Slow-tempo,choppy, half-court basketball. It reminded me of the team 3 years ago. But this team doesn’t have that identity or even need to have that identity. The focus in the national media on this team has been all on Aaron Gray, for good reason too. If Gray isn’t scoring in the half-court set, rebounding, and converting easy buckets Pitt has a tough road to a win. Last night Gray put in 18 points and 7 rebounds but didn’t dominate the game like he is capable of. The win was more of an all-round effort with a solid game from Levance Fields.
What jumped out to me immediately about Levance’s play last night was his poise. Early in the game Levance turned the ball over twice in a short period. Coach Dixon put in Ramon to calm down the sophmore point guard and Levance responded. Ending the game with a team leading 7 assists Fields controlled the half-court set for Pitt throughout the game. His ability to slash past his defender to break down the DePaul man to man was instrumental in Pitt pulling away in the second half.
Two more players who deserve some credit for last nights win are Antonio Graves and Mike Cook. Antonio played the most under control and within himself that I have seen all year. He worked extremely hard on the defensive end and fought to get open shots on the offensive end. More importantly he cut out the turnovers completely and made smart decisions with the basketball. Mike Cook also dropped in 10 points which helped out on offense.
Last night wasn’t a pretty win by any stretch of the imagination but it got us a tough road win in a difficult arena. Looking foward to Georgetown on Saturday Pitt is going to need a better showing from the bench. Ramon and Benjamin had off games and I look for both to turn it around against the Hoyas.
My perdiction for Saturday: Pitt 165 Georgetown 13