Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
With two of the team's top three scorers gone, Jamie Dixon will likely play small forwards Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore in a smaller lineup designed to stretch the floor for a large portion of playing time.
Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore might play the same position for Pitt, but Jamie Dixon feels that the pair need to play as much as possible and will likely have them share the floor frequently.
With Ashton Gibbs gone, the Panthers are likely to start a pair of freshman after a season that saw Pitt miss the NCAA Tournament, miss the NIT, and end up with the ultimate of consolation prizes, a win in the CBI. Patterson and Moore, both small forwards and both juniors, were the fourth- and fifth-leading scorers on last year's team, but will be expected to carry larger roles in 2012. As a result, Dixon will likely play a smaller lineup featuring the 6'5 Patterson at his normal spot and the 6'6 Moore in a power forward role for large stretches of game time, as reported by John Grupp of the Tribune-Review:
“That’s probably the way of doing it,” Dixon said during Pitt media day last month. “You’ve got to get your best players on the floor. It’s something you are going to see a lot more, for obvious reasons.”
After the graduation of Nasir Robinson, Talib Zanna is the only player who can really be described as a power forward on the roster. Moore has enough talent that he should play a large number of minutes, but he averaged only 2.9 rebounds last year, leading to worry about whether its safe to play him against opposing bigs. The duo played nearly 11 minutes together in the team's two exhibition games.