The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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A speaker addressed protestors at an Earth Day rally in Schenley Plaza on Monday.
‘Reclaim Earth Day’ protest calls for Pitt to divest from fossil fuels
By Kyra McCague, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
Stephany Andrade: The Steve Jobs of education
By Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor • April 24, 2024
The best cafés to caffeinate and cram for finals
By Irene Castillo, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

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A speaker addressed protestors at an Earth Day rally in Schenley Plaza on Monday.
‘Reclaim Earth Day’ protest calls for Pitt to divest from fossil fuels
By Kyra McCague, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
Stephany Andrade: The Steve Jobs of education
By Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor • April 24, 2024
The best cafés to caffeinate and cram for finals
By Irene Castillo, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Pitt Men’s basketball’s newcomers set to begin their Fall semesters

August is here, which means new faces will pop up all across Oakland, including the new faces to Pitt’s men’s basketball team. Assistant Sports Editor Jermaine Sykes introduces the latest additions to the roster.
Iowa+State+forward+Hason+Ward%2C+left%2C+forward+Aljaz+Kunc+vie+for+the+ball+with+Pittsburgh+forward+Jorge+Diaz+Graham+during+the+first+half+of+a+first-round+college+basketball+game+in+the+NCAA+Tournament+on+Friday%2C+March+17%2C+2023%2C+in+Greensboro%2C+N.C.+%0A%0A
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Iowa State forward Hason Ward, left, forward Aljaz Kunc vie for the ball with Pittsburgh forward Jorge Diaz Graham during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C.

Fall is here. After a few months of summer break, students — from the super seniors to the first-years — are eager to return to Oakland and continue their college careers. Students new to Oakland have much to learn, including the newest additions to Pitt’s men’s basketball team, who are eager to begin classes and get back onto the court.

Last season, the Panthers returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015-16 and won two tournament games, which was a huge leap for a program that needed a surge of energy. Coming into this season, the Panthers are retooled and reloaded, adding new faces to the program who they hope will have an immediate impact. 

The Panthers added some experience to the roster, grabbing a few players out of the transfer portal.

Junior forward Zack Austin — a transfer from High Point — joined the roster at the beginning of the offseason and has already made headlines. Austin — who averaged 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for High Point last season — should plug in and get immediate playing time due to his experience. 

At Pitt, the High Point transfer is already taking advantage of his opportunity.

Austin recorded two poster dunks in Pitt’s two preseason exhibition games in Spain, which sent Pitt fans into a frenzy. Considering Austin also posted 29 points and 12 rebounds across both contests, it’s safe to say Austin has quickly adjusted to life in Pittsburgh. 

Rhode Island transfer Ishmael Leggett is also making the most of his start with the Panthers. The junior guard averaged 16.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game with the Rams last season. Leggett will have an opportunity to carve out a spot in a youthful Panthers’ backcourt, considering that he is already one of the most experienced guards on the roster.

And similar to Austin, he is off to a fast start. Leggett scored 27 points across the two exhibition games and impressed on the boards and defensively. 

Alongside the experienced Austin and Leggett, the Panthers added first-year players who will get a chance to have an immediate impact and develop during their careers in Pittsburgh. 

6-foot, 4-inch first-year combo guard Carlton Carrington comes in from Baltimore, Maryland. Carrington was a highly touted prospect, getting a four-star rating from 247Sports. Carrington chose the Panthers despite having offers from Rutgers and LSU. The first-year guard adds a scoring upside to a Panthers’ backcourt that needed it with the departures of Jamarius Burton and Greg Elliott. 

Carrington stuffed the stat sheet in the Panthers’ first exhibition game, with seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals. In the Panthers’ second exhibition game, Carrington added 10 points and three assists. If Carrington can continue posting outings such as these, he’ll be a starter for the Panthers in no time.

6-foot, 1-inch first-year guard Jaland Lowe joins the Panthers as a four-star recruit out of Texas. The first-year guard chose the Panthers over Memphis and SMU. Lowe comes in as more of a traditional point guard, which was evident in exhibition game one where he posted five assists. In game two, Lowe posted seven points, four rebounds and two assists. 

The last of Pitt’s new additions comes from late commit Papa Amadou Kante. Amadou Kante, a six-foot-ten-inch forward, joins the Panthers out of Dakar, Senegal. Amadou Kante was originally committed to Michigan but flipped at the beginning of the summer to join the Panthers.

Amadou Kante only played in the Panthers’ first exhibition game in Spain due to injury but posted a team-high eight rebounds in that contest. The young forward will add much-needed length to the Panthers’ frontcourt and should carve out a role for himself as soon as game one.

None of the Panthers’ new additions are native to Pittsburgh, and none of them have played in the ACC before. A big transition is ahead for the new Panthers this fall, both in and out of the classroom. But if their summer performances are any indicator, they’ll transition smoothly.

 

About the Contributor
Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor
Jermaine Sykes is the Assistant Sports Editor for The Pitt News. He is a part of the College of Business and Administration class of 2024 and is double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. He is also pursuing a Sports Management certificate and an Economics minor. He has written over 90 articles as a member of the sports staff.