Its that time again the basketball season is right around the corner. Today was the Basketball Fan Fest at the Pete and I thought I would give some thoughts on the scrimmages. I’m not going to go over the Women’s Scrimmage because it was very brief 4 on 4 because of many of the players not suited up.
The men’s scrimmage was a great display of the new direction of the team. Athleticism was present at every single position on the team. Both teams pushed the ball at every opportunity. It is very much a new day in Pitt Basketball they played nothing like they did yesterday. I’ll just go over the game player by player to give those of you that weren’t at the game an idea of what you have to look for against Pitt-Johnstown. The player’s are in no particular order and I’ll go over the apparent 11 guys that will get playing time.
1. Levance Fields: The part of his performance that jumped out at me was how well he got open shots. He did a great job of getting himself open after the initial entry pass, drifting away from his man to get three’s and also getting inside looks. His presence at the point will be key this year for our success. Looked to be in fantastic shape too.
2. DeJuan Blair: Wow, he did everything well today. By far the most impressive big man today. All around dominate performance in the post; he rebounded extremely well, played great defense, and showed many low post moves. Looked like an upperclassmen with his position and defensive skill. I can’t say enough good things about him, he lived up to the hype that surrounded him.
3. Gilbert Brown: Another wow performance and made the highlight block of the game. I was most impressed by his outside shooting and ability to get an open shot. Brown is a threat to shoot the three ball and to go off the dribble to the basket. The redshirt year appears to have worked wonders for his all around game. A legitimate playmaker at the shooting guard and small forward position.
4. Brad Wanamaker: Very good performance. He appears to be comfortable moving between the point guard and shooting guard position. Made a couple great outlet passes to start the break and looked like a very competent defender. Hit the shots when he got open and drove to the basket well. He is going to be a big weapon for us with his size and versatility.
5. Sam Young: Solid performance where he did all the things you expect from him. I expect a strong season from Young at the power forward position and he showed off a great understanding of the offense today. He did a great job of losing his man and getting open drives to the basket, which needs to be where he makes his living at this year. Also looked big and strong enough to deal with power forwards.
6. Mike Cook: You know what you get with Mike Cook and thats what he did today. Looked really comfortable and up for the game. I was also glad to see that he looks to have dropped a couple of pounds to prepare for his big minutes this year.
7. Keith Benjamin: Played a solid game but he didn’t get as many open looks as Wanamaker did on the other team. Knocked down a couple of shots which was good. Looking forward to see more of him because I think he could be a big part of the team this year.
8. Ronald Ramon: Not really sure about his performance today. I think he went under the radar because of the performance of Blair on his team. We all know what Ramon can and can’t do, he will be ready for the season.
9. Gary McGhee: Played much bigger and more athletic than I expected. I’m looking forward to seeing him play again.
10. Tyrell Biggs: He did a very good job rebounding today, his shot just wasn’t falling. Another guy I need to see more of to know what his effect on the team will be.
11. Cassin Diggs: I’ll be honest I didn’t really notice him all that much today. Hopefully, in the pre-season he gets involved in the offense more.
I had a great time and I’m really excited to see this team play in 10 days. Things are looking very up for the basketball team. I’ll get back to writing columns every day or couple of days now that the season has started.