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10 Thoughts On Pitt

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If you consider where this team was two weeks ago (coming off destructive losses against Stanford and Virginia Tech), this was a strong performance from a young team with huge Big 12 hopes. Pitt ain’t Missouri State, folks. They finished 15-3 in the Big East last year, returned their best player, and have only dropped one game so far this year. They’re a legit top 15 team and OSU hung with them for most of the way.

Lots to be excited about. Here are 10 more thoughts from the game:

1. The announcers were criticizing Nash for not being loose but I think this is just who he is. He runs really stiffly, I think he’s more of a physical producer than he is an agile swingman. He’s Carmelo, not Durant. Okay‚Ķhomeless man’s Carmelo, right now anyway.

2. I love the way Jurick plays. He goes for every rebound, is smart about chasing blocks, and always keeps the ball in play. He doesn’t try to be something he’s not (a scorer) and always gives you quality minutes. I feel like if he can average 8 points a game, OSU can go 11-7 in the Big 12. That was just a terrific recruiting job by Ford to get him to Stillwater.

3. As noted by Anthony Slater and John Helsley after the game, the point guard situation is a circus. Guerrero is probably the most talented but he’s also the most out of control. He takes terrible shots and does more freshman things than he should. Gulley is a solid athlete, but offers little in the way of passing or scoring (kind of prerequisites for a PG). For my money, Dowell played the best today (although I don’t need him pulling guarded treys in the second, or any, half), but he’s not always that good on defense. Maybe we’ll just LSU quarterback it all year and pray for the best.

4. The biggest issue for OSU was fouls outside the three point line. I counted at least four, and I think most of them came with under 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Also, you can’t get out-rebounded 43-25 by a Big East team like Pitt that shoots 50% from the field and expect to get the W.

5. OSU is undefeated when not playing in Madison Square Garden (0-3 there). Good news: no more games there the rest of the year unless they’re playing in the NIT.

6. It really seems like the best option on defense for this team is a half court trap that falls back into a two-three zone. You couldn’t do something like that in the past when your guy guarding the rim was 6’8 (Moses), but with Jurick dropping back into the middle of that zone? Absolutely.

7. Justin Gilbert memorial “uni of the game” goes to Markel for his high black socks and almost all-white kicks. Phenomenal look from the sophomore.

8. What was wrong with the camera guys? Was that ESPN’s 2nd string or something? I felt like they were zooming in while plays were going on, zooming out while they should have been zooming in, and never could keep Keiton in the frame. I mean, he’s 5’8 not 8’5!

9. Doesn’t Van Gundy have something better to do now that the lockout is over besides answer questions about the pro potentiel of college guys with “well, I haven’t seen him play enough…”? That being said, I enjoyed the announcing today, Raftery just sounds like college basketball.

10. Back to Nash real quick before I go finish up this Barca-Madrid match and watch the end of Army-Navy. Raftery said multiple times “the kid’s coming of age today!” While that may or may not be true, I will say I like the way he’s getting his points. He’s not jacking threes or shooting one-legged fadeaways like Cezar. Instead he’s picking his spots, out-muscling smaller defenders, and going hard to the rim. That’s what OSU needs from him. He only shot three FT today, but learning to draw under control fouls will come as he finds a rhythm this season. With him clicking, Jurick hovering in the paint, Markel and JPO doing Markel and JPO things, and a solution to the PG situation, Oklahoma State can make the dance this year.

I have no doubt of that.

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