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Pitt Opens Basketball Season With Exhibition Win Over Northwood

Pitt's 2010-11 season is officially underway with exhibition play. Today the Panthers took on Northwood (FL) at the Petersen Events Center and the outcome was, well, as expected.

Pitt laid a 104-62 beatdown on Rollie Massimino-led Northwood, who didn't even score until almost midway into the first quarter. The Panthers started the game on a 23-0 run.

Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker led the way with 25 points and 18 points respectively. But we knew they were going to produce. J.J. Moore to me was the real surprise of the game. He had 17 points in only 17 minutes and showed off not only his athleticism, but proved he can shoot from outside as well (3-5 from the arc).

It's crazy early to be predicting big things for him, but he looked like a Sam Young-type out there with both an inside and outside game. And the thing I noticed more than anything was how comfortable he looked. The other two freshman, Isaiah Epps and Cameron Wright were okay, but not spectacular. Playing a lot with the team in the Greentree Summer League and the Ireland trip really looks to have helped prepare him. I honestly believe that, barring injury, he'll be the only freshman cracking the rotation this season. Not sure how many minutes he'll get, though. Gilbert Brown and Nasir Robinson didn't play due to injuries, so when those guys come back, there will be less minutes to go around. You've got to keep things under perspective because it wasn't even a D-I team that Pitt played today, but it looks like he might be capable of helping the team this year.

Dixon seemed pleased with what Moore brought today:

"He brings a lot of energy," Dixon said of Moore. "I think that’s the thing that really attracted us to him."

Coach Massimino, who's seen his share of good players, was also impressed with Moore:

"I watched him in practice," Massimino said. "He was really making a lot of dunks. I didn’t think he could shoot the ball like that. He’s got extremely good poise for a freshman."

Going back to Brown and Robinson, we heard about their injuries earlier this week. But what I hadn't heard about was Lamar Patterson apparently nursing an ankle sprain. The Post-Gazette reports that he should be back by the opener next Monday.


Pitt has its second exhibition game later this week vs. IUP.