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2024 4-Star ATH Quinton Martin Visits for Pitt’s First Spring Observe



PITTSBURGH — There will likely be dozens and dozens of recruits within the courses of 2024, 2025 and 2026 hosted this spring on the South Aspect, however there isn’t an even bigger title than Quinton Martin.

Martin, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound four-star athlete from Belle Vernon Excessive in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, made a go to to the UPMC Rooney Sports activities Complicated for Pitt’s first spring apply of 2023.

It’s simply the most recent go to for Pitt’s prime precedence within the class of 2024. Martin is rated because the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania, ranked inside the highest 50 nationally within the newest 247Sports and Rivals scores.

He advised PSN that Pitt’s teaching employees stays open-minded about the place he’ll play on the subsequent degree, contemplating he stars as a working again and defensive again at Belle Vernon. And he was capable of have the prospect to take a look at all aspects of Pitt’s offense and protection Tuesday morning.

As a junior at Belle Vernon, he was the main rusher (1,274 yards and 22 touchdowns) and receiver (424 yards and 6 touchdowns) whereas including 22 tackles and 4 interceptions defensively.

With affords from the likes of Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin, amongst others, Pitt may have heavy competitors for probably the most sought-after recruits within the cycle.

Pitt does have the benefit of being the primary Energy 5 faculty to supply Martin, method again in 2020, and he’s made quite a few visits to Pitt — together with a go to final spring. Pat Narduzzi has been recruiting Martin personally, making appearances at Martin’s soccer and basketball video games.

It will likely be vital to get Martin on campus as usually as potential within the lead as much as his eventual dedication later this 12 months.


Six Years within the Making, Nike Sibande Able to Make March Insanity Debut



Dayton, OHIO – It’s been an extended trip for Nike Sibande to make it to this second. A second not many gamers get to expertise and cherish the chance to be part of. Six years after making his NCAA debut through the 2017-18 marketing campaign and recovering from a torn ACL, the ACC Sixth Man of the 12 months is able to make his NCAA Event debut. 

“It means rather a lot,” Sibande stated. “That is my first time being in March Insanity and the NCAA Event. Quite a lot of feelings. We actually needed this because the starting of the season. This can be a objective that we had and to be right here is superb and surreal.”

The surreal feeling is shared all through the Panther locker room, a sense a Pitt staff has not felt because the 2015-16 season earlier than Jeff Capel stepped on campus. Pitt will face Mississippi State within the First 4 from Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday night time – each as No. 11 seeds – with the winner advancing to the spherical of 64 in opposition to Iowa State. The four-hour journey from Pittsburgh presents the chance for a conglomerate of Pitt followers to return collectively and create a raucous ambiance for its first event look in seven years.

“It’s thrilling,” Sibande stated. “Individuals are going to be right here. I feel the atmosphere goes to be actually good and good for us.”

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande (22) November 20, 2022 David Hague/PSN

Pitt’s veteran expertise was broadly recognized and mentioned all through the ACC season and now turns to the nationwide stage. Sibande started his profession at Miami, Ohio, just one hour away from the College of Dayton Enviornment. The Indiana 3A state champion was named MAC Freshman of the 12 months with the RedHawks and averaged 15.1, 16.1, and 13.9 factors per sport in three seasons earlier than wanting a brand new problem on the Energy 5 degree. 

Sibande selected Pitt for his 2020-21 season, being deemed eligible midway via December in a 12 months affected by the pandemic. He began eight of 14 video games and strove to return to the Panthers the next 12 months. An ACL tear in exhibition play prevented the objective from turning into actuality. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 8.5 factors and three.9 rebounds within the common season as a spark plug off the bench. He believes his years of expertise, and that of his teammates, have ready him for March Insanity.

“Being poised and being within the second,” Sibande stated. “Play our sport and be snug. Not pondering an excessive amount of. Once you’re younger, you in all probability get within the second and assume an excessive amount of. When you may have a few years beneath your belt, you simply play the sport and let all of it occur.”

Surrounded by veterans of their ultimate 12 months of eligibility, Sibande has grown in his three years at Pitt together with the bonds and connections together with his teammates.

“All of us are brothers. We take a look at one another like brothers,” Sibande stated. “Now we have one another’s again on and off the courtroom. That’s one factor about this staff I actually love. All of us are shut and funky with each other.”

