ON THE PANTHERS
The biggest knock on Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon throughout the years: His teams are built for Big East play not the NCAA Tournament.
Last night showed once again that the Panthers have a ways to go when it comes to stopping “tournament style teams” who have great guard play and the ability push the play in the transition game.
49ers guard Casper Ware led the way scoring a career-high 28 points and visiting Long Beach State ran away from No. 9 Pittsburgh 86-76 on Wednesday night.
Pitt’s 58 game non-conference winning streak at home was snapped.
Long Beach State never trailed after taking the lead less than 8 minutes in, taking it right at the Panthers. If Ware wasn’t knocking down 3-pointers, Ware was setting up James Ennis (19 pts) or T.J. Robinson (11 pts) down low who did an excellent job of finishing around the rim.
The 49ers shot 59 percent from the floor, collected 24 assists on 32 baskets and turned it over just 10 times, beating the Panthers both outside and inside
The big story was again the 49ers style of play of “turn and go other way”, exploiting Pitt, and the Panthers had little answers. Is it the players or Pitt’s Big East style of play under Dixon that is extremely successful but struggles against these type of “tournament style teams”?
“We did not plan to play zone that much, we hoped we defended better. The man didnât work that well and zone didnât work very well either. Bottom line, it was the transition baskets that were killing us, â Dixon said after the game.
For the Panthers, Ashton Gibbs led the Panthers (2-1) with 20 points and Nasir Robinson added 19.
A bright spot for Pitt last night and moving forward is LaMarr Patterson who had 16 points in 33 minutes of action. Patterson’s a player who’s developed offensively and knows Pitt’s system much better than he did last season. The Panthers are expecting a big step forward for him this season.