2005 Pittsburgh Panthers Basketball Preview
2005 Pittsburgh Panthers Team Preview
The Panthers from Pittsburgh lost star senior guard Carl Krauser at the end of the 2004-05 season to the NBA draft. But at the 11th hour Krauser, who scored 16.0 PPG and grabbed 4.8 RPG last year, got cold feet and pulled out of the draft. He decided, instead, to play overseas. And then he made another decision—to return to the Panthers for his senior year. For coach Jamie Dixon, Krauser’s return was a gift.
Dixon still has problems. Forward Chevin Troutman and center Chris Taft, who had two years of eligibility left, are both gone. Taft hit 58.0% from the field last season, throwing in 13.3 PPG and ripping down 7.5 RPG. Troutman was also extremely productive with 15.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG. Krauser is the only senior starter, with the rest of the returning starters—three juniors and one sophomore-- about three pegs below in terms of experience and productivity.
Dixon’s hope is the future as embodied in three first year players— forward Tyler Biggs and guards Trevor Ferguson and Levance Fields. At 6-8 and 260 pounds, Biggs has a good chance of making it into the Pittsburgh starting lineup. He’s a sound ball handler who can shoot from the inside and the outside. Ferguson can hit threes and can be a force off the bench, while Fields has the potential to be another Krauser. If these three freshmen come along quickly, it could be the best news Dixon’s had since Krauser decided to come back.
However, this season really comes down to Carl Krauser and his drive. And that’s the one big question the Panthers and their coach have— is Krauser back because he had nowhere to go or does he really want to play one more year of college ball? If the dynamic guard returned to simply bide time, that’s bad news for Pittsburgh; if he returned to play ball, lead his team, and burn up the Big East, that’s bad news for all the other teams.
For more info on the 2005 Panthers check out the official Pittsburgh athletic site.