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Panther of the Week: Jamel Artis

Jamel Artis put on a performance for the ages in a week most Pitt fans would like to forget

Pitt went 0-2 this past week, but Jamel Artis had a performance few will forget. It’s unfortunate that the senior guard’s top performance came in such a dismal week for the hoops team. The week started with a tremendous comeback, that fell short, against the ranked Louisville Cardinals. It ended with a thud, at home, against Miami. Through it all, Artis shined, giving him the Panther of the Week honors.

Let’s just start with the low point of the season, which saw Pitt lose to Miami, AT HOME, by 26 points! In a game that saw no Ryan Luther and Michael Young battling a face injury, Artis tried his best to keep Pitt in the game, but fell short. The senior finished the game most would like to forget with a team high 15 points. He also chipped in two boards and two assists.

While that game is one that everyone wants to forget, Artis had one fans will remember for a long, long time against Louisville. The Panthers finished the contest with a 85-80 loss to the Cardinals. The game saw Pitt fall behind early, by over 20 points, but then everyone witnessed Artis’ refusal to let Pitt go away. He finished with 43 points, three rebounds and two assists. 32 of his points came in a wild second half.

The Baltimore, MD native was draining threes from NBA range and with defenders in his face and Louisville had to feel like they were in a horror movie for a little while. They had to be wondering why Pitt wouldn’t die until the final seconds. Artis shot 68% from the floor and that included seven treys.

Unfortunately most will remember this for the dismal performance against the Hurricanes and they should, but it should not let us forget Artis’ performance earlier in the week. The team needs Young to rebound from his injury and they must have find someone to step up for Luther’s absence. If that doesn’t happen, it won’t matter what Artis does.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

No. 23 Pitt wrestling dominates weekend duals to move to 7-2

The Pitt wrestling team returned to duals action for the first time in more than a month after beating West Virginia in December. The Panthers had three opponents as part of their hosted 'Pitt Duals' event on Saturday and won all three easily.

Pitt first shut out Franklin and Marshall, 46-0, before defeating Davidson (45-0) and Bloomsburg (32-6). Both Davidson and Franklin and Marshall were on the Pitt Duals slate last year and while the Panthers easily beat Davidson, they had more trouble with Franklin and Marshall, winning 'only' 25-12.

One minor note is that it was good to get Dom Forys back. Forys, a top ten ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, missed the team's last dual against West Virginia with an injury. He returned to win all three of his matches.

The only Pitt defeats on the day that the team suffered were losses by Taleb Rahmani at 157 pounds and Donovan McAfee at 184 pounds (both in the Bloomsburg dual). Both of those wrestlers had one other match and successfully won (Rahmani also won a third via forfeit, so he was 2-1 on the day).

Ranked wrestlers Dom Forys (No. 7), TeShan Campbell (No. 13), and Ryan Solomon (No. 20) all had easy days, finishing a perfect 9-0. Every bout except for a forfeit and Solomon's 2-0 win against Bloomsburg was a technical fall win or a pin.

The most interesting thing on a day full of easy wins was that Mikey Racciato didn't wrestle. Not sure if it was an injury issue but hopefully he's back in time for the next meet. That next one, by the way, is an important one - it's a road trip to Virginia Tech next weekend for the first ACC dual of the season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Kevin Stallings comments after brutal Miami loss

I don't typically 'do' basketball press conferences. Generally after football games, I'll try to check in on what Pat Narduzzi has to say, win or lose, but there's just way too many basketball games to care that much.

But being so curious how Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings would address the brutal loss to Miami on Saturday, I tuned in afterwards.

First, Stallings said what most of us thought in watching the game. "I certainly tip my cap to Mike Young because he shouldn't even have been playing," Stallings said.

Young, apparently, was a game day decision and the team didn't even find out they'd have him until late this morning. Late in the week, in fact, Stallings expected to have Ryan Luther but not Young, but it actually worked out the opposite way since Luther suffered an injury in practice on Friday. After that, Stallings figured the team would be without both until they learned of Young being able to play this morning. Finally, on that front, Stallings also confirmed Luther would be out for at least a couple of weeks.

