ShareThis Page
Pitt basketball team has little time to regroup |

Pitt basketball team has little time to regroup

Dan Scifo
| Sunday, February 7, 2016 8:12 p.m
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Jamel Artis scored 17 points in Pitt's 64-50 loss to Virginia on Saturday. 'We've got to do it on the court on a daily basis. We know how big these upcoming games are. We've got to hit the opponent in the head first,' he said.

Coach Jamie Dixon and junior forward Jamel Artis sat separately at a podium following Pitt’s 64-50 loss to No. 9 Virginia, looking like a curtain had been pulled off the Panthers’ season.

In their postgame analysis, Dixon and Artis revealed what the Panthers’ impressive 15-1 start, featuring ACC wins at Notre Dame and Florida State, did not.

The Panthers, losers of three of their past five games, remain a work in progress.

“You are who you are,” Dixon said. “Right now, we’re a team that’s 14 points behind Virginia.

“We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to show improvement in two days.”

Pitt (17-5, 6-4) visits No. 17 Miami (18-4, 7-3) on Tuesday. The Panthers travel to No. 2 North Carolina five days later.

Dixon said he didn’t believe the early hype about his team despite its gaudy record.

“I was concerned in November, and October and September,” Dixon said. “It’s no secret to me. It comes out in losses, but it’s evident in wins as well.”

It’s also evident to Artis, the Panthers’ second-leading scorer and rebounder, that the Panthers haven’t reached their potential. To admit otherwise would be to place a ceiling on the season.

Artis said the Panthers are better than their recent performances, but they need to prove it.

“We’ve got to do it on the court on a daily basis,” Artis said. “We know how big these upcoming games are. We’ve got to hit the opponent in the head first.”

Asked to detail the Panthers’ second-half collapse during a 12-0 Virginia run that sealed the outcome, Artis presented a litany of reasons.

“It was little stuff,” he said. “We didn’t get a rebound. We tipped it. Or, they got it and got a second shot. Or, we turned the ball over and didn’t get back on defense. They were getting in the lane, easy, and hitting 3s and we couldn’t stop penetration.

“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes.”

Will they learn? Dixon is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

“We had time to get ready (for Virginia), but didn’t get it done,” Dixon said about the five-day layoff between games. “When we got down, I don’t think we handled it well. We practiced it. Talked about it: ‘Don’t get down in this situation,’ and we did.

“The first two (3-pointers) they got is something we prepared for, talked about. The flares at the end of re-screens. We talked about it, drilled it, and they knocked them down.”

The top shooting team in the ACC, Virginia connected on 9 of 16 3-pointers for 56.3 percent.

The Panthers have two days to prepare for Miami.

“We’ve bounced back (before),” Dixon said. “We need to bounce back quickly.

“Who we are is what we do on Tuesday.”

John Harris is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @jharris_trib.

Categories: Pitt
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.