Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pittsburgh Preview

Dave Pasch and Len Elmore are broadcasting the game for ESPN tomorrow... make that the hundredth time we've seen that pair this year. Good news is it will be available for everyone to watch.

Starters:
#4 Ronald Ramon- 8.0 PPG, 4.1 APG, 37% 3PA
#11 Keith Benjamin- 9.1 PPG, 2.1 APG, 39% 3PA
#11 Gilbert Brown- 6'6" 200 lbs.- 6.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 26% 3PA
#23 Sam Young- 6'6" 215 lbs.- 17.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 40% 3PA
#45 DeJuan Blair- 6'7" 275 lbs. Freshman- 11.6 PPG, 9.4 RPG

Bench-
#2 Levance Fields- 11.3 PPG, 5.3 APG, 29% 3PA, Came back from a broken left foot against Marquette last week (missed 12 games)
#5 Tyrell Biggs- 6'8" 240 lbs.- 6.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 21.0 MPG
#24 Brad Wanamaker- Freshman- 2.6 PPG, 1.9 APG, 12.7 MPG

Pitt has had to rebound from injuries to Fields and senior Mike Cook. Cook's fifth year is done after a torn left knee ligament. Fields was off against Marquette but should be less rusty tomorrow night.

Notre Dame should pressure the Panther guards and look to run against this pretty stagnant Pittsburgh team. Pitt had a better flow when Fields was healthy and can also be weak in the halfcourt. Young is their best scorer, but can be taken out of the game a bit if your force him to dribble.

Pitt Blather puts the emphasis on how Luke Harangody handles DeJuan Blair, and vice versa. Blair scored 15 and had 9 rebounds against Georgetown's Roy Hibbert. Against Connecticut, he had 13 and 13. Definitely has handled himself well against two of the top big men in the league.

The Panthers have been pretty hit and miss this season. Wins against Duke and Georgetown, but a home loss by 13 to Rutgers (obviously Duke was with Fields and Cook).

Definitely a winnable game at home. Pitt was one of the best teams in the conference but those injuries have really hurt them. If the Irish can keep the streak at home and finish the season with three wins against Pitt, Syracuse, and St. John's, it should solidify the the NCAA bid and keep that seeding pretty high no matter what unforseen happenings take place away from the JACC.

That's all in the future, though. Just win tomorrow.

2 comments:

Bryan said...

ENORMOUS game tonight. Need to win at least 2 of next 3 to start thinking about getting a 'special' seed

lucid said...

Apparently Jonathan Peoples has the flu, so we may be even shorter on the bench unless Brey brings in Nash [unlikely]. Kyle needs to have a good game again - it's been a while.

Harangody/Blair should be an interesting matchup as well.

Time to end the 5 game losing streak to Pitt.