There is no doubt that the 1-3 start to the Big East Conference season is nothing short of disappointing for Jamie Dixon’s Pitt Panthers.
But despite shooting woes and the inability to rebound the basketball costing them three games, including two in a row at home which never happens, there may be a silver lining in the way the Panthers’ guards take care of the basketball.
With the talent that Pitt has, you have to think the shooting problems will take care of themselves. But you win games with good guard play and by taking care of the basketball and no team in the nation does it better than the Panthers.
The way Pitt has taken care of and shared the basketball this season has been nothing short of outstanding.
After 17 games, they currently rank first in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.95), second in fewest turnovers (9.4) and third in assists per game (18.4).
Having three ball handlers on the floor in Tray Woodall, James Robinson and Lamar Patterson has paid off in the early going. The Panthers rarely make careless mistakes with the ball and won’t throw many games away by turning the rock over.
Patterson, Robinson and Woodall all rank among the nation’s Top 30 in assist-to-turnover ratio and all three rank in the top five in the Big East.
That being said, you have to think that will be a constant all season and should amount to some more wins in the future for the Panthers.
Shooting comes and goes and certainly the rebounding raises a red flag right now, but guard play can carry a team and Pitt has that right now.
A 1-3 start is something that wasn’t initially in the cards for Dixon’s team, but they have the opportunity to get hot coming up, with a stretch of games against unranked opponents in Villanova, Connecticut, Providence and DePaul before taking on No. 1 Louisville on January 28.
Photo Credit: Associated Press