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Several key contributors spotted at Pitt practice ahead of Syracuse game

Au'Diese Toney, Xavier Johnson and William Jeffress were all at practice

Jeff Capel announced on Monday that Pitt would be missing multiple scholarship players for its Wednesday night matchup with Syracuse, but the identities of the players were not revealed. However, Pitt has since released a video of a practice held in Syracuse, which confirmed that several key contributors made the trip up to western New York.

In the video, nine scholarship players can be seen, including Max Amadasun, Terrell Brown, Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, Gerald Drumgoole, Ithiel Horton, William Jeffress, Xavier Johnson, Femi Odukale and Au’Diese Toney. In addition, non-scholarship players like Onyebuchi Ezeakudo, Aidan Fisch and Chayce Smith can also be seen on the practice court.

There were also previously released photos of earlier practices at Pitt and players boarding the team’s plane that confirmed Brown, Jeffress, Johnson and Toney would be in attendance on Wednesday. But the most notable aspect of the photos and video provided by Pitt is who is missing.

Three scholarship players not pictured practicing prior to the game were Noah Collier, John Hugley and Nike Sibande. Capel said the team would be missing two or three scholarship players, and taking into account that Pitt has 13 scholarship players and 10 are accounted for with Justin Champagnie’s status confirmed and nine seen practicing, it seems the two freshmen and the Miami transfer may be the unnamed players in question.

With that said, Pitt has not confirmed that Collier, Hugley or Sibande will miss the game, and Capel noted that one of the three unnamed players of questionable status could still play. But with an apparent emphasis on frontcourt play at practice, with Amadasun and Coulibaly featured prominently, it appears Pitt is preparing as if Hugley will not be available. And should the team be down Collier and Sibande too, Pitt’s depth will take a hit it can ill afford.

Capel did not provide a reason for the two to three absences, but the team is coming off a period in which it postponed two games in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.

Pitt's matchup with Syracuse is set to tip off from the Carrier Dome at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game was originally set to be played on Feb. 13 but was moved by the ACC to fill a void created by the postponement of Syracuse's matchup with Florida State due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Florida State program.