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Tale of the Tape: Pitt vs. Miami

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Breaking down the matchup tonight with the Miami Hurricanes

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

James Robinson 6'3" JR 9.2 P/G  5.1 A/G  3.2 R/G

vs.

Angel Rodriguez 5'11" JR   12.3 P/G   4.2  A/G   2.5 R/G

James Robinson went for six points, four rebounds, four assists and no turnovers in the loss to Wake Forest on Sunday. It was not a spectacular performance, but it was one that gave Pitt a chance to win.  James Robinson once again had to play a lot of minutes due to Josh Newkirk's funk. Robinson's offense has slipped lately, but his defense has been mostly solid, and as I mentioned, he rarely can come off the floor. Robinson does seem to shoot the ball with more confidence at home, and maybe Pitt can get some more offense from the junior guard tonight.

Angel Rodriguez is the engine for this Miami team, and they depend on the junior guard for a lot.  He runs the show, he can score when they need him, and he plays with a lot of energy.  Rodriguez was limited in the North Carolina game on Saturday, and he only played three minutes in Miami's loss to the Tar Heels. If he is limited against Pitt tonight, the Panthers will catch a huge break.  If not, the quick Rodriguez will give the Panthers some trouble.

Cameron Wright 6'5" SR  9 P/G  3 R/G  3 A/G

vs.

Sheldon McClellan 6'5" JR   14.9 P/G    4.6 R/G   2 A/G

Cameron Wright had 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists against Wake Forest on Sunday.  Wright put up some solid numbers, it was some costly mistakes that stuck out more, though. Wright took some bad shots, had some poor turnovers, and missed some costly free throws.  Wright needs to have a better showing tonight for Pitt to win. Wright has done a better job of setting up his teammates recently, and when he takes good rhythm shots, the Pitt offense benefits.  He will also need to play solid defense against Miami's guard oriented attack.

Sheldon McClellan is the go-to-guy for Miami. He leads the Hurricanes in scoring and has gone over double figures in seven straight games. McClellan can hit outside shots, but is good at getting to the rim and has a good frame for a scoring in the lane.  McClellan will feel an added pressure to take more shots if Rodriguez is not 100% healthy in this one. McClellan is a good player, and he will make for a tough match-up for the Panthers.


Sheldon Jeter 6'8" SO   4.7 P/G   2.6 R/G

vs.

Davon Reed 6'6" SO    7.3 P/G   3.2 R/G  1.5 A/G

Sheldon Jeter had a season-high in rebounds with nine against Wake Forest, but unfortunately he was held scoreless in 27 minutes of action. Sheldon Jeter has been a source of offense for this team the past month, so for him to go scoreless was a pretty big deal. Pitt needs Jeter to be able to give them some kind of scoring, because truth be told, one of the main reasons they are on the bubble is because Jeter stepped his game up to a new level last month.

Davon Reed is an athletic wing capable of big scoring games. He's missed time this year, but has shown flashes of being a potential star.  Reed shoots nearly 50% from behind three-point land, and he is athletic enough to get to the rim as well.  Reed has loads of talent, but can go completely missing at times.  He scored two points in 26 minutes against UNC last time out, and was held scoreless against Louisville a week ago. Reed is streaky, but is very dangerous when he is hot.

Jamel Artis 6'7" SO 13.7 P/G   6 R/G    2.3 A/G

vs.

Omar Sherman 6'8"  FR    5.3 P/G  2.5 R/G

Jamel Artis had another solid game as he went for 19 points and nine rebounds against Wake Forest.  It was the 14th straight game Artis went into double figures.  The sophomore forward hit four three-pointers and came up with some big shots. Unfortunately, he committed four turnovers and only had one assist. Artis lost the ball on a drive attempt with under a minute left that turned the ball over to Wake Forest and turned it into a two possession game. While Artis had another solid day production wise, even he came up with some uncharacteristic mistakes that led to Pitt's demise. Look forhim to remain aggressive offensively, and may look to get a few more assists this game.

Omar Sherman is a bit of an inconsistent player at the forward spot for Miami. He is a part time starter, but does not always log starter's minutes. Jim Larranaga's team is more guard oriented and they can insert an extra guard or wing into the lineup and go smaller. Still, Sherman is a big body and knowing Pitt is thin up front, maybe Sherman and the other Miami post players will see extended minutes.

Mike Young 6'9"  SO 13.4  P/G   7.4  R/G

vs.

Tonye Jekiri 7'0" JR  8.7 P/G  10.7  R/G

Mike Young had an outstanding week of basketball. He scored 22 in each games, and collected 17 total rebounds in Pitt's two games last week. Young has adjusted to being an undersized center, and is showing signs of excelling in his role. Some thought he would get worn down, and for a time it looked like that was the case.  Young has churned out some good games lately, and if he can continue to have those kind of games, Pitt is hard to stop.  He will have a much more difficult challenge against Miami as Jekiri happens to be bigger, and he is very athletic.

Tonye Jekiri is an athletic 7-footer that will present a real challenge for Pitt. Jekiri can score, but he is just an absolute beast on the boards.  Miami can go with smaller, four guard lineups, and that can leave Jekiri in the post by himself, and he does not seem to mind. Jekiri has had some monster games on the glass, including a run of three straight 15 rebound games just a few weeks ago.  He will be able to bother Pitt's smaller forwards in the paint, and could possibly get them into foul trouble at the other end of the court.

Chris Jones 6'6" SO   8.8 P/G
Josh Newkirk 6'1" SO   6 P/G
Derrick Randall 6'9" SR  1.6  P/G  
Aron Phillips-Nwankwo 6'7" SR  1.5 P/G
Joe Uchebo 6'10"  JR  1.6 P/G

vs.

Manu Lecomte 5'11" SO   7.8 P/G
Deandre Burnett 6'2" SO  7.2  P/G
Ivan Cruz Uceda 6'10" JR  3.8 P/G
Ja'Quan Newton 6'2" FR 3.5 P/G
Joe Thomas 6'7" SR   1.2 P/G

Chris Jones was in foul trouble last games, and just never got into the rhythm of the game it seemed.  With Jeter going scoreless and Jones only putting up four, it's easy to see why Pitt lost.  Jones is supposed to be Pitt's sniper off the bench, and he did not give them that this week.  We know Jones is capable, and Pitt will need him to knock down some three's against Miami.  Josh Newkirk's story gets stranger by the day, and Pitt could really benefit from him snapping out of this string of bad play.  Miami is a guard oriented team, Newkirk is going to log some minutes, the key could be if they are productive minutes.

Manu Lecomte is Miami's backup point guard, and he is a good one.  Lecomte may or may not play more than usual if Angel Rodriguez's injury is still around for this game.  Deandre Burnett and freshman, JaQuan Newton are also quality guards, thus giving Miami 6 really talented perimeter players.  Miami's backup post players certainly are a big dropoff from Jekiri, and getting him in foul trouble could be a key for Pitt.