Jamel Artis and Michael Young had some solid weeks in Pitt's 1-1 record this past week. Both put up some solid numbers, but Artis did struggle a touch on Saturday and Young did not show up much until the second half when the game was out of hand against N.C. State. James Robinson, therefore, is our choice for Panther of the Week. If you need another reason for the selection of Robinson, you have to understand the struggles of his backup point guard, Josh Newkirk.
When Newkirk struggles, it puts a fair amount of pressure on Robinson and he has responded with some solid play. This past week, Newkirk ended up with six turnovers. He's a very fast player on the court, but sometimes plays a little too fast. When he is playing well, Robinson doesn't have to be so perfect.
Robinson wasn't perfect this week, but he was solid and allowed the Panthers to dominate Florida Gulf Coast earlier and tried to keep Pitt in it against N.C. State. Unfortunately, the Wolfpack were too much for the Panthers in their first ACC game.
Robinson started off against the Eagles from "Dunk City" with 12 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and finally one turnover. The junior followed that up on Sunday with 11 points, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Despite all the minutes and having to makeup for his backup's struggles, Robinson finished the two game stretch with a nice five assists, four steals, and only one turnover for the week.
Robinson has always been very steady for the Panthers and if they are going to make any noise at all in the ACC Conference they will need to get solid contributions from Robinson and others will have to step up. If it is just the point guard pulling his weight, like it was against the Wolfpack in the conference opener, then it will be a very long year for the Panthers.