You can point to any number of things needed for Pitt to win. But if you're interested in a pattern that follows every Pitt loss, voila: In Pitt's losses, Tray Woodall has shot below his average on the season. In some cases, he's even been pretty bad from the field. Here are Woodall's performances from the field in Pitt's losses:
Marquette: 0-1 (played only four minutes due to injury)
Notre Dame: 4-9
Add it all up, and Woodall shot only 36% in Pitt's losses. Not only that, but in every game, he was below his 48% season average.
I don't want to make too much of it and Pitt has won games with Woodall struggling (see Oakland when he was only 2-14). Plus, it's not as if he has been terrible in all of those games. Against Louisville, he shot nearly 50% and had 14 points, for example. But the point is that when he's not shooting well, Pitt's chances to win drop. Significantly. Pitt is only 8-8 when Woodall shoots below 50%. Also consider that many of those wins came against weak competition (Fordham, Oakland, Howard, and Seton Hall.
There's been a lot of talk about Pitt's two freshmen being the key to the game, but I think Woodall may be the biggest factor. And as we saw in the Marquette game, when he's out completely, the team can have a hard time offensively.
So while they are still capable of winning, it's much more difficult without a productive Woodall. I wouldn't say to panic if he starts the game off with a few misses, but it's something to keep an eye on as the game goes along.
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