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Pitt Picks Up Dedication From Florida Switch 4-Star WR Daejon Reynolds



There was all the time an opportunity that Jared Wayne would come again for another season, however even when he did, Pitt wanted broad receivers.

Wayne declared for the draft after the Solar Bowl, and Pitt’s want for impression broad receivers solely grew extra vital. Right here comes a possible choice.

Florida 4-star switch broad receiver Daejon Reynolds has dedicated to Pitt, giving Underwood and the teaching workers a wideout with potential and three seasons of eligibility within the system.

Reynolds, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound broad receiver from Grayson Excessive in Loganville, Georgia, initially dedicated to Florida over an unlimited provide sheet that included Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Reynolds entered the portal when it opened on Dec. 5, after choosing up a proposal from Pitt the subsequent day, he lastly made it out for a go to final weekend. He hung out on the Pitt basketball sport with the teaching workers — and new quarterback Phil Jurkovec — as a part of his down round city.

He redshirted after only one look as a real freshman, and he caught 22 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns in a restrict position final season. He entered the switch portal looking for a better alternative following the season.

Reynolds didn’t obtain a ton of alternative in Florida’s run-heavy offense, however he hauled in 11-of-16 targets. His 244 receiving yards (22.2 yards per reception) had been fourth on the squad in 2022.

An explosive efficiency towards Vanderbilt, one in all his solely alternatives at an prolonged run of play in Florida’s offense, highlighted the potential he has to supply.

Reynolds hauled in eight of his 10 targets for 165 yards and two touchdowns towards the Commodores — touchdowns of 74 and 16 yards.

He lined up virtually equally within the slot and out broad, racked 65 yards after the catch and caught all three of his contested targets.

In 5 prior appearances, he solely obtained 23 offensive snaps. He obtained 43 towards Vanderbilt and 29 towards Florida State two weeks later — however simply two targets.

In all seven appearances, Reynolds obtained 95 offensive snaps. He lined up exterior 54.7% of these snaps. With 122 yards after catch, a strong 11.1 YAC per reception, he flashed a playmaking means with the ball in his palms.

He caught all three of his contested targets, averaged 2.74 yards per route run and Florida quarterbacks posted a 151.0 ranking when focusing on him in 2022.

If there’s an space the place maybe extra enjoying time and elevated reps will assist Reynolds going ahead, it’s his focus in hauling in passes, as PFF credited him with three drops final season.

Reynolds joins a large receiving corps that options Konata Mumpfield and Bub Means as skilled choices, Myles Alston, Che Nwabuko and Addison Copeland as gamers who spent a minimum of a season within the system and a few true freshmen in Lamar Seymore, Kenny Johnson, Israel Polk and Zion Fowler.

It’s seemingly that Pitt isn’t carried out broad receivers within the switch portal both.


Duquesne Counting on Sturdy Chemistry On, Off the Court docket Throughout Late Season Grind



Coming off a win over George Washington, Duquesne now sits at 15-8 on the 12 months with an excellent .500 convention document of 5-5.

The Dukes have eight convention matchups remaining on the 12 months earlier than the A10 Match in Brooklyn, New York. 5 of these eight, together with every of the subsequent three, will come proper at residence on the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now could be sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting younger males on the trail to a greater future.

Setting young men on the path to a better future.

Duquesne has gained two of its final three video games after dropping three of 4 video games from Jan. 7 to Jan. 21. Over its previous three video games, Dae Dae Grant has averaged 18 factors and 6.3 rebounds per sport with simply 4 whole turnovers, whereas Jimmy Clark III has averaged 14.3 factors, 4.7 rebounds, and three.3 assists per sport in that span. Forwards Tre Williams and Joe Reece have every contributed as effectively, as Reece is averaging 9.3 factors and 4 rebounds per contest in his final three and Williams is averaging seven factors and a couple of.3 blocks per sport.

“I simply love the group right here and the way a lot we gel collectively,” Grant instructed Pittsburgh Sports activities Now. “It’s simply actually family-oriented and never solely nearly basketball each time, day-after-day, each second of the day. It’s extra so different issues. ‘Are you alright,’ checking in on folks, simply issues of that nature to only make certain everyone’s psychological well being area is nice in addition to bodily area.”

