Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DeJuan Blair Takes A Seat, Sam Young catches fire

Word has come down that DeJuan Blair sat out tonight's game against Belmont due to a swollen knee. No real word on how bad the injury really is, but there is no indication from any sources that it is related to any muscle or ligament issues, so that is certainly good news. If he has to sit out a game or two or three in the next week or two and is back to 100% for the big games, it's more than worth it to make this short-term sacrifice. In his absence, Gary McGhee got the start and put together 16 minutes of doing his best impersonation of Casper, as he was an absolute ghost out there. He took 1 shot, had 1 rebound and 1 block in that time. The Panthers frequently went small with Tyrell Biggs, Nasir Robinson, and Sam Young taking turns being the "center" at different times. Gilbert Brown returned to the lineup tonight with 15 minutes, but looked like he was still trying to get his sea legs under him.

On a sort of related note, do you remember those old NBA Jam games when you would hit three consecutive baskets with the same player without the other team scoring and your player would catch fire and make shots from all sorts of ridiculously angles? Yeah, evidently that's Sam I Am Young right now tonight. Our Panthers idled along tonight, coasting to a so-so win by a score of 74-60, but Sam sprung for a ridiculous 33 points on 13/17 shooting, including a pair of long-range bombs. One caveat that is worth noting is that Sammy and Levance Fields combined for a sick 50 points, Tyrell Biggs and Jermaine Dixon complemented with 6 and 10 points, respectively, which means that the rest of the squad put together just 8 total points, a downright alarming number. I really don't think depth is something this team should really worry about, as this team has as much talent in as many positions as any Pitt team I can ever remember seeing. Still, a lot of these guys are pretty raw, and there are very few players who have shown the ability to consistently fill the basket. If several of the rotation guys end up struggling in a given night things like this will happen, and I guarantee it's not what Jamie Dixon wants to seem, no matter how good Sam is.

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