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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • 12:09 am
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

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Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • 12:09 am
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

Takeaways | Pitt men’s basketball goes 1-1 at NIT Season Tip-Off

Pitt+players+celebrate+from+the+bench+during+the+game+against+Jacksonville+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+17.
Bronco York | Staff Photographer
Pitt players celebrate from the bench during the game against Jacksonville in the Petersen Events Center on Friday, Nov. 17.

Pitt men’s basketball took on the Thanksgiving holiday in Brooklyn, New York, as they participated in the NIT Season Tip-Off — a tournament featuring Florida, Baylor and Oregon State. Pitt finished the tournament 1-1 with its first loss of the season as well as a trouncing of a Power Six program. After losing to Florida 86-71 and defeating Oregon State 76-51, the Panthers have a lot to learn from this early season tournament.

Consistent free throws are the answers

In the two games played at the tournament, the Panthers had one game where they shot 62% from the free throw line and one where they shot 83.3%. The Panthers showcased their subpar free throw shooting against Florida, making just 13 of 21 and leaving eight points on the table. In a game decided by 15 points, Pitt desperately needed those points. On the other hand, shooting 20-24 from the line against Oregon State meant that Pitt could extend its lead all the way to 25 points against the Beavers. 

Free throws have been an ongoing struggle for Pitt since the beginning of the season. The Panthers shot 66.7% on the season from the line — which ranks Pitt  No. 277 of 362 teams in Division 1 men’s basketball in this statistic. 

As a team that excels in many other areas, the Panthers find themselves in slumps following multiple misses from the line. As their schedule ramps up and they begin facing tougher opponents, the Panthers cannot continue their free throw trend, or else enemy teams will take advantage of it.

Junior guard Ishmael Leggett shines under the lights

The departure of guard Jamarius Burton left a large hole in the Panthers’ roster, but transfer junior guard Ishmael Leggett is excelling in his spot. Leggett’s ability to finish at the rim and create space and pass in low-percentage situations fooled both of Pitt’s opponents’ defenses. With 19 points against Florida and 15 against Oregon State, Leggett’s presence on the court is undeniable.  

Transferring from Rhode Island, Leggett made an immediate impact on the squad. He leads the team in rebounds per game with eight. Legget is also averaging 15.7 points per game, second behind senior forward Blake Hinson. 

 

Hinson’s threes are too important

Hinson, now in his final year of eligibility, took on a leadership role on the team following his offensive success last season. A large part of Hinson’s success comes from his ability to make three-pointers, often in risky spots. His talent for finding the basket in these situations garners national attention, with many of his scores coming from the midcourt logo. 

Hinson currently leads the team in total points, with 115. With 57 of those points coming from three, Hinson is a threat from beyond the arc. 

But Hinson’s lack of consistency this season is an issue for the Panthers. In their convincing win against Oregon State, Hinson went 0-9 from three to start the game, finishing 3-11 in the game. These misses would often find their way into Oregon State’s hands and turn into points.

While Hinson can light up the scoreboard, his misses become amplified and tend to keep opponents competitive in games.

Carlton Carrington continues to strive

While there was an initial worry that freshman combo guard Carlton Carrington could not keep up with his historic start to the season when facing tough competition, those beliefs were soon dissuaded when he stepped onto the court at the Barclays Center. Carrington struggled initially, as the Florida defense made him utilize his non-dominant left hand, but he quickly recovered. 

Finishing with 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds, Carrington proved that he could handle a bigger role against tough opponents. National media began to take notice, as Bleacher Report’s 2024 NBA Mock Draft slots him in as the 10th overall pick.

Overall, the Panthers proved they could overcome adversity and set themselves up well for a season of continued success.

Pitt will take the court next against Missouri on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. EST.

Takeaways | Pitt men’s basketball goes 1-1 at NIT Season Tip-Off

About the Contributor
Ari Meyer, Staff Writer