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Preseason Big East basketball poll: Pittsburgh ranked No. 5

The Pittsburgh Panthers received some healthy respect in the Big East preseason poll.

Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Big East preseason poll was announced on Wednesday, and the Pittsburgh Panthers had to be somewhat pleased with the results. The Louisville Cardinals were granted the top spot in the poll unanimously, according to Big East Coast Bias.

Jamie Dixon's group was ranked fifth by the voters, earning a spot in the upper echelon of the conference. Pittsburgh has been one of the Big East's best programs over the past decade, so it's no surprise its once again thought to be a formidable team.

Last year the Panthers struggled to a 17-16 record and ended up in 13th place inside the conference. However, the team appears to be headed in the right direction with a good, young core. Only two seniors are on the roster, leaving ample room for growth on such a young squad.

Tray Woodall is the highest returning scorer, averaging over 11 points per game in 2011-12.

The complete poll results are as follows:

Louisville Cardinals (15, all first-place votes)

Syracuse Orange (33)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (49)

Cincinnati Bearcats (63)

Pittsburgh Panthers (78)

Georgetown Hoyas (97)

Marquette Golden Eagles (109)

South Florida Bulls (123)

Connecticut Huskies (159)

St. John's Red Storm (163)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (167)

Villanova Wildcats (171)

Providence Friars (176)

Seton Hall Pirates (188)

DePaul Blue Demons (209)

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