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2014-15 Pitt Basketball Player Previews: Josh Newkirk

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Previewing sophomore sensation Josh Newkirk, who is primed for a breakout season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Name: Josh Newkirk

Position: Shooting guard/point guard

Class Sophomore

2013-14 Stats: 4.6 PPG, 1.7 APG, 46.3 percent shooting, 43.4 three-point shooting percentage


Overview

As a true freshman, Josh Newkirk played stellar in the short amount of time that he was allotted last season. He grew into a real threat as the season went on and should continue to grow in his sophomore year. He possesses great speed, the kind that can completely change the pace of any game and that should be on display throughout the season. His shooting percentages may go down a bit as he plays more throughout the season and takes more shots. That being said, I expect him to remain a decent shooter.


Strengths

Newkirk’s greatest strength is his ability to accelerate at any moment. He is such a quick guard, one who can travel baseline to baseline so quickly that he has the ability to really take over a game. His ability to shoot the ball at such a high percentage, should he be able to maintain that, can significantly stretch a defense. He demands to be covered from behind the arc and with his great speed can crash through the lane with relative ease.


Weaknesses

His greatest weakness could perhaps be his inexperience. Coming off of a successful freshman year, he really only saw increased playing time towards the end of the season. The lack of game experience could hurt him in tight ACC games throughout the season.


Conclusion

If you have read anything that I have previously written on Newkirk, it is no secret that I think highly of him. I think that he has the ability to be a star in the ACC with his offensive abilities and speed. He is the prototypical ACC guard that Pitt needs and really has great potential to have a breakout season. I predict that he will average somewhere around ten points per game and will start for the Panthers while Cameron Wright is sidelined with a broken foot.