So that was pretty unexpected….. On Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Panthers traveled to Maryland to take on the Terrapins for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Even though the Big Ten has 12 teams). At first it looked pretty bad after Maryland drained their first to shots, both of which where threes.
However, then the Panthers straight up punched Maryland right in mouth 25-4 run before half to take a 45-24 lead into the break. From there it was all about control, Maryland did make a comeback attempt cutting the Panther lead as low as eight, but never a significant threat. Pitt was led once again by Jamel Artis and Michael Young as they combined for 47 of Pitt’s 73 points.
Jamel Artis was Goooooooooood
Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to stop complaining about him this season, but on Tuesday night he was a stud. His box score reads 22 points on 8-15 from the floor, 2-5 from three, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. That is a healthy dose of doing everything possible to win.
Michael Young Played smart on Offense
Young had a game high 25 points on 7-17 from the field, 9-10 at the line, 2-4 from three, and nine rebounds. What I loved about his game was that he adjusted his offensive approach based on who guarded him. When a big man guarded him, he took outside jumpers stretching them out and when guards were switched he attacked the basket drawing fouls.
Kevin Stallings Had a Good Game Plan
Not saying Stallings is now the future elite coach, but he did have a solid game plan for Maryland. His strategy was to play a 3-2 zone and force Maryland to beat them with deep tough threes. He knew Pitt does not have the perimeter defense (check Johnson’s ankles for reference) to keep up, so he limited their man-to-man defense. I know for a fact Jamie Dixon was way too stubborn to ever try that.
This Win Should Not be Blown Out of Proportion
Yes winning in Maryland is a big deal, but this is not the same Maryland team as a year ago. Their 7-0 record was marked by a lot of close comeback wins and were due for a loss. So Pitt fans should not be thinking that now we are back because of this.
This Still is a Great Resume Win
Come Selection Sunday in March a win like this on Pitt’s resume will look nice. Last year the Panthers were devoid of any real out of conference wins (Mainly because they played no one), but this year at least they have an away win versus a power conference opponent.
Going to be a Weird Season
This season is shaping up to be a weird one. With no true point guard starting their may be games the Panthers lose due to not managing situations properly, but they might pull off some upsets so that’ll be entertaining.
Onto the intercity rival, Duquesne.