It may not be pretty, but Pitt stands at 9-3 on the young basketball season and forward Jamel Artis is a big reason why they are winning. The sophomore had a strong performance in Pitt's 58-39 victory over Holy Cross at The Pete this past week. It was the only game on the slate in the past seven days and for his big night, Artis is our Panther of the Week.
Artis dropped in 13 points and pulled in a solid nine rebounds, adding one block in Tuesday's win. The performance lifted Artis' season averages to 9.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game at this point. Artis has experienced his ups and downs this year, as many wondered if he shouldn't be sitting more after his invisible performance against Oakland. He hasn't shot particularly well this year, but he is still capable of big games. Strong performances like Tuesday's and Manhattan and St. Bonaventure before that show that stronger games could be in the future for the Panthers.
If Pitt wants to gel as a team, they will need more help down low for Michael Young. A consistent effort from Artis and Young could go a long way into taking some pressure off of players like Josh Newkirk, James Robinson, and Cam Wright. This could lead to a more balanced attack and, who knows, maybe the Panthers will actually begin to look like the teams we have come to expect from Jamie Dixon.