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ESPN's Andy Katz Ranks Pitt Basketball Third in Preseason Poll

ESPN's Andy Katz released his preseason basketball poll on Friday and ranked Pitt No. 4 in the nation. After Robbie Hummel's devasting season-ending injury, Katz dropped Purdue from No. 2 to No. 23. That switch moved Pitt up to No. 3 in Katz' poll.

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Katz says he expects big things from Pitt despite the lack of true star players:

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The Panthers don't have the star power of the aforementioned top three. But this Panthers team is like an old-school Big East team that has experienced players who have been together and found roles. The summer trip to Ireland provided more positive bonding time for Jamie Dixon's crew as it takes on the role of Big East favorite. There were no flaws this summer, making it more palatable to move the Panthers up a few spots.

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It's early and I'll get into this a bit more as we get closer to the season, but Pitt's lack of star players has hurt the team in past and I expect it will again this season. Still, this ranking is something to be excited about.

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Katz ranks defending champion Duke No. 1 and Michigan State No. 2.

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