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Breaking Down Pitt Commit Zack Austin’s Top Games in 2022-23



Zack Austin is the first player in the transfer portal to commit to Pitt to play for head coach Jeff Capel entering the 2023-24 season. The 6-foot-7 forward from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, visited campus over the weekend for his first look in black and gold. 

Austin averaged 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games (26) starts during his redshirt sophomore season. He shot just under 44% from the floor and 62-for-186 (33%) behind the three-point arc. Austin scored 15 points or more 14 times and failed to reach double figures only five times. 

His best performance came on Jan. 21 at Radford, tying a career-high 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 33 minutes off the bench. Austin also tied his career best in three-pointers made in a game, finding the bottom of the basket on 5-of-9 attempts. A member of the Big South, High Point finished the season 14-17 overall, 6-12 in conference action, and 2-11 away from High Point, North Carolina. The Honorable Mention All-Conference player led all players in scoring against Radford whole contributing four rebounds, two blocks, and his team’s only steal. 

The programs met again on Feb. 22, producing similar results for Austin. He sunk eight field goals for the third time all season – twice facing Radford – and scored 20 points in 35 minutes. The newest Panther also blocked five shots and registered two steals.

Austin performed well both times he faced Charleston Southern. He logged 38 against the Buccaneers on Feb. 4, more than any other matchup all year. Austin dealt a career-high six assists in an 81-73 home victory and would face them again to begin the Big South Tournament. Charleston Southern got the best of High Point, 72-70, in Charlotte as Austin recorded a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double in 36 minutes.

A considerable shot blocker – 66 total (2.13 per game) this year and 69 the previous season – Austin blocked seven shots as a freshman facing Harvard and six against Furman, where he played 47 total minutes in a double-overtime loss. Austin was named Big South Freshman of the Week eight times and Big South Conference Co-Freshman of the Year, starting all 32 games. Pitt’s latest addition scored 19 points and blocked six shots hosting Winthrop on Jan. 19. The Panthers are adding a physical presence on both ends of the floor capable of blocking shots and knocking down shots.

Pitt has three scholarships remaining following the addition of Austin. John Hugley IV and Nate Santos both entered the transfer portal and five seniors departed the program, which created gaps to fill in the starting lineup and reserve roles. Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings, Nike Sibande, and Greg Elliott all transferred to Pitt and close their careers on a high note. A similar opportunity awaits for Austin with two years of eligibility remaining, joining Blake Hinson, Federiko Federiko, the Diaz Graham twins, and three quality freshmen looking to build off of two wins in the NCAA Tournament.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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