My honest opinion of tonight’s exhibition contest was that I don’t think Pitt has ever looked as bad as they did tonight (at times) in any of the other exhibition games I have been to.
Now that doesn’t mean they played poorly, I was actually pretty impressed. What I mean was that there were a few times when Dixon played the B team (or less than the B team) and they looked completely out of sync. The plays didn’t seem coordinated, people were all over the place offensively, etc. I think what we’ve learned is that the veterans on the team will do what they have always done, and maybe even with a new face or two, things are pretty stable, but with a floor of four or five younger players doesn’t seem to mesh well yet.
Of course, this will work itself out. My point is only that at the end of an exhibition game, I have never thought to myself, “This was only the first exhibition game, they will get better,” which is what I thought today. The motivation for the exhibition game is not to show how many more points you can score than some lame D2 team, it is to get the players live action.
Some highlights of mine:
Gary McGhee looked pretty good. I just assumed he would be a minor role player or redshirt, but he looked like he could handle himself, at least in rebounding.
Sam Young and Mike Cook look just as athletic as ever. They get the ball and drive to the hoop and magic happens.
Levance Fields has the potential to make some jaw-dropping plays. Tonight he made a tough shot against 3-on-1 defense.
Austin Wallace should replace Doyle Hudson as the first player we ask for late in games. I was very disappointed that Dixon took him out so quickly. AWOL deserves some more play, at least to get some points in early in the season.
DeJuan Blair still deserves more attention. No matter how much people are hyping him up, so far, he deserves it. I think a lot of people are not expecting too much from him since he is so much shorter than Gray, but I think he has more power than Gray did. When Blair drives to the basket, or when he goes for a dunk, he has a commanding presence. I think it will be very interesting to see him match up against some of the taller centers in the conference.
Don’t forget that the Women start tomorrow with an exhibition game. They are also playing Sunday before the Alumni game, before the Men’s game. They are ranked 21 in the preseason poll, so make sure to check them out.