The Pitt Panthers went up at the start of the week on Monday with a 81-68 win over Division II host Chaminade and then came down with a thud on the next night against nationally ranked San Diego State, falling by 17 points. The Panthers refused to stay down for long and rebounded well in their third game in three nights, thumping Kansas State by 23.
If you looked at social media, you could see Pitt fans doing the usual yo-yo game of emotions throughout the week. It is funny that when this happens, you can always look to one player to stay level and that is why he's our Panther of the Week: point guard James Robinson.
There were other Pitt players who put up some great numbers with Derrick Randall hauling in a ridiculous 21 rebounds to go with his 11 points in the opener on Monday and Michael Young tossing in 27 points and 15 rebounds in the same trouncing of Chaminade. You could also point to true freshman Ryan Luther coming up big against Kansas State with 13 points. But Robinson didn't just show up for one of the games, as he was a big presence in all of them.
You want someone to stay even-keeled for a long stretch? Look no further than Robinson who put in 17, 17, and 14 points respectively this past week. The DeMatha High School product also dished out five assists against Chaminade, three in the San Diego State game, and finally six in the finale against K-State, in addition to grabbing three rebounds per game.
It wasn't that he was just steady this past week, either. Robinson was one of the very few Panther players who didn't look like he was out of place against San Diego State on Tuesday. He seemed to try and will his team to stay in the game against the 15th ranked Aztecs, who were clearly the best of the three teams Pitt played.
Robinson doesn't get a ton of press and I believe he won this award once (maybe) last season, but he's rarely someone that falters for Pitt. If you want one more reason why he is so important to the Panthers, just look at the foul shooting this past week. We all know how Panther fans cringe when Pitt goes to the line, especially late in a game, and with good reason. The Panthers have notoriously struggled from the line from the charity stripe. Robinson would hear none of that and proved it again in Maui with a perfect 17 of 17 free throw shooting.
With Cam Wright still not back from injury and Durand Johnson out for the year, Pitt will need to lean on Robinson a little more, so more performances like this past week would be a welcome sight.
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