Welcome back to my Friday afternoon staple, Five Questions at Five. Since Pitt basketball just started practice, we’ve opened up the topics a bit beyond this Saturday’s Pitt football game against Syracuse.
Let’t dive in.
@9timevictor: Is over/under of 137 fair?
My friend is being a bit facetious. The Vegas consensus is that the Orange are favored by a field goal. The total is 66. So far, 57 percent of the money has come in on the over according to OddsShark.com and that’s the way I’d lean, as well.
Pitt’s game against Oklahoma State on Sept. 16 saw a total of 80 points scored and the Cowboys and Orange have pretty similar offenses. I don’t think we’re in line for another 137 points like last year, but I think we should see some sparks fly, that’s for sure.
@Tintin049: Who is the next ACC school to get in trouble? My bet is on NC State.
I’m not going to use this as a space for baseless speculation and I have no inside knowledge that I can report here, but your mention of NC State perked my ears up. I don’t know if the Wolfpack are going to get into trouble, but it seems certain that they’re going to cause some trouble in the Atlantic Division this season.
They knocked off Louisville Thursday night, they already beat Florida State and seemingly only have a visit from Clemson on Nov. 4 separated them from an ACC Championship Game appearance.
Pitt could end up having something to say about that, as the Panthers host the Wolfpack next Saturday at Heinz Field
Ben @RealBenjaminSch: Over or under 15 wins for Pitt hoops?
It’s really tough to say this early. I think somewhere around 14 is the most likely result. The Panthers do not have a difficult non-conference schedule and the bottom of the ACC might be down a bit from the ridiculous level last year.
I still think it’s going to be tough sledding for the Panthers early on, but hey, who knows how many players and coaches end up suspended across the league and the country by the time this season is over?
This is going to be one of the wildest seasons of college basketball, ever. Pitt has a young team, and I feel pretty confident that they’ll remain scandal-free. Should be interesting to watch.
Two weeks in a row, I got a question about more playing time for Chase Pine. I didn’t get to it last week, so I’ll address them both here.
Pine was shaken up in the Georgia Tech game and I’m not sure he’s back to full health at this point. Against Rice, he was limited to the third-down “Delta” package.
That’s why Elias Reynolds got some reps while backing up Saleem Brightwell at middle linebacker and Jalen Williams was playing at both outside linebacker spots. To replace some of the depth lost, the Panthers moved safety Henry Miller down to the star linebacker spot.
It seems like Pitt is more comfortable using Pine as a pass-rusher than as a player that has to stand in the middle of the defense, diagnose plays and make calls. That makes sense and I think it’s a good way for him to get game reps while limiting the effects of his inexperience.
@JJ_Kitchen40: Dontavius Butler-Jenkins is listed as probable. Wonder if he gets a look?
At this point in the season, unless there’s a rash of injuries, players that haven’t taken the redshirt off are probably keeping them.
I think it was a mistake for Pitt to let Damar Hamlin play at the end of the year last year and I think they regret that decision now. I’d be really surprised if another true freshman plays.
I have heard good things about the work Butler-Jenkins and Michael Smith have done on the scout team, though. Before his injury at the end of camp, I think Butler-Jenkins was probably in line to get some early-season playing time.