To say things went south for Pittsburgh after Jamie Dixon took his leave to TCU would be an understatement, as the Panthers are 0-7 in ACC play just two years removed from an NCAA tournament bid. Dixon’s replacement, Kevin Stallings, is 4-21 in ACC games after 1.5 seasons as the head coach. Things are uh, well they’re real bad right now.
Pitt is in full rebuilding mode and one of the least experienced teams in the country, and good heavens does it show. The Panthers’ rotation includes five freshmen, a sophomore, a junior college transfer playing his first year at the D-I level, and a senior who played sparingly over the last two seasons.
Since none of the above-mentioned players are elite talents, the results have been unfortunate. Pitt is, by far, the worst team in the ACC. Remember the Boston College team that finished 0-18 back in 2016? That group finished the season ranked 225th in the Pomeroy Ratings. Pitt is currently ranked 215th.
|Overall (nat'l rk)||98.8 (263)||50.3 (189)||22.4 (330)||24.8 (289)||37.3 (85)||50.7 (144)||33.2 (248)||45.4 (34)|
|ACC Games (league rk)||83.3 (15)||45.4 (14)||25.0 (15)||20.9 (13)||35.3 (2)||44.6 (12)||31.0 (14)||43.6 (2)|
Pitt’s season-long shooting percentage isn’t terrible—a smidge below national average, but nothing that by itself is going to doom a season. But mediocre shooting doesn’t take you very far by itself, especially not in a power conference, especially when you have grave shortcomings elsewhere.
Pitt has been so bad at taking care of the ball and grabbing its missed shots that those weaknesses have countered and then-some its modest shooting efforts. Worse, in league play the Panthers aren’t shooting the ball even close to average, while their other weaknesses have been a monument tied around their ankles.
Marcus Carr (6-1, 185) — Carr has an outstanding assist rate but that comes with a whole lot of turnovers, and his shooting has completely abandoned him in ACC games. He’s at 37.7% from three on the year, but is only 4-22 in conference play. His biggest value is as a free throw shooter—he’s 48-54 (88.9%) at the stripe this season.
Khameron Davis (6-4, 195) — Also incredibly turnover-prone, though he is 17-34 from three this season. But Davis shoots so infrequently as to generally not make much of an impact in that area in any given game.
Parker Stewart (6-6, 190) — A three-point specialist, and a good one—40-103 (38.8%) from deep on the year and 21-43 since ACC play started. That’s pretty much all he’s giving Pitt at the offensive end, though.
Jared Wilson-Frame (6-5, 220) — The juco transfer has decided that he’s the leader of the offense, and he is taking just a preposterous number of shots. He accounts for nearly a third of Pitt’s field goal attempts while he’s on the floor, which is a T.J. Warren-level workload. Without the results. He is shooting 27.9% from three this season and is only 7-43 (eep) in league games.
Shamiel Stevenson (6-6, 230) — Stevenson has had a good debut season inside the arc, where he’s at almost 56%, and he should probably go ahead and give up on his perimeter game, seeing as how he’s only 7-23 from outside on the year. He’s taken only two three-pointers in ACC games, so maybe he’s figuring things out.
Jonathan Milligan (6-2, 170), Terrell Brown (6-10, 240), Kene Chukwuka (6-9, 215). So many turnovers. So, so many turnovers. Brown is proving a good rim protector and offensive rebounder, but Pitt doesn’t want him doing anything else. Brown and Chukwuka are prone to fouls and this should be an area NC State can exploit to keep Pitt stuck in small-lineup mode.
|Overall (nat'l rk)||103.3 (154)||49.6 (126)||16.8 (287)||32.9 (309)||28.7 (70)||49.7 (174)||33.0 (82)||36.7 (153)|
|ACC Games (league rk)||115.5 (15)||55.6 (13)||16.4 (11)||33.6 (12)||31.5 (10)||59.5 (15)||32.4 (4)||36.0 (7)|
Pitt ranks 349th in block percentage and 337th in steal percentage—the Panthers lack size and they are not disruptive. They’re fortunate that opponents have struggled from the perimeter and the free throw line, and if that luck gives out? Yikes.
The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by seven.