The Pitt men’s basketball team will host Gardner-Webb during the 2020-21 season, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The non-conference matchup is the third to be revealed in the last two weeks, as it was previously announced that the team will host Morgan State and Drexel.
Source: Pitt will host Gardner Webb as part of its 20-21 non-conference schedule.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 1, 2020
Of the three recently announced non-conference opponents, Gardner-Webb is the only team Pitt has any recent history with, as the Panthers and Runnin’ Bulldogs played for the first time on Nov. 14, 2016. Pitt would win that matchup 99-80. With that said, their history does not extend further back than that, as the two teams have only played once.
Gardner-Webb is one of three Big South teams that Pitt has faced in its history. The other two are High Point, a team Pitt beat 71-63 on Nov. 28, 2017, and UNC - Asheville, a team Pitt beat 74-51 during an NCAA tournament game in Washington, D.C., on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011.
Last season, Gardner-Webb went 16-16, with the majority of its wins coming in the Big South. The team went 11-7 in conference play, which was good enough for a third-place finish. However, this season, the Bulldogs will not return its top two scorers, as Jose Perez transferred to Marquette and Eric Jamison graduated. That leaves one-time Pitt target Nate Johnson, who averaged 13.5 points per game, as the team’s top returning scorer.
With the Gardner-Webb game confirmed, Pitt’s non-conference schedule for the 2020-21 season consists of West Virginia on Nov. 13, the Myrtle Beach Invitational from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, Morgan State on Nov. 25, Drexel at an unknown date, Gardner-Webb at an unknown date, and an ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup at an unknown date. The ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent is unknown, but the Myrtle Beach field includes Charlotte, Dayton, Loyola - Chicago, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn and Utah State as potential opponents for Pitt.