Grant, the crew’s main scorer on the season, spent three years at Miami Ohio earlier than coming to Pittsburgh to hitch the Dukes this previous offseason. Within the time since, he has constructed a good bond along with his complete group of teammates already.

“We do so much,” Grant stated concerning the crew’s off-the-court exercise. “Folks come to my crib and chill. We watch video games, hoops, in the lounge. We go bowling, out to eat, we go to the mall after lessons. A few of them go to video games and stuff, we exit and assist our [Duquesne] video games, attempt to get others to assist our video games, go out flyers, stuff like that round campus. We have now conferences and dinners, exit to eat, so it’s a varied quantity of issues that we do to attempt to keep linked.”

“One of many issues we do, is we wish to go to the films, man,” Williams added with a smile. “I’ve been to the films right here in all probability about 20 occasions. That’s one thing we do as a gaggle typically.”

Grant, Williams, and the remainder of the Dukes will look to capitalize on the great crew chemistry that they’ve constructed all through the remainder of the 12 months to complete robust in league play and make a run within the Atlantic 10 match.

“I believe they’ve phenomenal bonds,” head coach Keith Dambrot instructed PSN. “They’re actually shut. Like one another, spend lots of time collectively, which supplies them a very good probability to have success, no query about it.”

Dambrot’s squad takes on George Mason up subsequent on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. from the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

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The Frank Walker Regulation/PSN Each day Pocket book- February 7



  Replace (9:12 AM)- Pitt is as much as a No. 8 seed with out taking part in a sport prior to now 6 days. Simply hold successful, and the 5 or 6 line could be fully potential for Pitt. — Kyle Saxon (@DixonDisciple) February 7, 2023

The submit The Frank Walker Regulation/PSN Each day Pocket book- February 7 appeared first on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now.

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Fede Federiko: From Finland to Forbes Avenue



Sisu is a Finnish phrase that loosely interprets as intestinal fortitude—guts, in plain English—however the connotation means far more.

Standing tall within the face of overwhelming odds, persevering regardless of nearly no probability of success. For a rustic that rests within the shadow of the Arctic Circle, the place the solar barely climbs above the horizon in winter, for a tradition that endured regardless of lots of of years of colonization by the Swedish and Russian empires, sisu embodies the Finnish lifestyle. 

For a group projected to complete 14th within the ACC earlier than the season began, a group that appeared lifeless within the water after early-season losses to West Virginia, Michigan and VCU, a group that now stands because the second-best group within the convention with lower than a month to go, sisu is an ideal metaphor for Pitt Basketball’s season. They weren’t imagined to be right here.

Panthers’ middle Fede Federiko grew up in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. As such, he is aware of all about sisu. 

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Federiko moved to Helsinki at a younger age, and praised the nation for his numerous upbringing.

“Finland is wonderful. It’s tremendous enjoyable. It’s lots of people from completely different nations too,” Federiko mentioned. “I grew up with individuals, associates from Somalia, from Spain, Italy, Russia, Sweden, so loads of completely different cultures.”

Raised in that melting-pot surroundings, Federiko speaks 4 languages: Finnish, Swedish, English and Arabic. It’s additionally the place he acquired his begin as an athlete, favoring soccer at first. As he grew to face 6-foot-11, nonetheless, his mother took fast motion.

“I used to be a soccer man as a result of my dad performed soccer. It was automated for me, enjoying soccer at school with my associates,” Federiko mentioned. “Then I began rising in peak and my mother mentioned ‘yeah, you’re enjoying basketball.’”

Pittsburgh Panthers middle Federiko Federiko (33) December 30, 2022 David Hague/PSN

From Finland to Forbes Avenue

Eager on drawing faculty provides, Federiko moved to Washington, Pa. for his senior yr of highschool, enjoying at First Love Christian Academy.

It was the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the 2020-2021 tutorial yr. Federiko mentioned that due to the restrictions, he didn’t get an opportunity to expertise life in America to the fullest—each in basketball, and college normally.

