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Pitt alums Ryan Luther and Jamel Artis advance in TBT

The former Pitt teammates had seven points apiece in the first round

NCAA Basketball: Never Forget Tribute Classic-Pittsburgh vs Penn State Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Four Pitt alums entered the quarantine bubble in Columbus, Ohio, to take part in The Basketball Tournament, and over the weekend, two advanced and two were eliminated from the competition and sent home. The two to advance were Jamel Artis with Sideline Cancer and Ryan Luther with Herd That, and the two who were eliminated were Gilbert Brown with Team Hines and Gary McGhee with Heartfire.

Arguably, the most exciting performance from the quartet came from Luther, who came off the bench and played 19 minutes for Marshall alumni squad Herd That, which defeated the Peoria All-Stars 80-65. In Luther’s brief time on the court, he came up with seven points, four rebounds, one steal and three blocks.

Luther’s performance included a three-pointer and a 2-for-2 showing from the foul line, and he finished second on the team in plus-minus rating with a 15. But his aggressive defense was a key element of his value to the team and what made him so entertaining to watch.

Artis, Luther’s former teammate, fared almost as well as Luther with Sideline Cancer, as he accrued seven points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 26 minutes in Sideline Cancer’s 93-91 win over Team Hines. However, as a starter who saw seven more minutes of action than Luther, Artis came up a bit short, as he was the only Sideline Cancer player to log 25 minutes but not score in double figures.

Pitt’s biggest letdown of the weekend came in Brown’s performance with Team Hines. A key figure on the team as a starter who logged 30 minutes, Brown only managed to contribute six points, three rebounds and one steal but also had a team-high four assists. In addition, Brown went 2-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 from beyond the arc and had two turnovers.

McGhee was part of a losing effort by Heartfire that saw the team fall to Purdue alumni team Men of Mackey 83-79. Like Luther and Artis, McGhee scored seven points. However, he added just two rebounds despite his status as the largest Pitt alum in the event at 6’11”.

The two remaining Pitt alums, Luther and Artis, will advance to the second round of the tournament. Luther and Herd That will face the Money Team on July 9 at 2 p.m. ET, and Artis and Sideline Cancer will face Challenge ALS on July 7 at 2 p.m. ET.