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Pitt Basketball: What have we learned so far?

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Pitt’s undefeated, but what does that tell us?

Connecticut v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

For a full recap of the North Alabama game, check out Stephen’s work here.

Well, Pitt’s 5-0. Looking at their schedule, they should be 5-0, so that’s good. But what do we really know about this team?

  • We actually don’t know anything because they’ve played terrible teams -
    Last year’s team started 1-4, but their first five opponents finished a combined 116-57 last season. Their opponents this year are not getting to 116 wins.
  • Teams are going to try and bully Pitt -
    North Alabama nearly pulled off the upset playing physical defense and putting their hands all over Pitt’s ball-handlers. If the Lions had a bit more talent, they win that game. The ACC has a bit more talent.
  • Teams will also try to tire Pitt out. -
    What’s the easiest way to beat a team without a lot of depth? Run them out of the building. It’s telling that this was Pitt’s first close game and only six players played the majority of minutes. North Alabama sent in a reserve guard in the first half whose only job seemed to be “make Johnson chase you.” Example:
That player didn’t take one shot in ten minutes of playing time.
  • Ellison has excellent body control in the lane and the freshmen would be wise to learn from him -
    Ellison always seems in control when he drives. He knows how to shield from would-be shot-blockers and create contact. I rarely get the feeling he’s making a last-minute decision in the air. I can’t say the same for McGowens, Johnson, and Toney. It’s early, they’ll get it.

Incoming Hot Take Alert

  • McGowens and Johnson are talented enough to take Pitt to the Final Four -
    Yes, I mean the real final four. No, not this year (they’re still going to be bad), or next year (probably will still be bad), but if Capel can get some front-court recruits to back them up, this team could be special in three years. Are McGowens and Johnson great shooters? Not yet. But I feel a lot more confident believing that they can perfect a jump shot, than asking another player who can shoot to become more athletic. Give me the athlete any day. I feel either one of them could pull a Sindarius Thornwell of a few years ago and lead a team to the national semi-finals. It’s on Capel to keep them here for four years so we can see how good they can be.
  • It’s nice to be excited about this team again -
    Yep.

What else do we know? Let us know in the comments.


Hail to Pitt.