Pitt Basketball: Catching Up With Chris Jones And Jamel Artis


In this second part of my Pitt men’s basketball season preview, I have interviews with redshirt sophomore guard/forward Chris Jones and sophomore forward Jamel Artis.

Jones had 2.4 points per game last season but with redshirt senior Cameron Wright out for the short term, he will be expected to step up. Artis averaged 4.9 points per game last season and is looking at more consistency at a set position.

Here are their thoughts as the season approaches.

Chris Jones

“I don’t feel any pressure, I just wanted to come in and play hard regardless. I understand that Cam [Wright] is out and obviously he brought a whole lot to the team last year and he will again when he comes back, but I just feel like I can come in and play hard and things will take care of themselves.”

On adjustment from practice to games: “It’s just making sure you bring the same intensity every day when I step out onto the court for games. That’s going to be the biggest adjustment, and I feel like I can make that jump. Last year, it was a little tougher, but this year I’m ready.”

What was the reason that made the jump harder last year: “It was just adjusting to the style and really being prepared to just play hard every single day when I’m on the court.”

On camaraderie: “We had the 10 practices in the summer and the four games in the Bahamas, so we had our individual workouts, so I feel the team is really together. Everybody on the team is really skilled and we all hangout off the court, so I feel the camaraderie on this team is very good.”

Jamel Artis

Position wise: “Right now I’m playing the three, that’s what I think I should play. If my team needs me to play the four, I’ll play the four, but I want to play the three because I can do a lot more there for my team. That will benefit our success. I’m long and athletic, I can play defense, I can make passes at the right time, I can shoot the ball and can rebound more at the three. At the four I’m very stationary, so I can’t make a move.”

Defensive breakdowns: “Last year there were a lot of things being told to me at the defensive end. Now I understand what he wants. Be in the gap and be off the ball are things I understand more. I’m going to be a lot better defender this year.”

“We’ve got to talk and be vocal on the floor, that’s what he [head coach Jamie Dixon] always tells us. We have to let each other know that we’ve got our backs.”

On expectations: “I feel we’ll be very hard to beat. If we play defense the way coach [Dixon] wants us to and be aggressive, we’ll be very hard to beat. We’ll be a faster team than last year, so we’re going to score a lot of points. The ball is not going to be in the hands of one person like it was last year. We’ve got a lot of guys that can play multiple positions, so on the floor we can play little or big and can outrun the guys because we’re faster, bigger and quicker.”