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Pitt effort, not talent/youth most problematic for Panthers' basketball team

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's most recent basketball loss came to Clemson this week. While the game was disappointing, I've tried to point out the team's youth as being a problem.

That, of course, is true. The Panthers are regularly playing two upperclassmen and only one senior. In addition, that senior, Cameron Wright, missed much of the season recovering from an injury. Pitt has been forced to play mostly underclassmen this season and while that might work out okay for a team like Kentucky with oodles of All-Americans, it's not such a great formula for most teams.

The level of talent is a problem, too. Pitt has some skill, but the Panthers cannot shoot from the perimeter and the two upperclassmen they do have in Wright and James Robinson, are not going to be confused for NBA players.

A bigger problem? Effort.

Cam Wright's quote after the game, was disturbing at best.

A current lack of talent and experience are both legit reasons for Pitt to be struggling. What shouldn't be happening, however, is being outhustled.

To be fair to Wright, he's speaking that after coming off of a loss when he surely just wants to get out of the media room at that point. And I also don't believe that Pitt didn't try in the game - much of what happened was Clemson shooting fairly well from the field and Pitt not being able to score. And to their credit, Pitt made several runs in the game only to be turned away by Clemson making shots. But if the players are questioning their own effort, it's a problem.

Just as disturbing is when the lack of effort happened. Pitt was fresh off of a miracle win against Boston College. The Panthers made plays late, but were otherwise horrible in the game. If there was ever a chance to regroup and come out hungry, it was the game in Clemson. To be outworked in a game like that after the game against the Eagles is pretty deplorable.

Pitt gets back at it on Wednesday against Florida State. The team simply cannot afford another effort like the one against Clemson.

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