Commentary

CBB Summer Buzz: Pitt Panthers

The Panthers are looking to reload behind a star guard and veteran leadership

Updated: July 26, 2011, 11:18 AM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN Insider
Ashton GibbsRich Kane/Icon SMIWith Ashton Gibbs back, Pitt retains a shooting star.

Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at a few of the nation's most intriguing programs before most freshmen have even moved into their dorms. We continue with the Pittsburgh Panthers. To get the offseason scoop on 24 other high-profile teams, click here.

Pittsburgh Panthers

2010-11: 28-6 (NCAA tournament -- Round of 32)

When the tweet went out during the NBA playoffs that the Oklahoma City Thunder's top four starters had the same average age (21.75) as Pitt's top four, no one fell over in shock on Cardiac Hill.

The Panthers have a history of Sam Youngs who stick around for four seasons and multiple NCAA tournament runs.

Here's what stung: The reminder that Pitt's veteran Big East champion squad squandered its No. 1 seed, losing to Butler by a free throw in the third round.

For most coaches, even at elite programs like Pitt, overcoming the departure of three of your top five scorers (Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown and Gary McGhee) and both your assists (Wanamaker) and rebounds (McGhee) leaders can be a two-year project. Or, if you're Kentucky coach John Calipari, simply the start of the next one-year cycle of freshmen phenoms.

But neither scenario applies to Jamie Dixon.