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Panther of the Week: Michael Young

There was lots of talking about the off-season improvement of Pitt's Michael Young and in the first week of the season, to lead Pitt to a 2-0 start.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of Pitt's basketball season did not get off to a good start - that's an understatement.

The announced suspension of Durand Johnson kicked off the basketball season about an hour before the first tip. This was not good news and one wondered if the Panthers would be able to survive the absence of both Johnson and Cam Wright, who is out for a few more weeks with an injury. There was a lot of talk about everyone's favorite whipping boy from last year, Michael Young, improving in the offseason. Many were disappointed in Young's play last year and seemed to forget that he was a true freshman.

Young decided the best way to calm his critics was to work his tail off this summer and shut them up on the floor as his game matured. Through the first two games, he's off to a solid start. First, Young helped Pitt to a 78-45 blowout of Niagara and then came up big yesterday a closer than expected seven-point win over Samford. The second game wasn't pretty, but the bottom line is Pitt is 2-0 on the young season, one week closer to getting Cam Wright back, and the sophomore from St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, NJ) has fans excited about his play.

There wasn't much needed from the power forward on Friday night in the romp of Niagara, but Young still chipped in seven points, seven rebounds, and one assist in just 21 minutes. A big game was needed against Samford and Young provided it pouring in a game-high 20 points with five rebounds, and one assist. Young connected on 10 of 13 from the field and added a key block late in the game.

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