Pitt wing Justin Champagnie put on a standout performance at the Carrier Dome on Saturday despite Pitt’s 69-61 loss to Syracuse, and he played a pivotal role in his team’s 74-72 home victory over Boston College last Wednesday. The native of Brooklyn, New York, led Pitt in points and rebounds in both contests and posted the fourth double-double of his college career against the Eagles, and for his efforts, he was named the Freshman of the Week by the ACC on Monday afternoon.
Justin Champagnie has earned Freshman of the Week honors!— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) January 27, 2020
He recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds in @Pitt_MBB's win over Boston College.
Over the past week, Champagnie averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 13-of-20 from the field. That included a 17-point, 10-rebound outing against Boston College and a 14-point, nine-rebound game against Syracuse. Of course, it was also a week of highs and lows for the freshman, as he came up with a game-saving steal against the Eagles but found himself in foul trouble against the Orange, which hurt the team. But Pitt’s success undoubtedly hinged on his play.
Champagnie is just the second player in program history to be named Freshman of the Week by the ACC, as Trey McGowens became the first during the 2018-19 season. McGowens won the honor twice, once after a 16-point showing against Colgate on Dec. 29, 2018 and once after his 33-point outburst in Pitt’s 89-86 upset of Louisville on Jan. 9, 2019.
While Champagnie has yet to go off for 30-plus points in one outing at the college level, he has consistently flaunted a balanced approach to the game that has benefited Pitt greatly this season. That includes reliable rebounding, reliable free-throw shooting and reliable scoring, all of which Pitt was sorely in need of entering year two of the Jeff Capel era.
Through 20 games this season, Champagnie is averaging 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. That places him third on the team in scoring, trailing only McGowens and Xavier Johnson, and first on the team in rebounding. In addition, he is the team’s second-most reliable free-throw shooter, as he has made 79.2 percent of his shots from the stripe.
Champagnie and the Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday night, as they will travel to Durham, North Carolina, to take on Duke.