Pitt Basketball: Media Day Interviews With James Robinson, Josh Newkirk


The Pitt Panthers men’s basketball team held its basketball media day Thursday. To start our coverage of the upcoming season, I interviewed junior guard James Robinson and sophomore guard Josh Newkirk.

The Panthers have an Oakland Zoo scrimmage Friday at 6 p.m. Look for more interviews and articles in the coming days on City of Champions.

Zachary Weiss: How did conditioning go for you as you prepare for the season?

James Robinson: Conditioning went really well for us, we ran a lot, which will help build our stamina come season time. It’s nothing that anybody really likes to do, but it has to get done. Across the board, we’re in good shape.

ZW: In the past other players have been the ones to shoot. Are you more willing to step up in that aspect?

JR: Definitely. We do have an unselfish team again this year, we just are going get out there, play really hard and guys have to hit open shots.

ZW: What are your personal goals for this year?

JR: We just have to get as far as we can in the tournament. We’ve obviously played tough teams these past couple of years so this year we really want to get as far as we can.

ZW: How much effort this season has been placed on the defensive side of the ball?

JR: A whole lot. Last year we didn’t get the job done on a nightly basis on the defensive end, so that’s going to be our thing this year.


ZW: After Cameron Wright’s injury, you have a chance to get some additional playing time. Do you look forward to that opportunity?

Josh Newkirk: I’m ready. It was unfortunate that he had to go down, but we have to step up myself, Chris [Jones] and Durand [Johnson] a lot of the wing guys and bring what Cam brought to the table.

ZW: How has the team improved defensively this off-season?

JN: In order to run like Coach Dixon wants us to do, we have to get stops. If you get stops it makes it easier for our offense. Getting stops and playing good defense will be key for us.

ZW: You were a spark plug last season, what do you hope to do to progress this season?

JN: I just have to do whatever is asked of me. I was a spark plug last year, and this year I want to bring more to the table both offensively and defensively. I’m just working hard and trying to see how I fit into the offense.

ZW: What is the ceiling for this team?

JN: I think we could win it all. We’ve got the pieces, we’re bonding well together, so I think we have a good chance.