It’s Conference Time

Incredibly enough, just two months ago we were writing about the uncertainty of this Pitt basketball season after the loss of Aaron Gray, Levon Kendall, and Antonio Graves as the Panthers entered the 2007-2008 campaign with what looked to be a smaller, less physical team. Yet two months into the season, less two very important players, the Panthers are going to have to play physical, defensive, smart basketball to survive a daunting Big East schedule, which kicks off on Sunday at 17th-ranked Villanova.

The main problem with the Wildcats is the quickness of their guards, specifically Scottie Reynolds, the sophomore guard averaging nearly 17 ppg while also dishing out about 5 assists. His dribble penetration, if not guarded well by Benjamin and Ramon, could lead to quick fouls for Blair and Biggs. The Panthers also need to watch out for frosh guard Malcolm Grant and junior forward Shane Clark, the two Wildcats shooting the long ball at over a 45% clip. If Pitt wants to win this game, they’re going to need the big men inside, especially now that Villanova is without freshman Casiem Drummond, a 6’10″/280lb center averaging 8 points and 8 boards a game who is out because of injury.

Blair and Biggs will be extremely important, but Ramon and Benjamin will certainly both need to have great games, like they did against Lafayette. From this point on in, the Panthers aren’t going to have any cake games on their schedule- Cincinnati just upset Louisville, showing that this Big East schedule is gonna be tough top-to-bottom. Keys to this game are perimeter defense and rebounding, if Pitt can control both of those facets of the game, this Villanova team is certainly beatable.


3 Responses to “It’s Conference Time”

  1. Keith McBride Says:

    Before Dayton, I thought Villanova would be a very achievable win for Pitt.After Dayton, I thought Villanova would be a very unlikely win for Pitt.After DePaul upset Villanova, I don’t know what to think.I think that the Panthers will have a tough time with Villanova’s usual talented set of guards. They are a challenge for us every season, and I don’t doubt this game will be any different.Where Pitt matches up well is the set of Blair, Young, and Biggs. If Tyrell can play even close to the level he did this week, I don’t know that any of the Wildcats’ bigmen can handle any of our three.Reynolds will have a good game, I don’t think a Pitt win is going to hinge on shutting him down. At our current status, I don’t see that happening. All we can hope for is offsetting him by having Sam Young put up 20 of his own.It should be a great first conference game. I’ll be traveling out to Philly tomorrow afternoon, hopefully this road trip is better than the last.

  2. Keith McBride Says:

    Well I guess I was certainly wrong about Reynolds.All in all, that was a hard fought game on both sides. Pitt had great rebounding and great shooting, just too many turnovers.Good game, awful ending. They just need to get over it and move on and get ready to take down USF.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    there’s still one cake game on the schedule. rutgers is absolute garbage.

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