Pitt small forward Justin Champagnie returned from a four-week injury layoff and led his team to a 96-76 rout of Syracuse at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday. In his return, he posted his fourth double-double of the season and led the team with 24 points and 16 rebounds, and for his efforts, he was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week on Monday.
Champagnie’s performance was notably backloaded, as he shook off some rust early in the game and finished the first half with a modest six points and six rebounds. But in the final frame, the Brooklyn native looked absolutely resurgent as he went on a furious 18-point, 10-rebound tear and dunked on the hapless Orange repeatedly to signal to the world that he was back at 100 percent.
The 6’6”, 200-pound wing split the honor with Virginia Tech point guard Tyrece Radford, who had 20 points and four rebounds in his team’s 64-60 win over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The Pitt wing previously won Player of the Week honors this season after posting back-to-back 20-point, 20-rebound games against Northwestern and Gardner-Webb.
With his second ACC Player of the Week nod of the season, Champagnie becomes the first Pitt player to earn the honor twice in one campaign since Michael Young was named ACC Player of the Week in consecutive weeks in November 2016. Young secured the two awards for strong showings against Eastern Michigan, Gardner-Webb, SMU, and Marquette to open the 2016-17 season, and during that four-game span, he averaged 24.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists and shot 44.4 from long range.
With Saturday’s performance in the books, Champagnie is averaging 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, both of which are team-high averages. Champagnie’s 12.9 rebounds per game also comfortably lead the ACC, with Syracuse small forward Quincy Guerrier’s average of 9.7 in a distant second.