Pitt-West Virginia Add Two More Games to Backyard Brawl Series
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University have signed a contract to extend the Backyard Brawl through the 2022-23 basketball season, adding two additional games to a series that resumed during the 2017-18 season.
“The Pitt-West Virginia rivalry is one of the best in the country,” said head coach Jeff Capel. “Backyard Brawl says all you need to know about the intensity and energy around these games. Coach Huggins is an outstanding coach and has built a terrific program in Morgantown. We look forward to continuing the rivalry and building on the great tradition of the Backyard Brawl.”
Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 188th time this season, the most played series for the Panthers all-time against an opponent. Pitt is slated to travel to Morgantown, W.V., to face the Mountaineers, Friday, Nov. 13, in the final game of the original four-game Backyard Brawl presented by EQT series.
The Panthers will travel to the West Virginia Coliseum for the contest during the 2021-22 season before hosting the Mountaineers at the Petersen Events Center in 2022-23. Game dates have yet to be determined.
Pitt and West Virginia met for the first time in 1904, playing a pair of games prior to basketball becoming a varsity sport at the university. The first official contest between the two schools resulted in a 30-25 Pitt victory Feb. 17, 2006. Last season, the Panthers were unable to overcome a cold-shooting second half in a loss to the Mountaineers.
Pitt returns three of its top four scorers from a season ago, including double-figure scorers Justin Champagnie (12.7 ppg., 7.0 rpg.) and Xavier Johnson (11.7 ppg., 4.9 apg.). Two-year starter Au’Diese Toney also returns after averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season.
The Panthers also bring in one of the top recruiting classes in the ACC, led by top 100 prospects John Hugley and William Jeffress, Jr. Hugley, a 6-9, 240-pound forward, was ranked 77th by Rivals after averaging 24.0 points and 13.3 rebounds per game as a senior. Jeffress, Jr., a 6-7, 205-pound wing, was a three-time all-state selection before graduating early and joining the program following his junior year of high school. He was ranked 79thby Rivals and was a member of the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas gold medal team.
They are joined in the class by highly-touted guard Femi Odukale (6-5 – 185), three-time all-state selection Noah Collier (6-9 – 210) and top 5 recruit out of New York Max Amadasun (6-10 – 230).
Pitt is also expected to receive a lift from transfer guard Ithiel Horton, who is eligible after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Horton earned CAA All-Rookie Team honors after averaging 13.2 points and shooting 40.9 percent from three-point range with 79 made threes as a freshman at Delaware during the 2018-19 season.
Pitt vs. West Virginia Series History
All-Time Record: 88-99
At Petersen Events Center: 7-4
At WVU Coliseum: 10-26
(This story courtesy of Pitt Athletics )