. It is something that coach Larranaga hasn’t played a lot of [in the past], but is this year because he feels it matches his personnel.

“They match up more with their three perimeter guys, they play more man-to-man on the ball than say a 2-3 zone.”

Dixon said the key to Miami’s zone is it slows teams down on offense. That meshes with the Hurricanes’ philosophy of keeping the possessions low and scoring down.

He said the only way to attack it successfully is to be patient. Dixon thought the Panthers were pretty good at that Sunday in the loss against Virginia but noted they were not good at making shots.

“I think we are good against a zone,” Dixon said. “The matchup zone is something that we prepare for, but we are also built to have success against zones because we pass it well and shoot it well. But it is something that we are going to have to be patient with and adjust [to] as they adjust as the game goes on.

The Canes have some length on the perimeter which is why they play the zone.

Lamar Patterson will be a focus for them — as he has been for the past couple of teams. So unless other guys start making shots with more consistency and finishing at (not simply getting to) the basket, that isn’t going to change.

This will be a slow tempo game. Hopefully it will be more along the Clemson game than the Virginia/Cinci style.

Miami media cares little for this sort of thing. Especially on signing day. Their lone story focuses on how there will be four players from Nigeria on the court tonight — not the actual game. As for Talib Zanna, there isn’t much being said about whether his ankle is okay from the nasty roll it got on Sunday.

It’s a 7pm game down in Coral Gables.

The game is on ESPN3.com and ESPN’s FullCourt package. The RSN distribution includes Root Sports — Pittsubrgh, YES, NESN, SportsTime Ohio, Sun Sports and others.





Jamie looks tense on the bench and it transcends to his team. If you look at the earlier games he was not as animated. Admittedly the competition was not as tough and the teams were not league wins. I contend that if Jamie lightens up on his players, Pitt will play with more rhythm and energy.

Its my opinion, Jamie’s negative energy is sapping the strength from his players.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.06.14 @ 8:05 am

HEADBANDS

Comment by TVax 02.06.14 @ 8:27 am

DD, last night the bench only produced 3 pts. Against UVa, it produced the leading scorer.

I expect inconsistency from the freshmen and the bench, I don’t expect it so much from the upperclassmen.

At the beginning of the 2nd half with all the starters on the floor, Pitt went 5:09 without scoring. Then it was stuck on 39 pts for 5:02 (from 8:47 to 3:45). The younger players eem hesitant and out of step, the upperclassmen seem not to be athletic enough to create and when they do get an open shot, they clang it.

Comment by wbb 02.06.14 @ 8:29 am

MariettaM, they are just talking on the Fan while I type this how down the stretch last night, every possession seemed like life and death …. and there are so many timeouts called and so much overcoaching.

Wooden and Knight are just two coaches who relied on their players’ instincts as opposed to calling TOs … of course, they had pretty talented players.

Comment by wbb 02.06.14 @ 8:34 am

Young players and bench players always play better at home.

Let’s have some perspective and remember who Pitt has struggled to score against. Scoring D rank of the teams Pitt has struggled to score against:
Miami 10th in the nation
UVA 2nd in the nation
Cuse 8th in the nation
Cinci 4th in the nation
Pitt just can’t score against the best Ds in the nation. Bright side Pitt can play good enough D to stick in those games until the very end.

Pitt’s draw will be more important than seeding this year.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.06.14 @ 8:51 am

Wardapalooza, good data. I guess the only thing disturbing is that Miami has a bad record we barely beat them, but then maybe we shouldn’t be worrying about style points.

Comment by wbb 02.06.14 @ 9:09 am

OK, the blue and gold boxers again did their job. I dug them out of the laundry basket right before the game started. My wife thinks that I am crazy, but it the price I pay to keep guaranteeing wins.

I am hoping that they get washed before Saturday.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 02.06.14 @ 9:15 am

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