Panthers Tabbed 10th in ACC Preseason Rankings
[Pittsburgh Pa] – The University Pittsburgh men’s basketball team was tabbed 10th in the ACC Preseason rankings released by the conference office.
Second-year head coach Jeff Capel returns four starters from a year ago including a pair of
double-figure scorers in Xavier Johnson (15.5 ppg.) and Trey McGowens (11.6 ppg.).
Johnson earned All-ACC Freshman Team honors, while setting Pitt freshman records for
scoring, double figure scoring games, games with 15 or more points scored, 20+ point scoring games, free throws made, free throw attempts and field goal attempts. He was the only player in the ACC to average at least 15.5 points and 4.5 assists per game during the 2018-19 season.
McGowens scored in double figures 17 times and set a Pitt freshman record with 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a Jan. 9 overtime win against Louisville. The Pendleton, S.C., native also had 30 points, while going 18-of-19 from the foul line, in a 75-62 win over then 11th-ranked Florida State Jan. 14.
In addition, the Panthers return Au’Diese Toney (7.5 ppg., 5.6 rpg.), Terrell Brown (5.7 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 60 blocks) and Kene Chukwuka (3.9 ppg., .534 fg pct.), who each started 16 or more games last season. Pitts’ incoming class featuring graduate transfer Eric Hamilton, JUCO guard Ryan Murphy and the freshman trio of Justin Champagnie, Karim Coulibaly and Gerald Drumgoole, Jr. is also expected to make an immediate impact this season.
ACC Preseason Order of Finish
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Duke (51)
2. North Carolina (19)
3. Louisville (29)
4. Virginia (12)
5. Florida State
6. NC State
7. Notre Dame
12. Georgia Tech
13. Boston College
14. Virginia Tech
15. Wake Forest
Preseason All-ACC Team First Team
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
Tre Jones, Duke
Cole Anthony, North Carolina
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
Markell Johnson, NC State
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke
Chris Lykes, Miami
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina
Trent Forrest, Florida State
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