Pittsburgh bounced back from its loss at Syracuse exactly like a championship contending team should with a 76-43 crushing of Clemson at the Petersen Events Center on Tuesday, and junior guard Cameron Wright continued to do exactly what is asked of him.
Wright is not getting the notoriety that seniors Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna are for Pittsburgh’s success this season, and he should not be. However, Wright is fitting in as a third option as well as anyone else in the country. He dropped in a dozen points on 5-of-8 shooting and knocked in his only 3-point attempt in the easy victory over the Tigers.
Wright is not flashy; he does not have the offensive ability of Patterson nor does he command double-teams like Zanna, but when he needs to hit a shot or play aggressive defense, he does it — no questions asked.
Wright is shooting better than 48 percent from the field. He has 11 double-digit scoring games and usually contributes in every statistical category. He plays solid defense by using his 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame very well. He has also seen a great improvement from his sophomore year. He is getting more than double the minutes and is scoring more than double the points. He is earning his keep because of how he holds possession (1.3 turnovers per game) and because he contributes everywhere with his 3.1 RPG and 2.8 APG.
But what makes him so valuable to coach Jamie Dixon is how he takes to his role. Wright does not have to force the issue. He is not asked to take the crucial shots and is rarely on the opponent’s best player. Wright is comfortable with his role and because of this, Pittsburgh has the kind of the team that knows exactly what to expect from every position. Even the best teams in the country have trouble with that.
Pitt is only ranked no. 20, but when March swings around, Wright will be a player who could do all the little things well enough to help the Panthers hang around for at least a couple weekends — even if he won’t get the spotlight.
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