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Jared Wilson-Frame has stepped up during Pitt’s slump

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The senior guard has become the Panthers' top shooter

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising start, the Pitt Panthers recently hit the skids partway through their ACC schedule to the tune of a 10-game losing streak. And while that has put a damper on the otherwise joyous air around Jeff Capel’s first season on the Pitt sidelines, the stretch has not been without its luminous performances.

Perhaps the most noteworthy of those performances has come from Pitt senior Jared Wilson-Frame, who has actually hit his stride during the team’s slump. In fact, when comparing his play in his first 16 games of the season to his play in the last 10, he has improved in several key statistical categories.

Most notably, his shooting has gone from middling to impressive by nearly every measure when comparing the first stretch to the second. In terms of three-pointers, he was shooting 36.5 percent and is now at 41.8 percent. His two-point shooting has improved even more dramatically, going from 46.2 percent to 54.5 percent. In addition, his field-goal percentage has jumped from 39.9 percent to 44.2 percent.

Consequently, Wilson-Frame has scored at a more prolific clip over the last 10 games, going from 10.8 points per game early in the season to 14.2 points per game. That ranks second only to Pitt freshman Xavier Johnson, who he has complemented well during the team’s losing streak. That was on display Wednesday night in the Panthers’ 73-65 loss to Georgia Tech, when Wilson-Frame and Johnson were two of just three Pitt players to score in double figures, with 19 and 14 points, respectively.

During that game, Wilson-Frame put on a scrappy performance and attempted to will Pitt to a win through his late contribtions. While he fell short, his effort and passion were evident, and he discussed the spark behind his play.

”Our coaches don’t deserve to be having this happen,” he told Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday. “They bring a winning culture. They’re winning people. The fact we’re going out there and not executing that, that’s what made me explode like that.”

Wilson-Frame’s performances over the last 10 games have been vital, as they have kept the Panthers competitive despite the lagging offensive contributions of the likes of Malik Ellison, Au’Diese Toney and Trey McGowens.

Ellison and Toney have both been held to 4.1 points per game over the last 10 outings, although Toney remains a valuable piece of the team as a rebounder. And McGowens appears to have hit a wall offensively despite some flashes of brilliance earlier in the season and a solid defensive effort of late. Meanwhile, Pitt’s frontcourt has remained inconsistent.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the senior is running out of time to get the team back on track. But if he’s able to continue producing at this rate, he will at least finish his Pitt career on a high note.

Wilson-Frame and the Panthers will return to the Petersen Events Center next Wednesday, where they will host the Clemson Tigers. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. ET.