20 March 2012
There's a bit of a rec-league feel to these CBI games, which is kind of refreshing to be honest. It seems as if Jamie Dixon has forgone "every game matters, we take every game seriously" coach-speak (via the Trib):
"Coach (Jamie) Dixon told us to go out there and have fun," [Tray Woodall] said. "You see a lot of guys smiling a lot more."
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's what we want to be doing," Dixon said. "Our season was not what we want it to be. But our guys want to play, and I think they've made that very clear."
"They've shown it in everything they've done, from practice, being there early to how we've come out and played from the start in both games," Dixon said. "These guys wanted to play. They didn't do what they wanted to do during the year. They felt like they disappointed themselves and each other."
I don't think I've seen Dixon smile on the court unless it was a.) a sarcastic smile at a ref; or b.) cutting down the nets in Madison Square Garden. Other than that? Last night at the Pete as the beatdown reached epic levels in the first half.
Pitt dominated Princeton from start to finish. After jumping out to a 24-point lead in the first half, mostly ona phenominal three point shooting. I proposed on Twitter that the CBI have a special mid-1990s MTV "Rock N Jock" 25 point basket, but to no avail. If it did, Pitt probably would have been up by 100 at the half. Princeton was completely overmatched and seemed to be a shadow of the 2011 NCAA tournament team.
Five Panthers scored in double figures. Seven shot 50% or better. Woodall was two rebounds away from a triple-double. Nick Rivers, Isaiah Epps and Aron Nwankwo even got in on the action.
JJ Moore still is playing way too few minutes. The small forward scorer only played 18 minutes, while Lamar Patterson played 33 at the small forward and power forward position. Patterson was having a great game, but more of his minutes should be at the expense of Nasir Robinson or Talib Zanna at the four spot. Moore only playing 18 minutes in a blowout win is way too few.
Other than that minor gripe, there's not really much else to say. It's like an early non-conference game but in March. Pitt's will face Butler on Wednesday in the "final four" of the CBI. If there's one team that had a further fall from grace this year it's Butler. Of course, Butler is a mid-major so that's not particularly as shocking as Pitt's but it's really all semantics at this point.
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