It’s tough to have a conversation about Big East point guards that doesn’t begin and end with Louisville’s Peyton Siva, but there’s a chance he could have some legitimate competition, in more ways than one this season.
Not only is Pittsburgh senior point guard Tray Woodall going to give Siva a run for his money as the best floor general in the conference this season, but he could be good enough to take the Panthers from the bottom half of the conference back to the top.
After putting up 23 points and 8 rebounds Tuesday against Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, a preseason All-American, Woodall has Pittsburgh off to a quick 3-0 start. While the beginning of the season is usually made up of fluff, non-conference games, with Michigan and potentially Kansas State scheduled for next week, Pitt could become the early talk of the Big East.
As impressive as juniors Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson have been in the early season – not to mention nice contributions from freshmen guards Durand Johnson and James Robinson – Woodall’s been the catalyst that brings it all together. With 20 assists to just 5 turnovers, Woodall’s showing steady improvement from the 3.2 turnovers per game last season, and with Robinson giving him a hand in the back court, he’s shown that he can be an incredibly efficient scorer, going 8-for-13 in the win over Lehigh.
Pitt has more talent this season than they have had the past few, including top recruit Steven Adams, and Woodall should follow in a long list of Panthers’ bulldog point guards to lead this current group to Big East prominence. It all starts with a great leader, and Woodall is proving that he can be that.
He has taken great strides every season, and neither he, nor Pitt coach Jamie Dixon expect that to stop his senior year.
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