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93.7 The Fan

Pitt center Federiko out of NCAA opener

By Jeff Hathhorn,

2023-03-15

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DAYTON, OH (93.7 The Fan) – Suffering a knee injury in the ACC Tournament, Panthers center Federiko Federiko is not dressed and won’t play in the Panthers first NCAA Tournament game in seven years.

Federiko tried to go against Duke but played limited minutes and hasn’t been able to practice since. The sophomore got a vote to be on the ACC’s All-Defensive Team this year, his first season playing in the conference as a sophomore.

The 6’11”, 220 pound sophomore is Pitt’s only true post defensive player as John Hugley missed most of the season due to injury and then for a mental break. The former player at First Love Christian Academy started 27 of his 33 games his year playing 24.4 minutes, shooting 67% from the field averaging 7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a game.

Facing 6’11”, 245-pound SEC leading rebounder Tolu Smith, Pitt will have to be creative on defense with freshmen Jorge and Guillermo Diaz Graham and potentially forward Blake Hinson being more of a post presence. Smith had a dozen double-doubles this season and 27 points and 13 rebounds in an upset of TCU. Smith averaged 15.8 points per game almost all of the field goals in the paint.

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