Five Takeaways from Jeff Capel’s Monday Press Conference

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Jeff Capel, Head Coach of the University of Pittsburgh Men's Basketball Team

With the Pitt men’s basketball team set to kick off its season in just eight days, head coach Jeff Capel answered some questions from the media during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

The questions covered a wide range of topics, and provided insight into the current state of the men’s basketball program. Here are five key takeaways from Capel’s press conference:

The Panthers will start the 2019-20 season in good health.

One of the most noteworthy revelations of Capel’s press conference was that freshman wing Justin Champagnie is healthy and will play in the season opener against the Florida State Seminoles next Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Petersen Events Center.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise, given reports earlier this fall that Champagnie hurt his knee in what may have been a season-ending injury. Capel shared that the injury initially occurred on Sept. 10, the day of the Coaches vs. Cancer event at Heinz Field, and he initially feared that Champagnie tore his ACL. In a huge break for the Panthers, a re-evaluation revealed a less-severe knee sprain once the swelling improved.

Having taken three weeks off while awaiting word on the severity of his injury, Champagnie is currently working on getting back into playing shape. Capel said that Champagnie is back to practicing at full speed, and will participate in the Panthers’ scrimmage against Slippery Rock University on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

With Champagnie back in the fold, senior center Kene Chukwuka is Pitt’s only remaining long-term injury, dating back to hip