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January 16, 2018

Open Thread: Pitt-Syracuse, What’s Next

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 7:28 pm


Various RSNs and WatchESPN.

The quest to achieve 0-ACC continues.

For the last two games Pitt has come out to the court either unwilling or unprepared to play. Maybe they can be excused for being blitzed by Duke. But to follow that up with a 21-1 hole over the first 6 minutes or so against Georgia Tech? Nah.

All too often — even in a few of the non-con wins — this team has come out completely unprepared. Coach Kevin Stallings has rightfully taken the blame for these bad starts, but has yet to offer any solution.

Not that I am totally sure there is one at the moment.

After a fifth consecutive ACC loss by double-digit points (total: 104), Stallings said he will take a second and probably third look at the game to determine the answer to several dilemmas.

• Why Pitt (8-10, 0-5 ACC) was outscored, 13-0 and 21-1, to start the game, all but deciding the outcome in the first seven minutes. In all, there were three scoring droughts totaling about 19 minuites. Stallings didn’t need to be reminded Pitt also fell behind, 10-0, against Duke on Wednesday.

• Why Georgia Tech made 11 of its first 13 shots.

• Why Pitt has topped the 50s in points scored in just one of five conference games.

“I’m a little more disappointed (Saturday) than I have been,” Stallings said. “I didn’t think we came out of the gate the way we needed to do in order to compete to win.

“The last couple of games we’ve started slowly, but this one was little harder to take for me.”

Each half followed similar scripts, with Pitt unable to match Georgia Tech’s physicality and shot-making. For the game, the Yellow Jackets shot 47.3 percent from the field and nearly doubled Pitt’s rebounding total (39-20).

But Pitt kept fighting — that’s why Stallings wants to re-examine the video — and prevented the game from devolving into a rout.

It is hard to figure beyond (continually) saying, “it’s a young team.” The way Pitt came out and rolled over, I was almost certain that the players had quit on the season. Then they surged for a while, before falling back once more. So, I don’t have an answer for this.

Nor, precisely does anyone else. Craig Meyer at the P-G has the stats, and it is just a slip across the board since the non-con.

Pitt’s performances in five ACC games have showcased as much. In those contests, all losses, the Panthers averaged 0.85 points per possession and just once, in the loss to Virginia Tech, averaged more than 0.9 points per possession. In the 13 non-conference games that preceded that run, they averaged 1.02 points per possession and were held under 0.9 points per possession just three times.

That’s far from the only offensive statistic in which there is a sharp break between non-conference and ACC play. After shooting 44.7 percent from the field in non-ACC games, they have shot 38.8 percent in their past five games, due in large part to their 2-point field goal percentage dipping from 53.8 to 44.8. Additionally, their ball movement has fallen flat at times, something that gives them fewer good, open looks to shoot. Of Pitt’s 92 made shots in conference games, only 47 of them came off an assist (51.1 percent). In its first 13 matchups, 191 of its 308 made field goals were assisted (62 percent).

That doesn’t even go into the lack of offensive rebounds and turnovers. When it is like this, there is no easy fix.

Lack of talent. Terrible coaching. If pirates attendance at its peak shirnks as much as pitt attendance at its peak bucs would draw 600000 fans this year. Pretty impressive boycott by pitt fans.

Comment by Steve 01.16.18 @ 7:54 pm

No one is giving Pitt a chance tonight to beat cuse.

Has KS ever beat a team he wasn’t supposed to since coming to Pitt?

Either way, cuse is 1-4 in the ACC and losers of 4 straight.

Comment by Erie Express 01.16.18 @ 9:05 pm

And already we look like we have never played against a zone defense before.

Comment by DD 01.16.18 @ 9:25 pm

Alert Pitt is winning that’s right Pitt is winning

Comment by Steve h 01.16.18 @ 9:40 pm

How to cure an alcoholic.

He can only drink when Parker Stewart Passes the ball.

Sober for life.

Steve H – Syracuse is atrocious and up 5.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.16.18 @ 10:07 pm

It’s official. There is like 5 fans left now. Maybe.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.16.18 @ 10:57 pm

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