Originally written on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 3/30/12

For all the deserved mockery the CBI gets, is there anyone that doesn’t want Pitt to win? Is there anyone so full of bile that they don’t want Nasir Robinson, Ashton Gibbs and Nick Rivers to have their final game at the Pete end in victory? I hope not.

The big takeaway so far in the CBI has been seeing other players take advantage of this post-season exhibition time. Coach Dixon has given them minutes and encouraged them to be more aggressive. Whether you buy into this being a potential springboard or helping them for next year, the players have bought into it.

“They weren’t as confident during the season,” Patterson said, “but I feel they’re gaining confidence right now. That’s going to help us going into next year.”

This wasn’t the tournament Pitt had hoped to play in, but since the Panthers are here, they’re trying to use it as a boost for next season.

“I think we’re getting them in a situation that will help us down the road,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “It’s great to see them emerge.”

The Panthers want to finish this season with a win, too.

“I didn’t try to think about it (possibly) being my last game,” said senior Nasir Robinson, who scored 10 points. “I just wanted to keep fighting for my team.”

With this the third game in 5 days, there won’t be many surprises from either team. At this point, both teams know what the other will want to do.

“It’s an opportunity for our guys to compete and get some experience and to challenge themselves in a little different way,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “It will be interesting to see how everyone responds playing a team for the third time in a row.”

By now, each team has a firm grasp of how the other likes to play. They have identified the top scoring threats. They know their favorite sets and plays and what situations that are used.

It’s probably the reason Pitt held Washington State to 20 points in the first half Wednesday, the fewest number of points allowed by the Panthers in a half this season.

And it’s probably the same reason the Panthers managed to make just two field goals in the final 10 minutes. The finale tonight could be similarly low scoring.

“It’s different, but I think it’s fun,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said. “It’s unique. You have to change some things, but you don’t want to change too much. It’s kind of fun for a coach and I would imagine the players.”

I expect both sides to be very aggressive in trying to limit 3-point shots. Neither side is particularly strong inside on offense. Pitt has a slight edge, in the paint. That is, however, negated by Washington State’s Reggie Moore who has killed Pitt by driving to the basket and forcing the refs to make calls.

This is a game where Pitt will need J.J. Moore to attack the basket. He spent the first two games on the perimeter. While WSU’s scouting report on Moore undoubtedly mentions his athleticism and ability to drive, they simply haven’t seen him do it. I think he could take advantage of that — if he’s willing to take the contact.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nick Saban addresses rumors of interest in Longhorns job

Garoppolo back in spotlight after Brady suspension upheld

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong, replaced a broken phone

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

John Calipari may coach Kentucky until he is 73


Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

WATCH: Pedro Martinez's number retired in ceremony

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs

Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to send Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson to end contract negotiations Friday

Brandon Marshall on marijuana tweets: ‘I was just kidding'

Key & Peele show SportsCenter if it was about teachers

Mets continue to act like a small-market team

What would a Cole Hamels trade look like?

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

Smith to report to camp, no charges filed for child abuse

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker