Pittsburgh Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Pittsburgh Panthers
ACC (25-9, 11-7)


In Pittsburgh's first season as a member of the ACC, the Panthers got off to a wonderful start. They began the season 16-1, with the lone loss coming by one point at the hands of a very good Cincinnati team. In the second half of the year though, the wheels began to fall off. Pitt limped through the final two months of the regular season, hanging around in the group of first round byes for the conference tournament. It still ended as a better year than many outsiders predicted, but it must have fallen short of internal goals this team had set for itself.

Big Wins: 11/26 vs Stanford (88-67), 1/4 at North Carolina State (74-62), 3/8 at Clemson (83-78)
Bad Losses: 12/17 vs Cincinnati (43-44), 2/23 Florida State (66-71), 3/3 North Carolina State (67-74)
Coach: Jamie Dixon (11 seasons at Pittsburgh)

Why They Can Surprise:
If not for a thumb injury that sapped lots of his production the final weeks of the year, Lamar Patterson would have been a challenger for ACC Player of the Year. His shooting dipped, the worst of which came in a squeaker of a win over Virginia Tech that saw Patterson go just 1-of-9 from the floor. Nevertheless, Patterson was still a superb scorer and finisher for this club. He also led the team in assists, having a hand in nearly all of the offense that Pitt ran. However, the real strength of this club came from the other players' efficiency. Starters Talib Zanna and Cameron Wright, along with reserves Jamel Artis and Josh Newkirk all had tremendous shooting seasons. Pitt also dominated the glass, extending possessions on offense and limiting opponent's chances. Thanks in large part to Zanna inside, the Panthers wrapped up the season with a great rebounding margin and as one of the better scoring defenses in the country.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Patterson's excellence both scoring and distributing helped pick up what would have been an otherwise lackluster supporting cast. The shooting percentages of his teammates were directly related to the shots and chances Patterson was making available to them. Case in point, in Pittsburgh's only out-of-conference loss, Patterson took a season-low five field-goal attempts and finished with his lowest output of assists up to that point. And while players like Zanna and Michael Young helped give Pitt one of the better rebounding clubs, no one on the team was a rim protector in terms of blocking and deflecting shots. Not a single Panther player averaged even one block per game.

Probable Starters:
Cameron Wright, Junior, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 2.6 apg
James Robinson, Sophomore, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 3.9 apg
Lamar Patterson, Senior, Forward, 17.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 apg
Michael Young, Freshman, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Talib Zanna, Senior, Forward, 12.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Josh Newkirk, Freshman, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 1.7 apg
Jamel Artis, Freshman, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (127th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.5 (23, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (81, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (79, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (279, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (113, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (96, 5)
Rebound Margin: 6.4 (17, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.8 (20, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (38, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
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 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules