Sheldon Jeter has been improving steadily over the past few weeks. Anyone who knows anything about basketball has seen it. He's just been more active game after game. Sometimes the numbers are there and sometimes they are not, but the impact on the game has been. He had company this past week: Jamel Artis being his usual self (his passes down low are getting really fun to watch), James Robinson's steady play, Cam Wright's own monster game yesterday, and Michael Young supplying the points down low. However, it was Jeter that lifted a vocal Zoo to give the Panthers a much needed win yesterday.
The week did not start out well for the Panthers with a collapse in the last 12 minutes at Louisville and not many Panthers did a lot to stop the bleeding. They all had a hand in the disappearing act over the last part of the second half. Jeter's end line was not very impressive with six points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Artis, Young, and Robinson all had better games in the Bluegrass State. After that loss dropped Pitt to 5-6 in the conference, they were in need of a big effort against North Carolina yesterday to bolster their NCAA resume and Jeter helped deliver it.
There is no hiding it that the game against UNC was the complete opposite of the last 12 minutes against the Cardinals earlier in the week. While all Panthers had a hand in that, they pulled a 180 against the Heels and all players contributed to yesterday's big win. Still, it was Jeter who stood out. The Beaver Falls native poured in 22 points, four rebounds, and added in one steal. He was 10 out of 14 on the day and 2 for 4 from beyond the arc. If you can remember those four misses he had, congratulations, as you are one of the few. He just didn't seem like he could miss.
Jeter's consistent scoring answered every North Carolina bucket and kept the Zoo fired up all day long with his timely three-pointers and mid-range jumpers. We've maintained all year long that the Panthers needed one other player on the roster to step up their play and Jeter appears to be doing just that. If he can continue to come along, Pitt will be a tough out for anyone and their once dead NCAA Tournament hopes could be very much alive.