North Xtra: 'The Other Luther' a problem for Hampton foes
February 27, 2014 12:00 AM
As a left-hander, Hampton's Collin Luther enjoys certain advantages offensively and defensively.
By Ryan Riordan / Tri-State Sports & News Service
As a University of Pittsburgh recruit and the leading scorer and rebounder for one of the best teams in the WPIAL, Hampton High School senior Ryan Luther has garnered a lot of attention.
Collin Luther, Ryan's twin brother, has also been a huge reason why Hampton has qualified for the state tournament for the third consecutive season. But Collin, who has also received Division I offers, doesn't get nearly the amount of acclaim as his brother ... and he's fine with that.
"I get asked that a lot and it doesn't really bother me," Collin Luther said. "I just try to do what I do. I don't mind staying under the radar.
"And as long as we're winning, that's all I care about."
The Talbots have won a lot during Collin and Ryan's time at Hampton. In the twins four years at the school, Hampton had 83 wins heading into Wednesday night's WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal against North Allegheny, as opposed to only 22 losses.
Ryan Luther is more of the scorer, averaging more than 21 points per game in each of the past two regular seasons.
Collin can also score -- he entered Wednesday's game with 936 career points -- but he also is the team's de facto point guard and team's top defensive player.
"We usually put [Collin Luther] on the opposing team's top scorer," Hampton coach Joe Lafko said. "He has a long reach and being left-handed, his strong hand is the one that's going right up in front of a right-handed shooter's face. He gives us an advantage defensively."
Collin Luther said he usually guards out on the perimeter, but has guarded every position on the floor this season for the Talbots.
He said he takes pride in his role as a lock-down defender.
"I think there's a sense of pride," Collin Luther said. "As a senior leader, I try to do anything to help us win. If I'm asked to try to stop the other team's No. 1 guy, then I can set the tone for our defense."
Luther also is one of the team's main ballhandlers and distributors on offense. His size -- he's 6 feet 6 -- especially comes in handy when the team is trying to break the opposition's presses and traps.
"He can see over the guard traps in high school basketball," Lafko said. "Your average guard at this level is 5-10 to 6 feet, so he can see over it and can get the ball to the open man. It's helped us win games."
Luther's combination of size and versatility has attracted attention from several Division I schools. He said he's currently talking to four schools -- Albany, Columbia, Winthrop and Fairfield -- but hasn't made a decision yet.
Whatever school lands Luther will be getting a winner.
"He's very intensely competitive," Lafko said. "If it's a practice, a game, it doesn't matter, you don't want to be on the other team of Collin Luther because he doesn't lose. He's just a winner."
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