Pittsburgh Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Pittsburgh Panthers
ACC (19-14, 8-10)


Pittsburgh failed to capitalize on their limited opportunities to pick up a big non-conference win. They lost on a neutral floor to San Diego State and fell at Indiana. They also lost at Hawaii. That left the Panthers with a lot of work to do in the ACC. And they did do a really good job in conference play, picking up big wins over Notre Dame and North Carolina and, for the most part, defeated the teams they should have beaten.

Big Wins: 1/31 Notre Dame (76-72), 2/14 North Carolina (89-76), 2/21 at Syracuse (65-61)
Bad Losses: 11/21 at Hawaii (70-74), 1/27 at Virginia Tech (67-70), 3/1 at Wake Forest (66-69)
Coach: Jamie Dixon

Why They Can Surprise:
There is not a team that shares the ball better than Pitt. The team commits a mere 9.8 turnovers per game, while dishing out 16.5 assists. James Robinson leads the way with 5.1 assists per game. While Robinson is not a great shooter, he has been looking to score more this season and is capable of having big scoring outputs. Fellow guards Cameron wright, Chris Jones and Josh Newkirk also dish out at least two assists per game. So does forward Jamel Artis. The 6-7 sophomore can play big or small. On the year he is averaging 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists and he is a tough matchup for most defenders.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The biggest concerns for Pitt are on the glass. The frontcourt duo of Artis and Michael Young is impressive. They are the team’s top two scorers and by far the top rebounders. However, with the backcourt mostly concentrating on passing the ball, they do not give Artis and Young much help on the glass. Pittsburgh ranks towards the bottom in the ACC in rebound margin. The Panthers are overall quite poor defensively. The opposition tends to get pretty easy looks inside and outside. Any team that can knock down shots can score a lot of points on Pittsburgh this year.

Probable Starters:
James Robinson, Junior, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 5.1 apg
Cameron Wright, Senior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 2.9 apg
Chris Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 2.0 apg
Jamel Artis, Sophomore, Forward, 13.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Michael Young, Sophomore, Forward, 13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Sheldon Jeter, Sophomore, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Josh Newkirk, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 2.8 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.3 (176th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.3 (144, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (103, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.0 (280, 15)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (304, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (179, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (174, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (121, 9)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (9, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.8 (9, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Colorado
2014    NCAA    Third Round loss to Florida
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Wichita State
2012    CBI    First Round win over Wofford
2012    CBI    Quarterfinal win over Princeton
2012    CBI    Semifinal win over Butler
2012    CBI    Final loss to Washington State
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over NC-Asheville
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Butler
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oakland
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Xavier
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over East Tennessee State
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Oklahoma State
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Xavier
2009    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Villanova
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oral Roberts
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Michigan State
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Wright State
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over VCU
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to UCLA

*all team stats through 3/8


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