ShareThis Page
Pitt

Pitt's Luther readies for bigger role under Stallings

| Sunday, July 17, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt's Ryan Luther, a Hampton graduate, plays during summer league action Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at Montour.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Ryan Luther, a Hampton graduate, plays during summer league action Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at Montour.

Pitt forward Ryan Luther was a highly efficient shooter last season.

The trick was convincing former coach Jamie Dixon to feed him the ball more often.

Luther led the Panthers in field-goal percentage, converting 63 of 108 shots (58.3 percent). He scored 12 points in 26 minutes against Miami, 10 points in 24 minutes against Duke, and 13 points in 23 minutes against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament.

Too many times, however, Luther didn't receive enough playing time to make a difference on offense. He averaged 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13.2 minutes a game.

A 6-foot-9 junior, Luther, who starred at Hampton, presents a unique skill set as a versatile big man who can shoot. His 3-point shooting (44 percent) was tops on the team. Although he attempted fewer than 20 3-pointers, Luther was a threat from beyond the arc.

Playing under new coach Kevin Stallings, Luther is eager to prove himself again.

“Everyone kind of has that fresh page to start over,” Luther said. “It's nice to have a new opportunity. I thought I did a pretty good job down the stretch last year (including three double-figure scoring games in the final month). I had a few pretty solid games. I'm just trying to carry that into this year and build on that.”

Luther's underrated offensive game is on display at the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer Pro-Am. In two games, he's averaging 21.5 points and shooting 59.4 percent from the field (19 for 32) and 40 percent from 3-point range (4 for 10). Play resumes Monday at Montour.

Asked to describe the difference between his old coach and new coach, Luther said about Stallings, “He likes people that know how to play. If you listen to what he and his staff are saying, it can go a long way.”

Take, for instance, Luther's willingness to listen and clean up certain aspects of his game. To play more in his third college season, he knows what his coaches expect.

“Getting better at everything, but mostly working on my ball-handling and guarding different people. As far as position, I'm not sure. It doesn't matter to me. I've got to defend (no matter what),” said Luther, who has played forward and center at Pitt.

Better defense could lead to more playing time, resulting in more shots and a more expansive offensive presence.

Luther, though, takes what the defense gives him. As a result, he shoots a high percentage because he takes quality shots.

“Communicating and not turning the ball over and taking good shots,” Luther said of his focus. “Of course, there's going to be different variations of ideas that each coach has, but it comes down to playing basketball, moving and knowing how to play and helping your teammates.”

John Harris is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jharris@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jharris_trib.

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.

click me