Ryan Luther had accumulated two of the three career starts by returning Pittsburgh Panthers entering the 2017-18 season. The Panthers look to ride their power forward to a third win in five games when they play the second of nine straight contests in Pittsburgh when High Point visits on Tuesday.
Luther, a 6-9 senior, posted an 18-point, 10-rebound, four-assist and three-steal effort as Pitt topped Lehigh 80-68 on Saturday. Luther, who has recorded three double-doubles in six games this season and is averaging 13.2 points and 9.3 rebounds, went 5-of-6 from the field and 8-of-9 from the foul line in the win. “There are a lot of things he can do offensively. We just need to expose that when we can and take advantage of that when we can,” Pitt coach Kevin Stallings said after the game. “He’s a guy we can play through because of his ability on the offensive end.” High Point, which is returning four starters from a team that went 15-16 last season, including 9-9 in Big South play, is coming off a 70-67 loss at Charlotte on Friday when Andre Fox’s 3-point attempt to tie the game in the waning seconds bounced off the rim.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT HIGH POINT (2-3): The 6-4 Fox, who averaged 12.4 points last season, is second in the Big South in scoring with 18.8 points per game and 11th with 5.4 rebounds. Jahaad Proctor, a 6-3 sophomore transfer from Iona, is averaging 18 points on 51-percent shooting from the floor, including 11-of-19 beyond the arc. Sophomore Brandon Kamga. a 6-5 sophomore wing, recorded a career-high 26 points at Charlotte on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, and averages 14.2 points and five rebounds.
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (2-4): Wing Jared Wilson-Frame is averaging a team-high 14.5 points and is tied for seventh in the ACC with 2.5 three-point field goals made per game. Jonathan Milligan, who has the third-most career starts among returning starters, scored a career-high 16 points against the Mountain Hawks and is averaging 11 points over the past four contests while shooting 55.6 percent from the field in that span. Freshman Shamiel Stevenson has scored in double figures three times and is averaging 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the field on the season.
1. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
2. Pitt’s seven-player freshmen class - Terrell Brown, Marcus Carr, Khameron Davis, Samson George, Peace Ilegomah, Stevenson and Parker Stewart - is tied for the largest freshmen class in the NCAA. They are averaging 31.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game through six contests.
3. High Point, which doesn’t start a player over 6-7, has posted a 2-37 record in 39 all-time meetings with ACC opponents.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 68, High Point 66