Good Afternoon V5ers! Tonight we say goodbye to Jarrid Famous and Alberto Damour for the last time for Senior Night as we welcome in the 5th ranked Pitt Panthers to the Sun Dome. Game has a 9:00PM start, and it will be aired nationally on ESPNU, but we know you'll just mute it while we rant for 2 hours during tonight's episode of USFBBT3K. If you can't get to a computer or a TV, Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will take care of you at 1250 WHNZ.
This isn't the same Pitt team that we saw when we met them last month in the Steel City, as leading scorer Ashton Gibbs is back in the starting lineup after missing 2 weeks due to an MCL sprain. Gone however is reserve forward Talib Zanna, who will miss the game due to a broken thumb. As you might remember, Zanna was instant offense when he was on the court, scoring 11 points off the bench in only 15 minutes.So let's see who will be the starting five tonight for Coach Dixon:
G 6'4 Sr. Brad Wanamaker (12.3 PTS/5.2 REB/5.1 AST/1.6 STL)
G 6'2 Jr. Ashton Gibbs (16.3 PTS/2.3 REB/2.8 AST)
F 6'6 Sr. Gilbert Brown (11.1 PTS/4.4 REB/2.9 AST)
F 6'5 Jr. Nasir Robinson (8.6 PTS/5.1 REB/1.3 AST)
C 6'11 Sr. Gary McGhee (7.1 PTS/7.8 REB/1.4 BLK)
5'11 Soph. Travon Woodall (6.7 PTS/2.2 REB/3.6 AST)has moved back to the first guard off the bench, where he gives both Wanamaker and Gibbs a breather, while 6'5 Fr. Lamar Patterson (2.7 PTS/2.0 REB/1.3 AST) is there to give Brown a rest or moves to the 4 if Coach Dixon elects to go small. 6'9 Soph. Dante Taylor (5.4 PTS/4.4 REB) has grabbed all of Zanna's minutes and is the only post option Dixon has off the bench.
I have a horrible feeling this game is going to end up like the Notre Dame game. This is an elite, angry team who just lost their previous game in overtime and they'll probably take it out on us tonight. Ashton Gibbs had a rough night, and it might spell trouble for Jawanza Poland, Shaun Noriega, or whoever gets the assignment on him tonight.
If we do have any chance at winning tonight, everyone needs to do a better job attacking the boards than we did last month. Hugh Robertson was the only player who grabbed more than 3 rebounds that night. Augustus Gilchrist and Jarrid Famous only grabbed one rebound each, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had two, and Ron Anderson Jr. had the most out of any post with three. That has to change tonight.
One thing to look for is who Coach Dixon will go to if McGhee and Robinson get into some early foul trouble with their lack of post options off the bench. Don't be surprised if Dixon is forced to go small with Patterson or Brown at the 4 at some point during the game if it gets to that.
Onto the three predictions for tonight's game:
- There will be a lot of students at the Dome tonight.
- Someone's mom will cry.
- USF will lose.