You don't need me to tell you that's a problem for Pitt regarding the depth. Young will likely be available going forward, but Stallings said he would continue to wear the make since he has an orbital bone fracture.

One interesting thing that he said was that they would likely try a different mask. Earlier in the press conference, Stallings talked briefly about it being difficult to play in those things (in terms of being able to see and breathe, so it sounds as if Pitt is going to try a different mask for him to make him more comfortable. But it has to be custom-fitted and ordered, so they couldn't get it by today. Even if he is able to play, though, obviously he's going to be limited.

Stallings explained the mask deal a bit more. "That one he used today, I've had other players that have had to use that. In order to see down, you have to tilt your head to look down because you can't see below your eyes," he said. "The one he'll have, hopefully by Tuesday, will be clear and he'll have a better peripheral vision."

Stallings continued to praise Young and said that on Friday, he looked like he'd been in a ring against Mike Tyson with his eye barely open. Despite that, Young insisted he wanted to play. As I said earlier, he deserves a lot of credit for suiting up and trying to help the team out. Pitt was very shorthanded with Luther out and for Young to give it a go really impressed me a lot, despite the poor game he had.

The Pitt coach also talked about the lineup going forward without Luther. Would freshman Corey Manigault be the one to come in and pick up the slack?

"We might have to play small," Stallings said. He didn't elaborate on that since he went back to talking a little about the Luther injury, but I thought that was interesting. It was just a brief answer, but it certainly sounds like Pitt is hesitant to fill Luther's spot with another big. Assuming Pitt does go smaller, that probably means more of Justice Kithcart out there.

I thought that was an interesting answer because Pitt hasn't gotten much from those guys at all. Kithcart hasn't had a field goal in his last five games and Wilson hasn't had one since six games ago again Omaha. There's Jonathan Milligan as a potential option, too, but the long and short of it is that there isn't any easy fix to finding a replacement for Luther's minutes.

My guess is that Pitt continues to stretch their starting lineup as much as possible and simply get other guys off the bench to play a few minutes. If someone like Milligan gives them a few buckets, perhaps they play a bit more. This is going to be a lot of feeling their way around, I imagine, as the games go on. There's just not one solid option you can point to and say unequivocally that 'he's the guy.'

So, what did Stallings think about the game?

Particularly, I wanted to know what he thought of the team's effort. Stallings was first asked a question if he had anything specific to say about his team's effort. His response?

"No. No."

He later elaborated a little more.

"Today we felt like, obviously, was a day that we needed to win," Stallings said. "But I'm not going to come here and throw anybody under the bus."

Stallings continued. "I don't know if they did the best they could under the circumstances but I think they think they did the best they could under the circumstances. Do we need to get better? Yeah, we need to get better. Do we have some holes? Yeah, we have some holes. Have we had those holes all season long? Yes we have. But when you have holes and you have two guys that can bail you out sometimes like Jamel and Mike do then you can sometimes cover those holes."

Listening to Stallings speak there, he really just sounded like a guy that knew Pitt was walking such a thin rope. The depth, as we've stated, is not there. And while Pitt can be a good team at full strength just because of the starters, Stallings has known this team is inches from being significantly worse than they are when everyone is healthy.

It's also evident that without being too hard on the guys that he felt they could have given a better effort today. There's not really any other way to read into that quote. Effort, I felt, was a problem today and without saying it specifically, Stallings seemed to indirectly concede that he thinks it may have been, too.

Finally, Stallings talked a little about the roster deficiencies and sort of indirectly hinted about possibly not having enough talent. The coach continued, "If we've got guys injured, we've got to play the guys that we have. If the guys that we have aren't good enough to win, then we're not good enough to win."

No surprises here, but again, it's not hard to read between the lines. Stallings is short on talent (at least developed talent) and he knows it.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Effortless: Miami steamrolls Pitt in ugly 72-46 loss

In a game the basketball team virtually had to have, the Panthers were not only beaten, but routed, by Miami, falling 72-46 at home on Saturday.

