Pittsburgh Panthers Team Report

Carl Krauser came back at just the right time.<br><br> The sophomore point guard and leading scorer missed four games with a pulled groin, but returned in time to score 19 points, force overtime with a last-second bucket, and carry the team on his back at times in an 84-80 double-overtime win against Miami.

He played 38 minutes in a 74-71 win against Notre Dame on Jan. 12, and was one of five Pitt players in double-figures, scoring 15 points.

If an in-season injury could possibly come at a perfect time, Krauser's was the one. He missed three non-conference games against eminently beatable foes, and the league opener against perennial doormat Virginia Tech.

Now, however, comes the meat of the schedule. Before January ends, the Panthers will have taken on Syracuse, UConn and Boston College. Some take the Panthers lightly now, since their unbeaten start comes against several overmatched opponents. Nobody will be able to say that if the Panthers are still perfect on Feb. 1.

Rutgers will present a difficult defensive matchup for the Panthers on Jan. 17th at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have never lost on their home court, and need to maintain that if they hope to challenge the Huskies and Orangemen for league supremacy.

Panthers Notes

  • With the win over Notre Dame, Pittsburgh has won 36 consecutive home games. Fourteen of those victories have come this season.
  • Chris Taft had a strong all-around game against the Hurricanes, finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds.
  • Antonio Graves' run as a starter ended with Carl Krauser's return.
  • Freshman Chris Taft has earned a place in the starting lineup. He had 10 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes vs. Notre Dame. Tyree Morris now comes off the bench.
  • Probable lineup: Guard Carl Krauser, guard Julius Page, forward Chris Taft, forward Chevon Troutman, forward Jaron Brown

Quote to Note
"The guys are willing to make sacrifices and do the things that are necessary to win games. The guys that have been here are so experienced and mature that they weren't going to let (a new coach) be a change for them." -- Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, quoted in the South Bend Tribune, on the team's success despite the departure of Ben Howland after last season.


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