No big-time scorer? No problem for the Pitt Panthers.
Tray Woodall became the first and only player to reach double figures for Pitt with just :39 left in a convincing 65-55 home upset of No. 6 Syracuse, and that was OK. Pitt played a team game against the star-laden Orange, getting 31 points from a very active bench. In comparison, ‘Cuse got just three from non-starters, of which they had perhaps more than they would have liked.
Woodall, natch, led the Panthers with 13 points, getting over the double-digit hump by calmly stroking free throws in the closing seconds. Steven Adams and J.J. Moore had the highest single-digit efforts for Pitt, with eight apiece. ‘Cuse got double-figure efforts from C.J. Fair (20 points), Brandon Triche (14) and Michael Carter-Williams (13), but wasn’t able to stop the Panthers or quiet the raucous capacity crowd in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt’s evenly distributed scoring seemed to negate the usually stifling effect of Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Syracuse laid back in the zone for much of the game, leaving Woodall free to bring the ball upcourt without hassle and pick the defense apart. When ‘Cuse finally started to press late, Pitt beat it easily with quick, decisive downcourt passes that led to easy baskets.
It was an interesting preview of what will be an ACC game next season. If ‘Cuse thinks they’re having trouble with Pitt’s transition offense, imagine what they’ll face next season, against the likes of Duke, NC State and North Carolina. Pitt, on the other hand, is vying to move back into the polls and become a contender in their final Big East season.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina freshman guard Rakym Felder was arrested Sunday and charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.
Felder, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from New York, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the facility’s website.
A team spokeswoman said coach Frank Martin was aware of Felder’s arrest and was gathering more information. Per South Carolina athletic department policy, Felder is suspended indefinitely.
Felder was charged by the Columbia police with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, failure to stop on police command, a pedestrian on a controlled access highway and use of another’s or altered license or identification card.
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The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.