Pitt Panthers (12-6, 5-2 ACC) at Louisville Cardinals (2-16, 0-7 ACC)
– Tipoff: Wednesday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. EST
– Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
– How To Watch: ACC Network
– How To Listen: 93.9 FM
– Betting Favorite: Pitt: -12.0 (KenPom)
– All-Time Series: Louisville leads 21-7
– Last Meeting: Pitt won 65-53 on Jan. 15, 2022 (Petersen Events Center – Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Projected Starting Lineups
- G El Ellis (6-3, 180, Sr.)
- G/F Mike James (6-5, 215, R-Fr.)
- F Jae’Lyn Withers (6-9, 220, R-Jr.)
- F J.J. Traynor (6-8, 190, Jr.)
- F Sydney Curry (6-8, 270, Sr.)
- G Nelly Cummings (6-0, 185, Gr.)
- G Greg Elliott (6-3, 180, Gr.)
- G Jamarius Burton (6-4, 200, Gr.)
- F Blake Hinson (6-7, 235, Jr.)
- C Federiko Federiko (6-11, 220, So.)
See how the Cardinals stack up against the Panthers, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape, Predictions: Louisville vs. Pitt
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- Over the last four games since turning the calendar to 2023, redshirt freshman guard/forward Mike James is averaging 17 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 49% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line. In the first 14 games of the season, James averaged just 6.9 points while shooting 44% overall and 31% from 3-point range.
- Over the last nine games, senior guard El Ellis has averaged 19.9 points, 5.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals. As of Monday, Ellis was one of 16 players in the nation with at least 315 points and 80 assists this season. After having a positive or even assist-to-turnover ratio just three times in the first nine games of the season, Ellis has been positive or even in seven of the last nine games. Ellis’ current 17.7 points per game overall is the ninth-most by a Cardinal in the last 30 seasons.
- After averaging 1.7 points and 3.6 rebounds across the first nine games, senior forward Sydney Curry is averaging 9.2 points and 6.9 rebounds over the last nine games while shooting 63% overall. His career-high 19 rebounds against Florida A&M were the most by a Cardinal since Luke Whitehead grabbed 19 boards against Marquette on Jan. 31, 2004.
- Sophomore forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield missed Saturday’s game against North Carolina with a foot injury. He leads the team with 6.0 rebounds per game and is averaging 7.5 points per contest.
- After averaging 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds with two total 3-pointers over the previous four games, redshirt junior forward Jae’Lyn Withers has averaged 10.0 points and 5.3 rebounds with seven 3s over the last four games. Withers came off the bench for the first three games of that stretch but returned to the lineup against North Carolina in place of Huntley-Hatfield.
- Last game: Louisville fell once again by double digits, this time 80-59 to North Carolina.
- KEY FIRST HALF RUN: The Cardinals jumped to a 15-7 lead with 13:28 left in the half due to a 9-0 run that lasted three minutes. The Tar Heels responded with a 30-11 run to push them ahead 37-26 at the half.
- KEY SECOND HALF RUN: The Cardinals had a 5-0 burst out of the half to cut the score to 37-31 with 19:13 to go. The Tar Heels followed that up with a 16-4 run to stretch their lead to 53-35 with 15:34 left in the game.
- UofL shot 20 of 54 (.370) from the field, 1 of 14 (.071) from 3-point range, and 18 of 28 (.642) from the free-throw line.
- The Cardinals outscored the Tar Heels in the paint 38-32, marking the fifth time this season outscoring their opponent in the paint.
- Louisville earned a season-high 28 free throws attempts as opposed to North Carolina’s 23 free throw attempts.
- The Cardinals hauled in 10 offensive rebounds, marking the eighth time this season tallying double-digit offensive rebounds.
- North Carolina outscored UofL 23-8 on points off turnovers and 17-2 on the fast break.
- Mike James tallied eight points to go along with two rebounds and an assist. o The guard shot 4 of 6 from the free throw line and played 26 minutes.
- El Ellis registered 22 points, making it his 10th straight game with double-digit points and his 16th of 18 games this season. Ellis had a team-high four assists and added three rebounds in 35 minutes.
- Ellis scored 11 of the team’s first 15 points of the game, with a 3-pointer, a layup, and six free throws.
- The guard recorded at least one steal for the eighth straight game and also shot 9 of 9 from the free throw line.
- Jae’Lyn Withers scored eight points and recorded a team-high eight rebounds.
- Sydney Curry totaled nine points and four rebounds to go with one blocked shot. o The forward shot 4 of 7 from the field in 21 minutes of action.
