Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tough day for Pitt

#7 Wisconsin 89, #2 Pittsburgh 75
Before getting to Pitt's performance, it's ncessary to point out the coming-out game for potential All-Big 10 player Brian Butch (27 points and 11 rebounds) and a Player-of-the-Year performance by Alando Tucker (32 points, 10 rebounds). Everyone knew that this Wisconsin team had experience and talent, and was practically a lock for the top 15, but the real question was whether they had the star power, or go-to-guy to challenge Ohio State and the rest of the country. Tucker is clearly that guy - scoring a basket seemingly every time that Wisconsin needed one. Along with the great homecourt advantage that they have in Madison, it's har dto see any team wanting to come in there right now. On the other hand, I think Pitt learned today that they were in denial if they thought that they wouldn't be affected by loss of Carl Krauser. When they needed a basket, they just didn't have that star who could handle the ball and put the ball in the hoop. Aaron Gray is an excellent post player, but there are very few post players who can really be a dominant force in the college game. On the outside, Ronald Ramon is a great shooter, but he's a role player. He needs someone else to kick him the ball. Pitt has a slew of good ball handlers and swingmen, sevearl of them scoring 8-12 points, but none was a go-to guy. No one who could carry the team on their back. I know that Aaron Gray was sick, but how much better can a Pitt fan expect than 17 and 8? If Pitt wants to compete with schools like UCLA, North Carolina, Ohio State, LSU and Wisconsin, they need to develop a real go-to-guy to fill that void left by Krauser.

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