Pitt Basketball: Panthers Rip VMI, 97-70

Unless you have Comcast or went to the game, you likely didn't see it. It wasn't even on Pitt's home away from home, ESPN3. But from the sound of things, it was pretty ugly.

Pitt won 97-70 and the game was never in doubt as the Panthers never trailed. Leading the way were Ashton Gibbs (20 points) and Nasir Robinson (19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists). I mentioned before the game that VMI's defense was abhorrent and, well, that was pretty much the case.

So Dante Taylor - man, this has been a long time coming. Taylor's not a beast by any means and it's important to note that the competition tonight wasn't all that great. But he's really coming alive and as I wrote earlier, he's playing extremely well.

VMI Big East competition ain't, but he had another solid effort with ten points, seven rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in 23 minutes of action. After starting slowly, he's averaging 11 points and just over seven rebounds per game in his last three. Those aren't monster numbers, but it's a step up from what he had been contributing. Starter Khem Birch, on the other hand, was in foul trouble early and finished with two points in 11 minutes of action.

So, does Dixon make the switch back?

I don't know. Things are running pretty smoothly right now and as I wrote before, as long as Taylor gets his minutes, it doesn't matter a whole lot to me. But he's definitely playing better and deserves more time.

Then there's Cam Wright.

Sometimes Dixon is stubborn. I'm talking Pittsburgh Pirates management stubborn. That's why it remains anybody's guess if Wright continues to not only start, but get quality minutes. He started again and in 16 minutes of action was 1-4 from the field and had two points and two turnovers. John Johnson (13 points and five assists tonight) continues to be the better player, but Dixon hasn't budged on that whole starting thing yet. Part of the reason may be that Wright has logged a year in the system and Dixon is more comfortable with him, but every time I've seen Johnson this season, he's looked sharp. This kid can play, but as long as Dixon keeps up the John DeGroat scenario with Wright, he may not start.

Pitt also dominated on the boards tonight, 55-27. My favorite stat from the night? I wrote over at the SB Nation Pittsburgh recap that VMI didn't have anyone with more than five rebounds, but Pitt had seven players with at least that many.

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