I'm not going to take a thorough look at this game. I don't have the energy for one and I also missed about half the game.
One thing that gets overlooked when Pitt basketball is discussed this year is the lack of steady contributions from players. Guys like Talib Zanna, Dante Taylor, and J.J. Moore are complete crap shoots and even the starters have been a bit on and off at times. That again hurt the Panthers on Sunday.
The team got virtually nothing from Zanna and Nas on offense (six points on 2-9 shooting) and in 25 minutes of action, bench guys Moore, Cam Wright, Malcolm Gilbert, and John Johnson had a combined two points on 1-6 shooting, two rebounds, and two assists.
Then there was Tray Woodall who was just all over the place ... and not in a good way.
This team is really inconsistent shooting the ball (they had another sub 40% game from the field) and that, maybe more than anything else, is what is killing them. I've said repeatedly that this squad is really young and it shows. Eventually guys like Zanna, Johnson, Gilbert, Moore, and Wright should contribute something on a regular basis, but they're really green right now. The thing is, don't give up on them. Remember Brad Wanamaker as a freshman trying to handle the ball? Or how about Gary McGhee/Aaron Gray as young players. At times it looked like they'd never be able to contribute and all three went on to pretty decent careers.
This is a work in progress and while things will get better, there's going to be some more growing pains along the way.
So does this mean Pitt's NCAA hopes are finally dashed? Surprisingly, I don't think so just yet - here's why.
As I've said all along, I think 21 wins gets them in and they may have a shot with 20. Pitt needs to finish strong and probably either need to win all five remaining games or take four out of five and win a Big East Tournament game. Or ... win three of their last five and win two in the Big East. Either of those scenarios gets them to 20 and that may be enough.
Plus, remember the 2004-05 team went only 20-8 and still got a No. 9 seed. I'm not uber confident in Pitt's chances with 20 wins, but factoring in the Tray Woodall injury, I'm not ruling it out.