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Pitt Update: One Player Out And One Player In

Bad news, but it may be manageable

Pittsburgh v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 11: Head coach Jeff Capel of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts during their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 11, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 77-69.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

We missed this a few days ago and it’s bad news for former Duke star and ace assistant coach Jeff Capel as his outstanding freshman recruit Papa Kante hurt his knee and will be out for the entire season.

This follows the school dropping Dior Johnson, the 6-4 guard who sat out last season after a violent incident with his girlfriend. He’s off to Clarendon College, a Texas JUCO.

It’s not good but it’s hard to say just how big a blow Kante’s loss is because Pitt is pretty solid up front. Kante was probably going to play but even without him, the Panthers return Federiko Federiko and the Diaz Graham twins, all three of whom have bulked up. The 6-11 Federiko is up to 225 while Guillermo Diaz Graham, 7-0, is now 229 and his brother Jorge, 6-11, is now 210.

High Point transfer Zack Austin is smaller at 6-7 but brings a reputation as a shotblocker, so he should help too.

In another bit of news, Capel picked up a late transfer in Michael Hueitt, who follows Austin up from the Triad. In his case, he was at UNC-G and interestingly, as far as we’ve seen, he’s just the third ACC player to take advantage of the new rules about numbers as he’s going to wear the #8.