Pitt and Duquesne will face off in the annual City Game Wednesday night. The Panthers have the superior talent, but that doesn't always mean everything. Even though Pitt has won the past nine games, there have been some close ones, including last year's double-overtime thriller.
In addition to being the City Game, there should also be an exciting atmosphere as it is the first basketball game to be played in the new Consol Energy Center. For those who haven't yet been to the new arena, it will be another good reason to head down to the game.
So how's this one going to shape up? Well, Pitt has the talent on its side, but Duquesne certainly is not without some good players. Seniors Bill Clark and Damian Saunders and Junior B.J. Monteiro lead the way. The trio averages nearly 45 points per game combined. Clark is the team's leader in scoring and rebounding and Pitt will have its hands full with him.
Another player to watch for is freshman T.J. McConnell, of Chartiers Valley fame. McConnell was one of the best area players last season in high school and he's already making his mark. He leads the team in steals and averages ten points, five assists, and six rebounds per game. But perhaps most astonishing has been his shooting accuracy this season. He's hitting an unbelievable 68% of his shots from the field and an even more incredible 70% from three-point range. As a local kid, you've got to believe he's dying to show the crowd what he can do.
With shooting like that, it's easy to see why Duquesne is one of the highest-scoring teams in the country. The Dukes play an up tempo style, and Pitt will look to slow them down and force the to play in the half court.
The Panthers, meanwhile, enter the game with an unblemished 7-0 record. The team has already defeated local school Robert Morris and also has some nice wins over Texas, Maryland, and Rhode Island.