Pitt plays their second ACC road game tonight against Georgia Tech. If nothing else, it will be a good test for a young team.
First things first - is Georgia Tech a team Pitt should beat? Well, yeah. They're 10-6 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. They were beaten badly by a Maryland team that Pitt handled pretty easily and they were routed by 22 by what looks to be a Duke team that already has four losses. Georgia Tech has won its share of games against decent opponents, including Notre Dame, Illinois, and Georgia, but also have losses to Dayton, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and St. John's.
This team is a bit up and down, but really, it's a team the Panthers should defeat - even on the road.
One thing I'll be watching for, obviously, is the Durand Johnson impact. As I wrote recently, Pitt has a few options here. They can go bit at times with Jamel Artis getting more minutes when they need rebounding, or can go smaller with Josh Newkirk out there when they need more perimeter shooting or need to match up with quicker teams. We'll see how it plays out.
The ranking aspect is also a little intriguing. I expect Pitt to come out with a little bounce in their step after landing int he polls for the first time, but it also means that Georgia Tech will probably be trying that much more to knock off a ranked team.
One more thing to watch? The rebounding battle? Georgia Tech is one of the better teams in the country at it, hauling in 39 boards per game and ranking 40th in the nation. Pitt really needs to get more out of a guy like Mike Young in that respect in a game like this.
The game is at 9:00 p.m. EST on ESPNU. If you don't have that, you can also catch it on ESPN3. Leave your pre-game thoughts below, then join us at 9:00 p.m. to comment live during the game.