By: Chris Gates

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — When Pitt point guard Tray Woodall returned to the lineup after sitting out approximately a month’s time with an abdominal injury he provided an immediate spark.

After a loss to Louisville the Panthers rang off four straight victories, and all of a sudden fans and media alike were talking about the NCAA Tournament again.

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Well, five games later that conversation has effectively ended. The magic Woodall brought to the lineup has worn off and the Panthers have lost five in a row.

At a scheduled media opportunity Tuesday, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said that the losing streak has a lot to do with turnovers, which have plagued Woodall all season.

“There have been times he’s trying to do too much,” Dixon said of Woodall. “There have been times we’ve forced things. To be honest, he’s just not where we need him to be.”

The reasons for Woodall’s struggles, Dixon says, likely still stem from his mid-season injury.

“I wish he could be in the best shape possible and the best health possible,” Dixon said. “But it is what it is. I don’t think that’s helping. We have to help him out, meet passes, get to the right spots and execute better offensively.”

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However, the number before and after Woodall’s injury aren’t terribly different.

Since returning against Louisville, Woodall has turned the ball over 40 times in 10 games. That’s four turnovers a game. That’s not a good average for a point guard.

In seven games before getting injured, Woodall turned the ball over 24 times. That’s 3.5 turnovers a game against mid-majors — significantly less talented competition than what the Panthers face in the Big East.

While it’s clear Woodall has made steps in improving his shooting, he clearly still has a lot of work to do in becoming a responsible point guard.

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Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog