Pitt's basketball team has had some real snoozefests so far this year, but things get a bit more difficult this week. That all starts tonight in their first game of the Legends Classic against Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders likely aren't a great team, but they are the Panthers' first major-conference test. Texas Tech comes into the game at 4-1. They've not beaten anyone of significance and lost their only test against a 3-1 Alabama team (who, in turn, lost their only other significant game against Oklahoma).
But against Texas Tech, Pitt will face a step up in class and a step up in athletes from the teams they've faced so far.
How the Panthers play in the frontcourt likely determines this game. Texas Tech's two best players are arguably 6'7" forwards Jordan Tolbert and Jaye Crockett. Both are upperclassmen and are the team's top two leading scorers and rebounders. The pair combine for approximately 28 points and 15 rebounds a game.
Obviously, that will put some defensive pressure on Pitt's forwards - in particular, the true freshman Mike Young will get a major test. He and fellow freshman Jamel Artis, as well as the small forwards, will get some good experience against a pair of players with some talent. I expect the Panthers will come out of this with a win, but also think the forwards could have some trouble.
Tune in at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and join our open gamethread later tonight to comment live during the game.