Coach: Jamie Dixon (9 seasons at Pitt 238-77)
2011-12: Record 22-17 overall, 5-13 in Big East(tie 13th)
Starters Returning (3) Dante Taylor, Lamar Patterson, Tray Woodall
Preseason Tournament: Preseason NIT
Top Non-Conference Games: None
Transfer Out: Isaiah Epps
Transfer In: Trey Zeigler (Central Michigan- Eligible right away)
Well, at least Pitt wasn’t a major disappointment in the NCAA tournament, that’s because they didn’t make it for the first time in 10 years. Instead Pitt made the CBI not the NIT and won the tournament. While the Panthers lose 2 of their top 3 scorers from last year to graduation, they bring back everyone else from last year’s roster. Plus they bring in a very talented freshman class and also an impact transfer.
Leading the Panthers in the backcourt is point guard Tray Woodall (11.7 ppg). He was hurt last season and Pitt was not the same team when he was not on the court. Woodall is a complete point guard, he is a very good shooter and passer. Joining Woodall in the backcourt is Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler. Zeigler, a former top 25 recruit went to Central Michigan because he his dad was the head coach there. At CMU last year he averaged 15.6 ppg; except him to be the Panther leading scorer this season. The top options off the bench will be John Johnson (4.2 ppg) and talented freshman point guard James Robinson. Johnson is a very good shooter. Freshman Chris Jones will also provide depth here.
Leading the Panthers in the frontcourt will be top 5 recruit Steven Adams. Adams, who is from New Zealand is the biggest recruit for Pitt in years. He is a very versatile player. He can score in the post and knock down the 15 footer. Adams is also a strong shot blocker. Likely joining him upfront will be Dante Taylor (5.8 ppg). Taylor a former McDonalds All American has yet to live up to the hype he has one more season to prove he wasn’t a bust. Pitt have solid depth will Talib Zanna (6.3 ppg) and Malcolm Gilbert(.5 ppg). Both of these players are strong rebounder but offensively raw. At small forward will be Lamar Patterson (9.6 ppg). Patterson is a very versatile player, he was second in the team in rebounding and the highest three point shooter percentage wise. Backing him up is J.J. Moore (7.5 ppg), who is the most athletic player of this roster.