Pitt faces Rhode Island on Monday at 7:00 in the college basketball season opener, as the Panthers will kick off another fairly challenging non-conference schedule with a pretty good opponent. The Rhode Island Rams went 26-10 last season and reached the NIT semifinals, losing to North Carolina by one point in overtime. As far as season openers go, this isn't the typical cupcake matchup.
Rhode Island had some pretty good wins last season including Providence, Oklahoma State, Nevada, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, so they're not to be taken lightly.
The Rams are without their leading scorer from last season, Keith Cothran, but are a little bigger in the frontcourt than many teams Pitt will play. Eight of the team's 13 players are 6-foot-7 or taller including 7-foot, 245-pound center Will Martell.
Still, the Panthers should have enough to win this game - especially since it's at home where Pitt virtually never loses. Both Gilbert Brown and Lamar Patterson, who were injured, should be available to play as they both suited up for the final preseason game.
Here's Pitt's schedule this year, and be sure to check out SB Nation's Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.