This past week was one that Pitt fans would like to forget and who could blame them?Just when it seemed that the Panthers were coming together and starting to get after upending favorite Maryland, Panther fans experienced a let down. With senior Jamel Artis sitting out for disciplinary reasons, the Panthers ended their 15 year wining streak over Duquesne. The Dukes took out Pitt for the first time in a good while, 64-55.
Fortunately, for us, here at Cardiachill.com, it made choosing a Panther of the Week a little easier. That’s because Artis and fellow senior Michael Young, both had strong games in the win at College Park, MD. Artis’ absence against Duquesne, however, allowed for an easy decision on our end. Young ended up running away with the award this past week.
Young started out by hitting for 25 points, nine rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block against the Terps to help Pitt to a 14 point win. The highlight was a dunk, as time was winding down, followed by a Young shushing the Maryland student section. The Terps’ students did not appreciate it, but as anyone who has spent time around the DC area will tell you, they probably deserved it.
Friday was not so kind to Pitt. With Artis out, Young tried to will the Panthers to a victory, but fell short. The senior led all Pitt players with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal, and finally one block. Without Artis running the point, the young Panther guards did not do Kevin Stallings, and Pitt, any favors. After dropping 22 points on Maryland, Artis sat out due to violations of the Pitt program. Stallings indicated that Artis would be back in Pitt’s game Wednesday.
Artis could have made this a tough call, and given Pitt a chance at extending their streak over Duquesne. Instead they sit at 6-2 on the young season and have a damaging loss on their resume. Hopefully the dynamic duo will be back next game and Pitt can continue to gel together. This column will be tougher to write, but I prefer that, instead of having a runaway winner.