As I reported previously, the Pitt men's basketball team held a practice on Tuesday prior to heading to the Bahamas to play some of the local teams from down there, and I had a chance to watch on behalf of Cardiac Hill.
The best overall player at practice on Tuesday was without a doubt Sheldon Jeter. The 6'8" swingman looked sensational. It became quite clear that much of the 2014-15 Panthers offense could run through him. He hit most of his shots (three-pointers included) and looked terrific on the glass.
He has developed exceptionally well since his high school days at Beaver Falls and his freshman year at Vanderbilt. When Durand Johnson is ultimately healthy, the two of them together could be absolutely lethal.
While Johnson did not practice, he was in attendance and was fairly vocal, helping lead the team in drills alongside Coach Dixon and Brandon Knight. We're looking ahead a bit here, but presuming that he is healthy for the first game, an option for Pitt could be to start him at small forward slot with Jeter at power forward.
Jeter looked comfortable and at his best alongside Josh Newkirk in a run-and-gun style of offense. He was able to fly up and down the court and could really prove to be the Panthers' X factor this season.
Chris Jones was another player who improved immensely. Jones looked terrific from long-range and improved on the defensive side of things. He will definitely see an increase in minutes during his sophomore campaign.