It is going to be here before you know it.  The college basketball season is right around the corner and Phenom Hoops wants to take their shot at previewing teams around the country for this upcoming season. All throughout the upcoming weeks, we will be previewing teams for this upcoming season, so be sure to check out all the latest talk.

Pittsburgh Panthers

2020-21 Season:
Record: 10-12 (6-10)
Points per game: 71.2
Rebounds per game: 38.3
Assists per game: 14.6
Points allowed: 70.1

Top Performers 2020-21:
Points per game: Justin Champagnie (18.0)
Rebounds per game: Justin Champagnie (11.1)
Assists per game: Xavier Johnson (5.7)
Field goal percentage: Abdoul Karim Coulibaly (51.1)

Replacing Justin Champagnie/ key transfers
There is no doubt about it, Pittsburgh is going to miss the production from forward Justin Champagnie.  He led the team in scoring at 18.0 points per game and was dominant on the boards as well, averaging 11.1 rebounds.  He did it all for the Panthers and they relied on him a lot.  Now, he is gone from the program and Pittsburgh will need someone to step up in a big way.  Champagnie isn’t the only key player Pittsburgh will have to replace.  Au’Diese Toney and Xavier Johnson both will be playing for other programs as well. Toney transferred to Arkansas and Johnson will be suiting up at Indiana, as both guards averaged over 14 points per game.  All together, all three of these players averaged over 28 minutes per game and produced 46 of the team’s 71 points.  Coach Capel will be looking for new players to step up in a big way this season.

New duo in town?
Guard Femi Odukale and Nike Sibande are two players to watch for the Panthers this season.  Both stepped up big late in the season after Toney and Johnson were gone.  Odukale had some good moments late in the season, as his minutes increased to over 30 minutes and he had games of 18 points and 28 points in the ACC Tournament. Sibande also stepped up, as the 6’4 guard saw an increase as well in minutes (over 30+ minutes) and had outings of 12, 23, and 24 points to end the season as well.  Could this be the new duo of guards for Pittsburgh?  Yes, there will be others that step up and bring firepower but I would keep an eye on these two experienced players this season.

New names coming in to help
Coach Capel will have a few new names coming in that should help in a big way.  The first one to look out for is senior guard Jamarius Burton, who transferred from Wichita State and Texas Tech.  He has a ton of experience and is absolutely tough on the court; he should really help in leading the team on the court.  Stony Brook transfer Mouhamadou Gueye is another, as the 6’9 senior who was the America East Defensive Player of the Year should help in a big way. He averaged 9.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game.  He should be an impact on both ends of the floor.  Lastly, look at senior forward Dan Oladapo who comes from Oakland.  He is another inside presence that should help offensively and on the boards (averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds).