In this contest, Pittsburgh was dominant throughout. However, some La Roche players stood out with their physical play. Ashton Gibbs really asserted himself as one of the nation's premier players.
Michael Dixon- In this contest, Dixon proved to be his team's best offensive option early on. Unlike some of his teammates, Dixon was capable of creating his own offense. He attacked the basket relentlessly and, as a result, was able to find open teammates or score for himself. Dixon has an excellent first step and plays under control, never really forcing the action. He is a willing passer and averages 4.5 assists per game as a result. Moreover, Dixon is a solid athlete and as such, he is one of the better rebounders for his size. (at 6'1) In terms of his offensive tendencies, Dixon can hit contested shots and is most comfortable shooting off the bounce. He hit several difficult fadeaway shots in this contest and was more than able to hold his own against Pitt's guards. On the defensive end, Dixon struggled to chase Ashton Gibbs through screens.
Joel McIntosh- This 6'6 Newark product really challenged Pittsburgh in the paint. He was able to seal his man early on and draw fouls, forcing Dante Taylor out of the game in the first half. McIntosh is a physical, undersized forward who is an adept post option. He displays solid fundamentals on the block and uses his body well to draw fouls and finish through contact. Further, McIntosh is a decent rebounding option, but must work harder to weed out his man.
Andre Flanigan- While Flanigan did not have an impressive offensive performance, he appeared to be the team's best defender. Not only was he able to stop several Pitt drives, but he also guarded well on the perimeter. On the offensive end, Flanigan worked the ball around the perimeter, but struggled to penetrate in the lane against Pitt's aggressive defense. Flanigan must work on his outside shooting in order to keep defenses honest.
Ashton Gibbs- Ashton Gibbs is one of the most dynamic shooters in the country. He displayed an extremely smooth stroke in this contest, pulling up off of one bounce. Further, he was able to hustle to loose balls on the offensive end and score as a result. Gibbs can hit shots from anywhere on the floor and demonstrated that he can also attack the basket. What was most surprising, though, was that he was assertive on the defensive end, stealing the ball on several occasions. And, although he is not a true point guard by any stretch, Gibbs demonstrated that he can distribute the ball, leading his team in assists in the first half.