Well that was miserable.
The 2016-17 Panthers started off the season against a respectable Eastern Michigan team and it looked like it was going to be a commanding win. However, even though the Panthers led the entire game and had a 12-point lead with under seven minutes left, EMU climbed back into by forcing turnovers and tied the game with one second left in regulation. Pitt did trail by as much as three in the first overtime, until tying it with an Artis free throw. The second overtime saw Pitt have several possessions while leading by four points, but the Eagles still found a way to have a chance to tie in double overtime. Thankfully the shot was wide and Pitt is 1-0, but an ugly first win it was.
Jamie Dixon’s Philosophy Remains Intact (Unfortunately it’s his offensive philosophy, instead of defense and rebounding)
The offense under Stallings looks pretty close to the one ran under Dixon. It is a whole lot of movement that rarely results in an easy score. The passing continues to be lazy and Pitt’s star power forward, Michael Young, somehow managed seven turnovers. Most unfortunately though was the fact that this Pitt team was outrebounded by Eastern Michigan. This is an extremely long Pitt team and EMU plays a zone there is no reason for getting outrebounded.
Jamel Artis at Point Guard was a Mixed Bag (Long Term not Good)
At a key point in the game, Pitt leading by two with 10 seconds left, Jamel Artis was absolutely blown by a quicker guard in Ty Toney. As well, Ray Lee the senior guard put up a healthy 27 points. Artis struggles mightily guarding those quick guards and with him at point get used to seeing opposing guards exploit that.
4 Senior Starters Played Like Freshman
The box score would make it seem like Artis and Young balled out combining for 51 points and 19 rebounds. But those stats are misleading, Young had seven turnovers and his inability to keep possession of the ball off double teams sparked the EMU comeback. As for Artis he regularly attempted bad shots, trying to do too much. Factor all that in with an inability to make clutch free throws and it is amazing that a Pitt team with four seniors starting could blow a 12-point lead with under seven minutes left in the game.
What was that Game-winning play Drawn Up by Stallings in OT?
This is a serious question. Why was the play Stallings drew up after a timeout in the first overtime period a dribble handle off deep contested three for Jeter? The guy was 21.7% from three last season and only made 5 total. I feel like that had to be an accident that he ended up with the shot to win it.
At least Pitt Won
At the end of the day it could have been much worse. So even though not many positives can be taken from this game at least it ended in a W. Onto Gardner-Webb (And hopefully a better looking win)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!