Pitt held on to beat a very talented Florida State Seminoles basketball team by a score of 63-61 on Wednesday, Nov. 6, to start their season with a bang. The Oakland Zoo was rocking for Pitt’s season opener, which alternated between sloppy and exciting for long stretches of play. The Panthers ultimately prevailed, and we can glean a lot about where this team is from their bout with the Seminoles.
The first clip that I wanted to share today involves some solid man-to-man switching that Pitt was able to do in the opening minutes of the game against Florida State. We see several switches in this sequence which allow the Pitt defenders to sell out to contest shots and keeping the lanes closed. First, we see Au’Diese Toney step up to help Xavier Johnson close off the lane as Trent Forrest attempted to drive. After the lane closed, Forrest kicked it out to Anthony Polite on the wing. Toney raced over and jumped to try to block the three-point attempt. Once Polite pulled the ball back down and tried to take it inside, Johnson switched over to close his lane, forcing Polite to pass back out to Forrest on the perimeter. Johnson got caught a bit flat-footed after that, as he was cheating toward the paint to help Eric Hamilton out with Malik Osborne. Polite jumped back out to the wing, and got a relatively open look for the three.
Still, I thought this was a good example some rather effective man-switching for Pitt. They were able to seal off the driving lanes for the most part, and managed to avoid giving the Seminoles too many open looks on the perimeter. They struggled with this at times...
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