It didn't take long for the rout to be on and once it was, DePaul fans were chanting 'Let's go Bears.'
I didn't expect Pitt to lose this game, but I did expect DePaul to be a bit more competitive. An 80-50 beatdown wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I crashed for a two-hour journey on my couch this afternoon. But hey, I'll never complain about how many points wins by.
The day was a good one to get some milestone/record-type out of the way. Well all knew that Ashton Gibbs was 11 points shy of scoring 1,000 for his career and when he accomplished that feat today, it was expected. It was also fitting that his 1,000th point came on a three-pointer as Gibbs could leave Pitt as one of the school's most prolific three-point scorers. That three-pointer, by the way, was a pretty interesting play. Gibbs had just hit one and Pitt came right back and as Wanamaker had the ball and a wide open look for a three, he instead passed to Ashton. I don't know if he knew that Gibbs' shot would be for the milestone, but regardless, it exemplified the way this team operates - unselfishly.
But even though DePaul was a horrible rebounding team, I don't know how many people were expecting Gary McGhee to pull down a career-best 15 boards. McGhee led a Pitt attack on the boards that is becoming commonplace as the team outrebounded DePaul by 17 (unofficially). I've said it before, but I think Gary McGhee's NBA prospects lie somewhere comfortably between slim and none. But he's really becoming a force in college and while dominant isn't quite the right word, I think it's easily safe to say he's more than a role player.
Despite the big days by Gibbs and McGhee, Gilbert Brown led the way in scoring with 17 points. Don't look now, but as I wrote in the SB Nation recap, he's looking more and more like an NBA player. He had another huge blocked shot and the three-point shot (of which he was 2-4 today) is showing that he can shoot from outside. He may not be drafted, but he is proving, at least to me, he deserves a look in a camp.
Pitt also did more than a serviceable job defensively on DePaul's Cleveland Melvin who had been lighting the league on fire. He was averaging more than 20 points in conference play (as a freshman, no less) and Pitt held him to easily his worst game in the conference, 11 points on 4-13 shooting.
And how's this for a stat.
No DePaul starter shot 50% from the field as they were a combined 13-40.
It's hard to point out deficiencies in a 30-point win, it really is. But I will point out that the Panthers looked ever so flustered when they were pressed in the second half. DePaul made a very temporary run, but Pitt did show they can still use some more work on that. I think it's something they'll see more of as we continue into the season and in a hostile environment, it's something that could give Pitt some trouble.
Not much of a breather before we head to Big Monday against Notre Dame.