An early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft.
Career Highlights: Tied for sixth in Pittsburgh history in career blocked shots (110) in just two seasons, and one of only eight players in school history to surpass 100 career blocked shots.
Sophomore (2004-05): All-Big East Honorable Mention selection. Led the Big East and ranked 22nd in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage (.580). Also finished among league leaders in several categories, including 16th in scoring (13.3 ppg), ninth in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and eighth in blocked shots (50). Scored in double figures in 22 of the last 25 games. Scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in Big East Championship quarterfinal game vs. Villanova. Recorded sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds in NCAA Tournament First Round vs. Pacific. Scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in 27 minutes vs. Providence.
Freshman (2003-04): Named Big East Rookie of the Year and a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Rookie Team. Also named to the All-Big East Third Team and the Big East All-Tournament Team after averaging 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting .545 from the floor in three games, including 11 points in 26 minutes in Big East Championship title game vs. UConn. Led Pittsburgh and ranked eighth in the Big East in rebounding (7.5 rpg), and led team in blocked shots (60) and double-doubles (6). Played in all 36 games and started 24 contests at center. Earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors for a school record six times. Set school freshmen record for field goals made (162) and ranked among all-time freshmen leaders in several categories, including second in points (392), field goal percentage (.559), rebounds (270) and free throw attempts (125); and third in blocked shots (60). Reached double figure scoring in 19 games and double figure rebounding nine times. Averaged 7.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in Pitt’s three NCAA Tournament games.
Strengths: Strong and well-built big man who’s surprisingly quick and agile for his size. Has developed a reliable medium range jumper. Can be a handful down low when motivated. An improving shotblocker.
Personal: Named the 2003 New York State Player of the Year as a senior at Xaverian Prep in Brooklyn. Son of Tareka Taft.