On paper, this was just supposed to be a game where the Panthers would figure out any offensive glitches before their big showdown with the Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday night, but in reality… the Panthers overlooked the feisty Oakland Golden Grizzlies squad and it took an overtime nail biter to pick up the win.
With the stands only about half filled, the Panthers were pinned against an Oakland team that could smell an upset. In fact, the Panthers trailed by as many as 14 at the half, and a game high 18 at a point in the second half. In fact, it took a 7-0 run over a 57 second span in the final half of play to even scratch a tie.
The Panther offense that was lighting up almost every offensive category went cold for the first time all season. There were negatives anywhere. You can start with the inconsistent play of Woodall coming back into account, he finished with only 6 points after taking 14 shots from the field and converting on just 2. Zanna had an ok night, but not where he should have been. Zanna finished with 8 points, but was a respectable 4 for 7 from the field. Fan favorites James Robinson and Steven Adams once again played very well for being freshman. Robinson had 14 points and he really led the charge for the Panthers in the latter half of the game and overtime. Robinson had an impressive jump shot at the shot clock buzzer in overtime that surpassed video replay to stand. Adams played very well again despite only scoring 6 points. Adams is a force on defense and he forced Oakland players to alter their shots all night.
If you want to find some sort of positive for the evening, it was that JJ Moore continued his impressive play by putting up a team high 16 points. Moore has not started a game yet, but with the lack of performance from Lamar Patterson over the first four games, I would not be surprised to see either him or Trey Zeigler enter the starting lineup Wednesday night whenever the Panthers tip off in Madison Square Garden against Michigan.
Maybe this is the type of game that the Panthers needed to light a fire underneath their ass. It is sometimes very beneficial to have a close game early in the season so that the team now sees that they are not invincible. I look forward to see what changes the Panthers make for Wednesday, if any. I would like to see Adams minutes go up a little. 17 minutes is not a lot. Let the kid learn by playing, he has played very well thus far.
See you all on Wednesday! Hail to Pitt!!