Pitt 2 Updown | Syracusefan.com

Pitt 2 Updown

SWC75

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The Upside

- We followed up our worst performance with possibly our best and that says a lot about the players and the coaching staff. And about people who panic in the wake of a bad loss.

- JJ Starling looked like the player who hoped we were getting when he transferred here from Notre Dame. He was cool and smooth and played within the flow of the game but didn’t disappear into that flow. He took full advantage of the opportunities that were there to lead the team with 17 points on 7 for 11 shooting. We have a ‘shooting’ guard who can shoot.

- Judah Mintz can sure fill up a box score. The good stuff tonight: 14 points on 7 of 8 from the line, 9 rebounds 5 assists and 2 steals.

- Chris Bell had another good game with 10 points on 4 for 5 shooting, including 2 of 3 treys. Why did he play only 16 minutes? He never committed a foul!

- Justin Taylor made a couple of big threes and added 5 rebs and a block.

- Quadir Copeland is an energy guy who also fills up the stat sheet: 8 points, 5 rebounds 4 assists. And he doesn’t take any stuff from Pitt.

- After a series of down games. Benny Williams played well tonight. He scored 7 points on 3 of 4 shooting, making 1 of 2 threes and the one he made might have been the most impressive shot of the game, a contested three that gave us our biggest lead of the game, 16 points with 10 minutes left. He filled in at center and may have made the biggest defensive play of the game, forcing a miss on a fast break and coming away with the rebound. The kid can play when he wants to.

- We went from giving up 103 points to giving up 58, although Pitt helped with their lousy shooting.

- The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight hit 10 for 17 three pointers. The best thing about that is that they looked good doing it. They were getting open shots and everyone’s form seems to have improved considerably. We went inside and then back out much more than we had been doing and looked for those “skip” passes to open players on the other side of the court.

- We have 5 losses: four to ranked teams and one to a team I’ll bet you thought was ranked, (Virginia). We’ve got 14 more games in the regular season, (amazingly, we are more than halfway through). Only one is against a ranked team and that’s in the Dome, (UNC-2). That’s bad news in that our opportunities to beat a ranked team are almost gone, (and the one opportunity we have is against a team that beat us by 36 points). But it also means that we have 13 remaining games against the sort of teams we have been consistently beating. We are already 12-5 and 3-3 in the conference. We could wind up with the best regular season record we’ve had in a long time. Without the marquee wins, it might not get us into the Big Dance but it would be hard to ignore make us feel a lot better about the program. And I want to feel better about the program.

12-5 (3-3) with 14+ to go…

LET’S GO ORANGE!


Net Points

This year I’m going to make things a bit easier on myself and just list the net points in each game after the Upside. Once a month I’ll do a deeper dive into the numbers rather than doing a “Net Points, etc.” post after every game. ‘Net’ points is the positives (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) minus the negatives, (missed field goals and free throws, turnovers and fouls committed).

JJ Starling game: 13NP in 36 minutes; season: 143NP in 569 minutes = 10.1NP/40m
Judah Mintz game: 13NP in 39 minutes; season: 234NP in 542 minutes = 17.3NP/40m
Chris Bell game: 10NP in 16 minutes; season: 101NP in 407 minutes = 9.9NP/40m
Benny Williams game: 9NP in 20 minutes; season: 64NP in 199 minutes = 12.9NP/40m
Justin Taylor game: 8NP in 18 minutes; season: 114NP in 451 minutes = 10.1NP/40m
Quadir Copeland game: 6NP in 27 minutes; season: 176NP in 357 minutes = 19.7NP/40m
Maliq Brown game: 5NP in 26 minutes; season: 240NP in 417 minutes = 23.0NP/40m
Kyle Cuffe game: 3NP in 10 minutes; season: 24NP in 197 minutes = 4.9NP/40m
Mounir Hima game: 0NP in 1 minutes; season: 5NP in 23 minutes = 8.7NP/40m
Peter Carey game: -4NP in 7 minutes; season: 0NP in 28 minutes = 0.0NP/40m

Hurt:
Chance Westry game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 0NP in 0 minutes = 0.0NP/40m

Out for the season:
Naheem McLeod game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 108NP in 202 minutes = 21.4NP/40m

Red Shirting:
William Patterson game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 0NP in 0 minutes = 0.0NP/40m





The Downside

- Maliq Brown, for the first time in a long time, wasn’t a big factor in the game. He was in some mild foul trouble with 2 in the first half but he still played 26 minutes and got 2 points with 5 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist but 2 turnovers and 3 fouls. I’m guessing he was under the weather and bit and hope he’ll be a force again against Miami Saturday.

