Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hoyas look to glide into second conference win against #5 Pitt




The highly ranked #5 Pitt Panthers (15-1  3-0 BE) glide into the Verizon Center, Washington, DC to take on the #22 Hoyas (12-4  1-3 BE).  The Hoyas are trying to figure out how to get another win in conference play.  Struggling as of late, the Hoyas are looking for a way to change courses to get this ship sailing in the right direction in the Big East.  Hopefully, they can figure it out with a big victory over the Pitt Panthers (1st in the Big East) to jumpstart the rest of the season.  I think they way to do some of this is to get more of the Hoyas in the line up, someway, somehow.  "We're in a place where we don't want to be right now," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "Everyone in that locker room from myself on down has to figure out how to get us out of this place.

We're the same group of guys who were in there two or three weeks ago, and now we just have to find out how to get back there."  The Hoyas were only down by 3 points with 2:53 but continued to turn the ball over and the Mountaineers capitalized off of those mistakes.  “The good thing is we’re four games into an eight game season.  The bad news is we’ve lost three of those four games,” Thompson said.  “This is the Big East, so no game gets any easier.”

This would take a lot of pressure off of the older Hoyas'.   I guess you could say we could start some sort of youth movement here, lol.  This would give the youth some added confidence, and also give the starters some well needed rest during these tough games.  After all, the youth were tested and past the test in tough nonconference play this season.  

Once the starters come back into the game they'll be rested and ready to pick up where the youth left off.  We still have a ways to go, so we can keep everyone fresh as much as we can.  The older Hoyas' have been through the Big East wars in the past, and our early brutal nonconference games as well.  The rest is well needed.  It's almost like they need to recharge, so to speak. "Our confidence as a team, the morale, is a little down because of the way we've been losing," Wright said, "but we've got to stay together. We have good enough players that we're going to come out of this."  I think senior point guard Chris Wright said it best, "we have good enough players"!

Senior Austin Freeman (17.9) leads the Hoyas in scoring.  Senior Julian Vaughn (6.5 rebs.)  Senior Chris Wright (5.9) is the leader in assists for the Hoyas.  Junior Jason Clark scored a game high (16 pts.) against WVU last game.  Pitt's Ashton Gibbs (16.4) is leading his team in scoring, and Gary Mchgee (7.2) is the leader in rebounding for the Panthers.

Coach Jamie Dixon’s Pitt teams are commonly called hardworking, aggressive, defense-minded and resourceful.  They win by making few mistakes and rebounding with a passion.  While they have 15 more conference games to play, the Panthers are averaging 81.2 points overall and 83.3 points in the Big East the most during Dixon’s eight seasons as coach.

Marquette Coach Buzz Williams quotes on Pitt:

"Pitt gets more offense out of set plays than any other major-college team. The Panthers start three seniors and two juniors, so their familiarity with that offense allows them to play with patience and confidence." 

“We never did run them off their (offensive) routes,” said Williams, whose team was outrebounded 38-29. “They play kind of like the Steelers play.  They run a play after every dead ball, they run a play after every basket.  We never ran them off their line.”  “When a team is getting 30 percent of its offense on 3s, it’s hard to beat anybody,” Williams said.

With the Hoyas' poor offensive rebounding so far this season, the bigs will need to step up on the boards with a "sense or urgency", in order to win this highly contested affair.  The Pitt Panthers outrebounded their last opponent, Marquette 38-29, so the Hoyas have to be on high alert and sky high for those rebounds.  Pitt's last game was a win 89-81 against Big East foe Marquette.  While watching the game on Saturday ESPN, the Panthers had a 16 point lead on the Golden Eagles, but with Coach Buzz William's relentless coaching and getting his players to keep playing hard at all costs the Golden Eagles closed the gap to 8 by games end.  



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