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande (22) February 7, 2023 David Hague/PSN

I feel it’s big,” head coach Capel stated. “The actually good groups that I’ve been part of all through my profession, whether or not it was as a participant, as a head coach, an assistant coach, the one factor that’s been frequent in all of these actually good groups is that they like one another. It’s their relationships off the courtroom. 

“I feel the extra you understand your teammates and the extra you genuinely care about them — and I feel the one approach you may actually care about somebody is to get to know them — that goes a great distance.”

The Panthers snuck into the NCAA Event however traditionally, groups who advance from the First 4 discover success within the Spherical of 64. Since its inception in 2010-11, a staff has gained a sport previous the play-in each season however in 2019.  Two groups – VCU and UCLA – superior to the Ultimate 4. 

“Within the blink of a watch, we are able to get it going,” Sibande stated. “Anyone can get scorching on this staff… We’re a harmful staff to play in March, for certain.”

As soon as he noticed the Panthers’ title seem within the bracket on Choice Sunday, Sibande knew his dedication and exhausting work has all led as much as this, searching for Pitt’s and his personal one shining second.

“I simply really feel excited,” Sibande stated. “I’m able to play. As soon as I’d seen our title yesterday [Sunday] go throughout the display screen I’m like ‘let’s go, let’s get there at present!’”

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Ben Howland Sees Pitt’s Development Beneath Capel, Problem in Mississippi State



Jeff Capel and Ben Howland have some similarities in the case of their teaching tenure at Pitt, with the most important of these being the state of this system once they took it over.

Prefer it was when Capel took over in 2018, the Pitt program was a whole mess when Ben Howland was employed in 1999, taking on for Ralph Willard. Previous to “Light Ben’s” arrival, the Panthers had registered shedding information in 5 of the earlier six seasons and hadn’t certified for the NCAA Match in six years.

Though Pitt struggled in his first season, going simply 13-15, that might be the top of shedding for the Panthers for a very long time. Beginning in Howland’s second 12 months, Pitt had a successful report for the subsequent sixteen seasons and the Panthers certified for the NCAA Match in 13 of 16 years, lacking postseason play simply as soon as.

Whereas Jamie Dixon was there for almost all of the glory years for Pitt basketball, it was Howland who bought the successful began, taking Pitt to the Candy 16 in two of his 4 seasons (2002 and 2003) as head coach.

It’s taken Capel a bit longer to show Pitt round, however his circumstances had been rather a lot worse, with a 24-41 run underneath Kevin Stallings utterly sucking the momentum out of this system. That apart, each coaches shall be remembered as males who revived Pitt basketball when it was on life help.

Pitt makes its return to NCAA postseason play on Tuesday evening as they tackle Mississippi State within the First 4 in Dayton, Ohio.

The Bulldogs are coached by Chris Jans. Jans is in his first season after taking on for Howland, who was left go final season, following seven seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach.

Monday, Pittsburgh Sports activities Now spoke with Howland, to get his perspective on each Pitt and Mississippi State. Contemplating he’s had the 12 months off from teaching, the 65-year-old Howland has seen loads of each of those groups each on tv and in individual.

“To start with, Coach Capel did an outstanding job this 12 months with this crew,” stated Howland. “I bought the prospect to come back watch them observe in September after which that they had our 2003 crew again to honor us, so I noticed the Miami sport in individual, which was an excellent sport. I’ve additionally watched loads of their video games on tv, and he’s finished a masterful job with this group of gamers. They’d the prospect on the final sport of the common season to have a chunk of the common season ACC championship. They performed an excellent sport however got here up simply quick.

“I’m simply so excited for the Pitt followers and extra importantly for his or her gamers. Coach Capel has put collectively not solely a great group of basketball gamers but in addition a very good group of children. I’m simply so excited for Pitt basketball and imagine that underneath Coach Capel they’ll be actually good for years to come back.”

In some circles, it’s simply assumed that it’s straightforward to navigate the switch portal to herald expertise however that’s clearly not the case. Having expertise is one factor however that doesn’t at all times assure success. Howland praised Capel for not solely evaluating good expertise but in addition for bringing in good folks, which may be virtually as essential.

“He and his employees did an incredible job recruiting the switch portal, which is so troublesome to do,” stated Howland. “The factor I actually like about it’s that Pitt has actually, actually good children. The gamers Pitt introduced in are excessive character, who’re fantastic younger males. [Jamarius] Burton simply had an outstanding 12 months for them, and he was actually, actually an excellent chief. I like their children. I believed that they had toughness, togetherness, unselfishness, performed the proper means and I’m actually fired up for them.”