That score isn't a typo, nor is the name of the opponent. Pitt lost to a decidedly average Miami team. At home. By nearly 30 points.

I really hate writing overly long articles and, generally, it's understood that anything beyond 1,000 words that's not a longform article on an important topic is considered rambling. Yeah, so this is going to be a lot of rambling because I know full well I'm clearing that 1,000-word limit today.

Pitt was missing Ryan Luther, who not only didn't play, but will be out for a few weeks with a foot injury sustained in practice this week. They might as well have been missing Michael Young, too. Young played most of the game, but clearly was nowhere close to 100% with an ugly eye injury that forced him to wear a mask. He was completely out of his element and had no positive impact at all, missing all ten of his field goals and scoring only two points. It was clear he wasn't really healthy enough to play and likely the only reason he did was because the team was just so short-handed without Luther off the bench.

Before I get to some of the things that annoyed me about this game, I wanted to touch on Young. No, he didn't play well. And if you asked him, I'm sure he'd say he was horrible. He looked visibly frustrated a few times during the game. But I really commend him for stepping up to not only play but play as much as he did. He was out there as much as the other starters today and knew how badly the team was shorthanded. I'm about to get really critical of what Pitt did today but to do so without recognizing the effort Young gave in a really difficult circumstance would be wholly unfair. If anyone deserves a bit of a pass today, it's him.

Now, to the rest.

Recapping stats is sort of pointless here, so I'm not going to bother. Here's the box score for those that want it, though.

I had a really big problem with how Pitt played today but it goes far beyond the actual result of a loss. For Pitt to lose to a decent Miami team on the road playing shorthanded would perhaps be disappointing but not entirely unexpected. To lose in the manner they did today, given the circumstances, is nothing short of unacceptable.

For starters, the game was not even close. Losing by 26 points to anybody is ugly. Losing by that many to a decent but not unbeatable Miami team is absolutely horrendous. And considering the game was at home, the loss is even more of a problem.

Speaking of home, that deserves some attention, too. The crowd today was completely lifeless and at times, it felt much more like a neutral-court game than a home game. I'm not the guy that's going to get on the crowd for that, though. It's hard to cheer in such a lopsided game. But I think it's important from a context standpoint in that it shows that the fanbase, as a whole, is much more apathetic when it comes to Pitt basketball these days. Tickets are readily available and I continue to get several notifications via email about buying tickets, etc. If Pitt continues on a downward path this season, imagine how difficult selling tickets will be next year when the team loses four starters and will, for all intents and purposes, be starting over?

Just food for thought. Back to the game.

Part of the problem for me is that this was a very beatable opponent. Miami shot pretty well from the field but was even sloppier than Pitt with 18 turnovers. Even with the decent shooting night, a lot of teams having decent games would have been able to beat the Hurricanes with that many gaffes. And again, this is a team that won by almost 30 points. I have to imagine these are the games that winning coaches sort of despise on some level. After all, how do you tell your team that taking care of the ball is all that important if they can be so haphazard out there and still blow their opponent out?

The game was tailor-made for Pitt. As I said, Miami is hardly a terrible team. But you figure that playing with your backs against the wall at home in a game you need, you'd see a bit more in terms of effort - shorthanded or not. This was a nice rebound situation for Pitt and a win here could have gotten them back on track after a slow start to the conference season.

Finally, consider that this also a game Pitt desperately needed. As I wrote in the preview for the gamethread, with such a challenging schedule, this was really a game Pitt needed to win. There wasn't much reason to not show up in this game - particularly after giving the game against Notre Dame away, coming out wholly unprepared against Syracuse, and getting blown out of the water in the first 20 minutes against Louisville to come back and make it a respectable finish. Is it an absolute killer in terms of the NCAAs? Nope. But it also means finding another win on the schedule, which is full of very difficult opponents.

