Disco’s Dozen

My 12 thoughts following Pitt’s tough loss at Wake Forest.

My thoughts after a rough night of basketball for the Pitt Panthers.

  1. Xavier Johsnon is really good at basketball. We’ve seen it throughout the season but he is really starting to show signs of being special. We know about his scoring abilities, but last night he was all over the glass and had some beautiful assists.
  2. The rebounding is so unbelievably bad. Yes, we’re extremely small and inexperienced, but Pitt has yet to realize that they aren’t going to pull down a rebound without putting a body on somebody.
  3. I’ll be the first person to criticize him, but Malik Ellison has really shown up the last two games. He has been much better on the glass and is moving well within the offense. It also helps that he got 3 of his buckets last night off of beautiful assists.
  4. Jared Wilson-Frame is the man. He has lived up to his tweet saying that he was going to step up his game, and he certainly has of late. Its extremely impressive to see him hit the amount of 3s he has been because he is the only guy on the floor where defenders have to respect his shooting ability.
  5. The pick-and-roll. It is effective at times, but the offense seems so stagnant when Xavier Johnson can’t penetrate off a high ball screen.
  6. Zone woes. It is pretty obvious that the way to stop Pitt from scoring the ball is to go into a zone. They are so dependent on penetrating that forcing them to shoot from outside is an easy way to slow them down.
  7. Can Jeff Capel teach our bigs to pump fake in the post? I am so sick of Terrell Brown and Kene going up weak to the hoop and having their shot swatted back in their face. Something has to change because they are missing out on easy scoring opportunities by not being strong with the basketball.
  8. Where is Trey? Trey McGowens won 2 ACC Rookie of the Week awards and it looked like he was destined for stardom. He is still going to be a phenomenal player, but he has been so quiet lately. There is no coincidence that Pitt hasn’t won a game since Trey has gone cold.
  9. Big shout out to Sidy N’Dir. He played great in the non-conference part of the schedule but was slowed down by an injury at the beginning of conference play. He came back early from that injury but his play didn’t return to what it had normally been. Last night, he came back in a big way. He hit some shots, played great perimeter defense, and was the key to keeping Pitt in the game. It was great to see Sidy have success.
  10. The offense moves much better with Kene at center than it does with Terrell Brown. I know Pitt fans love what they see in Brown, and I think he will be a solid ACC player, but he is so slow and robotic on offense that it hampers the entire flow of the team. Kene is very limited in his skill set, but he moves much better in terms of his screening ability and is always going to play hard. We saw him get some big minutes last night, and I think it will be a game-by-game decision on who is seeing the most minutes at center.
  11. Make your damn free throws.
  12. I was very disappointed in the coaching last night. I like Capel and I think he will do great things at Pitt, but I worry about his X’s and O’s.

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