Boston College-Pittsburgh Preview
Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon seems less concerned with how poorly his team played in their most recent defeat and more focused on making sure they're able to bounce back.
A visit from Boston College should help.
The No. 20 Panthers can rebound from one of the worst losses in Dixon's 13 years at the helm with a 10th straight victory over the visiting Golden Eagles on Saturday.
Looking nothing like a team that had won 10 in a row, averaged 85.3 points and shot 49.7 percent coming in, Pittsburgh (14-2, 3-1 ACC) was severely humbled with Thursday's 59-41 loss at No. 21 Louisville. The Panthers shot a season-worst 28.6 percent, went 1 of 11 from 3-point range and scored their fewest points since a 62-39 loss against Rutgers in January 2012.
They committed more turnovers (11) in the first half than they averaged (10.7) coming in and finished with a season-high 19 that led to 21 points for the Cardinals.
"I can't think of anything we did well, so we are disappointed by our performance," Dixon said. "But that happens. I'm sure every team goes through it and we are going to respond in a good way and get ready for Saturday."
Though Pitt produced its fifth-lowest point total since 1954-55, it held Louisville to its second-worst shooting performance (41.2 percent) and lowest-scoring game of the season. However, the Panthers didn't have an answer for 6-foot-10 sophomore Chinanu Onuaku, who matched a season high with 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Leading scorer and rebounder Michael Young (17.5 points, 6.9 rebounds per game) provided one of the few positive aspects for Pitt with 18 points and eight boards.
"I think we just didn't play well and it falls upon us," Dixon said. "I think every team has a game when they don't feel that they played well - it is how you respond afterwards."
The coach has good reason to believe his team is capable of responding the right way. Pitt is 6-0 against Boston College (7-9, 0-3) under Dixon and has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. Jamel Artis (15.7 ppg) scored 24 and Young added 22 as the Panthers beat the Eagles 71-65 last season in the first meeting at Pittsburgh since January 2004.
Olivier Hanlan had a season-high 39 points in that contest for Boston College, but he's playing professionally in Lithuania, and leading scorer Eli Carter (16.7) is the only current Eagles player to reach 20 this season.
A loser in 31 of 39 ACC games, Boston College has averaged 52.7 points and shot 36.4 percent while dropping its first three league contests by an average of 22.3. Second-to-last in the conference in 3-point shooting at 32.6 percent, the Eagles are 14 for 53 (26.4 percent) from long distance in the last two games.
"We're just not playing well," coach Jim Christian said after his team shot 31.9 percent in Wednesday's 62-40 loss at Syracuse. "We haven't shot the ball well in a couple of games. Guys are trying, they're just in a funk right now."
Freshman Jerome Robinson (11.6 ppg) averaged 14.8 points in four games prior to recording a season-low two against the Orange.
Boston College has lost 10 straight against Top 25 teams.