2024 North Carolina Sports Network
Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Spotlight:

By Evan Rogers
North Carolina Sports Network

School: University of Pittsburgh

Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Previous NCAA Conference Affiliations: Eastern Intercollegiate Conference (1932-39), Eastern Eight (1976-82), Big East (1982-2013)

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

ACC Member Since: 2013-14

ACC Ranking Among 32 Leagues (KenPom): 7th (2023), 5th (2022), 5th (2021), 4th (2020)

NCAA Tournament Bids: 27 (1941, 1957, 1958, 1963, 1974, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2023)

Conference Titles: 4 (1981, 1982 in Eastern Eight; 2003, 2008 in Big East)

Conference 1st-Place Finishes: 10 (1933, 1934, 1935, 1937 in EIC; 1987, 1988, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011 in Big East)

Head Coach: Jeff Capel III (48 years old, 6th season at Pittsburgh)

As A Player: Duke (1993-97), 3 years professionally

Record At Pittsburgh (Through Jan. 8): 85-86 (.497) in 5+ seasons

Previous Head Coaching Experience: VCU (2002-06), Oklahoma (2006-11)

College AC Experience: Old Dominion (2000-01), VCU (2001-02), Duke (2011-18)

Assistant Under: Jeff Capel II, Mack McCarthy, Mike Krzyzewski

2022-23 Record: 24-12, 14-6 (3rd in 15-team ACC)

2023-23 Preseason Prediction (Coaches/Media): 9th in 15-team ACC

2023-24 Record (Through Jan. 8): 10-5, 1-3 ACC

2023-24 Midseason Ranking (KenPom): #54 nationally (6th in ACC)

Upcoming Schedule Highlights: Duke (1/9), Syracuse (1/16), at Duke (1/20), at Miami (1/27)

Last season, Pittsburgh ended its six-year NCAA Tournament drought.

The Panthers earned an at-large bid to the Big Dance and were awarded a spot in the First Four, with a #11 seed. Pitt then won two games in the NCAA Tournament, sneaking by Mississippi State, 60-59, in the First Four, before knocking off sixth-seeded Iowa State, 59-41, in the first round.

“It was huge just to get in,” coach Jeff Capel said of last year’s NCAA Tournament berth. “But I don’t think anyone in our program was satisfied just to get in. Then we went out and we performed. We performed well.

“It was a big deal. It was a big deal to the university, to the city of Pittsburgh, to certainly our current players, to the former players, to everyone. It’s a big deal, and hopefully it’s something we can build off of.”

Entering this season, the Panthers returned their top scorer from last year’s squad in 24-year-old veteran Blake Hinson, a sixth-year college player who previously spent two seasons at Mississippi and two more at Iowa State, although he didn’t play in any games with the Cyclones.

A second-team All-ACC honoree a season ago, Hinson has upped his scoring output to 19.1 points per game this season, which puts him among the league leaders in that category. The 6-foot-8 forward also leads the Panthers in 3-point shooting percentage and makes.

Pitt also struck gold on the recruiting trail.

True freshman point guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington has provided an instant impact for the Panthers this season. Averaging 14.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5 assists per game, Carrington has earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors twice this season. In his first college game, a season-opening win over North Carolina A&T, he notched a triple-double, with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Across the board, the Panthers offer one of the tallest rosters in the entire country. Capel rotates post players Guillermo Diaz Graham (7-0), Jorge Diaz Graham (6-11) and Federiko Federiko (6-11) — sometimes even play multiple big men at the same time. Through Jan. 8, the Panthers led the ACC in total rebounds and rebounding margin.

“I think we can be really good defensively,” Capel said. “I thought last year we made a huge jump offensively, if you look at our numbers. It was easy to do it from the first four years because we were bad everywhere, but last year we made a significant jump offensively. I think we can make a huge jump defensively because of our size, our length, our athleticism.”


2023-24 Pitt Panthers
(10-5, 1-3 ACC; through Jan. 8)


PG Carlton Carrington, Fr. — 33 mpg, 15 ppg, 5 rpg, 43% FG, 79% FT, 32% threes, 75/30 ATO, 4 blocks, 9 steals
(6-5/190); 4-star signee; St. Frances Academy; Baltimore, Md.

