Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that, Pitt will be without Nike Sibande, Noah Collier, and John Hugley due to contact tracing within the program.
This news comes less than an hour before tipoff.
On Monday, head coach Jeff Capel announced that the Panthers would be shorthanded against the Orange due to contact tracing protocols.
“We will not have a full roster for our game against Syracuse on Wednesday,” he said. “We will be down, obviously with Justin not being able to play, but then we’ll also be down at least two more guys and possibly one more.”
Sibande has played in two games since receiving his eligibility waiver from the NCAA, averaging 17 minutes, 5.5 points, and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting 44.4% from the field to go along with a 50% mark from 3-point range. After playing three seasons at Miami Ohio, Sibande entered the Pitt locker room as a natural leader.
“Being around him and speaking to him a lot during the game, he’s just a leader,” said Champagnie. “He’s just a born leader. You can tell by the way he moves and by the way he carries himself and whatnot. He’s older, he has experience and I just think that having a more experienced guy who played in a different conference will help this team a lot with some guidance.”
Hugley has played in seven games so far this season, starting the season opener against St. Francis. The talented, 6-foot-9 big man is averaging 14.9 minutes, 5.1 points, and 4.3 rebounds. After Pitt took down Northern Illinois in early December, Capel talked about Hugley’s start to the season and how he would like to see the freshman improve.
“He’s done some good things, but we need him to be better,” Capel said about Hugley’s early season performance. “He has to understand you have to work every day, the discipline that it takes to be a really good player at this level every day, the mindset that you have to have every day, showing up every day with all of those things intact, and competing every day.”
Collier, another freshman, has appeared in all seven games but has not made much of an offensive impact yet. He is averaging ten minutes, 1.1 points, and 1.1 rebounds per game.
The Panthers will look to take down Syracuse at 4:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday afternoon on ACC Network.