Fields is back! Reportedly, anyway. This is huge for the Panthers, especially against a Marquette team that always seems to have our number. More importantly, they are one spot behind us in the Big East standings, and if we beat them it puts us in very good position to grab one of the coveted Big East tournament first-round byes. I mean, even with 4 conference losses we sit in 5th place, and the next three ahead of us have 3 losses.
Another thing about Friday's game is that it's the first half of a brutal road trip to Marquette and Notre Dame. As much as I want Pitt to be the team to break the Irish's home winning streak, if we win the front half of the trip there's not as much pressure to do so. In fact, it puts the pressure on ND because we'd have just beaten Marquette at home - a place where they were blown out. A win tomorrow night also gets us 20 again (well, if Houston Baptist counts). Even if the non-D I game doesn't count, with three home games left, 2 against Cincinnati and DePaul, something is wrong if we don't win another game.
Will Fields make the difference? I'm not sure, but he certainly will make everyone else better as they all get the chance to 1) return to their natural roles and 2) get a little bit of rest. I like seeing our young guys get minutes to help in the future, but Wanamaker and McGhee aren't really ready to contribute on a consistent basis.
Dating back to the start of last baseball season, my teams have taken some nasty injuries (I mean, seriously it's nuts, and I'm working on a complete list to throw up in another blog entry). Maybe now will begin some of the readjusting sports karma after such staggering losses.