The Week Ahead: Pitt Basketball

The Oakland Zoo will see how they stack up against their ACC peers this year. - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What is in store for week 1 of Men's Basketball?

Is it November already? It seems like ages ago since basketball season was here but alas, the season kicks off this Friday and Pitt will get its first taste of ACC basketball.

Each Monday, we'll give you an upcoming look at the team's week. On Sundays, you can also look for our Panther of the Week as I'll pick the player that stood out the most from the previous week's games.

Looking ahead this week, there is only one game and fans will have to wait until Friday night for it to take place. The Savannah State Tigers from the MEAC will invade "The Pete" to officially kick off the 2013-2014 basketball season. The Tigers are picked to finish in the upper half of the MEAC standings and do bring in a veteran team to Pittsburgh. That's a little bit of a contrast to Pitt's youth, so this could be interesting.

Every season begins with a few question marks, but Pitt seems to have a lot more than usual. There will be several key freshmen and everyone wants to know how the other players will step up. We won't have all the questions answered on Friday night but maybe we will find out some of what Jamie Dixon's starting five will be and the rotation of the team, which is always a hot debate among Pitt fans.

In addition to that, comes the biggest wonder of all: How will Dixon change his team's style now that Pitt is in the ACC? There have been promises of a more offensive style before only to revert back to the defense first mentality. I don't think you can afford to do that in the ACC and right now the coaching staff seems to agree, as they are bringing in more athletic and explosive players. Now, will they up the tempo or try and play the half-court style that made them a success in the Big East? Only time will tell.

Of course we all want the Panthers to get off to quick start, but I'll settle for a W anyway I can get it and hope to see some of the younger players get some much needed playing time against Division One caliber players. You can only learn so much playing Slippery Rock and UC San Diego.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author @BrunoPittsburgh

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