Meet the Pitt Panthers

Lamar Patterson

The Blue Devils head north to face a Pittsburgh team that doesn't lose at home very often.

ROSTER

SCHEDULE

STATS

?SCOUT SITE


?PROJECTED STARTERS
?F- 02 Michael Young (4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
?F- 42 Talib Zanna (13.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg) G- 00 James Robinson (8.3 ppg, 4.2 apg)
G- 03 Cameron Wright (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
?G- 21 Lamar Patterson (17.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.7 apg)
?

STAR WATCH
?Fifth year senior Lamar Patterson will be a match-up problem for Duke. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, he's the team's leading scorer and assist man, and he rebounds very well for a guard (almost five per contest). He's coming off a huge performance against Maryland on Saturday that saw him post 28 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and four steals in 30 minutes of action. For the season he's already won ACC Player of the Week honors twice and is on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List.


STORYLINES

  • The overall series between the Blue Devils and Panthers is tied at six games apiece. Pittsburgh won the last contest between the two in 2007 when Levance Fields hit a three pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining to give Pitt a one point victory over Duke, 65-64. It was the only time the two teams have met during Coach K's career. Prior to that game the last meeting was in 1980.

  • The Panthers have one of the better young coaches in the country in Jamie Dixon. The win over Maryland on Saturday night moved Dixon into fourth place all-time Division I coaching wins list after 11 years as a head coach. Now in his 11th season, Dixon has guided the Panthers to a 279-88 overall record (.760). He trails NC State's Evrett Case (280-71); Gonzaga's Mark Few (291-73); Ohio State's Thad Matta (292-88); and Roy Williams (305-72) on that list.

  • Dixon is 17-0 against members of the ACC that do not include Syracuse and Notre Dame, who joined the conference this season with Pittsburgh after a lengthy stay in the Big East.

  • The Blue Devils have struggled to win on the road this season, posting just a 1-2 record in true road games. In order to bring that record even, Duke will have to overcome one of the most hostile environments in the country at the Petersen Events Center. Currently the Panthers are on a 14 game winning streak at home, which already ranks as one of the longer streaks in school history. Pitt won 34 straight to open the arena.

    Overall the Panthers have won 89.7 percent of their games played at the Peterson Center (192-22). In those games Pittsburgh has outscored opponents by a 74.8 to 59.2 margin. Against the Top 25 at Peterson Center the Panthers are 17-8.

  • The Panthers were picked sixth in the preseason media poll at ACC Operation Basketball, but those predictions haven't held up. The Panthers have rolled to an 18-2 overall record and a 6-1 mark in conference games. After defeating Maryland on Saturday, Terrapin coach Mark Turgeon certainly didn't agree with either the preseason conference ranking or the current position Pittsburgh occupies in the polls:

    "I've been doing this a long time. I've been an assistant coach and a head coach for about 26 years, and I'm telling you, that's one of the best teams I've ever coached against," Turgeon said. "How they're ranked 20th at 18-2 is an absolute joke. I think they're a Top 5 team in this country, to come into this building and really control the game."

  • With a physical brand of basketball being played, the Panthers have made a living scoring points at the line. Pitt is shooting 365-506 (.721) from the charity stripe on the season. Against Maryland, the made 47 trips to the free throw line, making 32 percent of them - including 16 of their first 17 attempts, but just 16-of-30 after halftime.

  • Duke easily defeated Florida State on Saturday despite a below average night shooting from the field. The method of overcoming such a poor shooting night? Rebounding the basketball. Duke recorded 47 rebounds against the Seminoles including 27 offensive boards. In order to be successful on Monday night it'll take another big performance on the glass. That means beating the Panthers at their own game. The Panthers are ranked among national leaders in rebound margin (plus-9.2). Pitt also leads the ACC in that statistical category. It has be- come the norm as the Panthers have ranked among the nation's top-10 rebounding teams in six of the last 11 seasons under Jamie Dixon.

  • Not only is Pitt relentless on the boards, they take care of the basketball and maximize possessions by sharing the ball on offense. Point guard James Robinson currently leads the nation in assist:turnover ratio and the Panthers currently own a 1.70 assist:turnover ratio figure, which ranks fourth nationally. On the year, Pitt has assisted on 64.3 percent (327 of 508) of its field goals made.

  • Rebounding and valuing the ball are just half of the team's recipe for success. The other half is defensive work. Already in 2013-14, Pitt has held 11 of its 20 opponents under 60 points, 17 of 19 below 70 points and has yielded 40.2 percent (424-1056) shooting.


    Pittsburgh athletics contributed to this report.

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