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Pitt Vs. DePaul: Season Over? Looking Like It

With its fourth consecutive loss, Pitt’s finding ways to sink to new lows. That’s the case after their latest ‘masterpiece’ as the Panthers lost to DePaul on the road, 84-81.

I don’t even want to pick out the positives. There were some – Talib Zanna looking like a force and John Johnson contributing as a starter, but that’s not what everyone’s going to be talking about.

Jamie Dixon gets a lot of credit, but he’s got to take some of the blame in this one. For some inexplicable reason, Isaiah Epps found himself in the game with Pitt holding a slim two-point lead in the game’s final seconds. Epps was then somehow given the ball and presented with an opportunity to seal the game. Only problem is that he’s played so little that we don’t even know what kind of a free throw shooter he is.

The storybook script played out as he not only flubbed both free throws, but Pitt committed an and-one foul and watched DePaul sink the winning free throw with just over a second left to win the game.

I’m not sure what reason Dixon had for putting Epps in the game at that point. Even if it’s conceded that he is a decent free throw shooter, he’s a redshirt freshman that has played so sparingly that we shouldn’t get the chance to find that out. A game is never won or lost on any one play, but Dixon’s insertion of Epps at that point was unbelievably questionable.

The Panthers had no answer for the duo of Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin. As I wrote in the preview, the game was really dependent on at least slowing them down and that simply didn’t happen. The two combined for 46 points, ten rebounds, and seven steals.

It’s hard to declare the season over at this point, but now winless in conference play, it’s hard to look at the remaining schedule at this point and pick games that they should win. Jamie Dixon has a lot of work to do.

For more on Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.