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Pitt flounders against No. 2 Virginia in 73-49 loss

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt hung around with Virginia for about five minutes but that was only because the Cavaliers were off to a slow start offensively. Once they got going, which was only a matter of time, the Panthers were not competitive against the No. 2 team in the nation, ultimately losing 73-49.

Facing Virginia, Pitt’s miserable offense was expected to have trouble. And things were just about as bad as you might have anticipated they would be coming in. The Panthers shot 39% from the field and got far too little production from, well, just about everyone. Even star freshman Xavier Johnson had a terrible game with only three points on 0-7 shooting. Jared Wilson-Frame turned in a nice performance with 15 points (5-11 shooting), five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and only one turnover. But he and Au’Diese Toney (12 points, seven rebounds) were basically playing two on five out there.

I’m not dwelling too much on this one. It went about as most would have expected with Pitt on the road against a very good team. You would have liked to have seen them keep things a little closer but nothing about the way the Panthers have played against the conference’s elite would really suggest that was too likely.

For Pitt, it was the same old same old. Crappy start on offense. Slightly less crappy offense in the second half, but too little, too late by that point. Pitt trailed by 20 after the first half and, considering that Virginia hasn’t cracked even 70 points in four of their past five games coming in, that summarizes how bad Pitt’s offense was to that point. That this is the same exact pattern in so many games is crazy. 19 first-half points? As I’ve said before, it would be astonishing if it hadn’t happened so often.

There was a particularly meaningless possession near the end of the first half that summarizes the game pretty well. With around three minutes left, Virginia had the ball and when one guy caught the ball somewhere around the foul line, four Pitt guys swarmed to him, leaving Virginia with several open guys. It was borderline comical.

This, as you would expect, was a team of boys playing against the equivalent of men from a talent perspective. That’s not said to denigrate our guys in the slightest. This is a mostly young and experienced team facing a national title contender. The result was expected. I’m just trying to out not only the disparity in talent between the two teams but in maturity and just knowing how to play the game.

Pitt may be good at some point. In fact, I’d personally bet on it happening under head coach Jeff Capel. But right now, this is a very lost team that isn’t real good.

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