- The Panthers are 3-1 in ACC road games with wins at NC State, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech. Pitt is looking for its fourth road win in ACC play, its most since going 7-2 in league road games during its inaugural season in the conference (2013-14).
- Pitt’s ACC strength of schedule leads the conference through the first seven games of league play (.7903 – Torvik). The Panthers’ seven conference opponents are currently a combined 30-19 in ACC play.
- The Panthers are one win shy of matching its conference victory total from each of the past three seasons.
- Jamarius Burton is averaging 20.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in conference play. He is shooting 53.5 percent (53-of-99) from the fi eld and 88.6 percent (31-of-35) from the foul line in ACC play.
- Blake Hinson has posted 17 double figure scoring games, including 10 15+ point efforts and four games with 20 or more points. He is one of two players in the Atlantic Coast Conference averaging 16.0 or more points per game (16.2 ppg.) and 6.5 or more rebounds per game (6.6 rpg.).
- Nike Sibande has come off the bench to score in double figures in three of the past four games and seven times overall. He is averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, while going 17-of-32 (.531) from the fi eld, in the past four games.
- The Panthers’ backcourt quartet of Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings, Greg Elliott, and Nike Sibande has combined for 5,092 points in 13,273 minutes over 522 career games. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Pitt is one of four programs (along with UAB, Chattanooga, and Texas) in the NCAA with four or more players with 125+ games played.
- Pitt is 9-1 on the season when winning the rebounding battle. The Panthers rank fourth in the ACC in rebound margin (+3.33) but have a -6.2 rebound margin in their six losses.
- Pitt ranks third in the ACC in three-point percentage defense (.308), while Louisville ranks 13th in the conference in that category.
- The Panthers rank 58th in the latest NCAA Net rankings and 62nd in KenPom. Pitt is 3-2 in Quad 1 games with wins at Northwestern, at NC State, and against Virginia.
- Pitt ranks fourth in the ACC in three-point fi eld goals (8.50 3pg.) with Blake Hinson and Greg Elliott combining for 4.05 threes per game and ranking among the individual leaders in that category. A year ago, the Panthers were 14th in the ACC at just 5.38 three-point fi eld goals per game.
- The Panthers are the only team in the ACC with three players with 30 or more threes on the season. Blake Hinson (38), Greg Elliott (35), and Nelly Cummings (30) have combined for 103 three-point field goals.
- Jamarius Burton (16.7 ppg.) and Blake Hinson (16.2 ppg.) are the third leading ACC scoring tandem this season. Pitt has not had two players averaging 15.0 or more points per game since the 2016-17 season.
- Blake Hinson is one of two players in the ACC averaging over 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Hinson leads the Panthers in rebounds (6.6 rpg.), double-doubles (4), double-figure scoring games (17), 20+ point games (4), and free throws made (62), while ranking second in scoring (16.2 ppg.) and fi eld goals made (96).
- Jamarius Burton is one of five players in the NCAA averaging at least 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting over 50 percent from the fi eld, on the season
- Federiko Federiko has blocked two or more shots in seven of the past nine games and 10 times overall on the season. He ranks third in the ACC with 1.72 blocks per game.
- Nelly Cummings is two assists shy of 300 career assists. He is sixth in the ACC in assists (4.6 apg.) and has had five or more assists in a game 11 times.
- The Panthers’ starting backcourt of Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton has combined for 2,576 points, 748 rebounds, 693 assists, and 219 steals in 263 career games. The tandem is combining to average 27.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game, while shooting 48.1 percent (169-of-351) from the fi eld this season.
- Nelly Cummings is averaging 14.7 points per game, while shooting 55.6 percent (30-of-54) from the fi eld and 44.4 percent (16-of-36) from three-point range, in Pitt’s six road games.
- Federiko Federiko is contributing 10.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes played. He has played 20 or more minutes in a game 11 times, including each of the past eight games.
- Nelly Cummings is averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 assists per game with a 2.84:1 assist-to-turnover ratio over the past 11 games. He is 48- of-100 (.480) from the fi eld and 19-of-20 (.950) from the foul line in that span.
- Blake Hinson has scored in double figures in a career-high 16 consecutive games. He is tied for second in the ACC with 17 total games with 10 or more points scored.
- Nike Sibande has been Pitt’s first sub in every game (17) he hasn’t started this season. He has scored in double figures seven times and is averaging 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per 40 minutes played.
(Photo of El Ellis: Jared Anderson – Louisville Report)
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