As I wrote earlier, Pitt's international trip to The Bahamas really came during a good season. The Panthers not only have a young team as they expect to rely heavily on several underclassmen for the second straight season, but the team has some new faces as well.
With Pitt still in a bit of a transition as a program, Jamie Dixon has some work to do in the configuration of a starting lineup. In addition to officially naming starters, the coach also has to decide (even more importantly, perhaps) how the minutes are distributed. Breaking it down even further, there's the matter of playing guys together that just have good chemistry.
It's early and Pitt is only two games into their Bahamas trip, but so far, Dixon has been doing a fair share of experimentation.
Game 1 saw a starting lineup of James Robinson, Cam Wright, Chris Jones, Mike Young, and Derrick Randall. That lineup featured three guys expected to start in some capacity (Robinson, Wright, and Young) as well as two question marks. Sunday's Game 2 starters were Wright, Josh Newkirk, Jamel Artis, Sheldon Jeter, and Joseph Uchebo.
All told, Dixon has tried nine different starters over the two contests. In addition, with so many guys playing significant minutes, he has certainly tried a large number of different lineups on the court. Even with that amount of experimenting, however, it's still hard to know what to take away here.
Certainly, this at least partially about trying to see what fits. Jamie is still trying to get a good handle on some of these guys and some of the sorting is going to continue into the non-conference schedule.
But while Dixon could very well be open to significant changes to the starting lineup from last season (as trying nine different starters might indicate), also keep in mind that this is also an international trip where the level of competition isn't the greatest. Giving guys the opportunity to start that might not have it otherwise during the season is just part of it.
Also, consider the amount of time some guys are getting. No offense to guys like Ryan Luther and Cam Johnson, but not only are they unlikely to average about 20 minutes combined per game as they have been, but there's a good chance that one or both are redshirted.
There is a whole lot of throwing crap to the wall to see what sticks but part of it is also just giving guys the chance to play more than they typically will during the season.