Pitt to host No. 12 North Carolina Saturday

The Pitt Panthers match up with No. 12 North Carolina Saturday looking for a win against a top team after losing a late lead to No. 9 Louisville Wednesday.

The Pitt Panthers were 12 minutes away from taking home their second victory against a Top 10-ranked team Wednesday but came up short after a furious finish by No. 9 Louisville and lost 69-56.

Saturday, another top team awaits Pitt (16-9, 5-6 ACC) at the Petersen Events Center where the Panthers take on No. 12 North Carolina (18-6, 8-3). To start going where they want to go this season, the Panthers will need to accomplish what they couldn't finish at Louisville.

"One game doesn’t ruin you but one game doesn’t make you at the same time," head coach Jamie Dixon said. "I think that’s what we want to make clear to our guys."

Against the Tar Heels, the Panthers match up with a similar-minded unit when it comes to winning games with rebounding. North Carolina leads the conference with 42.8 rebounds per game, 15.1 offensive rebounds per game and has the best rebounding margin at plus-9.7 boards per game.

"They are very good and that’s their strength," Dixon said. "We have to match their size, their intensity and their execution."

North Carolina's offensive rebounding has helped the Tar Heels become one of the league's best offensive teams. Their scoring average of 78.8 points per game is second in the conference and shoot 46.9 percent as a result of high-percentage second-chance opportunities.

"They really want to get the ball inside to their big guy and their wings are slashers with size that want to get in the lane and follow up and try to get offensive rebounds," Dixon said.

Brice Johnson leads North Carolina with eight rebounds per game and Kennedy Meeks also pulls down 7.8 per game.

Pitt's rebounding this season hasn't been as stellar as usual for a Dixon-coached team, something he says he has stressed throughout the season. Pitt averages 34.2 rebounds per game, an advantage of just 2.9 rebounds per game.

Saturday, Pitt needs to show quick improvements after getting outrebounded 39-29 at Louisville.

"I think every game is a different situation but we’re simply not as good a rebounding team because of a couple different things," Dixon said. "We’ve got young big guys, we have new big guys and we understand that but our guards have got to take up the slack."

Dixon also noted that his team's rebounding numbers aren't as robust because the Panthers also haven't been as good defensively in years past. Louisville shot 50 percent from the field Wednesday, the 10th time a team has hit at least 50 percent of its attempts against Pitt this season.

The only other time that has happened against a Dixon-coached team was in the 2011-12 season, otherwise known as the "CBI Year." Like the rebounding, Pitt's defense is another area Dixon continues to emphasize.

"I kept saying it after the three wins when they shot 50 percent," Dixon said. "It shouldn’t just get noticed now that we lost a game. It’s gotta get changed, we’re working on different things, we’re trying to improve."

This year, Pitt is allowing its opposition to shoot 44.8 percent, a tick higher than its own clip of 44.3 percent. North Carolina is led by one of the nation's most lethal offensive weapons in Marcus Paige who scores 14.2 points per game.

Meeks and Johnson both average over 12 points per game to lead the Tar Heels' attack.

Pitt will likely get one of its perimeter defenders back in Cameron Wright who missed Wednesday's game with a sprained left ankle suffered in the win last Saturday against Syracuse. He did live work Thursday and will be evaluated again before Saturday's game.

Regardless of who is on the floor, Pitt has another opportunity to pick a win over a top opponent Saturday that can help the Panthers' case for postseason play. To do so, they must capitalize on the opportunity they held at Louisville if it's presented again.

"No one can fall apart here at the end," Dixon said. "We’re in a position where some good wins, quality wins are what we need to have and what we need to do and we understand that and we’ve done that to a degree but we didn’t get it done [Wednesday]."


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The Pitt Panthers were 12 minutes away from taking home their second victory against a Top 10-ranked team Wednesday but came up short after a furious finish by No. 9 Louisville and lost 69-56.

\r\n

Saturday, another top team awaits Pitt (16-9, 5-6 ACC) at the Petersen Events Center where the Panthers take on No. 12 North Carolina (18-6, 8-3). To start going where they want to go this season, the Panthers will need to accomplish what they couldn't finish at Louisville.

\r\n

\"One game doesn’t ruin you but one game doesn’t make you at the same time,\" head coach Jamie Dixon said. \"I think that’s what we want to make clear to our guys.\"

\r\n

Against the Tar Heels, the Panthers match up with a similar-minded unit when it comes to winning games with rebounding. North Carolina leads the conference with 42.8 rebounds per game, 15.1 offensive rebounds per game and has the best rebounding margin at plus-9.7 boards per game.

\r\n

\"They are very good and that’s their strength,\" Dixon said. \"We have to match their size, their intensity and their execution.\"

\r\n

North Carolina's offensive rebounding has helped the Tar Heels become one of the league's best offensive teams. Their scoring average of 78.8 points per game is second in the conference and shoot 46.9 percent as a result of high-percentage second-chance opportunities.

\r\n

\"They really want to get the ball inside to their big guy and their wings are slashers with size that want to get in the lane and follow up and try to get offensive rebounds,\" Dixon said.

\r\n

Brice Johnson leads North Carolina with eight rebounds per game and Kennedy Meeks also pulls down 7.8 per game. \r\n

Pitt's rebounding this season hasn't been as stellar as usual for a Dixon-coached team, something he says he has stressed throughout the season. Pitt averages 34.2 rebounds per game, an advantage of just 2.9 rebounds per game.

\r\n

Saturday, Pitt needs to show quick improvements after getting outrebounded 39-29 at Louisville.

