Pitt Blown Out 68-50 By NC State In First ACC Road Game Of The Season


Dec 17, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon talks to his team during a timeout against the Manhattan Jaspers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. PITT won 65-56. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the Pitt basketball team continued where the Pitt football team left off.

In its first ACC road game of the season, Pitt was embarrassed and dominated in all aspects of a college basketball game by a mediocre NC State squad 68-50.

I thought this young Panthers team would improve as the season went along, but today was another step backwards for the Panthers (10-4, 0-1 ACC).

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Pitt continued to show defensive deficiencies, a lack of outside shooting (or just shooting in general), and the lack of an inside presence at the center position.

For Pitt, sophomore forward Jamel Artis put in the best effort, scoring 13 points and 5 rebounds.  Junior guard James Robinson scored 11 points, knocking down 3 of 4 three pointers after the game was already out of hand.

For the Wolfpack (11-4, 2-0 ACC), junior guard Trevor Lacey scored 19 points on 7 of 9 shooting, and senior guard Ralston Turner added 16 points on 4 of 9 shooting from the three-point line.

Pitt shot an abysmal 32.7% (18 for 55), whereas NC State shot 51.9% (27 for 52).  Senior guard Cameron Wright struggled shooting the basketball (2 for 13), and Coach Dixon continues to play sophomore forward Michael Young at the center position, which I do not agree with.

Pitt lacks a presence inside, as they have traditionally had a large, dominating center to prevent teams from capitalizing on easy baskets inside.  Junior center Joseph Uchebo was not even given a chance in this game.  Pitt also lacks a scoring threat, as their guards are too inconsistent and miss several open, uncontested looks.

Let’s hope that 7-footer Rozelle Nix can make an impact next season, and 5-star guard Mustapha Heron sticks to his commitment for 2016.

Pitt opened the game with a 6-1 lead, but things quickly deteriorated, as NC State went on a 12-0 run to make it 13-6.  Turner drained a jumper at the end of the half as time expired to give the Wolfpack a 27-20 lead.

Pitt made two baskets in the first six minutes of the second half, whereas NC State jumped out to a 38-24 lead.  Turner and Lacey caught fire from the three point line, and Pitt didn’t seem to have an answer.

NC State, who had lost 83-69 to WVU last month, extended its largest lead to 21 points around the 7-minute mark, as the game was pretty much decided.

The Panthers have much work to do, and Dixon’s recruiting is beginning to look rather weak.  I predicted this team to take a big leap forward, yet they appear to be digressing and it may be a long season in the ACC.

Luckily, it is only one game, but this was extremely painful to watch for a Pitt fan.


Pitt will travel to Boston College next Tuesday night.