After an 82-78 OT victory over Mt. St Mary’s on Tuesday improved PITT’s record to 5-4 and with a date with rival West Virginia in a renewal of the basketball version of the Backyard Brawl, How should we be looking at this basketball season for the Panthers?
Honestly, the easiest and least frustrating way to look at it is to look for progress in each and every game. The little things from strong defense, to strong rebounding, to hot shooting, etc will mean a lot for this team. And just getting and stacking up the wins will do wonders for this team this season because of how young it is.
Starting with the season opener at Navy this year, yes it was a loss, but there were positive signs in that game that you liked. For a young team, they were able to keep pace with a very hot shooting Navy team for the 1st half of that game and kept it close throughout until PITT went ice cold in the 2nd half and couldn’t finish off the game and lost 71-62.
But, in this game was the emergence of the 1st player that I wouldn’t necessarily build around because he is a Junior and that is Jared Wilson-Frame, but you want him to be a leader over the next 2 years and help this team through the growing pains of this and next season. Wilson-Frame from what I’ve seen from him is someone who is not afraid to go to the hoop and draw contact, will battle for every rebound (and should get most) and is not afraid to take the big shot in big moments. Wilson-Frame has recorded double-digit points in all, but 2 games this season.
The next 4 games after Navy in the Legends Classic were hard to watch because the youth of this team started to show a lot. Starting with the OT loss to Montana at The Pete, but they were able to follow that up with a win over UC Santa-Barbara which normally you shouldn’t probably celebrate a win like that, but it was the 1st victory for this totally rebuilt team and they need all the confidence and positive vibes that they can get.
And that leads to my second point I want to make about some observations through a month and a half of this season. The attendance at The Pete for home games has been dreadful, even from The Oakland Zoo. When the student section is only half full for a game and I think there was one game when the The Panther PITT at the Miami game over Thanksgiving Break had more students in it than at a basketball game is not good. Obviously...
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