Player Spotlight: Marshall F Elijah Pittman
Penn State men’s basketball will welcome the Marshall Thundering Herd to the Bryce Jordan Center this Saturday, December 7. Marshall is currently 4-3 on the young season, and is led by senior forward, Elijah Pittman.
Pittman is averaging 23.7 points per game, and has scored more than 30 points twice this season. His 6’9”, 220 pound stature makes him a dominating presence in the post. The senior forward is the only returning starter from last year’s Thundering Herd squad, as the team was torn apart by both graduating seniors and transferring players. Outside of Pittman, Marshall has had to count on freshmen and JUCO transfers to fill team needs.
Pittman is from Covington, Kentucky, and attended Holmes High school. As a senior in high school, Pittman helped lead Holmes to their first ever Kentucky State Basketball Championship victory.
Despite his talent, the Covington native lacked the grades to attend a Division One school directly out of high school. He instead attended Chipola College, a JUCO school in Florida. He averaged 13.2 points per game in eight games there, but was then arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and sentenced to probation. This led to his dismissal from Chipola College.
Still trying to fulfill his of dream of playing college basketball at its highest level, Pittman enrolled himself into Lamar State College, another JUCO school, in Texas. There, Pittman shined, averaging 18.1 points per game to go along with 6.8 rebounds. He led Lamar State to a Region XIV regular season title, finishing the year with a 24-8 record.
The following year, Pittman transferred to Marshall and made an immediate impact. He played in all 32 of the Thundering Herd’s games, starting in 29 of them. He led the team in scoring averaging 16.1 points per game, which was good for sixth best in Conference USA, and showed off his athleticism by throwing down 41 dunks. His 516 total points scored on the season is the 34th most in school history.
Pittman came into this year with high expectations, and was looked at as being a leader for this young Marshall squad. However, the now senior forward has found himself in trouble with the law again. In August of this year, Pittman was indicted of one count of battery involving an incident that took place last fall. The judge has allowed Pittman to stay with the team thus far, but if he is found guilty, he faces up to a maximum of one year in prison. He has another pre-trial hearing on December 9, and his trial is set for January 16.
Despite all his off the court troubles, Pittman has continued to play well for Marshall on the hardwood, and the Nittany Lions will have to find a way to stop him from dominating both inside the paint and beyond the arc. The Thundering Herd star will undoubtedly get his points, but Penn State must be able to limit his scoring potential to send Marshall home with another loss.
Pittman and the Thundering Herd will try to secure a road win at the Bryce Jordan Center this Saturday, at 4:00 p.m.
Andy Madore is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Randy Snyder)