October 24, 2007

Brown pushing for playing time

Small forward Gilbert Brown (6' 6" 203) arrived at Pitt a year ago and suffered through a bout with mono and an ankle injury. He saw limited action early in the season against Robert Morris, Duquesne, and Dayton before the coaching staff decided to redshirt him and save his eligibility for the future. There were a number of reports about Brown being unhappy with the decision at first, but he eventually acquiesced to their decision.

Now, a year later, Brown figures to play a significant role with the Panthers, and Pitt fans got a taste of that last Sunday during the Blue-Gold scrimmage.

"It felt great to be out there on the court again with referees and everything," Brown told the Pantherlair after the scrimmage. "Last year I didn't even get to play in the Blue-Gold scrimmage so it felt great to be out there. I am not sure how many minutes I will get this year but I am willing to help out anywhere. It is nice to be healthy this year."

This past season Mike Cook (6' 4") started at the small forward position for the Panthers, averaging 10.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Cook returns for his senior season and figures to start again at the No. 3 position this year, but if the Blue-Gold scrimmage is any indication, Brown will push for minutes at the spot.

On Sunday, Brown scored 15 points, making 6-of-9 shots including 3-of-3 from three-point range in 30 minutes. Brown also had a team-high 7 rebounds for the Blue squad. Cook, by contrast, struggled with his shooting, hitting just 4-of-14 shots for the Gold team.

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