The Pittsburgh Panthers were well represented last night at the Pittsburgh Pro-Am. There was excitement in the air with "competitive" hoops being played in July once again. By now, no one (that's willing to admit) takes what happens at the Pro-Am seriously, so it's in that light that everyone covering the event takes different takes on what can actually be taken away from the event.
In my opinion, you would get more out of figuring out how to get more cars at the event than what happens on the court. So rather than make a bunch of statements and throw an asterisk at end of all of them, I'd rather take a different route with my "analysis".
For starters, forward Michael Young is just an awesome teammate. The senior prioritizes going back-and-forth between the two gyms to watch as many of his teammates play as possible. He cheers loudly for them, has custom handshakes, brings a lot of his underclassmen teammates with him, and is easily the most talented player at the event. Does any of that matter? No. But in terms of team chemistry, it matters more than the fact that he was guarded by a player about half his size for the first half last night.
Junior forward Rozelle Nix gave a lot of effort when he was on the floor, and to me, that's the thing that matters most. While immovable on the left block, he lacked touch, and is a below-the-rim player. He changed ends with urgency and competed hard on every play. Still, I am not doing Joseph Uchebo one more time, so there's that.
Newcomer Justice Kithcart is quick for whatever that is worth. For me, guards thrive at these events where things like on-ball pressure, actual defense, specifically weak-side defense, simply don't exist. Remember when former Butler guard, now Duquesne Duke, Rene Castro dominated this event two years ago?
Look, this is a really fun event and it's great that it's back, but to me, even isolating basic parts of the game isn't too valuable when the sample its being cut from isn't an actual game. With that said, Young is leading by enthusiasm, Nix is out of a walking boot, and Kithcart is quick.
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