While Evans plays waiting game, Pitt gets ready for Coppin State


PITTSBURGH -- No administrative official is talking about Paul Evans' contract status at the University of Pittsburgh, and Evans said last night, "the only thing I can do is keep on going and see what happens."

The former Navy coach is in the final year of a multi-year pact at Pitt, where he has compiled a 140-86 record since leaving Annapolis after the 1985-86 season.

A spokesman for Pitt athletic director Oval Jaynes said Jaynes "is not discussing that situation with anybody publicly."

Evans said there have not been any talks with him either and "I'm not sure what we're doing."

After taking a Navy team anchored by David Robinson into national prominence, Evans moved to Pitt, where his teams have played in six postseason tournaments and registered a high graduation rate.

Center Charles Smith, now a New York Knicks forward, has been Evans' top product from the Panthers.

Evans said he is "not overly confident" about the current Pitt team in the Big East Conference, one that was picked to finish eighth or ninth in preseason polls.

"We have some good players and some depth, but not like Dean has," he said of North Carolina's Dean Smith. "We've still got a long ways to go."

The Panthers will be without their leading rebounder, Chris Gant, when they play host to Coppin State tonight. Gant broke a finger in their loss to North Carolina and won't return until Jan. 8, at the earliest, against Syracuse.

Evans said he watched the tape of Coppin's 63-61 loss to Virginia and saw the Eagles in their victory over Towson State.

"They impressed me," he said. "When you think about where they've gone on the road to play well, you have to be impressed. They're aggressive, give the ball up well and play with a lot of confidence.

"The only thing I see they're missing is an accomplished big man."

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