Pitt takes on St. Francis (PA) on Tuesday night at the Pete. The Red Flash should be another easy opponent for the Panthers, as St. Francis sits at 3-7 in the NEC.
The team started off 0-6, but has won three of its past four games, defeating American, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Monmouth.
St. Francis ranks near the bottom in several major categories including scoring and rebounding, but one area where it excels is field goal percentage, making more than 48 percent of its shots. If they can take care of the ball well enough and limit opposing teams to one shot (some things that have been problems), they can compete.
The Red Flash is in a bit of disarray right now. Junior guard Umar Shannon, probably the team's best player at the time, scored 26 points in the team's opener but injured his knee and is out of action. The team later kicked off guard Chris Johnson, the team's leading assist man with nearly six per game, for disciplinary reasons.
With the losses of Shannon and Johnson, Pitt's attention should be turned to sophomore forward Scott Eatherton. Eatherton leads the team in scoring with 14 points and rebounding with 5.3 per game. Unfortunately for him, the Red Flash will likely be overmatched in the frontcourt, as St. Francis only has one other player at least 6-foot-8 logging significant minutes - forward Tony Peters. Pitt should have little trouble winning the rebounding battle in this one.
Pitt fans should watch for the continual development of backup center Malcolm Gilbert. With the loss of Khem Birch, Gilbert will be logging more minutes and along with Talib Zanna, is now one of the team's two primary backup frontcourt players.
For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out Cardiac Hill.