Excuse us if we get a little sentimental here at Cardiac Hill and award senior Talib Zanna one more Panther of the Week award. Point guard James Robinson had an outstanding two games, but Zanna's performances were solid as well.
Robinson deserves mention for his 14 assists to only three turnovers during the two games in the tourney. During Pitt's opening 29-point win against Colorado, the sophomore dished out eight assists and added three steals and really made the Panthers 'go' in the opening round. A fair amount of Pitt's roster struggled against an aggressive and well-coached Florida Gators' defense. Despite a constant full-court press from the Gators, Robinson still ended up with six assists and only two turnovers. But in the end, Zanna's shooting from the floor and constant battling with Florida's stud center, Patric Young, gives him the slightest edge in the final week of our Panther of the Week award for this season
Zanna's two games matched Robinson's and may have been a little bit better. The senior center started things off with 18 points, five rebounds, one steal, and two blocks in the opening route of Colorado on Thursday. Zanna shot six for seven from the field and converted all six free throws he attempted. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he sat out 14 of the 40 minutes due to the lopsided. He didn't end his great shooting there, converting five of seven shots against Florida in the season-ending loss to the No. 1 ranked Gators. The final stat line for Zanna in the finale was 10 points, six rebounds, and one block.
Overall, in the two NCAA Tournament games, the Nigeria native shot a blistering 79% from the floor and 100% from the free throw line. For a guy that struggled a little in the second half of the season, the big man stepped up when it mattered most in the postseason tournaments. I'm not sure if Zanna will catch on with an NBA team, but it was nice to see him finish his collegiate career with solid performances.