Pittsburgh 2016-17 basketball capsule
The Associated Press=
Last season: 21-12, lost to Wisconsin in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament.
Coach: Kevin Stallings.
Conference: Atlantic Coast.
Who's gone: G James Robinson, G Sterling Smith, F Alonzo Nelson-Ododa.
Who's back: F Jamel Artis. Senior forward will work as a point forward at time in Stallings' new offense; F Michael Young. Senior forward has been model of consistency during his career. Will be given freedom to expand his offensive game beyond the back-to-the-basket basics that carried him to 15.7 points, 6.8 rebounds per game last season. F Cameron Johnson, has the length (6-foot-8) to be effective on both ends but needs to get stronger to avoid getting banged around.
Who's new: Stallings. The longtime Vanderbilt coach left the Commodores after 17 years to replace Jamie Dixon, who bolted after a largely successful run with the Panthers to coach at TCU, his alma mater. G Justice Kithcart. Freshman stuck with his commitment after Jamie Dixon left for TCU and gives the Panthers someone who can push the pace. C Rozelle Nix. Big fella (6-foot-11, 300 pounds) redshirted last year but if the Panthers want Young to play away from the basket, having Nix provide productive minutes in the middle would help.
The Skinny: Stallings and athletic director Scott Barnes both said the deciding factor on the hire was their shared belief Pitt has the tools to make it to the Final Four. While the Panthers are nowhere near that level, they should be competitive in the ACC if Young and Artis stay healthy and the guards make enough shots.