Syracuse will try to rebound from its second loss of the season when it travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers. Here is a scouting report for the game:
COSTLY FREE THROW SHOOTING: One of the most glaring issues for Pitt in its 64-61 loss to Louisville was free throw shooting. The Panthers had come into that game shooting just 64 percent from the line. It was even worse against the Cardinals, as Pittsburgh went just 3-12 from the line, while Louisville was 10 of 11 in the second half, including 6-6 in the final minute of the game. It wasn’t the first time that free throws haunted the Panthers. On Jan. 12, Pitt was just 13-26 from the line in a 74-67 overtime loss to Marquette. It also played a factor in the Panther’s first loss of the season to current No. 1 Michigan. In a 67-62 loss in the preseason NIT, Pitt was just 6-11 from the charity stripe.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS: Pitt features a lineup that has 10 players who average at least 12 minutes or more. They’re led by senior guard Tray Woodall, who named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list. Though Woodall is averaging 4 minutes less per game this season, he’s second on the team in scoring at 10.7 ppg and leads the team with 5.7 apg. He’s also cut down his turnovers from 3.2 a game last season to 2.0 this season, while increasing his shooting percentage by 4 points. Junior Talib Zanna leads the Panthers in scoring with 11.2 per game.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse leads the all-time series 62-38 and won the most recent matchup 71-63 on January 16, 2012. Dion Waiters’ 16 points led the way for then-No. 1 SU. The win also marked the best start in program history, as the Orange improved to 20-0 and 7-0 in the Big East, passing the 19-0 mark that the 1999-2000 team had.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 12 p.m. in Pittsburgh, PA at the Petersen Events Center. TV: ESPN.Wesley Cheng