Created on Monday, 15 October 2012 01:04
Written by Nate Barnes / Staff Writer
Talib Zanna and the blue team won the men's basketball intrasquad scrimmage. (Nishant Singh, Staff Photographer)A pair of freshmen on the Pitt men’s basketball team shined in their first appearance in front of fans at the Petersen Events Center on Sunday afternoon. In the Blue-Gold Scrimmage — Pitt’s annual intrasquad contest and the concluding event of homecoming weekend — the blue squad defeated the gold 65-55, thanks to the performances of the Panthers’ highly touted freshmen center Steven Adams and point guard James Robinson. For the blue team, Robinson posted 15 points with five assists, while Adams recorded the first of many double-doubles expected to come, tallying 14 points and 11 rebounds. Robinson’s heady play as the floor general for the blue team indicated great things to come from the freshman. In the opening minutes of the game, Robinson picked off a transition pass and laid the ball in after an athletic up-and-under reverse move. The young point guard believes the Panthers might play a more up-tempo style of basketball this year. “That’s one thing the coaches have really been pushing us to do this summer is to really push the ball,” Robinson said. “We have a lot of great athletes on this team that like to get out and run.” One of the game’s other notable moments occurred in the second half, when Adams threw down a powerful put-back dunk over redshirt senior point guard Tray Woodall as the modest crowd at the Pete applauded Pitt’s talented new center. Starting alongside Adams in the paint for the blue side, redshirt junior forward Talib Zanna led the game in scoring with 20 points, shooting a perfect 7-for-7 and adding seven rebounds. After the game, Zanna said that scoring in the paint was a key point made by Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon before the scrimmage and the new season. “[Dixon] wants the ball inside,” Zanna said. “And we just got to — once we get the ball inside — make a good play.” For the gold squad, upperclassmen led the way as Woodall and redshirt junior Lamar Patterson scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. Also on the gold team, senior forward Dante Taylor tied Adams with a game-high 11 rebounds to go with his six points. Although Taylor’s numbers did not stand out, Dixon noted the play of Taylor and his work in practice so far. “Dante, I thought, in the stretch in the second half, was really good,” Dixon said. “Dante’s been scoring for us in practice, and between [Taylor and Adams], I think we can get some good scoring and also passing.” The teams were divided into two groups of seven Pitt players, with sophomore guard John Johnson playing a half on each team. The blue squad was made up of guards Robinson, Cameron Wright and Chris Jones, forwards Zanna, Trey Zeigler and Aron Nwankwo and center Adams. The gold team consisted of guards Woodall and Mike Lecak, forwards Taylor, Durand Johnson, Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore, and Malcolm Gilbert at center. Robinson, Wright, Zeigler, Zanna and Adams started for the blue team, while the gold squad began the game with Woodall, Johnson, Patterson, Moore and Taylor. Assistant coach Brandin Knight took the helm for the gold, while assistant coach Pat Sandle coached the blue. The Panthers will now have a few weeks of consistent practice before playing their first exhibition game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 26 at the Petersen Events Center.