With the season now officially over, I thought a look back at the year was appropriate. Feel free to let me know what you think I left off this list. I typically hate doing these types of lists since it's so easy to leave important things out, but let's give it a shot.
One side note - I left out anything related to recruiting. Now, onto the list.
28-point win over Georgetown: Face it, this one didn't make sense. Beating what would become one of the nation's teams by nearly 30 points on their home floor still doesn't even seem real. But after two Big East losses to start the year, it eased a lot of fears.
Total domination in non-conference: Make fun of Pitt's non-conference schedule all you want, but the Panthers not only won the games they need to, they dominated them. In the team's 11 victories, they won by an average of 27 points a game.
Play of freshmen: James Robinson, Steven Adams, and Durand Johnson all not only played, but contributed. And as the season went along, Adams in particular, got better.
24 wins and return to NCAA Tournament: Getting to the NCAAs and racking up another 20-game season in the rugged Big East made things seem a bit more normal after last year's debacle.
Likely return of Steven Adams: Adams largely looked like a 'one and done' player, but by all indications, he'll be back. He wasn't an immediate star, but he also looks like he just loves college. If Adams comes back it will be a big coup for the team for next year and should mean Pitt is a preseason top 25 team.
Development of veterans to return: Lamar Patterson, J.J. Moore, and Talib Zanna will lead the team next year as seniors. But unlike past Pitt players, none of the three improved all that much. Zanna played over his head in the non-conference schedule but was brought back to earth in the Big East. And playing about the same amount of minutes as last year, Moore and Patterson didn't improve upon their numbers much.
James Robinson's shooting: Robinson's shooting woes have been well documented and while he had a good season overall, for our sake, let's hope he's in the gym shooting thousands upon thousands of jumpers this summer. Robinson shot 37% on the year, but his numbers in the second half of the season were far, far worse.
Early Big East Tournament exit: It would have been nice to see Pitt make a run in the Big East Tournament, but they were ousted in the first round by Syracuse.
No. 8 seed: Despite making the tournament, receiving a No. 8 seed was a bit of a snub. It also could have cost Pitt at least one tourney win as a higher seed would have meant facing an easier opponent.
Ups and downs of Trey Zeigler: When Zeigler came to Pitt, he was heralded as a scoring machine and a potential star. But he failed to make a huge impact this season. And, oh yeah, the DUI didn't help matters. But Zeigler will have another chance next year and without Tray Woodall, they'll need him a bit more.
Big East opening loss to Rutgers: Expectations were high after a good non-conference offseason, but Pitt lost to Cincinnati and came out flat, losing to Rutgers in the following game. The fact that it was also the same day as the bowl loss didn't help matters.
First round NCAA Tournament loss: Pitt could have picked worse teams to lose to, so my beef isn't with their inability to beat Wichita. Rather, it was the manner in which they lost. Getting blown out by a team considered to your equal is pretty ugly.
Notre Dame game: After a big lead against the Irish, the Panthers couldn't hang on for a big win. This was the ugliest regular season game of the year for Pitt.
Malcolm Gilbert transfer: Pitt lost one of the few big men they had when sophomore center Malcolm Gilbert, who was expected to redshirt this season, transferred out of the program. The team also lost John Johnson, but that loss wasn't nearly as significant. The Gilbert loss makes Pitt's frontcourt even thinner for next season.