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Matchups - Pitt vs. Kent State

| Thursday, March 21, 2002

PITT (29-5) vs. KENT STATE (29-5)

Point guard

  • The showdown: 6-3 Brandin Knight (Pitt) vs. 6-1 Trevor Huffman (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: A matchup of two highly skilled players. Knight, a third-team All-American, has carried Pitt to a No. 9 ranking and its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1974. Huffman doesn't get the recognition he deserves, playing in the obscure Mid-American Conference.

  • The edge: Pitt

    Shooting guard

  • The showdown: 6-3 Julius Page (Pitt) vs. 5-11 Andrew Mitchell (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: Page, Pitt's top defender, is a capable scorer, but his primary duty will be to shut down the aformentioned Huffman. Mitchell, with a scoring average of 15.2 ppg., gives Kent State another offensive threat in the backcourt. Knight will be assigned to Mitchell.

  • The edge: Pitt

    Small forward

  • The showdown: 6-4 Jaron Brown (Pitt) vs. 6-3 Demetric Shaw (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: Though Shaw is listed as a guard, he'll have to face a powerful forward in Brown. The Pitt sophomore leads the Panthers in rebounding (6.1) while Shaw is a versatile swingman who is second on the team in assists (5.4).

  • The edge: Pitt

    Power forward

  • The showdown: 6-8 Donatas Zavackas (Pitt) vs. 6-5 Antonio Gates (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: The 240-pound Gates, who originally signed with Michigan State to play football, could cause a major matchup problem for Pitt. His strength and leaping ability make him a formidable scorer (15.6 ppg.) and tenacious rebounder (8.1).

  • The edge: Kent State

    Center

  • The showdown: 6-7 Chevon Troutman (Pitt) vs. 6-9 Nate Gerwig (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: A matchup of Pennsylvania natives, Troutman, of Williamsport, has come on in the second half of the season and moved into the starting lineup for Pitt in the second round of the NCAAs. Kent State is 23-1 since Gerwig, of Schenley High, became a starter.

  • The edge: Pitt

    Coach

  • The showdown: Ben Howland (Pitt) vs. Stan Heath (Kent State)

  • The breakdown: Howland has been recognized as the best coach in the nation. He earned the Naismith and USBWA awards this week. Heath, in his first season at Kent State, has led the Golden Flashes to victories over two higher-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament.

  • The edge: Pitt

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