On Thursday, Jim recapped ACC Basketball's media day. Had a few thoughts that were probably too much to be dumped into the comments section.
As expected, no Pitt players were named to the ACC team. And being realistic, who would deserve to be there? Pitt's leaders are Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna. For three years now, we've been debating the consistency of each. Zanna appeared to have the chance to break out last year after a strong non-conference season, but he faded once the Big East schedule began. He again looked strong posting monster numbers this summer in the Greentree league, but who's to say that will lead to a great year? Similarly, Patterson has shown glimpses of becoming a star, but he's never quite achieved that, either.
Regarding Pitt's standing, sixth is about as much as the Panthers probably expected in the preseason. With the losses of Tray Woodall and Steven Adams, Pitt lost their leading scorer, assist man, and rebounder. Three starters return, but the lone guard returning, James Robinson, wasn't a good shooter and Zanna returns, but will be playing a different position at center. Mix in a thin frontcourt and the losses of J.J. Moore and Trey Zeigler, and there is a lot of transition.
None of this is to suggest it will be a down year for Pitt. But with so many questions and playing in the best conference in college basketball, a sixth-place standing isn't all that unexpected.