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Ashton Gibbs Returns: Pitt Sees Respect In The Polls

With Ashton Gibbs coming back for his senior season at Pitt, the Panthers have been drawing some more recognition in early 2011-12 preseason college basketball polls.

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Andy Katz of ESPN.com has Pitt at No. 17:

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Ashton Gibbs came to his senses and decided to return to school, giving the Panthers a core group of returnees, with Nasir Robinson, Dante Taylor, Talib Zanna and Travon Woodall. That's more than enough for the Panthers to be a major factor in the Big East and beyond. Adding a McDonald's All-American center in Khem Birch just adds to the depth in the post.

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However, Jeff Goodman of FOX Sports and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports both are significantly higher on the Panthers. Each has the team ranked No. 12 in their polls.

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I don't think any of these projections are wildly inaccurate. I'd slot Pitt somewhere around No. 15 for now. I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the top ten at some point in the season, but with the graduations of Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, and Gary McGhee, Pitt lost quite a bit this year.

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