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Sights and Sounds From Pitt’s First Spring Observe of 2023

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PITTSBURGH — Soccer has formally resumed on the South Facet.

Pitt soccer hit the indoor observe discipline on the UPMC Rooney Sports activities Advanced Tuesday morning, kicking off the spring soccer season with a beautiful opening observe session.

New quarterbacks Phil Jurkovec and Christian Veilleux threw their first official passes as Pitt quarterbacks, kicking off one more quarterback competitors, and the offense and protection started preparation for the spring sport subsequent month.

There will likely be 15 spring practices, concluding with the Blue-Gold Spring Recreation on April 15 at Acrisure Stadium, and it’s the primary probability to get a sneak peek at how Pitt would possibly look within the fall.

With vacated spots to fill throughout the roster, it will likely be intriguing to observe the progress made at positions like huge receiver, offensive line, line of defense, linebacker and security all through the spring.

There was a little bit of rust on the South Facet Tuesday morning, however that may rapidly be shaken off — Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaches will be certain of that.

Jurkovec and Veilleux each appeared stable throwing in opposition to the air Tuesday, and the flexibility to construct rapport with the likes of Konata Mumpfield, Bub Means, Daejon Reynolds and the youthful huge receivers on the roster will likely be vital, particularly contemplating the connection between quarterbacks and receivers wasn’t all the time clicking final season.

Lamar Seymore is a younger huge receiver, an early enrollee, to be monitored this spring.



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From Spain to the NCAA Event, Guillermo Diaz Graham Continues to Develop in First Season at Pitt

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DAYTON, Ohio – “It’s simply surreal.”

Guillermo and Jorge Diaz Graham got here to Pitt amongst a jam-packed recruiting class that includes veterans Nelly Cummings, Blake Hinson, and Greg Elliott and have been overshadowed by four-star freshman Dior Johnson in early anticipation of the 2022-23 season. Blended in with a neighborhood product – Cummings from Lincoln Park – and different gamers looking for a chance, the Diaz Graham brothers traveled the three,628-mile journey from the Canary Islands, Spain, to South Oakland for the chance of a lifetime.

Now? Everybody is aware of their names. 

The Panthers start the 2023 NCAA Event Tuesday night time in Dayton, Ohio, taking part within the First 4 as a No. 11 seed going through Mississippi State. Guillermo’s debut season has been a surreal expertise for him, soaking within the alternative and never letting the second go him by.

“We’d by no means think about ourselves being right here proper now,” Guillermo stated. “Now we have now this chance. Have enjoyable and luxuriate in it. Benefit from the second and luxuriate in each we have now.”

Pittsburgh Panthers ahead Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) February 21, 2023 David Hague/PSN

When coming to Pitt – beforehand enjoying at IMG Academy in Florida – Guillermo initially anticipated he would be taught from others and mould into a job for seasons to come back. To turn out to be as massive a contributor he has was one thing even Guillermo didn’t see coming. 

“No,” Guillermo stated. “To be trustworthy, I might by no means think about that. I assumed this 12 months was going to be a transition 12 months of me getting higher in follow and never enjoying that a lot, not having that a lot significance. However I’m simply grateful I bought the chance, and the whole lot is working good.” 

The 7-foot freshman scored a career-high 14 factors in Pitt’s ACC Event loss to Duke. The Panthers have an opportunity to return to Greensboro Friday within the Spherical of 64 going through No. 6 Iowa State. Guillermo’s season totals – 3.1 factors and a pair of.9 rebounds in 10 minutes per sport – don’t inform the total story relating to his development and growth all through the season, particularly down the stretch. A big lesson he realized got here from watching Hinson, the Panthers’ high three-point shooter, fail to waver after lacking a number of photographs however sustaining the identical mentality. One main takeaway for him entails staying optimistic and appreciating the whole lot round you.

“Take pleasure in each second and play with all of your coronary heart,” Guillermo stated. “Go on the market and do your finest. When you make a mistake, by no means put your head down. That’s one thing I used to do quite a bit. Each time I made a mistake, I might put my head down.” 

A big lesson he realized got here from watching Hinson, the Panthers’ high three-point shooter, fail to waver after lacking a number of photographs however sustaining the identical mentality. 

Pittsburgh Panthers ahead Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) January 7, 2023 David Hague/PSN

“I see these guys, they in fact make errors as a result of all of us do however they hold going. Perhaps Blake shouldn’t be capturing properly after which he makes 4 in a row. That’s one thing watching him that, I’m like ‘right this moment’s not his day’ then he makes 4 in a row’… I need to be like him.”

