Pitt plays their final non-conference game of the regular season as they host Wagner Friday night at 8 P.M. The game will be shown on ESPNU.
Simply put, Pitt should win this game. The Seahawks are 7-3, but they haven't played the most challenging slate of opponents. Still, against their only opponent from a major conference in Connecticut, Wagner only lost by 12. it's safe to say that they should be a bit more of a challenge than St. Francis was. The Seahawks, under coach Danny Hurley, like to play an up-tempo style of basketball. They can score quickly and like to force turnovers on defense. Wagner has put up more than 70 points in seven of their ten games this season and they're forcing turnovers more than 25% of the time on defense. However, as a result, their overall defense is lacking - teams are shooting 35% from three-point range against Wagner.Pitt should keep an eye on guards Jonathan Williams and Tyler Murray. Both are shooting at least 50% from the field on the season and are averaging in double figures. Murray, in particular, is a dangerous three-point shooter, shooting 53% from the perimeter. The frontcourt is where Pitt can take advantage. In that game against UConn, the Huskies outrebounded Wagner 38-19. Look for Pitt to have another big game on the boards.
We probably won't learn much of anything from this game, but perhaps Ashton Gibbs can use the time to improve his shooting numbers. The Panthers likely won't need him to have a huge game but in the following game against Notre Dame, Gibbs has to be on his game with Mike Brey likely to use the burn offense.