The Pitt Panthers non-conference schedule is one of the lowest-rated in the country, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing according to SB Nation's Cardiac Hill.
The Panthers are likely to play Michigan and either Virginia or Kansas St. in the pre-season NIT, according to ESPN, but their next toughest non-conference game is against Detroit on Dec. 1.
Pittsburgh muddled through a 22-17 record last season, including a 5-13 Big East conference record, that landed the Panthers in 13th place in the hotly-contested Big East.
Cardiac Hill believes that the soft non-conference schedule will allow the Panthers' younger players to gain experience and develop chemistry before heading into the rigors of the conference schedule.
Cardiac Hill wrote:
Could it be stronger? Of course. Would I prefer to see another quality team or two in there? Absolutely. But when it's all said and done, with a lot of new parts this year (i.e. Steven Adams, Trey Zeigler, and James Robinson, most notably), playing some weaker teams up front to develop a bit of chemistry probably isn't the worst thing in the world. And after last season's nightmare, getting some wins under their belt might not be a bad little confidence booster.
The rest of the Panthers' non-conference schedule is listed below:
Mount St. Mary's (Nov. 9),Fordham (Nov. 12), Oakland (Nov. 17), Howard (Nov. 27), vs. Duquesne (Dec. 5 at Consol Energy Center), North Florida (Dec. 8), Bethune Cookman (Dec. 15), Delaware State (Dec. 19), Kennesaw State (Dec. 23)