Pitt is coming off another devastating loss, this time at the hands of the NC State Wolfpack (again). The Panthers have been competing hard all season, and they play at 100% on every play, which is a nice change up from last year’s team. On Tuesday night, Pitt will head to Boston College in search of their first road victory of the year and an end to their 7-game losing streak. This will be one of Pitt’s best chances to earn another ACC victory, as the Eagles are sitting at 11-11 and coming in losers of four straight. This will be a battle of two of the ACC’s worst, but the beautiful thing about basketball is that one team has to win when the clock hits triple zeros.
Players to Look For
Boston College: Everything the Eagles do revolves around Ky Bowman. The junior plays 39 minutes a game, and is averaging 20 points per game. He does a little bit of everything for BC, as he is probably their best perimeter defender, he is good on the glass, and distributes the ball well. He has some decent pieces around him, but BC will only go as far as Ky Bowman takes them.
Pitt: The obvious answer here is Xavier Johnson. He has kicked his game into high gear lately, and he is the motor behind Pitt. I’m going to go a different route for Tuesday’s game though, as I think Jared Wilson-Frame will have to continue his hot shooting. Pitt is extremely limited in their outside shooting abilities, and JWF is really the only guy they have that is a real threat to hit a shot. Pitt has done a good job of late finding Wilson-Frame for open jumpers, and he will have to keep up his hot streak for Pitt to escape with a win.
Keys to Victory
Boston College: Win the battle down low. Pitt’s biggest weakness is their lack of size inside, and they often get beat on the offensive boards. If BC can get on the offensive glass and get second chance opportunities, they are going to have a good chance to win.
Pitt: Get Trey McGowens going. McGowens’ struggles have been very obvious of late, and he has looked lost for most of the games on this losing streak. With Trey and Xavier Johnson both playing well, Pitt has one of the best guard combinations in the conference. If Trey can return to form and Xavier Johnson and Jared Wilson-Frame can stay hot, Pitt should win this game.
Pitt can’t stay down for this long, right? Jeff Capel and his guys have to be sick of losing at this point, especially since they’ve been so close to victory in their last two games. We saw some flashes of an aggressive Trey McGowens on Saturday, and hopefully he continues to regain the confidence that made him so successful in early ACC play. I see Pitt winning this one with a final of 72-65.