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Pitt Early Enrollee WR Israel Polk is Able to Present Off What He Can Do



Israel Polk had dedicated to Washington State. However he didn’t have a graphic prepared.

It was a few week earlier than December’s Signing Day, and he was dedicated to Colorado State when he acquired a house go to from a few Washington State coaches.

He decommitted from Colorado State and instructed the WSU coaches that he was dedicated. However he didn’t announce something. Nobody knew he was dedicated. However when he wakened the following morning, he acquired a textual content from Pitt. He acquired a proposal, and Pat Narduzzi and Tim Salem can be making a house go to of their very own.

He could have began the day within the Bay Space, however he went to sleep that night time in Pittsburgh as a part of his official go to.

“They simply shot me straight,” Polk mentioned. “I felt like I had a terrific probability to come back in and ball and make a distinction. They flew me out the identical night time, had a terrific weekend and I simply felt prefer it was residence up right here. Coach (Tiquan) Underwood is a superb dude.”

Polk — a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wideout from St. John Bosco Excessive in California — dedicated to Pitt simply three days after he acquired the provide over affords from Military, Brown, California, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, Oregon State, Princeton, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State, UNLV, Washington State and Yale.

He made the choice to depart residence early to go to Pitt, enrolling on the college in mid-January, however he’s no stranger to creating tough selections both.

Polk left his hometown Pittsburg Excessive within the Bay Space to attend his senior season of highschool at nationwide powerhouse St. John Bosco Excessive within the Los Angeles space. He joined a crew that featured main Division I expertise at each degree — particularly wideout.

“For me,” Polk mentioned, “I simply wished to be on a large enough stage to indicate what I can do.”

And he got here in and led the squad with 26 receptions, including 458 yards (17.6 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns in 2022 — exhibiting an all-around knack for locating the top zone. All at 16 years previous. He simply turned 17.

St. John Bosco fulfilled its hype final season, successful the CIF – Open Division championship and being named MaxPreps’ nationwide champion. And Polk showcased his means in an enormous manner, but it surely was extra about incomes that respect, which is his plan as soon as once more now that he’s at Pitt.

“After I went there, I confirmed all people what I might do, and that’s type of my plan right here,” Polk mentioned. “I don’t count on anybody handy me something as a result of that’s how I would like it to go. I wish to work for every thing, I would like to have the ability to acquire that respect and belief.”

It’s solely been a month since Polk arrived again in Pittsburgh full-time, studying the Pittsburgh space, beginning lessons in Oakland and getting used to the ability on the South Facet, however he’s been greeted by the large receiver’s room with open arms.

“It’s an actual family-oriented place,” Polk mentioned. “The gamers are cool, the coaches, every thing, it’s a house. Myles Alston, that’s my man, Konata Mumpfield, Bub Means, all these guys within the receiving room are actually cool and simply have given me tricks to simply kinda inform me what I have to do to indicate what I can do.”

Polk watched how a participant like Jared Wayne operated in Pitt’s large receivers’ room final season, seeing how he scored three touchdowns towards Miami, and he’s excited to carve his personal path.

He sees how Pitt’s offense beneath Frank Cignetti Jr. plans to scheme its wideouts open.

“I really feel like there’s no restrict to my sport,” Polk mentioned. “I can do no matter. I began off as a quarterback as a younger child — performed operating again, too. I simply wanna ball.”

If Polk is something, he’s versatile. He’s executed all of it at the highschool degree, however with regards to making an affect on the collegiate degree, he can see himself inside or exterior. He’ll doubtless see each.

Pitt’s offense, in fact, is far more complicated. The terminology and the scheme are totally different, however he’s studying daily. And he’ll proceed to be taught by means of the spring.

With regards to Polk’s adjustment to Pittsburgh as an entire, as a self-identified homebody, it’s been the relationships he’s already constructed which have stood out.

And, in fact, regardless of the Bay Space roots, Polk has a relationship with Pitt already. His uncle Latef Grim starred as a wideout on the Panthers’ Large East squads within the late Nineteen Nineties. He fashioned an elite duo with Biletnikoff Award winner Antonio Bryant in 2000.

Grim left Pitt as its all-time chief in receptions, a document that has since been damaged by Tyler Boyd and Devin Avenue, however he carved his place into Pitt historical past. He caught 178 passes for two,680 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Polk has large sneakers to fill with regards to his uncle, however he’s planning to come back in, work and earn the respect and belief of the teaching workers, his teammates and Pitt followers.


PSN’s Dominic Campbell to Present Protection of Pitt Wrestling from NCAA Championships in Tulsa



Pitt is sending six wrestlers to Tulsa, Okla. for the NCAA Championships from March 16-18, in hopes of a Nationwide Champion and a stable workforce end.

