Well, for the first time this season, Pitt plays an opponent for the second time, and we know this is a very winnable game. We only lost by one at Villanova, which is a tough place to play to begin with, and we get them at home after suffering one of the most embarrassing home losses in recent memory. This is a huge statement game against a struggling Villanova team- a loss today would put some serious doubt in those who said the Panthers could make a deep run into the playoffs. I still think this is an NCAA-tournament quality team, and every team is gonna have their bad game, but the Panthers need to step it up and put together a quality stretch of basketball.

The most shocking thing about the last game was the lack of effort displayed in the 2nd half of the Rutgers game- the Panthers appeared to be overconfident in their ability and just stopped playing the quality of defense that they’ve become known for, and the rebounding dropped severely off as well. I know that Jamie Dixon won’t stand for that sort of thing, and I would imagine practices this week weren’t exactly fun for the team, but I guarantee their focus will be like that of a Big East tournament game today.

We need to get our inside game working again- Blair and Biggs need to have great games today, and they’re certainly capable of it against an undersized Wildcat team. The ‘Nova guards have shown their quickness and penetration ability against Pitt, we just need to do a good job of containing whoever gets the hot hand and stopping the others. Last game it was Malcolm Grant, this game it could just as easily be Scottie Reynolds, the super soph for the team from the Main Line (my hometown, coincidentally). I would hope that the Panthers have too much pride to come away from the Pete today with anything but a win, and today’s game will say a lot about a young but talented team.


6 Responses to “Consistency”

  1. Drew Margulis Says:

    now if they can only win on saturday…

  2. The Prowler Says:

    Pitt muscled out a good win against Nova last night. As you said in your article that Biggs needed a big game, you got what you asked for. 14 points was nice. So was the 26 minutes he added, giving at least some much needed rest to Blair and Young at times. But this was the first time that I have seen a truly sound player in Biggs.My brother and I always joke that he is the one guy who will shoot from anywhere on the floor at any time. Sadly, he does this, but he doesn’t make many of the shots.What was really nice last night was that he only took 5 shots from the field, so he wasn’t forcing shots. He took good shots, and he made them. On top of that, most surprisingly, he was 8-12 from the free throw line. We are going to need a lot more of that in coming weeks.

  3. Keith McBride Says:

    Biggs gets a lot less credit than he deserves. He is playing really well as the sixth man on the roster. With the inconsistent play from Brown, and consistently lacking play from Wanamaker, Biggs is handling himself well.Too many people are trying to judge Biggs and McGhee based on whether they go out and score 8-10 points or get 6 rebounds in limited play. If you think about it as a +/-, those players don’t need to be a big +, they don’t even have to be a small +, but at least even or a small – is worth letting Young and Blair get some rest.The strength that Pitt has had over the past several years is almost undeniably a result of their deep roster, and unless we get a better distribution of minutes, we are going to see another version of the Rutgers game again this season.

  4. The Prowler Says:

    Biggs is a solid player, but that doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t choose his shots wisely. And he doesn’t make a lot of his shots because of it.McGhee is a – on the floor right now. He averages the same number of fouls as minutes, that isn’t good. I was impressed with his time in the Villanova game. But in many games, in the limited time he has seen, he has looked completely and utterly lost. I disagree that bench players don’t need to be a + for the team. Jamie Dixon has a habit of making mass substitutions early in games, at which time Pitt completely loses momentum. That is because of the drop off in talent from the starters to the bench guys. He hasn’t been able to do it quite as much as last year when we had to hear every game how Pitt had 9 starters. But he still does it. And it hurts the momentum dramatically.Early in the season, against inferior opponents, I understand why you get bench guys good minutes. It is precisely so they can contribute something positive at this point in the season. For McGhee, I am happy as long as he isn’t fouling on every defensive stand. For Biggs, he does need to step up and produce. He can’t just be there giving guys a rest. Because as the season wears on, his minutes and his need for production will increase as other players wear down from playing 35 minutes a game. You can’t have a guy on the floor for 25 minutes and not contribute something positive.I do think Biggs has come a long way. It would be nice if he could get himself to the point where next year he takes over for Benjamin (or for Young, who would then bump to Benjamin’s spot), and contributes a solid 10+ points a game. I like Biggs. I see him progressing as the season wears on, and that makes me happy. But when you play on a team like Pitt, a team centered around “team” as opposed to star, you need everyone contributing something.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    biggs is the most versatile player on the team. best 6th man in the conference. he understands dixon basketball and how the game is played. if blair had his intelligence, he’d be unreal.

  6. J Jones Says:

    Biggs’ play has definitely improved with the increased playing time. His defense has especially been good. I agree you can’t judge him by his numbers at all. The fact that he is giving us some sort of production down low when Blair is on the bench is all we can ask. He is rebounding better too which is essential to our style of play.

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