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Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh: Scouting the Panthers

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Pittsburgh Panthers? More like Jerkburgh Janthers.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (16-9, 8-4) and the Pittsburgh Panthers (13-11, 2-9) are set to meet for the second time on Saturday. Syracuse handled business in the first meeting, winning 77-66. The rematch tips off at 1 pm from the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt still boasts the top two scorers in the ACC in Michael Young and Jamel Artis who combine for 40.8 points per contest. Artis sprained his ankle in the first half of Pittsburgh’s most recent game against Boston College but returned for the second half. Still, he only scored six points in that contest.

Syracuse will have to key on those two guys first and foremost. Cam Johnson has been streaky this year but he’s still a legitimate threat from outside. Despite a lackluster performance against Syracuse in the first meeting this year, he still shoots a very respectable 40.4 percent from downtown. The troika of Young, Artis and Johnson will be the focal point of the 2-3 zone.

Sheldon Jeter has traditionally been a Syracuse killer, so the Orange will have to key on him as well. He’s coming off a solid game against BC in which he scored 17 points. Expect to see him float between the high-post and short corner against the zone.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange and Panthers are similar on the offensive end, statistically speaking. Syracuse averages just 0.3 points more per game at 76.8 and shoots marginally better from the floor at 46.3 percent — Pitt shoots 45.6 percent. Strangely enough, both teams average 35.6 rebounds per contest.

Defensively Syracuse has the edge, especially in the steals category. Syracuse ranks No. 17 nationally in steals per game with 8.36 — that’s tops in the conference. Andrew White leads that category for the team with 1.7 steals per.

The game tips off at 1 pm this Saturday. Be sure to check the site as we’ll have the game-thread, recap and post-game coverage. See highlights from the first meeting below.