Pittsburgh Sports activities Now could be sending me, Dominic Campbell, out to Tulsa as nicely, to offer round the clock protection on the Panthers on the Championships for the following three days.

Pitt wrestling protection on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now could be sponsored by the Pittsburgh Wrestling Membership.

Pittsburgh Wrestling Club

This system has not had a person Nationwide Champion since present head coach Keith Gavin did as a wrestler at Pitt in 2008 at 174 kilos.

Three wrestlers for the Panthers have an ideal likelihood to attain that feat, which might be the primary for Gavin in his six seasons as head coach.

The primary of those wrestlers is none apart from redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi. Bonaccorsi is a neighborhood product out of Bethel Park Excessive Faculty and is at present undefeated on the yr with a 19-0 file at 197 kilos, incomes him the No. 1 seed on the Championships.

Bonaccorsi has had success earlier than on the NCAA Championships, making it to the 197 kilos Last in 2021 because the No. 6 seed, earlier than dropping to No. 4 A.J. Ferrari of Oklahoma State. With this being his fifth consecutive time on the NCAA Championships, Bonaccorsi has an ideal likelihood to complete his profession because the nation’s finest in his weight class.

Redshirt senior Cole Matthews is one other Pitt wrestler that has an ideal alternative to win a Nationwide Title. Matthews had an ideal season as he accrued a file of 19-1 and earned the No. 3 seed on the Championships at 141 kilos.

Matthews completed in Fifth Place final yr and his capacity to catch opponents off guard and make takedowns is his finest power. He has some nice competitors that he’ll doubtless face within the later rounds, like No. 1 Iowa senior Actual Woods (16-0) and No. 2 Northern Colorado junior Andrew Alirez (23-0) who’re unbelievable wrestlers themselves.

Redshirt senior Micky Phillippi, like his finest buddy Bonaccorsi, has one final shot for a Nationwide Title. Phillippi had a 13-3 file this season  at 133 kilos and is a good defensive wrestler, as he makes it extraordinarily tough for his opponents to defeat him.

His one weak spot is that he doesn’t assault in addition to among the finest in his weight class. No. 5 NC State redshirt sophomore Kai Orine (15-5) defeated Phillippi twice, a 3-1 sudden victory for the ACC Title on March 5 and 2-1 on tiebreakers in a duel match on Feb. 10. Orine managed to make vital and decisive strikes on Phillippi late in shut matches that gave him the victory.

Phillippi’s defensive capacity provides him the prospect to defeat any opponent, however he’ll must make essential assaults to win a Nationwide Title on the No. 9 seed.

Gavin used the switch portal to nice success within the offseason and introduced brothers in No. 16 redshirt junior Reece Heller (18-8) at 184 kilos and No. 20 redshirt senior Holden Heller (14-6) at 165 kilos from Hofstra.

The brothers aren’t prone to win a Nationwide Title, however nonetheless have the chance to put excessive. They’re each sturdy in relation to scrambling, which permits them to get out of robust positions and prevents opponents from pinning them or scoring as many factors as they want.

No. 28 redshirt first-year Luca Augustine (15-9) is the bottom seed of any Pitt wrestler. Augustine is a robust wrestler at 174 kilos and is making his first look on the NCAA Championships. He did nice wrestling for the USA final summer season by turning into the U20 Freestyle Nationwide Champion and the U20 Pan-American Freestyle Champion.

Keep tuned for additional protection from me as I spend the following three days in Tulsa masking these proficient group of wrestlers. Right here is the schedule beneath, all in japanese normal time.

Pittsburgh Sports activities Now will likely be in Tulsa offering protection on the NCAA Wrestling Championships this week across the clock, so ensure that to get your Pitt wrestling protection right here. The schedule for NCAA Wrestling Championships seems like this. All instances are within the japanese normal time zone.

Thursday, March 16

Session 1 – 12:00 pm (Preliminaries & First Spherical)

Session 2 – 7:00 pm (Candy 16 & Consolations)

Friday, March 17

Session 3 – 12:00 pm (Quarterfinals & Consolations)

Session 4 – 8:00 pm (Championship Semifinals & Spherical of 12)

Saturday, March 18

Session 5 – 11:00 am (Putting Matches)

Session 6 – 7:00 pm (Championship Finals)

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Spherical of 64: The Story of the Tape Between Pitt and Iowa State



The Pitt Panther basketball staff little doubt celebrated Tuesday night time following this system’s first NCAA basketball event win in 9 seasons, however that’s now up to now.

Jeff Capel and employees probably spent the night and elements of this morning learning their subsequent opponent: the Iowa State Cyclones.

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger and the Cyclones completed the season with an total file of 19-13 and actually struggled down the stretch, dropping 9 of their final 13 video games.

Regardless of this late-season droop, Iowa State was given a No. 6 seed by the NCAA Event committee, largely due to the convention they reside in and their laptop metrics.

