Pitt’s final six video games previous to the ACC Match will go a good distance in figuring out whether or not Jeff Capel’s second group shall be labeled a hit or failure.
If the Panthers (15-10, 6-8) win 4, that places them on the brink of 20 victories, a milestone they’ve reached twice since becoming a member of the ACC in 2013.
A shedding document over these six video games virtually ensures Pitt is not going to obtain even an NIT invitation, barring a run within the convention event.
The check begins Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., in opposition to a Virginia Tech group with points Pitt hasn’t needed to endure.
Pitt has not misplaced greater than two in a row this season, however Virginia Tech (14-10, 5-8) drags a five-game shedding streak into Cassell Coliseum for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
The Hokies have been streaky underneath first-year coach Mike Younger. Virginia Tech opened the season by profitable six video games and shedding the subsequent three. Then, they have been 7-1 adopted by 1-6.
Pitt, which is 1-5 in ACC street video games, could be catching Virginia Tech on the incorrect time.
The Hokies have been off all week whereas Pitt performed Wednesday night time. Within the sport final Saturday, Virginia Tech freshman Landers Nolley scored 29 factors with 11 rebounds, in a 77-73 time beyond regulation loss to Boston Faculty.
Listed below are three different points to ponder earlier than tipoff:
1. Rebounding after loss
The Panthers are 7-2 within the sport after a loss, a tribute to how the gamers don’t let losses linger.
After the loss to Clemson, Capel talked about that tendency amongst his gamers.
The issue is Pitt has not carried momentum from a victory into the subsequent sport. Pitt is 1-5 after profitable a convention sport.
2. Johnson, McGowens have to make photographs
Sophomore guards Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens have been first and third in scoring on the group final season, averaging 15.5 and 11.6 factors, respectively.
This season, McGowens is first (12.6) and Johnson third (11.8), with freshman Justin Champagnie within the center (12.5). Junior Ryan Murphy is fourth (9.6) and sophomore Au’Diese Toney (8.7) fifth.
McGowens and Johnson want to enhance their capturing accuracy.
Since McGowens scored 24 within the second Louisville sport, he shot solely 27.6% (24 of 87) from the sphere within the subsequent eight video games. Johnson, who’s fifth within the ACC with 5.2 assists per sport, had 20 factors within the second North Carolina sport, however is slumping at 27.8% (22 for 79) since.
Zone defenses can create issues for Pitt. Johnson and McGowens wish to slash to the ring, however a great zone with lengthy, athletic gamers typically closes lanes and invitations poor or hurried photographs.
3. Free throws depend, too
Sure, they’re solely good for a degree at a time, however they added up final season for the 2 guards.
Johnson and McGowens are capturing at related charges, making about three-fourths of their free throws. However Johnson (83 of 111) tried 209 final season; McGowens (82 of 110) 165.
A solution could be to proceed to drive aggressively, go to the road extra typically and get opponents in foul bother.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Evaluate workers author. You’ll be able to contact Jerry by e-mail at [email protected] or through Twitter .