On Friday afternoon, Pitt opened up the 2023-24 season with an open practice at the Petersen Events Center.
The Panthers kicked off practice with some drills, worked in their position-specific groups, and then scrimmaged full court at the end of practice.
I came in wanting to watch the guards the most, and the trio of Ishmael Leggett, Jaland Lowe, and Carlton Carrington looked great. Lowe is a smooth lefty who’s going to set the table for his teammates all year. He has great control of the ball when handling, is always looking up, and has some burst to him to get to the rim and finish. He’s got soft touch. Carrington has a chance to be an elite-level scorer while at Pitt. He’s got the frame (6’5) and the bag of moves that make him a very versatile guard as just a freshman. He hit numerous pull-up jumpers, used his body to gain leverage and good positioning, and showed off his athleticism in several drills.
Leggett is a do-it-all veteran who looked the part on Friday. He hit threes from the wings and corner in the scrimmage portion of practice, and took care of the ball when handling it. He’s strong enough to back down smaller guards and will be a calming presence for his teammates this year.
Blake Hinson looked like a slimmer version of his last year’s self, hitting threes from just about everywhere. This is his team, and his leadership style is fun to watch. Hinson was loud all practice, celebrated after making good plays, and ran to every drill.
The Diaz-Graham’s definitely put on weight (15+ pounds each) this offseason, and they look more comfortable than they did last year. Jorge, coming off a recent foot injury this summer, looked to be at 100% health. Both twins looked a bit more inclined to back down the other bigs when on offense, but also showed off their pick-and-pop skills and shot from outside.