With the start of the season just 12 days away, the Pitt basketball schedule has finally been set.
The Pitt Panthers will host St. Francis University for its 2020-21 men’s basketball season opener on November 25. That is the first day games can be played this season.
The basketball program also officially announced two other non-conference games: Drexel on November 28 and Gardner-Webb on December 12, which PSN previously reported on. Pitt will also take part in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at Northwestern on Dec. 9 and plan on scheduling one additional non-conference game.
St. Francis is located in Loretto, Pa., which is 80 miles east of Pittsburgh. The Red Flash play in the Northeast Conference. The Panthers are 29-0 all-time against St. Francis and 73-1 all-time against opponents from the NEC. Pitt is 3-0 against the Red Flash at Petersen Events Center, with the last victory coming in 2011.
In the preseason KenPom.com ratings released on Tuesday, St. Francis is No. 236. The Red Flash will return guard Myles Thompson and forward Mark Flagg from their 2019-20 starting lineup. That team finished with a 22-10 overall record, was 13-5 in NEC play and lost to Robert Morris in the finals of the 2020 NEC Tournament.
Leading scorers Isaiah Blackmon and Keith Braxton have moved on. Thompson averaged 10.2 points per game and was also the team’s third-leading rebounder.
St. Francis has one former WPIAL player, Laurel Highland guard Bryce Laskey, who is a redshirt sophomore guard. He averaged 9.1 minutes per game in 19 contests last season.