Pitt G Crisshawn Clark suffers season-ending knee injury



New Pitt men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings will be without sophomore guard Crisshawn Clark for the 2016-17 season. (TNS)

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

Sophomore guard Crisshawn Clark is officially out for the second straight season after suffering a left knee injury at the Pitt men’s basketball team’s practice Monday, Nov. 7.

According to Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings, doctors diagnosed Clark with a torn MCL and a torn meniscus, and he may have torn his ACL as well. Stallings didn’t know whether it was related to last year’s injury — to the same knee — and only said that Clark had been cleared to play in August and went down in practice without any contact.

“We are very disappointed to see this happen to a terrific young man and an emerging player in our program,” Stallings said in a press release Tuesday. “He is a true team player who has done everything asked of him since his arrival here. His mental strength and character will enable him to tackle the surgery and rehab with the same effort and intensity that he brings to practice.”

Clark scored six points and grabbed three rebounds in just six minutes of action in Pitt’s 95-65 exhibition win vs. Pitt-Johnstown on Saturday, and Stallings also came away impressed with how he looked in the Panthers’ intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 22.

“I thought Crisshawn Clark played well,” Stallings said after the scrimmage. “I just think that he was active and he played hard. He got to the boards, he was physical, he was aggressive. I thought that Crisshawn looked like he was in as good a shape as anybody out there.”

Clark, who transferred to Pitt from Canada College before the season, sat out the entire 2015-16 season with a left knee injury after a standout first year in 2014-15.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Clark became the 2015 NorCal Freshman of the Year after averaging 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his first year at Canada College. He helped the team to a 24-7 record and trip to the CCCAA state semifinals.

Pitt will open the season at home vs. Eastern Michigan in the opening round of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. Tipoff at the Petersen Events Center is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m.