After suffering their worst losing streak in a decade (8 games), Pitt basketball seems to have pulled out the death spiral. Much of that is due to the return of point guard Tray Woodall. The Panthers are 2-1 since his return and are seeing better production from shooting guard Ashton Gibbs, the preseason Big East Player of the Year. Gibbs was forced to run the Pitt offense when Woodall went down with a groin injury, and the point was not a natural fit.
Momentum is a funny thing. Even though Pitt (13-9) has had its most disappointing season in many years, their spirits are up after beating 10th ranked Georgetown at home this past Saturday. Nasir Robinson went 9 for 9 from the field for a season high 23 against the Hoyas. The Panthers seem to be poised to make up for some lost ground here in the second half of the Big East schedule.
I’m not so confident that WVU’s mojo is in tact right now. Over the past three games we’ve beaten a good Cincinnati team, been thrashed by a bad St. John’s team, and screwed by the refs against a great Syracuse team. My confidence is boosted by the fact that Huggs is at the helm. But there is just no telling what the response will be from a team of freshman, two inconsistent seniors and one Player of the Year candidate.
We’re playing Pitt tonight at home in a packed Coliseum. Given both WVU and PItt's impending conference moves, this season’s basketball games against could be our last for a while. Although, there is no reason the teams couldn’t find non-conference room for this ongoing matchup – they play over thirty games a year. If Truck Bryant can shoot like he did in the second half against Syracuse, that frees up our interior for penetration and liberates the other guards from carrying more weight than they are able.
I’m expecting a big win tonight. Why? Because KJ is a beast and I hate Pitt.
Tip off is 7:00 p.m. on ESPN. LET’S GO MOUNTAINEERS!