\r\n

\"I think every game is a different situation but we’re simply not as good a rebounding team because of a couple different things,\" Dixon said. \"We’ve got young big guys, we have new big guys and we understand that but our guards have got to take up the slack.\"

\r\n

Dixon also noted that his team's rebounding numbers aren't as robust because the Panthers also haven't been as good defensively in years past. Louisville shot 50 percent from the field Wednesday, the 10th time a team has hit at least 50 percent of its attempts against Pitt this season.

\r\n

The only other time that has happened against a Dixon-coached team was in the 2011-12 season, otherwise known as the \"CBI Year.\" Like the rebounding, Pitt's defense is another area Dixon continues to emphasize.

\r\n

\"I kept saying it after the three wins when they shot 50 percent,\" Dixon said. \"It shouldn’t just get noticed now that we lost a game. It’s gotta get changed, we’re working on different things, we’re trying to improve.\"

\r\n

This year, Pitt is allowing its opposition to shoot 44.8 percent, a tick higher than its own clip of 44.3 percent. North Carolina is led by one of the nation's most lethal offensive weapons in Marcus Paige who scores 14.2 points per game.

\r\n

Meeks and Johnson both average over 12 points per game to lead the Tar Heels' attack.

\r\n

Pitt will likely get one of its perimeter defenders back in Cameron Wright who missed Wednesday's game with a sprained left ankle suffered in the win last Saturday against Syracuse. He did live work Thursday and will be evaluated again before Saturday's game.

\r\n

Regardless of who is on the floor, Pitt has another opportunity to pick a win over a top opponent Saturday that can help the Panthers' case for postseason play. To do so, they must capitalize on the opportunity they held at Louisville if it's presented again.

\r\n

\"No one can fall apart here at the end,\" Dixon said. \"We’re in a position where some good wins, quality wins are what we need to have and what we need to do and we understand that and we’ve done that to a degree but we didn’t get it done [Wednesday].\"

","mobileBody":"Follow @NateBarnes_ Follow @PantherDigest

The Pitt Panthers were 12 minutes away from taking home their second victory against a Top 10-ranked team Wednesday but came up short after a furious finish by No. 9 Louisville and lost 69-56.

Saturday, another top team awaits Pitt (16-9, 5-6 ACC) at the Petersen Events Center where the Panthers take on No. 12 North Carolina (18-6, 8-3). To start going where they want to go this season, the Panthers will need to accomplish what they couldn't finish at Louisville.

\"One game doesn’t ruin you but one game doesn’t make you at the same time,\" head coach Jamie Dixon said. \"I think that’s what we want to make clear to our guys.\"

Against the Tar Heels, the Panthers match up with a similar-minded unit when it comes to winning games with rebounding. North Carolina leads the conference with 42.8 rebounds per game, 15.1 offensive rebounds per game and has the best rebounding margin at plus-9.7 boards per game.

\"They are very good and that’s their strength,\" Dixon said. \"We have to match their size, their intensity and their execution.\"

North Carolina's offensive rebounding has helped the Tar Heels become one of the league's best offensive teams. Their scoring average of 78.8 points per game is second in the conference and shoot 46.9 percent as a result of high-percentage second-chance opportunities.

\"They really want to get the ball inside to their big guy and their wings are slashers with size that want to get in the lane and follow up and try to get offensive rebounds,\" Dixon said.

Brice Johnson leads North Carolina with eight rebounds per game and Kennedy Meeks also pulls down 7.8 per game.

Pitt's rebounding this season hasn't been as stellar as usual for a Dixon-coached team, something he says he has stressed throughout the season. Pitt averages 34.2 rebounds per game, an advantage of just 2.9 rebounds per game.

Saturday, Pitt needs to show quick improvements after getting outrebounded 39-29 at Louisville.

\"I think every game is a different situation but we’re simply not as good a rebounding team because of a couple different things,\" Dixon said. \"We’ve got young big guys, we have new big guys and we understand that but our guards have got to take up the slack.\"

Dixon also noted that his team's rebounding numbers aren't as robust because the Panthers also haven't been as good defensively in years past. Louisville shot 50 percent from the field Wednesday, the 10th time a team has hit at least 50 percent of its attempts against Pitt this season.

The only other time that has happened against a Dixon-coached team was in the 2011-12 season, otherwise known as the \"CBI Year.\" Like the rebounding, Pitt's defense is another area Dixon continues to emphasize.

\"I kept saying it after the three wins when they shot 50 percent,\" Dixon said. \"It shouldn’t just get noticed now that we lost a game. It’s gotta get changed, we’re working on different things, we’re trying to improve.\"

This year, Pitt is allowing its opposition to shoot 44.8 percent, a tick higher than its own clip of 44.3 percent. North Carolina is led by one of the nation's most lethal offensive weapons in Marcus Paige who scores 14.2 points per game.

Meeks and Johnson both average over 12 points per game to lead the Tar Heels' attack.

Pitt will likely get one of its perimeter defenders back in Cameron Wright who missed Wednesday's game with a sprained left ankle suffered in the win last Saturday against Syracuse. He did live work Thursday and will be evaluated again before Saturday's game.

Regardless of who is on the floor, Pitt has another opportunity to pick a win over a top opponent Saturday that can help the Panthers' case for postseason play. To do so, they must capitalize on the opportunity they held at Louisville if it's presented again.

\"No one can fall apart here at the end,\" Dixon said. \"We’re in a position where some good wins, quality wins are what we need to have and what we need to do and we understand that and we’ve done that to a degree but we didn’t get it done [Wednesday].\"

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