We've all been asking the same question since Pitt's early loss to Long Beach State - what's wrong with the basketball team this season?
As is the case with most things, there's not only a sole issue. I took a look at Pitt's rocky start over at SB Nation Pittsburgh and came up with five reasons the team is hurting. Here's an excerpt:
At 11-3, Pitt isn't at risk of missing the NCAA tournament just yet, but with three losses already, the thought is starting to creep into minds. The question was posed over at SB Nation's Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill, and as of Thursday night, one-third of poll respondents think this is the year Pitt's tournament streak is snapped.
It's not necessarily the three losses that are cause for alarm - rather, who they've come against.
Pitt dropped not one, but two non-conference home games this year, against Long Beach State and Wagner. Coming into this season, they'd only lost one (to Bucknell) in the entire history of the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers also were routed earlier this week at Notre Dame in their first Big East game of the season. All three teams are decent squads, but heading into the season, there was no reason to think Pitt wouldn't and shouldn't be favored to have won all three.
So what's the issue with this year's team? Here are five reasons they're struggling so much.
5. J.J. Moore not stepping up - Moore entered the season as one of the players expected to step up offensively. He's got the talent - that much is clear. In the second game of his career, he scored 19 points in only 19 minutes as a true freshman last year against North Florida. Moore hasn't been terrible this season, but he hasn't provided the offensive spark that most probably believed he could with added minutes. He's been held scoreless in three games this season and has failed to score more than five points in seven of the 13 games in which he's played. The bottom line is that Pitt needs more from Moore.