Analysis: Pro-Am Monday

Dante Taylor and Trey Zeigler just a couple of the current Pitt players who come up big on Monday night.

Steel City Tickets 78, SPK 77
The Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro Am returned to action this evening after a short break due to the holiday.  The Opening game featured SPK Law vs. Steel City Tickets.  The intensity was there from the opening tip due in large part to the match up between two of Pitt's front court players; Senior Dante Taylor and Junior Talib Zanna.  Each battled hard on both ends of the floor and showed the crowd how effective Pitt could if they choose to play them together this season.

 

Taylor turned in the performance of the night with 18 points and 18 rebounds. However, it was his consistent energy and effort that was a pleasure to watch.  Each possession he ran hard up and down the floor attempting to get easy baskets in transition off of feeds from his Pitt teammate Durand Johnson.  Taylor consistently battled hard for rebounds and a few times refused to be stopped on offense.  If this effort and intensity stays constant, this could be a huge advantage for Pitt this season to go along with Steven Adams inside.

 

For SPK Law, Talib Zanna once again turned in a strong performance as he showed off a vast array of moves on offense and consistently displayed a soft touch around the basket.  Zanna also brought a high amount of intensity on the defensive end as he was matched up against the aforementioned Dante Taylor for the majority of the game.

 

Durand Johnson also played well this evening for his Steel City Tickets team and provided the highlight of the game with a nice drive down the middle of the lane and finishing with a thunderous left handed dunk that got everyone on their feet.  Johnson who finished with 18 points, saved his most important points for last as he converted on a nice up-and-under layup with 4 seconds left to put his team up 1 point to help them get the 78-77 win.

PGT 67, Oliverio's Peppers 56
The second game of the evening matched PGT Trucking against an under-manned Oliverio's Peppers team.  Unlike the first game, it took a while for both teams to find their stride and play off the intensity from the first game.  While Steven Adams got off to a quiet first half it was nice to see that Trey Zeigler continued his progression showing his aggressiveness attacking the basket and also looking to set up his teammates for easy baskets.

Once again Lamar Patterson, who as of this point in the summer has my vote for League MVP, turned in another strong all around performance.  Patterson who had 16 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds, continues to serve as the main floor general for his team and is consistently making good decisions on offense and determining the proper times to look for his own shot and when to create for his teammates.  PGT Trucking took a 36-19 lead into halftime.

 

The second half featured much of the events as the first half. However, Steven Adams played a much bigger role in the second half.  Adams finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds but played great defense against his Pitt teammate Talib Zanna, who had to play back to back games because of the lack of players that showed up.  Trey Zeigler, 15 points, continued to attack the basket in the second half and once again showed his athleticism when he converted an alley-oop pass from Lamar Patterson.  Another Pitt player who had a solid second half and is continuing to play well is incoming freshman guard James Robinson.  While Robinson plays under the radar for his team you can tell that he definitely has the ability to be a solid all around point guard for Pitt, he consistently shows good decision making and does a very good job of setting his teammates up for easy baskets.  Robinson finished with 8 points and 3 assists.

While Zeigler is continuing to play better each game one item that is worth pointing out is the fact that he has yet to show much of a jump shot, rather he has been getting all of his points around the basket. It will be interesting to see how that plays out this season.

 

The "Big 3" of the summer league- Adams, Zeigler, and Patterson, continued their winning ways as they led their PGT Trucking team to a 67-56 victory.

 

South Hills Audi 85, UPMC 80
The night cap of the evening had the veteran manned South Hills Audi team paired up against UPMC.  The only current Pitt player to play in this game was big man Malcolm Gilbert.  Gilbert played another solid game and continues to show that he should be capable to come off the bench and provide solid minutes to spell his front court teammates.  Gilbert continues to rebound the ball aggressively and is doing a great job of running the floor in an attempt to get easy layups.  Gilbert finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds.

 

The star of this game was former Pitt point guard Levance Fields.  Fields, who made his debut tonight showed much of the same moves off the dribble that he did at Pitt and consistently hit shots the whole game.  Fields finished with 23 points and 6 assists.


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