Lo and behold, however, the unassuming West Virginia native made the squad. And just as we were celebrating that fact, Pittsnogle turned around and made believers of us all over again.
Despite not starting one game in the recent Global Games, Pittsnogle turned in some startling numbers on his way to becoming a team leader for the juniors, who open play in the FIBA Junior World Championships on July 10.
Despite playing only 12.4 minutes per game (only one player who appeared in all five games averaged fewer), Pittsnogle was first in scoring, field goals made and attempted, second in three pointers made and attempted, and also second in field goal percentage and three point percentage. those high percentage rates point out the fact that Pittsnogle wasn't just gunning up shots - he was hitting them.
A closer look at the numbers reveals more. Pittsnogle's 52.2% shooting from three point range probably doesn't surprise Mountaineer fans, but it certainly had everyone else buzzing. And his 19 rebounds (third on the team) weren't eye-popping, but did serve notice that the lanky marksman is also becoming a bit more familiar with the rigors of the lane.
All in all, it was an eerie repeat of Pittsnogle's start at West Virginia. The book on "KNog" was that he needed at least of year or two of seasoning before he could hope to contribute for the Mountaineers.
Pittsnogle had other plans, as he apparently moved the clock forward and became an big part of West Virginia's surprising first season under John Beilein. So, although we shouldn't have been caught napping while Pittsnogle made his run onto the junior national team, we were.
After this performance, we won't be surprised at anything the Mountain State native does. As The Who so famously noted, "We Won't Be Fooled Again".