Let’s be honest with each other about this past week for Pitt basketball. It wasn’t kind. They dropped two more games to lower their record to 15-16 overall and 4-14 in the conference, heading into the ACC Tournament. The games were not pretty, but we did make a little history this past week. That’s because Cam Johnson did enough to give us our first underclassmen to win Panther of the Week this season. The sophomore was neck and neck with Michael Young, but Johnson’s overall stat line gave him the nod.
Against Georgia Tech, the Moon, PA native put up 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. He also continued to rack up the steals this season by adding on one more in the loss, in Atlanta. Johnson followed that up by hitting for nine points in the blowout loss to Virginia. No one lit up the scoreboard at UVA, but Johnson did also put up a Lamar Patterson-like stat line with five rebounds, two assists, four steals, and one block.
Johnson has quietly gone from a player that Panther fans complained about with regards to hustle, defense, and rebounding and turned it around this year. Now, he’s one of the few Pitt players that fans seem excited about coming back next season. He’s turned up the pressure on defense with a lot of steals and been a contributor on the boards.
Pitt will now head to the ACC Tournament to attempt to salvage something from this disaster of a season. Another strong performance by Cam Johnson could help them accomplish something in the post-season. I’m not talking about going on a run to the big dance by running the table in the conference post-season, but a win and a close game wouldn’t be a bad thing for this team. My, how times and goals have changed for this program.