Opponent preview: What to know about the Pittsburgh Panthers

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse snapped its losing streak with a 79-72 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday, the first win in four games for the Orange. On Wednesday, Syracuse (15-12, 8-8 Atlantic Coast) will look for a second-straight victory when it travels to Pittsburgh for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Panthers (15-13, 6-11) enter Wednesday following a three-point home loss to Virginia last Saturday and have lost their last four in a row. Below is the Pittsburgh scouting report before Wednesday night’s tipoff.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 72-45Last time they played: The Orange jetted out to a 20-point lead over the Panthers in the first half before hanging on for a 69-61 win. The Pittsburgh offense appeared puzzled early in the game and failed to break through Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense. As the game carried on, Syracuse’s offense struggled too. Joe Girard III finished the game having shot 25% from the field while the ACC’s leading-scorer Elijah Hughes had just 10 points. Leading the Orange’s forward group was Marek Dolezaj with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Quincy Guerrier added 10 points and eight rebounds. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Pitt report: Pittsburgh has lost its last four games and has scored more than 60 points in just one of those matchups. Its field goal percentages both inside and beyond the arc rank in the bottom 300s nationally, including a 29.2% 3-point field goal percentage.  Outside of a high forced turnover rate, not much on the Panthers stat sheet jumps off the page. No player averages more than 12.3 points per game and Pitt lacks a dominant down-low presence. It’s the exact opposite of the formula that’s beaten down on Syracuse this year.How Syracuse beats Pitt: Syracuse beats Pittsburgh by playing the first half it did a few weeks ago. The Orange forced the Panthers to shoot outside jumpers and scored from all over the floor through the first 20 minutes. If Buddy Boeheim didn’t cool off after an 18-point first half Syracuse may have ran away with that game. Syracuse’s offense hasn’t been a major issue over the last few games and shouldn’t be on Wednesday night either. The Orange needs their usual contributors to play well and they can waltz away from Pittsburgh with an easy win.Stat to know: 34 — With a 34% offensive rebounding percentage, Pittsburgh ranks 342nd worst in the country. KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 49% chance to win the game, with a projected final score of 70-69 in favor of Pittsburgh.Player to watch: Justin Champagnie, guard No. 11The freshman from Brooklyn leads Pittsburgh in points (12.3) and rebounds (7.1) per game. At 6-foot-6, Champagnie plays a guard-forward hybrid and could end up across Hughes for parts of the game. If Pitt wins on Wednesday, watch for a dominant double-double from Champagnie.  Comments Published on February 26, 2020 at 12:37 am Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more