Those three games, too, sort of underscore the problem I have with the team. There simply has been zero real effort in the first halves against Syracuse, Louisville, and now, Miami. And while it was disappointing to be shorthanded today, as I said on Twitter earlier today, this is hardly a one-game thing. It's the third straight time that Pitt has not only started off slowly, but looked entirely overmatched in the first half of games. That's not acceptable by any measure.

I still struggle with how much of this goes to Kevin Stallings since this isn't his roster. But what I don't struggle with is the idea that the team needs to give more effort and stop making so many boneheaded plays. And regardless of the guys on the court, that's part of Stallings' job. What's the answer to get more effort and better starts for Pitt? Lineup tinkering? New practice tactics? Beats me. But again, that's the job of Stallings - to coach the guys he has and it's up to him to figure it out.

I was also unimpressed with the offensive gameplan, whatever it may have been. As I said in the comments section of a recent post, Pitt's offense has largely been dominant due to having the two top scoring guys in the ACC. What I wondered at the time of my comment was just how much credit Stallings can receive since I figured they would score just as much on a Jamie Dixon team that was so thin. The offensive game plan without one of those guys (as we saw today and earlier against Duquesne) is generally pretty bad. There just isn't enough quality movement.

Let me explain.

A lot of times in basketball terms, people will suggest things like there's not enough ball movement in an offense. Ball movement facilities everything and is particularly important when you don't have stars that can easily break down defenders on a 1-1 level and get into the paint and/or take over games. When you have that, ball movement is generally less of an issue. But it's not just ball movement that teams need. Pitt, for example, moves the ball around enough for my tastes. What they don't have is quality movement without the ball - guys cutting and breaking free of their defender, looking to get open and actually do something.

Back in middle school basketball when all of us were getting our first taste of what it was like to play basketball on an actual team, we were just kids following the coaches instruction running the silly 'Replace' offense. They say cut, you cut. Often kids would cut and not be looking at the ball at all. Pitt's offense isn't that bad, of course, but my point is that you can move around a lot and really not do much of anything to get open for a quality shot. It seemed like there was a lot of that going on today. And in one case when Artis did cut freely to the basket and was open by a good two feet, he was blatantly missed by Chris Jones, who had the ball.

Just really bad basketball, folks.

Some of Pitt's problems have been in shooting the ball. They had another horrible shooting day and sometimes the ball just doesn't go in. But much of it is also on playing just bad basketball and not being a sound team. Pitt, for example, was outrebounded by 14 today. Things like rebounding are largely based on effort. And in a game that required all hands on deck and guys doing whatever they could to win, to be beaten that badly on the boards is a really bad look.

For the first time this year, I think some sense of panic will set in with a lot of fans. I wasn't there before since Pitt played Notre Dame and Virginia pretty well while putting together a great second half against Louisville. But there are too many alarms with this team right now and when you throw an injured Luther into the mix, it's hard to have much optimism at all around this team after a game like this.

Pitt has plenty of time to turn it around and as they showed against some of the better teams they've faced this year, when they're on, they're a pretty good team. But with many more showings like today, things could get ugly in a hurry.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt comeback falls short against Louisville in 85-80 loss

If you had told me the Panthers would score 80 points tonight, I would have given them a pretty good chance to win. Louisville's offense hasn't been stellar and it was the defense that Pitt had to worry about.

Unfortunately, as we saw Saturday when the Panthers outscored Syracuse in the second half but were dominated in the first 20 minutes, there are two halves to a game. Pitt won the second half against Louisville handily (54-38) but were beaten worse than that margin (47-26) in the first half. Add it all up, and the Panthers fell 85-80 on the road in their latest ACC game.

The end result, of course, isn't disappointing. Sorry, but if you're expecting a win against a Top 15 team on the road vs. a program that Pitt has struggled badly with through the years, you might be setting unrealistic expectations. What's not unreasonable, however, is to expect the team to just come out and not get killed in the first half of a game.

If you're keeping track at home, that's now twice in a row we've seen this out of Pitt. Falling behind by 20 points at halftime in any conference game is just flat out embarrassing. To do it twice is sort of surreal. I don't have a problem with Pitt losing games like these at all this season. What I have an issue with is getting run out of the gym in the first half the very game after that same thing just happened.

