It doesn't matter if you call him Michael or Mike Young, as long as you realize how vital he is to this year's Panther team. Young has been asked to not only be the player for Pitt down low, but also to play out of position a fair amount of the time. Due to the Panthers' problems at the center position, Young has held down forward and center at different times this season and has done it as well as can be expected. This week was no different as Young is our Panther of the Week in an up and down stretch for Pitt last week, holding off another tremendous effort from Jamel Artis.
The sophomore from Duquesne came out strong in a victory over Boston College last Tuesday. Young finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, and two assists. He also came up huge where many of Pitt's big men have fallen short in years past and nailed 12 of 15 from the free throw line. Many of those helped keep the Eagles at bay. Young matched his point total in Sunday's game with 22 more points in a disappointing loss to Wake Forest. The 6'9" forward/center also came down with eight rebounds, one assist, and a steal. He also finished six out of eight from the charity stripe, giving him almost 80% from the free throw line for the week.
As mentioned already, Young had to hold off Artis for the award this past week and the tipping point came in the form of taking care of the ball. Artis finished the week with six turnovers on the week. A couple of them were costly, while Young took better care of the rock with only one turnover for the entire week. It's small numbers like that, which will either put Pitt into the NCAA Tourney or make them learn some lessons in the NIT instead.