by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33
The 22nd ranked Pitt Panthers will be without their top reserve for the remainder of the season.
Sophomore forward Durand Johnson tore his ACL and meniscus on Saturday afternoon in the second half of Pitt’s 80-65 victory over ACC for Wake Forest. He is expected to be out for the next nine-12 months, and will undergo surgery next week.
“We are thoroughly heartbroken for Durand,” Pitt coach Jamie 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.”
Johnson took a pass from Talib Zanna with 5:30 to play in the game and drove the right side of the lane where he appeared to either get his legs tangled with a Wake Forest defender or get knocked off balance by the defender and twisted his knee awkwardly when he landed.
A foul was called on the play and Johnson, who scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds, hit both free throws to give the Panthers a 73-54 lead. He was substituted for immediately after the second free throw did not return to the game.
Johnson was the Panthers’ sixth man this year, and an integral part to the team’s 15-1 record. He was fourth on the team with 8.8 points in 19.8 minutes per game, including a season-high 17 points in the team’s 79-59 win over Maryland last week.