- The bad side of Judah Mintz’s box score: 3 for 13 from the field, 3 fouls and 3 turnovers, including a couple of bad ones down the stretch that could have hurt us if Pitt knew where the basket was. The worst sequence was 3:47 left with SU up 62-50. He threw a bullet pass too low to Maliq then, on the other end, fouled Jaland Lowe without preventing him from scoring. Suddenly it was 62-53 with 3:44 left and SU fans were nervous. And we don’t do nervous well.

- To be honest, I don’t think we played fabulous defense. We were much better vs. BC. Pitt got a lot of makable shots inside and out, that they missed. The same defense against another opponent won’t win the game for us.

- The one stat that won the game for us was something we don’t do well: We were 10/17 from three while Pitt was 5 for 26. We were 15 for 36 inside the arc: they were 18 for 39. We were 9/13 from the line, (Judah 7 for 8, everyone else 2 for 5). They were 7 for 11. They out-rebounded us by 4 and had 1 more turnover. It would have bene a very different game with our normal three point percentage. What if we don’t shoot 59% from the arc on Saturday?
 
The ACC doesn't look like it is going to get many teams in the Big Dance this year and making it into the NCAAs looks like a long shot right now. But SU is 7th in conference play with three straight home games coming up. We should have a good idea of our post season possibilities after this home stand. Go Cuse!
 
The ACC doesn't look like it is going to get many teams in the Big Dance this year and making it into the NCAAs looks like a long shot right now. But SU is 7th in conference play with three straight home games coming up. We should have a good idea of our post season possibilities after this home stand. Go Cuse!
Have to go 5-2 next 7

Really, if they can take 2 of next 3 will be in a better spot.

Need to hold serve at home
 
Our NET Ranking moved from 80 to 73 after last night's win, but Pitt dropped 12 spots and now qualifies as a Quad Two win. SU really needs to improve their NET to even be in the conversation for an at-large bid at the end of January. I believe we need to win our next three home games to keep climbing in the rankings and stay in the hunt.
 
Our NET Ranking moved from 80 to 73 after last night's win, but Pitt dropped 12 spots and now qualifies as a Quad Two win. SU really needs to improve their NET to even be in the conversation for an at-large bid at the end of January. I believe we need to win our next three home games to keep climbing in the rankings and stay in the hunt.

Is there such a thing as winning so many games that the committee cannot ignore us, regardless of the quads? We have a weird record that we fall well short of ranked teams but consistently beat everybody else.
 
Is there such a thing as winning so many games that the committee cannot ignore us, regardless of the quads? We have a weird record that we fall well short of ranked teams but consistently beat everybody else.
I think in another thread it was outlined that maybe SU could sneak in by stacking wins and avoiding the 4 terrible loss minefields on the schedule (L'ville x2, Notre Dame, FSU).
 
Hope we get 10 wins on the remaining 14 games. That is 22 wins in the regular season. Plus one more win in ACC tournament. Twenty three wins should get us to the NCAA tournament.
 
The most amazing stat to me is that Pitt was 4-10 on threes at one point. They finished the game on a 1-16 tear.
 
Is there such a thing as winning so many games that the committee cannot ignore us, regardless of the quads? We have a weird record that we fall well short of ranked teams but consistently beat everybody else.
Not really but if we continue winning our NET ranking will keep climbing. It's hard to believe that only three off our remaining games are certain to be Quad 1 contests but the conference doesn't a lot of really good teams this year. All SU can do is focus on beating their opponents. That is why I believe the Cuse has to win all three games on this upcoming home stand to remain in the conversation for an at-large bid.
 

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