Jamel Artis was nothing short of sensational. If you're not convinced that guy will get NBA looks, all you have to do is check out the tape from tonight. I'm not sure he'll land on a roster or get drafted but teams will be watching. He's been an offensive juggernaut all season long but this was the best game of his Pitt career. Artis had 43 points on 15-22 shooting to go along with seven three-pointers. He didn't do much else but anytime a guy gives you 43 points, you don't quibble. Artis has defensive deficiencies but, man, that guy can score.

Michael Young was far less impressive. With a double double (17 points and a team-high 11 boards), Young was hardly terrible. But he also made only five shots all night (out of 14 attempts) and, worse, was 4-11 from the free throw line.

Those free throws, by the way, were an absolute killer. His seven misses accounted for more than half of the entire rest of the team's and, in a five-point game, you certainly don't need me to tell you how important those were. Young is an 81% free throw shooter so to see him come out and lay an egg at the line is just ugly. And given that four of his misses came in the last ten minutes of the game, well, that didn't do the team any favors as they tried to come back and win.

In the absolute 'dog' category was Cameron Johnson, for a second straight game. Cam is now 3-20 in his past two contests and, at the moment, is making my comments about him drawing NBA attention in one of the recent articles look a bit foolish. I still believe that Cam is capable of getting looks by the time he's a senior but these last two games have not helped the team at all. Pitt can live without a third guy scoring when you're getting 60 points from Artis and Young. But the team has to play defense and can't have guys jacking up ten shots while only making one of them.

And with Cam out there for 31 minutes, he didn't exactly fill up the box score elsewhere, either. In all, to have one rebound, one assist, and no steals with that much time on the court is sort of embarrassing. You have to find a way to contribute elsewhere if the shots aren't falling. For example, it's a little easier to overlook Sheldon Jeter struggling on the offensive end if he's pulling in 7-8 rebounds.

Earlier this week, I wrote that Ryan Luther needed to step up. He took some baby steps towards that tonight with six points and six rebounds off the bench, but it was hardly a great game for him. He played a ton, getting 27 minutes, so his production is muted a little considering that. His only field goal came at the very end with the game ending and he also had four turnovers (something I mentioned was an issue in that article). The rest of the bench contributed only one point but didn't play all that much.

If the game was closer at halftime, do we see Pitt surge like they did? Eh, I don't know. Maybe Louisville keeps up the intensity and doesn't let Pitt get as close as they did tonight. But one thing's clear. Pitt has to get the sluggish starts out of their system. It's one thing to start slowly and trail by 6-8 points at halftime. But if you're trailing by 21 to a ranked team on the road, the game is practically over. The team has to come out with more intensity and find a way to knock down more shots early on.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Against the Odds: Louisville big favorites over Pitt

Pitt goes on the road against a ranked team and Vegas is taking notice and favoring the Cardinals by double digits.

Pitt travels to Louisville to take on Rick Pitino’s Cardinals tonight. The game starts at 7PM at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is 13-3 and 1-2 in the ACC. All three of their losses are to ranked teams in Baylor, Virginia, and Notre Dame. They are battle tested and have taken down the likes of Kentucky, Indiana, and Purdue this season. Louisville comes into the contest ranked 13th and 14th respectively in the polls. Vegas certainly is taking this into consideration and has made the Cardinals a 12 point favorite over Pitt.

Pitt enters tonight at 12-4 and 1-2 in the conference. After the close loss to Notre Dame and the upset of UVA, Pitt seemed to be on the upswing. Syracuse brought them back down to earth hard and that probably led to the big point spread this evening. Pitt must play more like they did after the 30-2 run the Orange laid on them in the first half, this past weekend, if they want to have a prayer.

Louisville’s Pitino brings in his usual pressure defense squad and that could pose some huge problems with the Panthers. Their lack of ball handling guards makes this a less than ideal matchup. Pitt has to find ways to break U of L’s press and crash the boards with aggression. Louisville is 11th in the country in rebounding, so Sheldon Jeter will be of great importance on the glass.

