Pitt's Ashton Gibbs picked up a preseason college basketball honor, being named as a third-team Sporting News All-American. Unfortunately, SN has gone all Bleacher Report on us, going to a dreaded slideshow format, so you'll have to work your way through to see the Gibbs stuff.
As I mentioned when Dick Vitale listed Gibbs as a first-teamer on his Solid Gold Team, I think Gibbs could be deserving of first-team status. But there are plenty of others who fit that mold, too, so third-team isn't a huge disappointment.
In other news, Sporting News also ranked Pitt 11th in their preseason poll. They also think this could be the year Pitt finally breaks through.
The SN says:
After yet another plucky Panthers team pulled an early exit from the NCAA Tournament, things might be ready to change for coach Jamie Dixon’s squad. This team will not be as experienced as its predecessors and might not need to rely as much on passion and precision. Although there are still veterans who fit the prior mold—principally forward Nasir Robinson and guard Ashton Gibbs— this group is more talented and more dynamic. March finally could be a different story for Pitt.
I'm not so sure this is the year Pitt gets that elusive Final Four. I think their best bet was last year when they had a pretty favorable road there as a No. 1 seed. But one thing's for certain - it's not always the four best teams that get there, so who knows.