Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youngstown State Adds Fa,iliar Feel to Matchup

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youngstown State Adds Fa,iliar Feel to Matchup

Article excerpt

The Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league in Green Tree has been a great addition to the annual sports calendar in Pittsburgh because it gives fans an opportunity to see the top local Division I players and some professionals compete in what amounts to organized pickup games.

But for the players, it brings them together and lets them become familiar with each other on and off the court. That has helped raised the intensity level of some of the local rivalry games between colleges in the city and those within the NCAA-mandated limit of 100 miles from Green Tree that participate in the league.

That's why the game today between Pitt (9-0) and Youngstown State (7-4) at Petersen Events Center should have a little extra spice to it than a normal non-conference matchup. The players from the two teams have gotten to know each other and have competed with each other in the summer.

Pitt guard Cameron Wright said Thursday that familiarity will make for an interesting game because the Panthers aren't competing against a bunch of nameless, faceless players on a scouting report, but against some guys they refer to as friends.

"I know a few of those guys dating back to the summer league," Wright said. "So I know they have pretty good guards. [Kendrick] Perry is averaging a lot of points for them, he is a workaholic. In the summer league he was really aggressive, a very athletic guard. He was a tough guard in summer league and I have a lot of respect for his game.

"Youngstown State will be a very good team for us to play."

Perry is indeed going to be a handful for the Panthers as he is averaging 20.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He is one of the most talented players they will face this season.

Perry is a good shooter but he also can get to the basket, is very athletic and jumps extremely well, so though he is only 6 feet, he plays much bigger.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said that because the Panthers have had an opportunity to at least see Perry, if not play with or against him, in the summer league, there is an advantage -- but he added that the style of play in the summer doesn't always translate to the regular season. …

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