Tuesday night, the Pitt Panthers (6-5) will host the Delaware State Hornets (2-10) in one of their final tune ups before ACC play begins on Dec. 30. The game will be at 7 p.m.
The Panthers will continue to be without Ryan Luther tonight as he will “miss several weeks” with a stress reaction in his foot. The Panthers most steady piece will be on the sidelines helping out as almost another assistant coach when the Panthers face the Hornets tonight.
The Panthers will rely on Jared Wilson-Frame (13.1 PPG) and Marcus Carr (12.5 PPG) to lead the way offensively. The first game without Luther saw the Panthers have 25 points at the end of the first half, a rough number. They ended up with 72 at the end, and found an offensive groove shooting much better in the second half.
The biggest issue the Panthers will have is rebounding on both sides of the ball. They are already a team who has been out-rebounded on multiple occasions throughout the year. Luther has 10.1 rebounds per game which is almost double Shamiel Stevenson’s 5.4 rebounds per game, which is second on the team.
On the other hand, the Hornets have a roster in which they play a lot more of their players but don’t really have a definitive starting lineup. As a result, only two of their players average double digits per game on the season.
Simon Okolue will be the Panthers biggest threat on the night as he averages 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. The Panthers won’t be a ton concerned with the Hornets’ inability to shoot the three ball as they are a lackluster 28.1 percent from beyond the arc this season.
The Hornets come into the game with a 0-7 mark on the road this season and come into the Petersen Events Center looking for their first road win. Pitt has a 5-2 mark at The Pete and would love to defend home court against a lower opponent.
With two reasonably winnable games on the slate before opening conference play against No. 6 Miami on Dec. 30, Pitt would love to have eight wins heading into the ACC portion of their schedule.