Pitt loses sharpshooter Durand Johnson for season with torn ACL
When Durand Johnson pulled himself out of the Wake Forest game, coach Jamie Dixon started to wonder what was wrong.
Pitt's sixth man and top sharpshooter never wants to come out of games.
Tests later revealed that Johnson, a 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore swingman from Baltimore, had torn the ACL and meniscus in his right knee in the 80-65 victory Saturday at Petersen Events Center. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Johnson was injured when he was fouled and fell to the floor with 5:30 left. He remained down for several minutes before being helped off the court.
He returned to make two free throws then left the game.
“When he pulled himself out, I wanted to stay positive, but he's never pulled himself out of a game, so I thought something was up,” Dixon said Sunday. “I didn't want to think that way. When he got up, I felt better. But he went back in and then pulled himself out.”
Johnson is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday at UPMC South Side. Pitt (15-1, 3-0 ACC) will play at Georgia Tech (10-6, 1-2) at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Pitt's most dangerous 3-point threat, Johnson ranked fourth in scoring (8.8 points) and second in 3-pointers (22) while averaging 19.8 minutes per game. After going scoreless in the ACC opener at N.C. State, he had a career-high 17 points against Maryland and 11 points in 18 minutes against Wake Forest.
“We are thoroughly heartbroken for Durand,” Dixon said. “With his passion for the game and outstanding work ethic, Durand has contributed significantly to our success. He has made so much improvement in all facets of his game this year.
“I expect that same passion and work ethic to help Durand return at 100 percent next season.”
Dixon said redshirt freshman swingman Chris Jones and newcomers Josh Newkirk and Jamel Artis could receive more playing time in Johnson's absence. But Dixon warned against the need for any of them to try to replace Johnson's 3-point shooting.
“Guys don't have to change their game,” Dixon said. “I talked to the team about the bench, the passion, the energy Durand brings to practice, to shootarounds and games. That's the thing we need to have. We need that on the floor. He's a vocal, energetic kid. That's what I like about him most.
“He'll come back strong next year and continue to work hard and be ready to go. I have a lot of faith in him.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt women end regular season with win over Clemson
- Against Wake Forest, Pitt looks to reverse fortunes on road
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- Role change suiting Pitt’s Jones just fine
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- Pitt’s Young leaves impression with inside game
- Clairton’s Titus Howard dismissed from Pitt football team
- Pitt’s weakness ‘pretty obvious’ to all
- Pitt basketball team ready for ACC stretch run
- Ex-Pitt star Knight interested in university’s athletic director job
- Pitt takes care of business in a victory over Boston College