There was a lot of talk about Pitt guard Jared Wilson-Frame and the physical transformation he went through in the offseason, as he dropped from 246 pounds in May to 219 pounds in October. However, he also appears to have undergone a transformation on the court, particularly with regard to how he approaches the game and envisions his role on the team.
Specifically, Wilson-Frame gained a reputation for throwing up shots indiscriminately in the 2017-18 season, often to the detriment of the team. And although he led the Panthers in scoring with 13 points per game, it begged questions as to what could have been if his talents were given more careful consideration and incorporated into a more logical game plan.
The Pitt fanbase got a glimpse of what that might look like on Friday night, as Wilson-Frame paced the team in scoring and shots with 20 points and 10 attempts against VMI but remained efficient, converting on 60 percent of those attempts. In addition to that, he looked reformed as a three-point shooter, draining and impressive 56 percent of his nine shots from beyond the arc.
While that may not sound all that monumental, Wilson-Frame has only shot 60 percent or better from the field twice before at Pitt, and he was a 32 percent three-point shooter last season.
Pitt head coach Jeff Capel discussed his senior guard’s progress during his postgame press conference after the Panthers’ 94-55 win over VMI on Friday night.
”It was great having Jared back,” Capel said. “Jared’s our best shooter, and he got it going for us in the first half, coming in and knocking in his first three threes. Jared is a really important guy for us, not just because of his scoring, but his leadership and his confidence and his versatility.”
“The thing I was most pleased with was that he had four assists and zero turnovers. During my time coaching Jared since I have been here, I think that’s the thing I have been most surprised by is that he’s a good passer and I think he has a good feel for the game. I never saw that last year, because he shot all the time. But he has other facets of his game that we have encouraged him to show, and I think he’s done a really good job with that.”
While Wilson-Frame appears poised to play a key role on a young Pitt team this season, it’s worth noting that he was held out of the team’s season opener against Youngstown State for a “violation of team rules” and came off the bench in the VMI game. But provided no other off-the-court issues arise and he continues to play at this level, he seems likely to resume his starting role.
And now that Wilson-Frame is under the guidance of Capel, that’s an intriguing prospect.