We are what we are. Great first half supported by strong three point shooting (especially by Luke Zeller) showed off the potential of this season. Second half getting killed on the boards and cracking to defensive pressure demonstrated why it will be a struggle to make the Tournament. 3-6 now, have to go at least 6-3 the rest of the way. Only real good news is that the hardest part of our conference schedule is over.
Tory Jackson was very disappointing. No points, did pick up 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, but his decision making was not befitting of an upperclassman floor leader. 5 turnovers with a string of just bad decision making. Telegraphed passes, out-of-control drives, not a scoring threat whatsoever. You expect better from an experienced point guard.
K-Mac was no better or worse than he has been most of the conference season. Made a few threes when he got open, but forced some shots and finished 3-9 overall. Did add 6 assists and rebounds, a surprisingly well-rounded game for the senior shooting guard.
Jonathan Peoples is a starter in name only. Clearly Brey does not trust him, only giving out 12 minutes today. He was an understandable addition against the three-guard lineup of Marquette, but adds nothing against most other teams. Please replace him next Wednesday.
Luke Zeller was fantastic in the first half, showing off the sweet stroke that has been inconsistent throughout his career. 18 points on 6-9 shooting. Pitt made some good changes at the half to keep him from getting so many open looks. I like that the Irish didn't throw up 22 threes in the second half, but we needed to be more aggressive looking for shots than we were. It's one thing to emphasize shooting threes in the flow of the game, but another to give up on our biggest first half strength. Zeller might be a solid starting 3, especially since he should have done better than zero rebounds as a power forward.
Luke Harangody is, as always, the heart and soul of the team. Pitt sold out to stop him in the first half but defended the perimeter more in the final 20 minutes. Harangody bounced back and was our only source of offense. Give DeJuan Blair credit, he's a fantastic player. 27 points, 11 rebounds is a solid game even with a below-average shooting performance.
Off the bench. Hillesland and Ayers played better. Hillesland scored at the end of the first half, a really nice last second play. Overall he used his athleticism better than he has in a while, driving for layups along the baseline. He still forces the dribble too much and did not rebound, but 12 points is a good game. Ayers played well with 10 points in 23 minutes, but did not add much in the other stats. Nash was agressive and worked hard, but hasn't shown a whole lot in extended minutes the last two games. Maybe this is the performance that he has shown in practice and the reason for not getting PT earlier.
Props to Harangody for a good rebounding game, he can't grab them all. Expecially when the rest of the team quits blocking out on the defensive glass. Blair finished with 11 offensive boards and Pitt won this game with second chance points.
No rebounding, the team cracked to defensive pressure especially at the beginning of the second half (this always seems to happen, a sign of poor coaching at the break... we come out too timid while the other team fights for 40 minutes). We're a bubble team for sure.
There are still plenty of games to be played, but things do not feel too good after a five game losing streak.