Pitt coach Jamie Dixon signed a talented recruiting class that is considered one of the top in the country. Center Steven Adams and point guard James Robinson are expected to make an immediate impact, and Chris Jones is a skilled guard who has a chance to be an impact player down the road.
The new NCAA rule that allows coaches to work with their players during the summer has the freshmen ready to contribute when the season starts in three weeks.
Whether it was a coincidence or by design, Dixon put his three freshmen on the same team this afternoon in the Blue-Gold scrimmage and pitted them against a veteran team. The freshmen along with transfer Trey Zeigler and forward Talib Zanna beat up on the veterans, 65-55, in the annual scrimmage today at the Petersen Events Center.
The losing team had starting point guard Tray Woodall and small forward Lamar Patterson along with senior center Dante Taylor. It really wasn’t close. The newcomers took a 30-17 halftime lead and coasted to an easy victory.
Adams was a dominant force. He was 7 for 11 from the field and scored 14 points and had 11 rebounds. He showed off an array of impressive post moves, which was surprising for those whose last glimpse of Adams was in the Green Tree summer league when he was a bit raw. When Adams competed in the summer league he was not a polished post player. He looked much more polished in the scrimmage today.
“He’s really improved his post scoring,” Dixon said. “He hadn’t done that a lot in the past, watching his team and how they played. This is something he’s improved on since he’s been here. He has a good feel. He has good hands and he’s a pretty good passer, too.”
Twice in the scrimmage, Adams used a quick spin moves against sophomore Malcolm Gilbert to get easy dunks. His body is solid, too. He is not easily moved off the block, and it appears he has the potential to be a solid post defender. He will not get pushed around.
“It’s something we’ve emphasized,” Dixon said of Adams and his post offense. “He has a strong work ethic, which is probably the most important thing.”
Robinson scored 16 points and ran his team effectively. If Sunday was any indication he appears ready for prime time.
“Some guys make other guys better,” Dixon said. “James seems to be a guy that does that. That’s something we’ve seen.”
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