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Takeaways: Blake Hinson Lives for the Big Game



Blake Hinson lines up for a free throw as Pitt plays Duke on Jan. 20, 2024 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

In the words of former Chicago Bulls announcer Stacey King (and many others, probably): Big-time players make big-time plays.

Blake Hinson is a big-time player.

The 6-foot-7 senior shined once again on Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 27 points to end No. 21 Virginia’s 23-game home winning streak in emphatic fashion. Hinson hit five of his 13 three-point attempts, including four of his seven second-half tries from beyond the arch. The Deltona, Florida native has been magnificent in Pitt’s two Quad 1 wins this year, combining for 51 points and 12 threes across the two victories.


He has led the Panthers to six wins in their last seven games, and four straight. After starting the season 1-5, Hinson’s confidence in himself and in his teammates never wavered, and his patience and leadership are paying off.

Alongside Hinson, Pitt’s back court trio of Jaland Lowe, Ishmael Leggett, and Bub Carrington combined for 34 points in the 74-63 rout of No. 21 Virginia.


Pitt’s back court trio was a massive question mark heading into the season.

With two four-star freshmen coming in and one mid-major transfer, the Panthers knew they had acquired talent last offseason. However, nobody outside of the program really knew what Pitt’s guard play would look like this year.

Now, we do.

The guards shined once again in Tuesday’s win over No. 21 Virginia. Although Leggett struggled to the tune of 2 for 11 from the field, he found ways to impact the game with timely shooting (2 for 5 on threes), big rebounds (8 of them), and on the defensive end. Jaland Lowe once again looked like a veteran, scoring 12 points and hitting two of his three three-point tries. Last but not least, Pitt’s Bub Carrington delivered a solid all-around showing: nine points, eight rebounds, six assists. He hit two of his six three-point tries, making back-to-back triples early on to get the Panthers off to a hot start.


Pitt is now 6-2 on the road this season, with wins at West Virginia, No. 7 Duke, Louisville, Georgia Tech, NC State, and No. 21 Virginia.

The Panthers snapped Virginia’s 23-game home winning streak with Tuesday night’s win in Charlottesville, and once again, Pitt’s social media pages showcased Jeff Capel’s postgame speech which included this year’s frequently-used mantra “Pittsburgh Tough.”



Pitt has been digging itself out of the 1-5 hole that it put itself in earlier in the conference slate.

However, now, the Panthers are above .500 in league play for the first time this season at 7-6 in ACC action.

Pitt is now receiving national media attention for the second time this season (next to the Duke win + Hinson celebration), and will look to capitalize on Saturday against Louisville at home. That game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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2 months ago

Pitt’s NET ranking is up to 53. So, yes, it is more reasonable to discuss the Bubble.
If Pitt continues playing with urgency, and they pick-off Clemson and/or Wake, with no more “bad” losses, then we be discussing how high their seed will be.

Columbus Panther
Columbus Panther
2 months ago
Reply to  GFF

Definitely need that Louisville game on Saturday to be a win. Otherwise the fun ride comes crashing to an end.

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