When Pitt takes on Jacksonville on Tuesday, two former teammates will be taking on each other from opposing sidelines.
Pitt’s Jamarius Burton and Jacksonville’s Rod Brown were once teammates back in the 2018-19 season on Wichita State, prior to both of them eventually departing the program.
“Me and Rod, we still talk in team group chats,” Burton said on Monday. “The team we were a part of is still close from Wichita State. So, we keep in touch.”
Since then, Brown has worn three different jerseys, and Burton two. Brown has had stops at Pearl River CC, New Mexico, and now Jacksonville, while Burton has played for Texas Tech and now Pitt.
“Not prior to this game though,” he continued. “I had no idea he was on this team, because he was on a different team last year, but I knew watching the film that his body type was familiar. But today when they showed his face and his name, I was able to confirm that it was actually him.”
During that 2018-19 season, Burton and Brown appeared in 37 and 36 games, respectively. Burton, a true freshman at the time, averaged 6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game that season, while Brown, a redshirt freshman, averaged just 1.1 and 1.3.
“He was a player with tremendous motor,” Burton said about Brown during that freshman season. “He has a body type that is unlike any other. So that should be something that we have to keep our eyes out for tomorrow afternoon.”
This season, Brown is averaging 3.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while Burton is playing a larger role for the Panthers, putting up 11 points and 2.4 rebounds a game. Burton is coming off of a season-best 20-point effort against St. John’s, a game in which he also hit the game-winning jumper to close the deal at Madison Square Garden.
Pitt’s game against Jacksonville will tip off at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and will be televised on ACC Network.