Jeff Capel’s Pittsburgh Panthers will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face Chris Collins’ Northwestern Wildcats on Wednesday night in a battle of teams led by Mike Krzyzewski disciples.
The game is a part of the week’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Capel and Collins played together at Duke from 1993 to 1996. They helped the Blue Devils reach the 1994 NCAA championship game, and during the 1995-96 season, Capel and Collins averaged over 16 points a game.
The two later were assistants for Krzyzewski, overlapping in Durham from 2011 to 2013.
Pittsburgh (2-1) enters Wednesday’s game after blowing out Northern Illinois by 30 points on Saturday. After the Huskies shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, they were held to 25.9 percent shooting in the second.
The Panthers have been led by Justin Champagnie, Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney, who have accounted for about 66 percent of Pittsburgh’s scoring this season.
Toney leads the group at 18.3 points per game on a field-goal percentage of 63.3. Champagnie is at 17.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Johnson scores 17 points a game.
Northwestern (2-0) has had a torrid start, scoring 203 points over its first two games and shooting 47.2 percent from 3-point range.
“They’re really scoring fast off of makes and misses, and so that’s the very first thing,” Capel said. “Then they’re making 12 1/2 threes a game and shooting a good percentage, so we’re gonna have to get the shooters.”
Chase Audige leads the Wildcats in scoring at 18 points per game, while sharpshooter Miller Kopp is at 17.
Northwestern won each of its first two games by more than 40 points, and Collins said he’s interested to see how his team will react in a closer game.
“I’m anxious to see our guys in high-leverage situations, high-pressure situations,” he said. “We know we are going to play a lot of close games.”
The teams met last year in the Fort Myers Tip-Off title game, with Pitt winning 72-59.
Champagnie had a game-high 21 points on 9 of 20 shooting from the field for the Panthers, while Boo Buie had 16 points for the Wildcats.
–Field Level Media