In a week where that left Pitt fans searching to see if they had a chest wound from someone ripping their hearts out, Lamar Patterson remained steady. It's proof that the senior is healing from his hand injury and can put the awful previous week behind him. Other players may have had better single games, but no one had solid efforts in both contests. James Robinson and Talib Zanna played well against Syracuse, but struggled on Tobacco Road. Jamel Artis came off the bench with a strong effort against the Tar Heels, but was quiet in 21 minutes against the Orange. Patterson did not drop 30 on anyone and he didn't get close to a double-double, but played solid in both games.
Patterson started the week off well in the "stomach punching" loss to Syracuse. While Zanna was a beast, Lamar came up with a nice game of his own. The Lancaster native put in 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. His three turnovers weren't good, but if it was not for Tyler Ennis' 36-footer to win it, Patterson's slick pass to Zanna with four seconds left would have proved to be the game-deciding assist. It is part of what makes him so dangerous to opposing teams. You can stop him from doing one thing really well, but normally he will come up with another aspect of his game that can hurt you.
The stat line against North Carolina isn't earth-shattering, as Patterson came down with 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, four steals, and one block. However, when you consider this was a game where the Panthers turned the ball over 14 times and see that Patterson only had one, he did a good job of taking care of the ball. Also opening your eyes was the fact that he picked up two quick fouls yesterday and played only 21 minutes. He also went without committing a foul in the second half when he finally got back into the game.
This was a good week for Lamar and after the hand injury caused such a bad game against Virginia Tech, it was a bright spot during a week Pitt fans would like to forget. The Panthers will need him to be at the top of his game if they want to get some momentum to make sure they get into the tourney in March.