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Athlon predicts NCAA Tournamnent bid for Pitt in Big East preview

Chris Trotman

Athlon released their Big East preview last week. No Pitt players made any of their three preseason teams, but the site did predict that the Panthers will reach the NCAAs - that's the good news. Once they get there, though, Athlon doesn't see much success for Pitt, predicting a one and done in the NCAAs.

After last season, it's hard to be too upset with that pick. But the thing that I keep coming back to with this year's team is their depth. An injury or two will hurt, but Pitt has some quality guys backing up the starters. Trey Zeigler, J.J. Moore, and perhaps even Dante Taylor could start for other D-I teams and the Panthers' rotation runs pretty deep. With that combined with the absolutely unpredictability of the NCAAs, a Sweet 16 run wouldn't be all that surprising.

The one area, though, that Pitt afford to lose players is the frontcourt. After Dante Taylor, there's not much depth there with the planned redshirt of Malcolm Gilbert. Even foul trouble for one of Pitt's trio of big guys, Taylor, Steven Adams, and Talib Zanna, could mean big trouble. In that case, there will be times when the Panthers have to employ a smaller lineup, going with either three guards or three forwards. We've said it a lot, but losing Khem Birch greatly hurt the team's depth.

The other note out of Athlon's preview is that, as we mentioned before, Adams was named the conference's newcomer of the year. The site, as we previously mentioned, also put Adams on their list of impact freshmen and their All-International team.

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