Well, another lowly D-I school comes into Pittsburgh, and another 30+ victory ensues. While again, it’s nice to watch the young Panthers get some confidence going into the season, I’m a little more excited to see them get at least a challenge. During the pregame introductions, I could tell this was not going to be very close when no one in the MVSU starting lineup was over 6’5″- if Dejuan Blair could hold his own against 7-footer Bryce Husak, he should have no problem with someone two inches shorter than himself. All in all, I have to say this was a rather boring basketball game- MVSU was outmatched athletically, physically, and in terms of both talent and experience. All-SWAC guard Stanford Speech was only 3-10 from the floor with 0 assists and 2 turnovers. Pitt did a good job of severely limiting the Delta Devils’ easy shots, forcing them into a 26.3% shooting percentage for the game while going 31-65 (47.7%) themselves. I was rather disappointed to see half of the Zoo leave during halftime- I know we were up by sixteen against a clearly inferior opponent, but it really shows what kind of fans some people are- come for the loyalty points and really only care when we play Georgetown and Louisville. This is a full season folks, support your team the entire way through.
Players that stood out for me were Gil Brown, Brad Wanamaker, and Tyrell Biggs. Sam Young and the rest of the starting lineup did pretty much what I expected them to- Dejuan Blair dominated the boards before bruising his tailbone and sitting out most of the first half and all of the second, Sam Young gathered 12 rebounds and 19 points in only 23 minutes while proving too be too much of a mismatch for anybody on MVSU, and Ronny Ramon and Levance took their shots, though tonight they were both off on most of their attempts. Brown showed major improvement in this game- hitting all four of his field goals (including both three’s), both free throws, while collecting four rebounds and two assists. I still wish he would drive to the hoop- he’s so athletic and I know he can take it to the rim, he just hasn’t gotten there yet. Wanamaker finally hit a few shots tonight and it looked good to see him gain some confidence out there on the court- his ball handling was very solid, he ran the point well, and it was good to see him get involved in the offense. Finally, and I know this was a small team, but it was good to see Biggs really play like a power forward, finishing baskets inside and winding up with ten points and four boards.