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Panther of the Week: Michael Young

Michael Young reclaimed his status as Panther of the Week with a bounce back performance in Pitt’s loss to NC State.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Young needed a bounce back game in the worst way and so did Pitt. In the end, it wasn’t enough, and the Panthers lost to the Wolfpack. But it was still nice to see Young back in the groove. The senior still sported a protective mask on his face last week, but it was a better fitted mask, and it showed. Young finished with 25 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks.

The game actually started poorly for Young, who missed on his first three field goals. He didn’t actually land a bucket, from the floor, until about six minutes were remaining in the first half. Despite that poor start, the Duquesne native finished hitting on nine shots in 19 attempts and was almost 50% from beyond the arc, going four of nine.

Pitt needs their dynamic duo to be on to have a chance, especially with Ryan Luther still out of action. When you miss one of them badly, like last week, you get a blowout loss to Miami. While this is still an L in the stat sheet for Pitt, it wasn’t the ugly loss the game before. Those can be demoralizing.

Even without the bad loss, it is still a loss and this column is still waiting for a third player to step up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If someone other than Artis or Young lands in this column, it’s either going to be very good or oh, so, so, so very bad. I do have my eye on Sheldon Jeter and Cam Johnson, though. One hustles his butt off on the glass and the other can be lights out from long distance. I’d love to be able to write one of their names in this column, especially if Young and Artis don’t exactly have bad weeks. One can dream.

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