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More Pitt Basketball 2011-12 Preseason Rankings

Earlier this week, Charlie weighed in with SB Nation's 2011-12 preseason college basketball rankings. A few other experts have also released some preseason top 25 lists since the end of the season on Monday night.

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Andy Katz of ESPN.com has Pitt at No. 19 in his early top 25 list for next year:

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The Panthers are in a cycle in which they lose three seniors, but then add a strong recruiting class. Ashton Gibbs will likely come to his senses and return rather than stay in the NBA draft. If he does, then Pitt retains one of the more experienced guards in the country and will be just fine. The rest of the crew is more than serviceable and Jamie Dixon's team is always right there in the Big East race.

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And Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com's writer, has Pitt slightly higher at No. 14.

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Both writers expect Ashton Gibbs to come back, so expect the Panthers to fall in their next rankings if he leaves for the NBA next season. Each also ranks Pitt fourth in the Big East (though the teams in front of them vary).

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As I wrote over at Cardiac Hill, I'd rank Pitt somewhere around 15th (assuming Gibbs comes back). It's difficult to put a team that lost three starters in the top ten and there will probably be some growing pains next year as a result of guys like Dante Taylor and Travon Woodall playing more minutes than they've been used to.

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No other local teams were ranked, but West Virginia was in Katz' short list of teams he considered for inclusion.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.