As expected, Pitt had little trouble with Morehead State on Friday. The Panthers didn't blow them out of the water, but had a comfortable 76-63 win.
Pitt was up by as many as 18 in the first half and seemed to take the foot off the pedal a little in the second half. Even though Morehead State managed to keep the score somewhat close, you just never really got the sense in this game that they could legitimately challenge Pitt.
They key for Pitt was how they shot the ball. The team made nearly 50% of their shots and that included making 11 of 19 three-pointers. Cameron Johnson turned in his second strong game with 16 points and he and guard Jonathan Milligan did the most damage from beyond the arc, hitting seven of their 11 attempts.
Those guys, along with Jamel Artis and his 17 points, had great games. But as usual, it was Michael Young leading the way. Young had 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists. He, too, got in on the three-point act, making his only attempt from that range.
We used to talk a lot about Lamar Patterson filling up the box score for Pitt when he was still around, but Young does that as well. In addition to averaging nearly 25 points per game this year, he's pulling in almost nine rebounds, dishing about almost three assists, and averaging over 1.5 blocks. He's really doing it all for Pitt and is clearly the MVP of the team right now despite some really good games by Artis and, lately, Johnson.
The encouraging thing for me was seeing Milligan come off the bench and make some three-pointers. Pitt will undoubtedly be able to use that going forward and with the team so thin, it would be nice to get another regular contributor off the bench. Right now, it's hard to rely on anyone beyond Luther there.
I thought Pitt's defensive intensity could have been a little better. A 20-point win would have looked a lot more impressive but it's just hard to get up for some of these games. Sure, it's their job. But it's the day after Thanksgiving and the team has a big matchup coming up against Maryland. It's hard to play cutthroat 100% of the time when the opposition isn't the best and the crowds are light.