Okay, I have no idea of what happened last night in the first half but I think that the people who are worried about this happening regularly in March probably should be filed under the Much-Ado-About-Nothing heading. Getting up for a team that you absolutely throttled once, even after a tough loss to a bunch of bums a few days ago, is not exactly the easiest thing in the world. Pitt came out flat, allowed South Florida to dictate tempo, didn’t get on the boards like they are capable of…all signs of a team that is just going through the motions. And sometimes that is not necessarily a bad thing either if it sparks a certain “Enough of this s**t” element in the team.
I would definitely argue that I would rather be down by three at the half and win by twenty (or in this case 16) than be up four at the half and win by ten or twelve when playing a team like USF. Most of this is personal preference, naturally, but I would rather see the Panthers shaken up and forced to play twenty minutes at full throttle than to coast through an entire game at 75% and run the risk of coming out a little flat in the next one as well.
Ortg: 117.9 Drtg: 89.3 eFG%: 53.9% FTR: 31.4 A/TO: 1.89 OR%: 37.9%
Pretty standard Pitt statistical distribution up there which is really what you expect to see against a team like USF. The Panthers finished just slightly better than their season averages in Ortg, Drtg, eFG%, A/TO (and Ast%) but a bit below in OR% and FTR (although it is a tricky business to get to the free throw line when one team is barely bothering with defense at all). The offensive rebounding thing is particularly impressive since at the half the Panthers had grabbed a mere 29.4% of the available offensive rebounds and were generally getting bullied on the boards only to turn around and grab 54.5% of the available offensive boards in the second half including an absurd 85.7% before the final two minutes (when it turned into empty the bench time). Proof again why it remains a horrible idea to jump to conclusions based on twenty minutes of basketball, especially twenty minutes on the road.
– Last night was the seventh time this season that Brad Wanamaker has posted a game of at least six rebounds and six assists, including his third such game in a row.
– I was happy to see JJ Richardson get his minutes and to play well but if he cannot rebound at a higher rate than 0.0% of the offensive rebounds and 8.3% of the defensive rebounds then I am not certain how useful that he can be.
– Gilbert Brown finally snapped his streak of consecutive games with a TO% of over 15% at 7 games by posting a 0 turnover night.
– USF got fifteen points from their six backcourt players on the night, Ashton Gibbs had sixteen.
– The Panthers as a team topped 40% from beyond the arc for the first time since the Cincinnati game and 50% for the first time since DePaul.
– 40.2% of Panther baskets when Wanamaker was on the court last night were assisted by him. Lamar Patterson was not to be ignored last night either as he assisted on 38.7% of Panther baskets while he was in the game.