With all that being stated, Howland is aware of that enjoying nicely within the common season is one factor, however making an attempt to win within the NCAA Match is one thing fully totally different. Tuesday evening shall be troublesome for Pitt, not solely due to the spot that comes with March Insanity but in addition as a result of Mississippi State is a proficient crew and one he’s very accustomed to.

“They’ve a tricky opponent in Mississippi State,” Howland stated. “Tolu Smith is a very good middle that they should matchup with. Shak Moore, Cam Matthews are actually good, robust, undersized gamers. DJ Jeffries is an effective participant. Mississippi State has a great crew.”

I requested Howland to place his teaching and analyst hat on to offer us his keys to the sport for Pitt.

“Mississippi State could be very bodily, very nicely coached, play nice protection and can try to have the sport at a tempo by which, such as you stated, one thing within the 60’s. It’s going to be a grind it out, hand handy fight affair,” Howland stated with amusing. “Pitt goes to wish to make their open pictures once they get them. Pitt does an excellent job offensively and are very unselfish as a crew. In my view, the most important key for Pitt is to try to beat them on the boards, as a result of Mississippi State is an excellent rebounding crew. Mississippi State shall be crashing the offensive glass and so they block out very well defensively and work actually onerous to maintain you off the glass.

“Limiting turnovers, Pitt attending to the foul line and rebounding the basketball shall be large keys for Pitt.”

The primary time that Howland took Pitt to the NCAA Match, they had been a No. 3 seed and beat Central Connecticut St, 71-54, in a sport that happened at Mellon Enviornment in Pittsburgh. The 2023 Panthers gained’t be enjoying at dwelling however shall be in close by Dayton, Ohio. This Pitt crew will little question be excited, however Howland doesn’t imagine they’ll be too amped as much as play.

“These children have been by means of rather a lot already this season,” Howland stated. “They’ve been in large video games, performed in a sport for the convention championship. They’ve a veteran group and have large management. The primary factor for them shall be to go on the market and simply try to do what you’ve been doing. Play as onerous as you’ll be able to and understand that it’s win or go dwelling. They should try to be at their finest from the opening tip and prepare for a struggle as a result of I can let you know that will probably be a struggle. Mississippi State shall be very bodily and it’s going to be a really enjoyable sport for me to observe.”

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Duquesne to Play within the School Basketball Invitational, Persevering with Their Season



Duquesne accepted a bid to play on this seasons’ School Basketball Invitational (CBI), persevering with their season.

The Dukes completed with an total report of 20-12 and 10-8 in Atlantic 10 play within the 2022-23 season. They improved 14 wins total and 9 wins from the 2021-22 season, the place the Dukes had a 6-24 total report and 1-16 report within the Atlantic 10.

Duquesne earned a No. 6 seed and a First Spherical bye within the Atlantic 10 Match. They misplaced their matchup within the Second Spherical in opposition to No. 11 La Salle final Wednesday, March 8, on the Barclays Middle in Brooklyn, N.Y., ending their lengthy shot possibilities at an NCAA Match look.

The Dukes acquired a No. 5 seed within the CBI and can tackle No. 12 Rice on Sunday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. within the First Spherical. Your entire CBI will happen on the Ocean Middle in Daytona Seaside, Fla. from Saturday, March 18 to Wednesday, March 22.

FloHoops will stream the First Spherical from March 18-19 and the Quarterfinals on Monday, March 20. ESPN2 will broadcast the Semifinals on Tuesday, March 21 and the Last on March 22.

The 2023 CBI consists of 16 groups that may play in a single-elimination bracket. If Duquesne is to win the CBI, they might want to win 4 consecutive video games in 4 consecutive days from the First Spherical to the Last.

That is the fourth time that the Dukes will play within the CBI, beforehand doing so in 2010, 2011 and in 2016. That is the primary postseason for the Dukes since that CBI look in 2016 and the primary below head coach Keith Dambrot in his six seasons as head coach. That is additionally simply the sixth look within the postseason within the final 42 seasons for the Dukes.

The Dukes are 2-3 within the CBI, profitable within the First Spherical and shedding within the Second Spherical in each 2011 and 2016, whereas shedding within the First Spherical in 2010.

That is the seventh matchup between Duquesne and Rice. Duquesne holds a 5-2 report in opposition to Rice, with a win within the final matchup in November 2008.

Duquesne performed in opposition to one different opponent within the CBI and that’s No. 1 Indiana State, who they defeated at house, 92-86, on Dec. 17.

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