PITTSBURGH – The Pitt Men’s Basketball team will take a 10-day (Aug. 5-14) foreign tour to Spain this summer in preparation for the 2023-24 season. The Panthers will spend four days in Tenerife, Canary Islands to open the trip before heading to Barcelona.
“We are excited about the opportunity to take our team to Spain this summer,” said head coach Jeff Capel. “This will be a great bonding opportunity for our program in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. I was fortunate enough to spend time in Barcelona and the Canary Islands with USA Basketball at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and am really looking forward to being there with our Pitt program.”
Pitt’s time in Tenerife, located in the Canary Islands, will include a private cruise, tours of the city, and an exhibition game. The Panthers will have a pair of experienced tour guides with twins Guillermo Diaz Graham and Jorge Diaz Graham growing up in the Canary Islands before coming to the United States to pursue college basketball dreams.
The Panthers will travel to Barcelona Aug. 10 and will tour 1992 Olympic sites, Montjuic Hill, and FC Barcelona Stadium before playing their second exhibition game of the trip. The travel party will also explore the seaside town of Sitges before returning to the U.S.
Pitt is expected to return two starters – Blake Hinson and Federiko Federiko – from last season’s NCAA Tournament team that finished 24-12 overall, including a 14-6 mark and tied for third finish in the ACC. A Second Team All-ACC pick, Hinson led the Panthers in scoring (15.3 ppg.), rebounds (6.0 rpg.), and three-pointers (97), while posting 30 double-figure scoring games, 20 games with 15 or more points, and nine 20+ point games. Hinson and Brandon Miller (Alabama) were the only players in the NCAA to average 15.0 or more points and 6.0 or more rebounds per game with 95 or more made threes.
Federiko averaged 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting a team-high 66.7 percent (94-of-141) from the field and leading the Panthers in offensive rebounds (86), blocks (58), and dunks (39).
The Panthers also return twins Guillermo Diaz Graham (3.5 ppg., 3.2 rpg.) and Jorge Diaz Graham (2.9 ppg., 2.2 rpg.) along with two-year starter William Jeffress, who missed the 2022-23 season with a foot injury.
Pitt’s backcourt is currently comprised of a talented trio of young guards – Dior Johnson (No. 35 prospect in 2022 ESPN Top 100), Jaland Lowe (No. 76 prospect in 2023 ESPN Top 100), and Carlton Carrington (No. 87 in Rivals 150) – looking to make their collegiate debuts in 2023-24.
Bolstering the young backcourt will be Rhode Island transfer Ishmael Leggett, who averaged 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game during the 2022-23 season. He made 48 three-point field goals, while also shooting 84.5 percent (147-of-174) from the foul line. The Prince George’s County, Md., native scored in double-figures 28 times, including nine games with 20+ points scored and a pair of 30+ point efforts.
Pitt has also added Zack Austin, who recorded 897 points, 424 rebounds, 135 blocked shots, and 129 three-point field goals in two seasons of action at High Point, from the transfer portal. A 2023 All-Big South Honorable Mention honoree, Austin averaged 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.1 steals in 31 games (26 starts) for the Panthers last season. He made 62 three-point field goals as a redshirt sophomore with nine games with three or more three-pointers. Austin scored in double figures in the final 13 games of the season and 26 times overall.
The Panthers continue to be active on the recruiting front with two scholarships remaining.
Source: Matt Plizga/Pitt Athletics