As with most of the ACC schedule, this is another tough game for Pitt. There is a flip side to that though. If they can overcome the Vegas oddsmakers and pull off another upset, it’s easy to gain recognition around the country.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson

Nick Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide to the brink of his sixth national championship, but a last-second touchdown from Clemson spoiled those plans.

The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 35-31 in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night.

>> WATCH: Clemson wins national championship with dramatic touchdown pass on final drive

Here’s what Saban had to say in the moments following the heartbreaking loss for the Crimson Tide, as told to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi:

“I told the players that I was really proud of what they were able to accomplish this year. One game doesn’t define who you are and I think we have a team of winners. They’ve represented themselves that way all year long, and I’m proud of their accomplishments. For our seniors, they’ve won three SEC championships in a row, been to three straight playoffs, won the national championship.

>> PHOTOS: Clemson beats Alabama to win College Football Playoff national championship

"It was a tough way for the team to lose, but we had our opportunities to stop them and didn’t do it. They made some plays down the stretch and some great catches. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”

>> Read more trending stories

Rinaldi asked him what the difference was in the game:

“I think they made some really good plays at the end of the game and Deshaun Watson was an outstanding player and played fantastic. They were a good team in two-minute. We needed to make a play and didn’t. Getting a penalty in that situation doesn’t help either.”

Nick Saban on changing offensive coordinators the week of the title game: pic.twitter.com/nNJkZJlsao— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Nick Saban to ESPN: "One game doesn't define who you are."— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Saban: "Give credit to Clemson. We had our chances and we couldn't get done what we needed to do."— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Nick Saban to Terry and his family in the press conference, "Sorry, guys."— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

WATCH: Clemson wins national championship with dramatic touchdown pass on final drive

Clemson won the national championship with a clutch final drive.

>> Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson

Quarterback Deshaun Watson connected with wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for a 2-yard touchdown pass with one second left to beat Alabama 35-31 on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

>> PHOTOS: Clemson beats Alabama to win College Football Playoff national championship

On the previous drive, Alabama took the lead with a wild drive of its own, capped by an athletic touchdown run by quarterback Jalen Hurts. But it wasn’t enough for the Crimson Tide to claim a second consecutive national title.

>> Read more trending stories

Alabama looked to be in good shape entering the fourth quarter with 24-14 lead. But it wasn’t meant to be, and Clemson earned the right to celebrate during a memorable night in Tampa.

>> Click here to watch the video

Ball. Game. pic.twitter.com/duegg5jcAN— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) January 10, 2017

Panther of the Week: Jamel Artis

A week that went up and down saw two 20+ point performances from Jamel Artis for Pitt

Pitt had a strong upset win over Virginia and then a first half letdown against Syracuse to go 1-1 this past week in the ACC. Through both, it seemed that senior Jamel Artis stayed consistent on the floor and therefore, takes home the Panther of the Week award. Michael Young, Sheldon Jeter, and Cam Johnson also put up some nice numbers, but none better than Artis.

In Pitt’s thrilling OT victory over UVA, Artis led all Pitt scorers with 24 points. He struggled from the free throw line, but nailed 6 of 7 shots from three point land. He chipped in seven rebounds, four assists, and one block. His hot three-point shooting included a dagger three to extend Pitt’s overtime lead to nine.

The Baltimore, MD native followed that up with another solid performance, in a game that most Panther fans would like to forget. While most of the Pitt players took the first half off Saturday, Artis poured in 23 points for the game along with five rebounds and 1 assist. He help Pitt claw back into the contest throughout the second half as well to make the score respectable. The 11 point loss locked a ton better than it actually was for the Panthers.

I think we’ve made it very clear, on this site, that Pitt needs more than Artis and Young to step up and become a real threat. So far this season, it hasn’t happened like they need it too. The week that you see someone other than Artis or Young in this space for Panther of the Week is either going to be a very good or very bad week for Pitt. Let’s hope for the first option there.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

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