Pittsburgh Panthers: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

Pittsburg Panthers

Pittsburgh Panthers(9 Seed, South Bracket)

Record: 25-9 (11-7 ACC)

Coach: Jamie Dixon

Tournament Berth:  At Large

Big Wins: Stanford, NC State, North Carolina

Big Loses: Syracuse, Duke

The Pittsburgh Panthers had a mediocre season in comparison to the success the program is used to having under Jamie Dixon. Most of the season, the Panthers hovered around being ranked and struggled to get in a rhythm in their new conference the ACC, finishing fifth in the regular season.

Early in the season the Pittsburgh Panthers seemed to be cruising as they started 10-0. This was until they ran into old Big East rival Cincinnati, who beat them by one point in a very heated and low scoring affair. However, that was the Panthers only loss going into conference play in the ACC. They started conference play well, winning their first four, but then ran into Syracuse, who gave them their first conference loss. After that first conference loss their season became an up and down struggle, as they would beat the teams they were supposed to like Miami and Notre Dame, but also lose to the top teams like Virginia and Duke. One of their losses to Syracuse was a heartbreaker.   Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis hit a half court shot as time expired to beat the Panthers by two. Their first signature conference win did not come until the ACC tournament when they beat North Carolina in the quarterfinals, only to lose by three to Virginia in the Semifinals.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

L. Patterson

17.6

.447

.757

.397

T. Zanna

12.9

.575

.656

.000

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

T. Zanna

8.8

3.5

5.3

0.8

L. Patterson

4.8

1.0

3.8

0.3

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

L. Patterson

4.3

1.4

2.7

1.6

J. Robinson

3.9

1.4

1.0

4.0

 

Starting Five

C – Talib Zanna

F- Michael Young

F – Lamar Patterson

G – Cameron Wright

G – James Robinson

Who’s Hot:  The Panthers go as their senior forward Lamar Patterson goes. When he is scoring, the rest of the team seems to follow suit. Averaging close to 18 points a game, Patterson has shown he has the ability to score from anywhere on the court. Center Talib Zanna will help down low and create points for himself off of offensive rebounds and put backs. Their offense is predicated by their defense and their defense has been great all season, holding their opponents to 62 points per game.

Who’s Not:  What will slow down the Panthers is their lack of offensive production. There is no one player who has been poor offensively as much as the entire team has had trouble putting points on the board. A Big problem with their offense is the reliance on Patterson to do everything, and when he struggles, the team can look very average on the offensive end. To go far in the tournament, coach Jamie Dixon will have to find a way to give his offense more balance and rhythm.

Outlook:  The Pittsburgh Panthers are battle-tested after spending their first season in the loaded ACC. That will help them in the tournament as they will not have the highest seed and will likely play a good team in the first round.

Commentary by Max Petkevicius

Sources:

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.