PITTSBURGH — Guillermo Diaz-Graham has had his fair share of memorable moments in his year-plus with Pitt basketball.
The Spanish forward played a huge role for the Panthers in their March Madness run a season ago, stepping up for a game-saving block in Pitt’s win over Mississippi State in the First Four, scoring nine against Iowa State in the First Round, and more — all as a rookie. Now in his second season with an additional 20 pounds on his frame, the 7-footer is ready to once again step up for the hungry Panthers.
In Friday night’s dominant victory over Jacksonville, the Spaniard did just that.
Diaz-Graham knocked down a free throw with more than three minutes to go to set his career high in points, with 15. However, he was not done yet, scoring eight points in the final 3:34 to set a career-best mark of 23 points.
“The whole team worked so well that we all got great looks, I think it was a team thing,” Diaz-Graham said. “I think everyone looked super good today.”
He finished with an 8-of-10 shooting line, hitting his lone three-point attempt as well as 6 of his 9 attempts from the free-throw line. He also set a career-high with ten rebounds in the win, earning his first career double-double.
“I had no idea I was going to get a double double, and then the ball kind of got in my hands, and I was like, ‘Wait, oh yeah, I got a double double,” Diaz-Graham said. “The guys were excited for me, so it was really nice.”
Diaz-Graham and the Panthers will now face a slew of five high-major opponents in a row, starting with Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 9:30 p.m.
“We knew they were going to come for us after Florida, so it was just like a get tough thing,” he said about Pitt’s front court toughness. “Don’t get pushed, push. I feel like we did a really good job preparing for the game, and it showed up.”