Still trying to digest if what I saw was real ... after pinching myself, it appears Pitt's 12-point win over Providence was indeed the real deal.
If you watched, you saw Pitt play it's best game in quite a while. The Panthers got up by 15 in the first half, then held that lead for much of the second.
Most folks around the country will point the box score and point to Ashton Gibbs' 22 points. While that helped, those of us watching the team on a regular basis know Tray Woodall's performance was equally, if not more, important. Woodall, in his third attempt to play after his injury, looked incredibly sharp. His 17 points were big, but the fact that he did it on a tidy 6-8 shooting was the thing I liked. Mix in his nine assists against only one turnover and you can get a sense of just how Pitt was able to look as good as they did.The biggest reason Pitt looked so impressive was because they shot so well. The team was just under 49% and several players including Gibbs (8-17), Woodall (6-8), Nasir Robinson (7-13), Talib Zanna (3-5), and John Johnson (3-4) had above average shooting nights.
Lamar Patterson also got off to another good start. After scoring the first two baskets against Louisville, he had seven of Pitt's first 12 tonight. Patterson is really starting to turn into a dependable player and it's nice to see he does something with the minutes he's been given this year.
The downer is that the defense didn't play all that well as Pitt allowed Vincent Council to go for 26 and Bryce Cotton to get to 20. The Panthers also practically fought to a tie on the boards and missed out on some loose balls.
Where's this leave Pitt? You got me. I tweeted earlier tonight that I'd feel much better if Pitt had done this against Louisville and then won this game, but you've got to start somewhere. There are still ten games left in the regular season, so there's a little time to turn things around. I've still got to see a lot more, though, and one win against Providence at home isn't doing much to convince me that Pitt is on the right track.
Now if they find a way to win against Georgetown this weekend?