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Brothers, Leaders, and Match Makers: Shut-Knit Relationships Driving the 2022-23 Panthers



DAYTON, Ohio – The 2022-23 Pitt Panthers are household to 1 one other. It’d sound cliche and overexaggerated, however the bonds fashioned all through the lengthy season have ready the Panthers for March. 

An older and skilled group, Pitt completed the 12 months 22-11 total and 14-6 in ACC play, placing the Panthers again within the NCAA Match for the primary time in seven years. The tradition and comradery created this season has largely impacted this system’s success. 

“I feel it’s enormous,” head coach Jeff 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 widespread in all of these actually good groups is that they like one another. It’s their relationships off the courtroom.”

Pitt faces Mississippi State Tuesday Capel expressed the significance of sticking collectively through the grind of a protracted season and embracing their teammate’s personalities, molding their relationships into one larger than basketball.

“I feel the extra your teammates and the extra you genuinely care about them — and I feel the one method you possibly can actually care about somebody is to get to know them — that goes a good distance,” Capel stated. “These seasons are lengthy. You’re round one another lots. In case you don’t get alongside and also you don’t like one another, it makes it depressing. It’s been nice for us this 12 months simply to look at these relationships occur, to look at how these guys genuinely care about one another.”

Gamers together with Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, and Nike Sibande know that is it. One closing experience to make their mark on the faculty basketball panorama and take Pitt deep into the event for the primary time since 2009 (Elite Eight). 

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

Franklin Regional grad Aidan Fisch shifted from being a supervisor to the lively roster his closing three years at Pitt and has been across the Panthers, rising up in Pittsburgh, for fairly a while. He understands and appreciates the relationships essential to deliver Pitt basketball again to the event and the sensation it brings to town.

“Veteran management throughout,” Aidan Fisch stated. “Simply guys who’ve been to the Match. They know what it takes. That’s actually massive for everybody. Utilizing that have to maneuver into March. That’s been the main target because the starting of the rationale. To make {that a} actuality has been enormous for the group.

“It’s an enormous deal for town and everybody round. Rising up right here I do know that Pittsburgh loves a winner. You’ve seen it with the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers. After they’re not so good, the fan base isn’t as into it, however after they’re good, town will rally round them. Being again for the primary time in [seven years] is a large deal.”

Capel additionally famous the closeness of the group permits for exhausting issues to be stated to 1 one other. The Panthers will attempt for a unified assault and method on Tuesday towards Mississippi State to make their method again to Greensboro the place Iowa State awaits the winner within the Spherical of 64.

“I’ve walked within the locker room at halftime, and I’ve heard them getting on one another,” Capel stated. “And one of many cool issues about it’s that it’s executed with love, so it’s not just like the man is hanging again at him or takes it personally or no matter. You recognize he cares about you, so it’s coming from a terrific place.”


WATCH: Jamarius Burton Connects on Recreation-Profitable Shot to Push Panthers to Spherical of 64



DAYTON, Ohio – With the ball in his arms, down by one, and the whole faculty basketball world tuned into Dayton, Ohio, Jamarius Burton delivered the shot of his life.

With 10 seconds remaining, the graduate scholar related on an off-balanced floater to place Pitt forward 60-59 in what turned the game-winning basketball to advance previous Mississippi State within the First 4.

Burton handled foul bother and performed with 4 down the stretch. He completed with six factors, three assists, and three rebounds. The Panthers advance to play within the Spherical of 64 for the primary time since 2016. 

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WATCH: Hear from Greg Elliott, Jorge Diaz Graham, Blake Hinson Contained in the Locker Room After Pitt’s First 4 Victory



DAYTON, Ohio – March is made for insanity. The Pitt Panthers lead by six factors late within the second half in opposition to Mississippi State and held on to defeat the Bulldogs 60-59 within the NCAA Event First 4.

The College of Dayton Enviornment gave the impression of a house sport for the Panthers as “lets go Pitt’ chants rained down from the 13,435-seat area. Pitt advances again to Greensboro, North Carolina, to face No. 6 Iowa State Friday at 3 p.m. Hear from Greg Elliott, Blake Hinson, and Jorge Diaz Graham contained in the locker room following the victory.

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Jamarius Burton Performs Hero as Pitt Beats Mississippi State in First-4 Thriller, 60-59



DAYTON, Ohio — It was the ultimate spherical of a 40-minute combat.

Pitt and Mississippi State had been locked in an air-tight battle within the First 4 on Tuesday night time, and with lower than ten seconds to go, the Panthers had the ball within the palms of their chief: Jamarius Burton.

One Panther was going to take the shot, and each Pitt fan in attendance knew who.

Burton delivered.

The graduate senior hit his signature mid-range jumper, giving Pitt again the lead, 60-59, with 10 seconds left. On the subsequent Mississippi State possession, Pitt’s Guillermo Diaz-Graham swatted away a Tolu Smith try on the rim with three seconds to go in triumphant style. After one final cease within the ultimate three, Pitt gained the battle, 60-59.

Pitt had superior to the spherical of 64 within the NCAA Match for the primary time since 2016 on the heels of the most important shot of Burton’s profession and the most important block of Diaz-Graham’s.

From the beginning, this one was a back-and-forth battle by which neither crew might draw back.

Mississippi State — who entered the sport because the worst three-point capturing crew within the nation — got here out of the gates on hearth, hitting 4 of its first 5 three-point makes an attempt whereas the Panthers centered their defensive efforts on the large man Smith.

Pitt absorbed the Bulldogs’ early punches and answered with a scorching stretch of its personal, happening a 10-0 run whereas Mississippi State missed eight straight area targets. All through the remainder of the half, the 2 groups battled as six gamers scored for every crew within the body.

Nelly Cummings led Pitt with 9 factors within the first, adopted by Greg Elliott with eight and Nike Sibande with six. Regardless of Mississippi State’s early scorching streak, the Panthers shot the higher proportion from deep within the first, hitting eight of their 13 tries whereas Mississippi State hit simply one among its final ten three-point makes an attempt.

Inside, the Bulldogs continued to bully Pitt on the glass as anticipated. The Panthers — with out massive man Federiko Federiko (knee) — misplaced the board battle 27-13 within the first half. DJ Jeffries grabbed eight early rebounds for the Bulldogs, whereas the crew’s main rebounder on the 12 months Smith grabbed six. On the half, Pitt led 35-34.

Whereas Pitt seemed to Cummings and Sibande for offensive manufacturing within the neck-and-neck battle, Burton rode the bench — including his second foul early within the first half and choosing up his third early within the latter half.

Burton checked again in with simply over 13 minutes to go within the second, however lower than one minute later., picked up his fourth. The Bulldogs had neutralized Burton, and the Panthers Smith.

Pitt regained the lead within the back-and-forth affair on a transition layup by Sibande with seven-and-a-half to go. Mississippi State, nonetheless, countered proper again with yet one more good jumper off the palms of Shakeel Moore.

For the Panthers, Nelly Cummings completed because the crew’s main scorer with 15, whereas Greg Elliott added 13 and Blake Hinson added 12 factors.

With the win, No. 11 Pitt improves to 23-11 on the 12 months and advances to play Iowa State within the Spherical of 64 in Greensboro on Friday, March 17 at 3 p.m. on Tru TV.

The Panthers haven’t gained a primary spherical sport within the NCAA Match for the reason that 2013-14 season.

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