UCLA Shuts Down Panthers

I’ll be the first to say it: that game was awful. While Ronald and Levance combined for 23 points with 7 3-pointers, the rest of the team went 12-40 (.300) and 0-6 from 3. The sad part is that Pitt had MORE field goals than UCLA, as well as MORE 3-pointers. The difference was that UCLA hit 23 free throws.

Pitt was in the game down to the final minute, but you wouldn’t ever have guessed by watching them fail on every possession. Missed shots and rebounds were more abundant than I’ve seen for a long while.

Looking at the stat sheet, Pitt did better than UCLA in almost every single category, except free throws and fouls, which obviously go hand in hand. Had Pitt not wasted so many possessions, this should have been a very easy victory. This UCLA team we played tonight is not the one that might be a title contender. This was the UCLA that went down to the wire to beat Indiana last weekend.

I think that Jamie Dixon, the entire Panther squad, and each of us fans should be disappointed with this loss. However, the season is now over. Aaron Gray will (hopefully) soon get drafted to the NBA. Levon, Antonio, and Doyle have put on their uniforms for the last time. The next time we will get to see this team suit up, it will be quite a different squad. The inside big men will be gone. We’ve got some good talent coming in. We have Gilbert waiting for his true debut. We shouldn’t forget that we also have those two guards who hit seven triples tonight returning.

What Pitt fans should take solace in tonight is that although we missed the Elite Eight once again, its not the first time we’ve been in this position, and you have every reason to believe that Pitt will have its chance again next season. That, and at least you aren’t a UConn Huskies fan.

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14 Responses to “UCLA Shuts Down Panthers”

  1. Drew Margulis Says:

    I agree, I look forward to seeing Levance, Ronald, Sam, Gilbert, DeJuan, Tyrell, and Mike play next year, but the way that this season ended is an absolute disgrace. If we had made half of our open looks we’d have easily won. The coaching staff needs to find a new way to prepare this team for big games. Each player needs to be held accountable because, although both teams played great defense, shooting whatever meager percent that we did is not acceptable, and the turnovers and shot selection must drastically improve next year. That being said, next year can’t come soon enough.

  2. Keith McBride Says:

    don’t forget about the women’s team of 2007-2008.my prediction: they are ranked in the top 25 for the entire season

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for a great Zoo season. It’s been alot of fun reading the comments and leaving comments as well. Job well done Zoo boys!!!!! Can’t wait for next season, cause there’s nothing like Pitt basketball.

  4. Drew Margulis Says:

    ya i forgot the women…definitely gonna have a great year next year with most everyone returning and some good recruits coming in.

  5. Jason Cramer Says:

    This loss was a tough one to swallow. We had our best chance at taking the next step and getting to the Elite 8. UCLA played great defense tonight but I thought their overall play was below average.The long scoring droughts where the team was missing easily lay-ups and short jumpers was ridiculous. I think Jamie and his staff should take a seriously look at the shooting of our team. We need a different method or different way of teaching shooters. I’m concerned about what never really picking up the big win is going to do for us down the road. Recruiting wise getting bounced in the tournament every year can’t be good. This loss hurt big time because this wasn’t like Oklahoma St. or Marquette we weren’t overmatched. UCLA played exactly how we thought they would and we let them off the hook to quote Dennis Green.We had this but just like the Big East title we let it slip out of our hands. I hated the identity and the lack of passion this team exuded in big moments. Hopefully, some of the new guys coming in and the team being handed over to new guys will re-inject an attitude into the program.I’m not going to trash Aaron Gray now that he is gone but he has to put some blame for this early exit on his shoulders. At no point during the season did he ever take a game over for us and give us the lift we needed.I want to say good year but it wasn’t we should have won the Big East and got farther. Next year the dynamic changes and we won’t be a top-25 preseason team. The team is going to have to work and claw their way into the tournament.

  6. Drew Margulis Says:

    I think the team missed a Krauser-like player this year who would play with passion and heart…he may have played too much with his heart at times but this year no one took over games like you said Jason. I do think we will be a more athletic team next year and that will help us, but missing a 7 footer will definitely hurt.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    The fact that Pitt has been shooting 30% or less from the field for a number of games now plus all the missed foul shots and sloppy passes,and standing around and not helping out a player in trouble. They couldn’t seem to figure out the press either. The big man needed to jump sometimes and dunk the ball!!! He should have been able to control the tempo of the game. Sour taste in the mouth after this loss? Oh yes, and I need some mouth wash very badly.

  8. Jason Cramer Says:

    This is the worst loss in my 4 years at Pitt. Worse than getting shithoused by Utah in football. We needed this win. UCLA was there to be beaten. This wasn’t Georgetown in the Big East, a passable shooting performance would have won. If the type of players that we are recruiting are shooting this bad in big games we need a new presence. I’m so upset with the team today. There is no silver-lining right now.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I am very disappointed in this loss. UCLA was not that great of a team. The difference was in finishing scoring oportunities. We did not finish.As much as everyone points to Gray, he has a history of missing inside shots in big games, he is not athletic enough for todays game. He catches the ball 5-7 feet from the goal, he needs to dunk that sucker being 7 foot tall. I will cut him some slack because I don’t believe he is 100% after his ankle injury against Washington.A game Pitt could have won (again) and I liked the Kansas match up to make it to the final four.Oh, well next year.

  10. Jason Cramer Says:

    Gray is a throwback to having a 7 foot body being enough to get you to the NBA. I hated players like Shawn Bradley, Chris Dudley, and Matt Geiger. He will get eaten alive by any NBA center/power forward. I watch a ton of NBA games a I can’t think a guy with as little athleticism. Don’t think of him as a 1st round lock, he still has to go to draft camp. He does have good fundamentals though.

  11. Drew Margulis Says:

    another big thing that frustrates me is their inability to follow their shots…very rarely to go to the hoop after a shot, instead they are standing around…i do wish aaron luck in the NBA, but i do not know if he will have a great career…i hope he does though

  12. Anonymous Says:

    All that needs to be said is this , Pitt shot a lousy 36 percent again.

  13. Goodbye you canadian prick Says:

    Pitt’s other big inside player, the 6-10 Levon Kendall, experienced an even greater falloff — his scoring average dropped from 7.0 to 5.4, and he went scoreless against UCLA.Way to show up buddy, way to go.

  14. lebullet Says:

    hey don’t you dare say bad things about levon kendall!


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