Recruit Report: Luther gives Pitt plenty of options

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Ryan Luther isn't quite sure what his future position will be on the Pitt basketball team, but that's the nice thing about Pitt's newest recruit.

Versatility is Luther's strong suit. A 6-foot-8½ senior guard/forward at Hampton High School, Luther made a verbal commitment to Pitt last week. He will sign with the Panthers during the NCAA's week-long signing period Nov. 13-20.

Luther plays just about everywhere for Hampton. He sometimes plays on the wing and hits 3-pointers. He sometimes posts up and scores on the block. And he sometimes helps bring the ball up against pressure. For coach Jamie Dixon at Pitt, he could be a small forward, a power forward or a "stretch 4," a term becoming vogue in basketball the past few years. Basically, a "stretch 4" is a versatile power forward who can do a number of things offensively -- such as Luther.

In a way, Luther is like some Eurpoean players -- long with a variety of skills.

"I guess the way I play, I can play a couple different positions," Luther said. "Coach Dixon never said 'You're going to play this position.' He just thought I was a good, versatile player with skill who could play a couple different positions."

There is a chance Luther could end up maybe 6 feet 10 by the time he is finished at Pitt. He grew more than an inch over the past year or so. On a recruiting visit to Dayton, he was measured a little over 6-8 -- and he might not be done growing.

Hampton coach Joe Lafko has mentioned often that versatility is one of Luther's best attributes. That versatility isn't lost on opposing coaches, either.

"I'm not an authority on who can play where," New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. "But when you look at how good Ryan is right now, he's going to be really, really good when he's 20, 21 or 22 years old. That's the big thing. He's somewhat unique in that he's 6-8, he shoots it, he's athletic, he's long and he's a great competitor. He has all the intangible qualities needed to play in the ACC."

Luther chose Pitt over Duquesne and Dayton, but he also visited George Washington.

"As the process went on a little longer, I realized the opportunity I would have at Pitt and how I could make an impact with them," Luther said.

Luther has a twin brother, 6-7 Collin, who also got a few Division I offers.

Navy and Albany have started to show interest in Collin, but it's highly unlikely he will sign with any college during the early-signing period. He most likely will sign with a school during the spring signing period in April.


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