PITTSBURGH — Pitt three-star freshman wing Justin Champagnie is fully healthy and will be in the Panthers rotation when they tip-off their season against Florida State Nov. 6 at home.
“He’s doing well,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said on Monday. “It’s a mental hurdle — right now. He had about three weeks where he didn’t do anything.”
Champagnie went down with a knee injury during a preseason workout on Sept. 10. There was a fear that Champagnie would miss the whole season with a torn ACL. Thankfully for the Champagnie and the Panthers, it was just a sprain.
“We had to just wait to find out the prognosis of his injury,” Capel said. “So, three weeks of not doing anything — you’re (going to be) set back, especially as a freshman.”
Champagnie, from Brooklyn, New York, is a player who brings the Panthers more balance on both sides of the ball. He is a shot-maker who can use his athleticism and size (6-foot-6) to make plays on the defensive end as well against the bigger wings in the ACC.
“We need him,” Capel said. “We are doing a lot of extra stuff with him (to get him to where we think he can be). He’s been practicing fully for a few weeks now — He’s doing everything, so I don’t see any reason (why he wouldn’t be fully ready to play against FSU.)
The Panthers have an exhibition against Slippery Rock on Wednesday to unofficially tip-off the season. Champagnie is not expected to suit up in that game.