Pitt star Justin Champagnie is in the midst of an outstanding sophomore season, and he has been rewarded for his efforts by the ACC, which has named him its Player of the Week three times. But Champagnie recently earned a greater honor from one of the most respected figures in the game, as Dick Vitale of ESPN named him a midseason All-American.
As one of five first-team honorees, the 6’6”, 200-pound small forward was placed in elite company. Iowa center Luka Garza is the headliner of the group, alongside Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga. And the first team is rounded out by Baylor point guard Jared Butler and Illinois point guard Ayo Dosunmu. Champagnie is the only first-teamer averaging a double-double.
Featured in the lower echelons of Vitale’s midseason All-America list are former five-star recruits Cam Thomas of LSU, a third-teamer, and Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State, a second-teamer. Pitt transfer Marcus Carr of Minnesota was included on the third team, and former Pitt targets Kofi Cockburn of Illinois and Hunter Dickinson of Michigan made the third team and the fourth team, respectively.
Champagnie is averaging 20.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, and he leads the ACC in both statistical categories. The Brooklyn native has also posted 12 double-doubles in his career, including six in 10 games this season, with his latest — a 23-point, 10-rebound effort — coming against North Carolina on Tuesday.
At this point, Champagnie is on pace to become the first Pitt player to average a double-double since DeJuan Blair posted averages of 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game back in the 2008-09 season. And if he continues to produce at the rate he has established, he could be the first NBA draft pick to come directly out of Pitt since Steven Adams became a first-round pick in 2014.