Pitt is not ranked in the AP top 25 to start the season for only the second time in the past seven years. But the Panthers are ranked according to one popular college basketball web site.
Ken Pomeroy, who runs the site kenpom.com, has Pitt ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Panthers are the fourth Big East team in his top 25 behind No. 7 Syracuse, No. 8 Louisville and No. 17 Notre Dame.
Pomeroy has four Big 10 teams in his top five – Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. They all trail Kentucky of the SEC, which he ranks No. 1. Pomeroy also has Michigan at No. 12. The Wolverines are a possible opponent for Pitt in the preseason N.I.T.
Pomeroy projects Pitt’s offensive efficiency at 15th in the nation and its defensive efficiency at 42nd.
Pitt finished 63rd in Pomeroy’s end of season rankings last year. The Panthers were the 24th most efficient offensive team in the country and 297th in defensive efficiency.
No wonder coach Jamie Dixon is stressing defense this season.
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