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ESPN GameDay crew at the Pete; quotes

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ESPN GameDay host Rece Davis and analyst Jay Bilas just talked with the Pittsburgh media to answer questions about tomorrow night’s game with Louisville.

In the biggest news, Tray Woodall practiced again today and looked good, according to a team official. He is almost certain to play tomorrow against Louisville and could even start.

It takes six semitrailers to move all of the gear for ESPN College GameDay. Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall will play “How well do you know your teammate” at 10 a.mHere are some of the answers:

Rece Davis

Is Woodall’s injury the main reason for the losing streak? 

“I think that’s the primary one. They lost so much from last year’s team, but there is an expectation that they will just replace them. Combine that with the loss of Woodall and it has really put them in a tough spot. I think they will finish the season a lot better than they started it. It’s not going to be a typical Pittsburgh season but I think it will be closer to the norm by the time it’s over.”

 Did you expect a 16th-place team vs. an 11th place team?

“You think top 16 in the country, not top 16 in the Big East. …(But) it’s still two brand names in college basketball. I think that makes it a great event and it will make it an entertaining game on Saturday night.”

 Jay Bilas

On Woodall’s absence
“That adds another guy that can stretch the floor and get into the lane, which they just haven’t had. Guys like Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore feel like they have to do more, instead of just playing.”

On seven-game losing streak

“When you lose a point guard, you’re going to face an uphill battle and have some problems. I still don’t think they should have lost all the games they lost even without Tray (Woodall). They shouldn’t have lost at DePaul. They gave that away.”

On prospect for rest of season 

“Is this team as good as some of the team’s Jamie has had in the past? No. But it can still be a good team. They have been good at times. If they played in other games, the way they did at Syracuse, it wouldn’t be a skid of this length.”

 On Khem Birch

“Who would have thought Khem Birch would leave. That’s just a bizarre happening. I’m actually supportive of kids being able to transfer. These kids aren’t getting paid. They should be able to go. But it just doesn’t make any sense for any player to leave after so few games without really giving it a chance.”

 On matchup

“I think it’s a different dynamic. Would we rather have this two undefeated teams that are playing No. 1 and No. 2? That would be great. But everywhere you come there is something compelling. Watching how Pitt and Louisville handle (their struggles), there is something compelling. Two teams that have great coaches that have had amazing success are trying to fight though something at the same time and going against each other.”

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