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Getting to Know Pittsburgh

NC State Basketball

Getting to Know Pittsburgh

NC State will take on Pittsburgh Tuesday night as they look to change their season’s trajectory. Pitt has one of the most feared duo’s in the NCAA in Michael Young and Jamel Artis. The Panthers are coming off one of their worst home losses in school history as Miami beat them 72-46. What do you need to know about the Pitt Panthers before Tuesday night?

Jamel Artis can score in a variety of ways as evident by his 22.4 PPG.

Pittsburgh relies on Artis to shoulder a heavy load on the offensive end and the senior has been excellent. Watching Jamel toast the Louisville Cardinals to the tune of 43 points, it is clear he is a complete offensive player. Shooting the three ball is a big part of Jamel’s game as he uses his 6-7 frame to shoot over smaller defenders. Over his last 6 games, he is shooting an outrageous 26-48 (54%) from the three-point line. Artis not only shoots it well but he handles the ball effectively enough to keep defenders honest. The Panthers cater to Artis by putting the senior in 1-on-1 scenarios where he can go to work.

Michael Young, Jamel Artis, and Chris Jones account for 70% of their total offense.

The trio of seniors provides the Panthers with a plethora of experience that has seen it all. Michael Young averages 20.9 points per game; however, he is coming off an orbital fracture suffered in the Louisville game. He played against Miami in a last minute call although he did not register a single field goal in the game (0-10). The Panthers have lost 3 games in a row and will be desperate. Pittsburgh has not lost four straight since 2014 and will be looking to make sure that streak does not come to an end.

In their last game, the Panthers forced a season-high 18 turnovers even though they could not counter Miami’s hot shooting. The Panthers have not been able to overcome a lack of depth recently. Junior Ryan Luther is out with a stress fracture and the Panthers have missed his toughness from the bench.

Coach Stallings has been behind the 8 ball with the lack of depth and forced to rely on his two workhorses in Artis and Young. Michael Young’s injury shows how defunct the offense is without him being 100%. Pittsburgh only mustered 46 points as Young was less than himself with a makeshift mask and swelling. Look for Young to bounce back as he will have a fitted mask and swelling should have subsided. The Panthers have not beaten NC State since 2014 which will be on the senior lead teams radar.

Jamel Artis and Michael Young are the top two scorers in the ACC as they average 22.3 and 20.9 PPG respectively. With Artis and Young having to produce so much each night offensively they are not lock-down defenders. The Panthers are a dangerous team, boasting senior leadership, as well as a dynamic duo but a lack of depth has hindered their ceiling.

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