Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Greentree Summer League Up And Running

The annual summer basketball league has begun and Pitt players saw action last night.  Each team had two Pitt players and here's a rundown of how each player did.

You can't look to these types of games as an indication of what each player is capable of.  The games are in a fairly informal atmosphere and don't include high pressure situations.  Further, besides each other, the level of competition isn't always the greatest.

That said.

It was still encouraging to see Dante Taylor's 19 point / 13 rebound effort in the first game on Monday night.  His play this year will help determine how far Pitt is able to go.  If he doesn't improve much, the frontcourt will again be fairly weak against some bigger teams.  But if he's able to show up to the tune of 20 and 10 some nights, Pitt could really be in position to do something special.  For now, I'm picking the team to do pretty much what they did last year.  But that all changes if Taylor hits his stride and gets more aggressive.

Taylor was pleased with his effort:

“For the first time, I thought I played pretty good — rebounded, ran the floor,” Taylor said. “I just tried to come out and play the game — not do too much. I tried to come in and incorporate the things that I did, the things that I worked on.”
And surprisingly, in Taylor's game, Gilbert Brown managed to throw up 26 shots (only making 6).  Even Kobe's game seven effort of the NBA Finals thinks that's playing out of control.

Freshmen Cameron Wright (16 points/6 rebounds) and JJ Moore (13 points) also played pretty well.  The third member of this year's class, Isaiah Epps, wasn't there and apparently won't be enrolling until August.  It would have been nice to see him gain some experience by playing against other college players - particularly because he's a point guard and will need to get to used to his teammates.


  1. You are correct sir, this team will only get better if Dante becomes a force inside. Unless JJ Mooore, Epps & Wright are phenomenal freshmen. Then PITT would be perimeter oriented even more than last year. Ever hear what happened in the recruiting of Center Maurice Walker, did he sign with someone else?

  2. Yes, I think it will take a big year by Taylor (or as you state significant contributions by the freshmen) for Pitt to take that next step this season. I still see them as a team without a truly great player.

    Also, to answer your question, Maurice Walker signed with Minnesota. I think it was a long shot for him to come to Pitt and with J.J. Moore qualifying, Pitt would have been forced to have another recruit transfer. I think he said at one point his first choice was Pitt (don't quote me on that) and considering the school could have used another frontcourt prospect, I don't think they pursued him all that hard.

    I could be wrong on that, but that's how I viewed it looking in from the outside.