“It was completely different, nevertheless it was enjoyable…it was the Covid yr too, so I didn’t actually get to expertise the whole lot absolutely,” Federiko mentioned. “I had wonderful associates. I had my boy from Finland, Mustapha Amzil, who performs for Dayton proper now. He was there [at FLCA] with me, so I wasn’t there alone.”

Federiko displayed that outlook repeatedly, acknowledging the difficulties he’d confronted whereas specializing in the intense aspect in the identical breath.

“As a result of it was the Covid yr I didn’t actually choose up any provides.” I used to be like rattling, I’ve to go to JUCO,’” Federiko mentioned. “It harm and helped me on the identical time. It put me into this case, so I’m blessed.” 

Conflicting Kinds of Play

One of many issues that Federiko mentioned he struggled with as he grew accustomed to the US was the completely different model of basketball from how he performed in Finland.

“It’s [basketball in Finland] not just like the NBA, it’s extra of like a school basketball kind. Extra organized,” Federiko mentioned. “After I got here right here for the prep yr it was simply one-on-one’s. I’m a group participant, so one-on-ones have been mixing me up.” 

Federiko’s selfless basketball didn’t curry favor with collegiate coaches—the weirdness of the Covid yr didn’t assist both—so he needed to construct his resume with junior faculty enjoying time.

“What Did I Do?!”

Federiko mentioned that he was reluctant to go the JUCO route at first, even contemplating going professional again in Europe for a time.

“I talked to some coaches and got here throughout Northern Oklahoma’s coach. At first, I didn’t even wish to go there…I most likely [would’ve] stayed house in Finland: the Euroleague, enjoying in several nations,” Federiko mentioned. “After I flew to Oklahoma we drove for hours in the course of nowhere. I used to be like ‘rattling, what did I do? What did I do?! However it ended up being good.”

Federiko earned an NJCAA Honorable Point out All-America choice as he helped Northern Oklahoma to a league-best 21-8 common season document. He parlayed his efficiency right into a Division I provide from West Virginia. 

“La Familia”

Federiko mentioned {that a} go to to Pitt’s services spurred him to flip from the Mountaineers.

“Coach JC, he contacted me…I appreciated the vibe that he gave me,” Federiko mentioned. “I got here right here to go to with Blake [Hinson], met John [Hugley] and Nike [Sibande]. The vibe was simply nice. Speaking with the gamers and the connection, we wish to be higher, go and win video games. It was identical to ‘I wish to be right here.’”

Maybe most significantly, the Panthers supplied the model of group basketball that Federiko hadn’t been capable of finding but within the states. Every Panther is aware of their function and is comfortable to execute it, a far cry from latest Pitt groups: the chemistry is obvious to anybody who’s watched the Panthers this season, particularly after the apparent lack of it throughout Jeff Capel’s first 4 years as head man.

Pittsburgh Panthers middle Federiko Federiko (33) November 20, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The whole lot has fallen into place for the Panthers this season, and particularly for Federiko, who wasn’t even supposed to begin this season.

“I wasn’t anticipating to be a starter. I got here right here with the mentality of working arduous, doing the whole lot proper,” Federiko mentioned. “Proper now I’m grateful that I’m getting all this expertise, enjoying with guards like Nelly [Cummings], JB [Jamarius Burton], Nike, it’s wonderful.”

Federiko performs like a basic huge man: he doesn’t mild up the stat sheet, averaging 5.8 factors, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per recreation, however his contribution to the group goes far past the field rating. He units screens and guards the rim. Most significantly, Pitt is 10-3 since he turned the full-time starter, a ‘glue man’ of their miraculous turnaround.

Federiko mentioned that sisu isn’t practically as widespread in Finland as within the Finnish-American group— it’s primarily invoked by the Finnish navy as we speak. Nonetheless, he agreed that it’s a becoming metaphor for each his season individually and the Panthers’ as a complete. 

Federiko additionally supplied one other multicultural inspiration for Pitt’s season. This one comes from fellow huge males Jorge and Guillermo Diaz-Graham, who hail from Spain’s Canary Islands.

“The twins, each time we go to a huddle we are saying ‘familia,’” Federiko mentioned. “I really feel like we simply join, the whole lot simply connects completely.

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