Syracuse guard Tyus Battle will sit out Wednesday night’s ACC tournament matchup with Pitt due to a recent hip injury, according to Mike Waters of Syracuse.com.
Battle suffered a bruised hip during Syracuse’s 67-55 defeat at the hands of Clemson on Saturday afternoon, but Waters noted that no structural damage was revealed by an MRI scan. However, the injury is serious enough that Battle has already been ruled doubtful for a potential third-round matchup with Duke in the tournament.
In Pitt’s first matchup with Syracuse this season, Battle led the Orange in scoring, as he put up 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting en route to a 74-63 win over the Panthers. He played a less pivotal role when the teams met in Pittsburgh for a rematch, chipping in just six points on 2-for-13 shooting. However, the Panthers still lost 65-56.
Battle presents a threat every time he takes the court, as he been Syracuse’s top scorer in each of the past two seasons. Last year, he averaged 19.2 points over 39.0 minutes per game. This year, with his minutes cut slightly to 36.3 per game, he has managed to contribute 17.2 points per game and recently earned third-team All-ACC honors.
While the absence of the Syracuse star will simplify matters for Pitt defensively, the question remains as to whether or not the team will finally be able to figure out a way to bypass Jim Boeheim’s zone defense on a consistent enough basis to compete.
Pitt and Syracuse are set to meet at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 9:30 p.m. ET.