While the 2014-15 Pitt basketball schedule is not out quite a few of the opponents have been released.
The Panthers are one of eight teams to compete in the annual Maui Invitational tournament from November 23-25. The seeding has not been released yet but the Panthers are guaranteed to play some tough programs in their three day Hawaii excursion. The other seven teams in the tournament are Arizona, BYU, Kansas State, Missouri, Purdue, San Diego State and host Chaminade.
This will be an early season test for Pitt who could come away from the tournament with a lot of momentum heading into another tough test in an away game with Indiana on December 2 in the ACC/Big 10 challenge.
This Pitt Panthers basketball program rarely faces more than one or two tough non-conference opponents. However, with the Maui invitational and the matchup with Indiana, Pitt will be tested often and early before a jam-packed ACC schedule.
Many beleived that the downfall of the Panthers 2013-14 campaign was a weak non-conference schedule followed by a tough and talented ACC calendar. This season’s ACC schedule includes games at Duke and NC State, home games with UNC and Notre Dame as well as home and road games with Syracuse and Louisville.
Next season is full of promise for the Panthers who finished fifth in the ACC last season and made it to the conference tournament semifinals. If the Panthers are able to get a healthy Durand Johnson back to mesh with the youth of Josh Newkirk they should be able to take the ACC by storm.
Expect the Panthers to at the worst, win 2 out four of their major non-conference games. They will experience success in the ACC and improve upon last season. As Jamie Dixon learns the ins and outs of how to coach a team that is in the ACC they will continue to improve each season. He is no stranger to coaching against big names like Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski. Expect Pitt to finish in the top four of the ACC this season behind Duke, Syracuse and Louisville.