After averaging just 4.3 points per game as a sophomore in 2012-13, guard Cameron Wright took a significant step forward for the Pittsburgh Panthers in their first season as a member of the ACC. Wright averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game last season, giving Jamie Dixon needed perimeter production to supplement the output of seniors Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna.
With Patterson and Zanna having graduated Wright is expected to be an even more important figure for Pittsburgh this season, but according to reports the Panthers may be without the 6-foot-5 redshirt senior guard for a while.
As first reported by Eric Hagman of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, and later confirmed by multiple outlets, Wright broke his left foot Thursday and underwent surgery on Friday. Wright, Pitt’s leading returning scorer, is expected to miss ten weeks as a result of the injury with the hope being that he’ll return just before Christmas according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
With Wright out of the equation for the time being, more will be needed from junior James Robinson and sophomore Josh Newkirk. Robinson averaged 7.6 points and a team-best 4.1 assists per game last season, with Newkirk adding 4.6 points per contest off the bench. However those two won’t be the only Panthers who will need to raise their production, which would have been the case even with a healthy Wright.
Sophomore forward Michael Young, who averaged 6.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, performed well during the team’s summer trip to the Bahamas and will have the opportunity to do more in 2014-15. Pitt also returns redshirt junior wing Durand Johnson, who averaged 8.8 points per game before suffering a torn ACL in a win over Wake Forest on January 11. Vanderbilt transfer Sheldon Jeter, who took classes at a junior college but did not play last season, is another available option.
As a result of Friday’s news the Panthers will look to navigate a non-conference schedule that includes a spot in the Maui Invitational and games against Indiana and Manhattan without their leading returning scorer.