Gorman: Pitt taking a 'stretch' in basketball recruiting
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
There was a time when calling Pitt offering a scholarship to Hampton's Ryan Luther a “stretch” would have been considered an insult.
Now, call it a compliment.
“I'd say maybe I'm a three or a ‘stretch four,' whatever they call it,” Luther said with a laugh when asked to describe his playing style. “I have some versatility that gives me an advantage.”
The numbers are basketball parlance for positions, with the “three” traditionally serving as a small forward or swingman, and the “four” as a power forward.
It's time to get acquainted with the “stretch four,” as Luther called it, as Pitt prepares for its inaugural season of ACC basketball.
Where the physical power forward was synonymous with the Big East, the ACC relies more on someone with length who can help spread the floor and shoot from the perimeter.
While almost every coach at ACC media day in Charlotte, N.C., downplayed the differing styles between the Big East and ACC, Notre Dame's Mike Brey pointed to the power forward position as evidence.
“The one thing I heard all summer from ACC coaches,” Brey said, “is the second big guy in the ACC is more of a face-up guy and maybe not the brute force four-man, a less-skilled four-man that we saw in the Big East.”
It's already reflective in Pitt's recruiting. The Panthers signed skilled forwards Mike Young and Jamel Artis last year and have verbal commitments from a pair of 6-foot-8 wing-forwards in former Beaver Falls star Sheldon Jeter and Luther.
“Ryan is a versatile player,” Hampton coach Joe Lafko said of Luther, who averaged 21 points a game as a junior. “He has the ability to play in the interior and also has the ability to stretch a defense by shooting from the perimeter. He has to continue to work on his ball-handling skills if coaches want him to face up.”
Luther downplayed the idea that he and Jeter — who spent his freshman year at Vanderbilt before transferring to Polk State College in Florida — play the same position, given that Pitt coach Jamie Dixon took both.
Dixon is adjusting to the ACC by emphasizing the need for players capable of handling the ball and allowing for the possibility of players like Luther and Jeter to see the court at the same time.
It's also possible that Young could play in the post if Pitt fails to sign a traditional center like Satchel Pierce, the 7-footer from the Kiski School who visited Miami this weekend and plans to visit Marquette next weekend.
More likely, it's a sign that Pitt sees what the future holds in the ACC, and that signing two more big forwards isn't a stretch.
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Meat prices drain barbecue budgets
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- NFL notebook: Pryor will be cut if he’s not traded
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- Pair of Braun homers spells defeat for Pirates
- One dead, one wounded in shooting at Chartiers party
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- State police: People injured in Parkway crash resulting from police chase