Pitt held its first exhibition tonight at the Pete against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and came away with the win, 72-58. IUP is in Division II, but ranked in the top 20 and picked to finish 2nd in PSAC West. They've had a pretty program the last couple years after former Pitt assistant Joe Lumbardi took over the team in 2006.
I'll tell you a little bit of what I liked, and what I didn't from tonight's win.
Chris Jones' three-point shooting: He missed his first couple shots but Jones made three three-pointers from different spots on the court. He even had a block in the second half.
Cameron Johnson: He didn't play much but I expect the freshman to contribute this year. Didn't seem flustered at all and moved through the offense well. He's super long so he's fun to watch on defense.
Michael Young: He didn't have the best night early but he's very aggressive. If he can finish the rebounds he gets his hands on as putbacks, he'll be effective for Pitt. He started to play a lot better down low in the second half. Showing off a couple of post moves. He finished with a team-high 24 points, shooting 8-12 from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line. Coach Lombardi called Young "a man child", and thinks he'll be Pitt's best post player they've had in a while, including Steven Adams.
Free throw shooting: the second half wasn't as great, but Pitt finished with 76.9% for the night.
The defense. Missed assignments, and some way too easy buckets for IUP on some drives. IUP shot a ton of threes but some were far too open
Overall big production: Young was really the only effective big man for Pitt tonight. Joseph Uchebo and Derrick Randall did not really produce in the middle, and Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther were extremely quiet from the 4. Luther plays good defense, but Jeter looked a little lost at times. I think Jeter is a better player than he showed tonight.
Sloppiness: This is to be expected this early in the year. Sloppy turnovers and bad passes. That will get cleaned up as the season gets going. Pitt would have had a lot more points tonight if they had finished more of their layups and putbacks. 39% for the game won't be enough against tougher opponents.
-Tyrone Haughton did not play at all. He came in as a defensive specialist but looks like the staff isn't comfortable with him yet. Dixon remarked "he's way behind, and a lot of guys are ahead of him at his position."
-Very light attendance tonight with Halloween happening. Hopefully the crowd is better for the next game.
-The new intro video before the lineups is pretty awesome. Make sure to look for it as you attend a game this year.
Pitt's next game is an exhibition against Philadelphia on 11/7 at 7 pm.