Pitt is getting some expected love in the preseason polls for next year with the news that Ashton Gibbs is coming back for his senior season.
Before we get into the top 25 lists, Ray Fittipaldo of the Post-Gazette kicks things off, saying the Panthers will finish second in the Big East:
Pitt – The return of Ashton Gibbs means the Panthers will have a legitimate chance to repeat as conference champions. But some young players, including Jonathan Moore, Dante Taylor and Khem Birch, are going to have to emerge.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Dante Taylor isn't exactly a young player anymore. He'll be a junior next season. Still, point taken ... sort of.
Okay, on to the top 25s.
Gary Parrish slots Pitt at 12th overall at CBS Sports in his post-NBA Draft declaration rankings. I really wish he'd get the memo about Jaylen Bond as he's still got him as an incoming Panther. Oh well, nobody's perfect.
Despite Gibbs coming back, Andy Katz of ESPN.com isn't as high on Pitt, putting them 17th:
Ashton Gibbs came to his senses and decided to return to school, giving the Panthers a core group of returnees, with Nasir Robinson, Dante Taylor, Talib Zanna and Travon Woodall. That's more than enough for the Panthers to be a major factor in the Big East and beyond. Adding a McDonald's All-American center in Khem Birch just adds to the depth in the post.
Last, Jeff Goodman over at Fox Sports just seems, well, confused. Despite the fact that his rankings were just updated today, he still has Gibbs as a potential early entrant. He's also got the whole Jaylen Bond thing going on.
Anyway, he also has Pitt at 12th.