Pitt forward Eric Hamilton is set to sit out his team’s matchup with Virginia Tech on Saturday, as he suffered an ankle injury in Pitt’s 72-52 loss to Clemson on Wednesday and has yet to fully recover. The team will also be missing backup guard Onye Ezeakudo, who has been out since suffering an ankle injury during Pitt’s 80-72 loss to Notre Dame on Feb. 5.
The loss of Hamilton for the game severely limits Pitt’s frontcourt depth, as it leaves only Terrell Brown, Abdoul Karim Coulibaly and Samson George available. Overall, Pitt’s frontcourt has not been a strength for the team this season, but Hamilton has been the most productive player in the position group. In 25 games, the 6’9”, 230-pound forward has averaged 5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game.
Ezeakudo’s absence will hurt Pitt less in this game than it did initially, as Ryan Murphy has returned after sitting out three games due to a concussion, restoring Pitt’s backcourt depth. However, for a team that appeared tired against Clemson, according to Pitt head coach Jeff Capel himself, the loss of any depth is concerning. That’s especially true with regard to Pitt’s backcourt, as Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens both struggled against Clemson, going a combined 2-for-20 from the field.
Pitt and Virginia Tech are set to tip off from Cassell Coloseum in Blacksburg at 6 p.m. ET.