The conference season for the Pitt men’s basketball team is over. The ACC season is here and the degree of difficult is starting out pretty high as the Panthers will face No. 15 North Carolina.
The Tar Heels game would already be challenging enough but Pitt will be facing former Panther Cameron Johnson as well. Johnson, of course, bolted from the program and after a contentious battle, managed to land in conference with the Tar Heels, something which typically doesn’t happen. He leads the team in scoring so, yeah, that’s kind of problematic.
I don’t want to rehash the Cam stuff. It’s tired, to be honest. But this is the exact reason why teams have restricted transfers for years. As I’ve maintained before, the problem is not that Cam was able to force an in-conference transfer. Rather, it’s that Pitt, somehow, was roped into allowing it while virtually every other school hasn’t played by the same rule. Regardless of what you think about the actual rules, I think we can all agree that all schools should have to play by the same ones.
No ill will towards him but the idea that this should be a homecoming of sorts just because he’s from here is stupid. He’s an opponent and I’m hoping the sold-out crowd treats him like one.
Pitt doesn’t stand a great chance of winning this one, obviously. Both teams are 10-3 but it’s clear that the Tar Heels have the more experienced and, almost certainly, the better team. Pitt gets the game at home but a win certainly would be a sizable upset.
I want to get back to something I said earlier this week. And that’s that Pitt fans shouldn’t judge success by the number of ACC wins. Pitt was routinely beaten by 20 and 30 points last year in conference. If the Panthers can keep things closer than last year’s team did, that will be a start.
Game time is at noon. Join us here to comment live if you’re not heading down to the Pete today.
Go get ‘em.