We've been over this before, but Dante Taylor isn't a star - we all know that. But his presence is desperately needed for Pitt and the backup center is a bit on the mend.
Taylor suffered a bruised heel in Pitt's win over Bethune-Cookman a few weeks ago and missed the team's game against Delaware State. Taylor did get back into the lineup against Kennesaw State in the team's last game, but played only 13 minutes - about five less than his season average. And what's worse is that the injury was healing a bit slowly as of last weekend, according to the Trib's Karen Price:
"We‘re trying to figure out why it‘s not healing, why it‘s not getting better," Dixon said Friday. "He‘s been in a lot of pain. We tried him on Wednesday for shoot-around, and he was really in a lot of discomfort and couldn‘t do much at all. We knew he wasn‘t going to be able to play."
Taylor isn't having a huge season, but he's definitely contributing, averaging about five points and five rebounds per game. Ken Pomeroy even named him one of the nation's best 7th men off the bench (Insider article). The rebounding is really where Pitt needs him and as the only true option at backup center (as long as Malcolm Gilbert stays redshirted, anyway), the Panthers need him to be healthy.
The good news for Pitt is that starting center Steven Adams has done a good job of staying out of foul trouble this season. He's only had more than two fouls on one occasion and it will be easier for Pitt to get by without Taylor if he does that. But playing Talib Zanna at the position and other players out of position isn't ideal.
Point blank - Pitt is better off if Taylor is healthy.
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