Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hampton Grad Calls Long Distance Luther Dialing Up Some Big Numbers for Pitt-Johnstown

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hampton Grad Calls Long Distance Luther Dialing Up Some Big Numbers for Pitt-Johnstown

Article excerpt

As a 6-foot-7 forward, Bill Luther is adept at posting up his opponent, scoring at will in the paint as the leading scorer for the Pitt-Johnstown basketball team.

His favorite shot, however, is much farther away from the basket.

Luther, a graduate of Hampton High School, is one of the leading 3-point shooters in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and has created matchup problems since stepping onto the Pitt-Johnstown campus four years ago.

"That's been my bread and butter shot since high school," he said. "I've always been able to take advantage of being able to shoot from the outside, take advantage of some bigger guys who have to guard me and being able to take them outside."

Luther is No. 1 in the PSAC in 3-point field goals per game (2.85) and No. 2 in 3-point field-goal percentage, making 57 of 135 for a percentage of .422. He currently stands third on the career 3- pointers list at UPJ with 242, behind Danny Branch (2007-2011) with 269 and Jordan Miller (2009-2013) with 294.

He also ranks nationally in NCAA Division II in long-distance shooting. His 57 shots made rank him 24th, he is tied for 42nd in 3- pointers attempted, 42nd in 3-point field-goal percentage and 43rd in 3-pointers per game.

"He can really shoot the ball," said coach Bob Rukavina, a Lower Burrell resident who notched his 400th win at UPJ in December. "Sometimes in practice he'll just throw in 10 in a row."

Which makes designing an offense with such a sharp-shooter in the lineup so intriguing.

"That's the difference this year," Rukavina said. "Most of the '4' or '5' guys are big, strong 240, 250-pound guys. It's a challenge for them to come out and guard him on the perimeter. It's not easy for them."

The Mountain Cats are competing in the PSAC for the first time this season, having moved from the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. …

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