Preview: Pitt continues hunt for first ACC win at Miami

Posted on Jan 31 2018 - 1:24pm by Cody Flavell
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The Pitt Panthers will be led into Wednesday’s game against the Miami Hurricanes by their hottest player over the last two games, Jared Wilson-Frame. (Photo: Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)

The Pittsburgh Panthers (8-14, 0-9 ACC) will square off with the Miami Hurricanes (15-5, 4-4 ACC) for the second time this season, this time on Miami’s home court.

Both teams opened their trying conference schedule’s against each other. Miami won 67-53 but the game was a lot closer than the score indicated. After fouling late and such, Miami got out to a comfortable 14 point win. The Hurricanes were ranked No. 15 in the country at the time, they’re now unranked. Pitt hasn’t won a conference game.

Following the last game, Panthers head coach Kevin Stallings had this to say about his team.

”When we needed to get by them, we couldn’t and when we did get by them, they’ve got the length at the goal which is a problem,” Stallings said. ”Again, thought our kids played hard, fought hard, we just didn’t have enough answers.”

Miami is coming off a hard-fought overtime loss to Florida State on Saturday. Miami hit a school record 17 3-pointers in the game. Pitt also had a hard fought game against the Syracuse Orange but wasn’t able to prevail as they lost by five.

The Hurricanes will be led into the game by freshman guard Lonnie Walker IV who was named Co-Rookie of the Week in the ACC on Monday. Walker is leading the team with 14.3 points per game in conference play and averaged 24.0 points per game in his two games last week.

Pitt will lean on the hot hand of Jared Wilson-Frame. He had his first career double-double on Saturday against Syracuse and is averaging 20.0 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game over the last two games.

Both teams have a player who suffered a long-term foot injury. The Panthers have been without senior forward Ryan Luther ever since he suffered a stress reaction in his foot before conference play began. The Hurricanes just lost Bruce Brown Jr. to a foot injury in practice on Monday. Brown Jr. was leading the Hurricanes in rebounds, assists, and steals this season and was second on the team in points.

Both losses are big blows to their teams as the Hurricanes lose their stat sheet filler and the Panthers have suffered through a winless conference season without their leading rebounder and most tenured player in Luther.

Miami leads the all-time series at 20-18. They are 4-1 against the Panthers since Pittsburgh joined the ACC in the 2014-15 season.