Iowa State completed the season No. 20 within the NET Rankings and No. 24 within the KenPom Scores.

Right here’s a take a look at their physique of labor for the 2022-23 season:

Non-conference schedule

Iowa State’s greatest wins got here in opposition to North Carolina, Villanova and St. John’s, none of whom made the NCAA Event. The 2 event groups that they did play had been UConn and Iowa, each losses.

Huge 12 schedule

Iowa State began out robust, successful 5 of its first six video games, together with wins over Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Texas. But it surely was short-lived because the Cyclones closed the season by dropping 10 of their remaining 15 video games. The losses got here in opposition to Oklahoma State (twice), Missouri, Texas Tech, West Virginia (twice), Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Seven of these 10 losses got here on the street.

Like Mississippi State, the power of Iowa State’s staff is its protection, which is ranked within the High 10 nationally.

Iowa State will little doubt have a deeper bench than Pitt as Otzelberger will use eight, perhaps 9 gamers. Iowa State averages 68.4 factors per recreation (ranked 267th within the nation) and has two gamers that averaged double-digit factors: guard Jaren Holmes (13.4 pts) and guard Gabe Kalscheur (12.9 pts).

Right here’s a comparability of those two groups when it comes to staff statistics.

Pitt Iowa State
Factors Per Sport 75.6 68.4
Area Objective % 45.1 45
3PT Area Objective % 36.2 33.9
Free Throw % 75.7 67.4
Rebounds Per Sport 33 30.7
Offensive Rebounds Per Sport 8.7 9.8
Steals Per Sport 5.2 8.8
Turnovers Per Sport 10.6 12.5

The oddsmakers at the moment listing Iowa State as a four-point favourite. Iowa State and Pitt will tip off at 3:10 p.m. Friday in Greensboro, N.C., with a tv broadcast on TruTV.

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Nelly Cummings No Stranger to Crew-Excessive Level Totals in NCAA Match



DAYTON, Ohio – When the moments mattered most and the lights flashed brightest, Nelly Cummings was there to shine. 

In his last yr of eligibility and lone season with the Panthers, the Lincoln Park alum recorded team-highs in factors (15) and assists (4) in Pitt’s 60-59 First 4 victory towards Mississippi State on the nationwide stage.

“It undoubtedly felt good,” Cummings stated. “We’ve been doing all of it yr lengthy, so it was only a testomony to our work all yr, and I believe all the pieces got here collectively for us at present for certain.”

Cummings entered the evening averaging 11 factors and 159 whole assists. He’s no stranger to March Insanity, scoring a team-best 20 factors for Colgate in final yr’s NCAA Match towards Wisconsin and posted 14 factors in Colgate’s assembly with Arkansas two years in the past. His management and talent to assault the basket had been on full show within the one-point win to information the Panthers to their first Match win since 2014 and the primary time within the Spherical of 64 since 2016.

We’re undoubtedly enthusiastic about that win and going to take pleasure in it at present [Tuesday], however our work doesn’t cease right here,” Cummings stated after the sport. “We’re a hungry staff who’s prepared for no matter problem in entrance of us.”

Pitt led 35-34 after 20 minutes of play and was a large sufficient margin to take care of within the second half. It didn’t come with out a see-saw kind of evening on the scoreboard. 21 lead adjustments outlined the Panthers’ first March Insanity in seven years earlier than Jamarius Burton sunk the game-winning shot with 10 seconds remaining and Pitt held up defensively on the opposite finish.

It’s a dogfight,” Cummings stated. “Coming into this recreation, we had been ready for that. However if you’re within the dogfight it’s a whole lot of adrenaline, a whole lot of emotion, a whole lot of consideration to element. And I believe at present [Tuesday] we did a extremely good job of that and staying on activity and understanding our task.”

Lacking Federiko Federiko to a knee damage courting again to final week, the Panthers knew rebounding could be a problem. Mississippi State dominated the glass 49-28 together with 18-6 on the offensive boards. Regardless, Pitt locked in when it mattered most to safe a 58-52 lead with three minutes remaining – that was misplaced earlier than Burton’s game-winner – and understood, as a veteran staff, what it took to maneuver on in March.

“The eye to element we needed to have to take care of all through the sport was one thing that we talked about as quickly as we came upon who we had been taking part in,” Cummings stated. “As quickly as we noticed the matchup, we knew we must be locked in defensively. Being that Federiko wasn’t taking part in, we simply understood the task and actually simply adopted it.”

The No. 11 seed Panthers will face No. 6 Iowa State Friday at 3 p.m. from Greensboro, North Carolina. Pitt returns to the Greensboro Coliseum – residence of the 2023 ACC Match – lower than per week after defeating Georgia Tech and shedding to Duke to shut ACC competitors. The sport is about to start at 3 p.m.

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