G Ishmael Leggett, r-Jr. — 30 mpg, 13 ppg, 6 rpg, 41% FG, 88% FT, 30% threes, 37/23 ATO, 4 blocks, 18 steals
(6-3/185); Rhode Island transfer (2-year starter); St. John’s HS, Prince George’s County, Md.

F Blake Hinson*, r-Sr. — 32 mpg, 19 ppg, 5 rpg, 44% FG, 68% FT, 41% threes, 13/20 ATO, 0 blocks, 8 steals
(6-8/230); 2023 2nd-team All-ACC; ex-Ole Miss (2-year starter); Sunrise (Kan.) Christian; Deltona, Fla.

F Zack Austin, r-Jr. — 23 mpg, 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 45% FG, 77% FT, 32% threes, 12/6 ATO, 20 blocks, 15 steals
(6-7/210); High Point transfer (2-year starter); Moravian Prep, Winston-Salem, N.C.

C Federiko Federiko*, Jr. — 20 mpg, 5 ppg, 5 rpg, 66% FG, 43% FT, 12/14 ATO, 20 blocks, 8 steals
(6-11/225); 2022 Northern Oklahoma JC transfer (All-NJCAA HM); from Helsinki, Finland

Key Reserves

PG Jaland Lowe, Fr. — 17 mpg, 5 ppg, 2 rpg, 35% FG, 75% FT, 28% threes, 35/16 ATO, 0 blocks, 7 steals
(6-3/170); 4-star signee; Fort Bend Marshall HS; Missouri City, Texas

F William Jeffress, r-Jr.. — 15 mpg, 2 ppg, 3 rpg, 30% FG, 64% FT, 23% threes, 6/7 ATO, 5 blocks, 12 steals
(6-7/210); 2022-23 redshirt; 4th-year reserve; McDowell HS, Erie, Pa.

F Guillermo Diaz Graham, So. — 20 mpg, 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 53% FG, 51% FT, 35% threes, 19/19 ATO, 18 blocks, 15 steals
(7-0/220); 2nd-year Pitt backup; IMG (Fla.) Academy; Canary Islands, Spain

F Jorge Diaz Graham, So. — 11 mpg, 4 ppg, 3 rpg, 37% FG, 79% FT, 30% threes, 12/10 ATO, 4 blocks, 6 steals
(6-11/210); 2nd-year Pitt backup; IMG (Fla.) Academy; Canary Islands, Spain

*—returning starter (started at least 50% of current team’s games last season)

Pitt Panthers
10-Year Snapshot

Season — Overall, League (Place), Postseason

2022-23: 24-12, 14-6 ACC (3rd), NCAA Round of 32 (Jeff Capel)
2021-22: 11-21, 6-14 ACC (11th), no postseason (Jeff Capel)
2020-21: 10-12, 6-10 ACC (12th), no postseason (Jeff Capel)
2019-20: 16-17, 6-14 ACC (13th), no postseason (Jeff Capel)
2018-19: 14-19, 3-15 ACC (14th), no postseason (Jeff Capel)
2017-18: 8-24, 0-18 ACC (15th), no postseason (Kevin Stallings)
2016-17: 16-17, 4-14 ACC (13th), no postseason (Kevin Stallings)
2015-16: 21-12, 9-9 ACC (9th), NCAA Round of 64 (Jamie Dixon)
2014-15: 19-15, 8-10 ACC (9th), NIT Round of 32 (Jamie Dixon)
2013-14: 26-10, 11-7 ACC (5th), NCAA Round of 32 (Jamie Dixon)

*—conference champion

NOTE: Please visit the North Carolina Sports Network’s 2023-24 profiles and 10-year snapshots for all 19 Division One men’s basketball programs in North Carolina and all 15 Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Sun Belt Conference

Campbell Camels, Coastal Athletic Association

Charlotte 49ers, American Athletic Conference

Davidson Wildcats, Atlantic-10 Conference

Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference

East Carolina Pirates, American Athletic Conference

Elon Phoenix, Coastal Athletic Association

Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs, Big South Conference

High Point Panthers, Big South Conference

NC Central Eagles, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina A&T Aggies, Coastal Athletic Association

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlantic Coast Conference

Queens Royals, Atlantic Sun Conference

UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Big South Conference

UNC Greensboro Spartans, Southern Conference

UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Coastal Athletic Association

Western Carolina Catamounts, Southern Conference