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Jared Wilson-Frame bounces back after vow to improve

Although Pitt lost to Syracuse, JWF had 19 points and eight rebounds

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

On Jan. 12, a few hours after Pitt fell to NC State 86-80 on the road, Panthers guard Jared Wilson-Frame placed the blame on himself and issued a public apology along with a vow to improve. He had just scored 12 points but put on his worst shooting performance of the season, as he went 1-for-10 from the field and scored nine of his points on free throws.

”I sincerely apologize,” Wilson-Frame said. “I owe everyone a lot more than what I’ve been giving. I owe it first to myself and secondly to my teammates and coaches and lastly to all of our supporters. I will step up and be better. More importantly, we will be better.”

After issuing that statement, Wilson-Frame played just 10 minutes in Pitt’s 75-62 upset of No. 11 Florida State and scored zero points, bottoming out with season lows in both categories. However, he bounced back against Syracuse, contributing eight rebounds and 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting despite the team suffering a 74-63 loss to the Orange.

It was Wilson-Frame’s best shooting performance since Nov. 30, his second-highest rebound total of the season and his highest point total since Nov. 15.

“I was putting too much pressure on myself, thinking too much about the game, about me being a senior and it being my last year, trying to pressure myself into doing too much,” he told Craig Meyer of the Post-Gazette.

”I was in a different mental space over these past couple of games and that was the reason why I was struggling. It didn’t really have anything to do with my actual basketball ability. I just had to get over that and get back to having fun playing the game.”

While Saturday’s outing was a positive turn for the senior guard, his season will be defined by how he plays over the final 13 games left on the schedule rather than by one trip to upstate New York in January. However, for now, he appears to be back on the right track.