Jorge performs an analogous variety of minutes (9.3) and has totaled each 15 blocks and steals in 28 video games, together with one begin. He also can shoot the three-ball at a 34% clip (11-of-32). 

“Faculty basketball is similar to basketball abroad,” Jorge stated. “It’s organized basketball… The physicality is perhaps greater right here within the U.S. but it surely’s fairly comparable.”

Guillermo famous the ‘stage of grind’ is harder in america than abroad. He’s happy with what he has completed in his younger school profession however is much from glad. 

There’s nonetheless plenty of work to do,” Guillermo stated. “I’m joyful, however I’m nonetheless placing my head down and dealing. Completely satisfied however hungry.”



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Pitt Girls’s Basketball Teaching Search Replace

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Heather Lyke is making progress in attempting to rent the brand new head coach of the Pitt ladies’s basketball program.

Since Lyke made the choice to maneuver on from Lance White on March 3, she has already talked with a handful of candidates, and a supply near this system advised Pittsburgh Sports activities Now that a minimum of a number of of the coaches that Lyke has interviewed have made it right into a second spherical.

UMass head coach Tory Verdi, Toledo head coach Tricia Cullop and George Washington head coach Caroline McCombs have all interviewed with Pitt as soon as and can get interviews when Pitt advances to the second spherical. One other person who interviewed for the job was Marquette head coach Megan Duffy, but it surely’s not clear if she’ll speak with Lyke once more.

Verdi has been head coach at UMass since 2016 and has 25 years of expertise has each a collegiate {and professional} coach. Verdi coached groups have superior to postseason play 16 of the final 21 seasons since 2001-02. Previous to his time at UMass, Verdi was head coach at Japanese Michigan, the place he labored for Lyke.

Cullop, 51, has been the pinnacle coach at Toledo since 2008. Previous to that, she was head coach at Evansville for eight seasons. Her total report as a head coach is 419-268 (.610). Cullop has gained three MAC championships at Toledo, made it to the NCAA Event as soon as and the WNIT eight occasions, together with profitable it n 2011.

McCombs grew to become the pinnacle coach at George Washington in April 2021. Previous to that, McCombs was the chief of the Stony Brook program, the place she led the Seawolves to their first NCAA Event look in 2021. In seven years at Stony Brook, McCombs gained 130 video games. Previous to changing into a head coach, McCombs was an assistant coach, together with at Pitt from 2005-10.

Duffy, 38, has been the pinnacle coach at Marquette since 2019 and previous to that, she spent two seasons as head coach at Miami, Ohio, the place she went 44-20 total and 25-11 in league play. Since taking on at Marquette, Duffy has the very best profitable share of any coach in this system’s historical past, going 87-36 total and 53-23 in Large East play. In November 2021, Duffy was named as one of many 40 Underneath 40 rising stars in ladies’s basketball.

Regardless of having interviewed these candidates, our supply tells us {that a} determination on White’s substitute isn’t thought of imminent. Lyke might wish to see who else may grow to be out there as groups lose within the NCAA event.

The Pitt program simply completed its eighth consecutive dropping season and Lyke made the choice to begin over after White’s groups went 42-99 total and 11-75 in convention play throughout his tenure.



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Former Thomas Jefferson Star Chase Winovich Indicators With the Houston Texans

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The NFL journey will proceed for former Thomas Jefferson star Chase Winovich.

Winovich signed a 1-year, $2.75 million cope with the Houston Texans Monday afternoon, taking his identify off the market on the primary day of the 2023 NFL free company window, KPRC’s Austin Wilson reported.

Winovich spent the 2022 season with the Cleveland Browns, after arriving in a commerce from the New England Patriots final March, however he was solely capable of play in eight video games final season as he handled an damage.

In 4 NFL seasons, three with the Patriots and one with the Browns, the Jefferson Hills native has recorded 105 tackles (70 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, an interception, three cross breakups and a pressured fumble.

After a robust first two seasons in New England, Winovich hasn’t constantly been capable of keep on the sphere over his final two seasons. However he needs to be in line to carve out a minimum of a depth function on the Texans’ defensive position.

Winovich was drafted within the third spherical of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Michigan, the place he was an All-Large Ten and All-American performer. In 4 years in Ann Arbor, he racked up 166 tackles (86 solo), 43 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three pressured fumbles and recoveries and a cross breakup.

He initially dedicated to Michigan as a four-star recruit within the class of 2014, spurning heavy curiosity from childhood favourite Ohio State, amongst different colleges.



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