Wednesday, February 01, 2012

#240: Woodall the Missing Link?

---SSL Broadcast #78---

The Point Guard is all-important in a Jamie Dixon-led team.

Tray Woodall (formerly known as Travon) has played in 12 of the Pitt Panthers' 23 games. Their record: 9-3.

Without Woodall in the line-up: 5-6.

Woodall is the cog that's been missing in Dixon's machine, and now that he's got his game legs back after recovering from groin and abdominal injuries, has been the difference.

Woodall has drawn some criticism by some who point out that he was the sixth man on his high school basketball team, but it's clear that, even on a team with Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson, Woodall is this squad's first man, right down to his jersey number. Ball distribution and finding that open man or making that extra pass relies on Number 1.

Pitt is still only 3-7 in conference play, and is still a long shot to even make the NCAA tournament, but a strong finish in the regular season and a formidable showing in the Big East Tournament may give them some extra consideration for a #15 or #14 seed.

The thing that may ultimately factor in is if the Big East, which appears to be weaker top-to-bottom than in recent years, will carry the day on its reputation.

One thing that's certain - whether the Big East is weaker this year or not - is that the Panthers are a much stronger team with Tray Woodall running the floor.

On the most recent show:

- Paterno's legacy.

- Arians didn't retire, after all.

- A quick check of NHL All-Star Break numbers, particularly Shots on Goal Differential.

- A bit of Pro Bowl talk.

- According to "prophecy", I went 1-1 on Championship Sunday on my NFL Playoff Picks (21-22-1 overall). The Super Bowl will once again be the decider.



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