Pitt's full men's basketball schedule is now out - let the predictions begin. Paul Zeise gets things started, predicting a 22-9 record and calling Pitt a bubble team. I tend to think he's basically got it right. I'm calling for 23-7 (did not predict one game - see below).
First, a few disclaimers:
1. Leaving out the second O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic 2nd round game as it's not known if Pitt will play Texas or Iowa.
2. I think Pitt could win either at Cincinnati or at Syracuse. I'll pick Cincy, but I think it could be reversed. I have a hard time believing Pitt will lose three in a row with those two games and at UCONN.
3. I've tabbed it as a loss, but I would not be all that surprised to see Pitt take down Nova at The Pete.
4. This prediction is contingent upon Gil coming back on December 20. Though they're still a pretty deep team and can probably make his loss managemeable.
I'll admit this is maybe a bit optimistic, but I think Pitt's balanced lineup (playing likely 11-deep when/if Gil gets back) will wear some teams down. The more I think about it, the more I think Pitt will surprise some folks. I think there's too much talent on this team (albeit young talent). However, Pitt is known to lose 1-2 games they really shouldn't and with a young team, that could turn into 3-4 games. So ten losses certainly wouldn't shock me.
They have four guards who are fairly experienced in Adams, Dixon, Wanamaker, Gibbs and they have two SFs in Brown and Robinson who have some experience as well. The frontcourt is the big question mark, but they've got a bunch of depth there as well - and it doesn't hurt that the starting PF, Dante Taylor, is a McDonald's All-American. If Taylor can play a lot of minutes, that leaves Dwight Miller, Talib Zanna, and JJ Patterson to back him up and cover the remaining PF/C spot. With so many guys on the team, I think McGhee's minutes will be far and few between. The only way I see him getting minutes is if they try to redshirt Zanna and/or Patterson
Without further ado:
Mount St. Mary's
at Seton Hall
at South Florida
at St. John's
Wichita State (basically a home game for Wichita)
at West Virginia
at Notre Dame