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Pitt-NC A&T Preview: Everything to Know Before Opening Night

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Pitt North Carolina A&T basketball game preview time schedule score

We’ve finally made it to November 6.

College basketball season is here, and Pitt opens its 2023-24 campaign with a non-conference matchup at the Petersen Events Center on Monday night at 7 p.m. against North Carolina A&T. Here is everything you need to know about the game!

PITT’S OUTLOOK

The Panthers are heading into night one of a crucial 2023-24 season. We’re now in year six of the Jeff Capel era, and the Panthers are coming off their best season in nine years. Last year’s team finished 24-12 and made it all the way to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, with NCAAT wins over Mississippi State (First Four) and Iowa State (Round of 64).

The Panthers bring back leading scorer Blake Hinson, as well as starting five-man Federiko Federiko and reserve forwards Will Jeffress, Guillermo Diaz-Graham and Jorge Diaz-Graham. Pitt brought in three transfers this season, adding Ishmael Leggett, a guard from Rhode Island, Zack Austin, a wing from High Point, and Mike Huiett Jr., a guard from Catawba (DII). Pitt will also rely heavily on a pair of freshmen guards: Carlton Carrington and Jaland Lowe.

In Pitt’s recent exhibition win over Pitt-Johnstown, Hinson and Carrington led the team with 13 points apiece, while Leggett added 12. The Diaz-Graham twins combined for 20 points and 13 rebounds, Hueitt scored nine, and Austin also added eight points.

Now let’s dive into the opponent.

NC A&T AGGIES

Since making the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 2012-13, NC A&T has had five different head coaches, including a new one this year. This is the second matchup between Pitt and NC A&T, with the first coming in 2007. Pitt won that matchup 88-61 behind 24 points from Sam Young.

HEAD COACH

Monté Ross (1st season)

This will be Ross’s first game leading the Aggies after being hired in April 2023. He previously spent three years as an assistant at Temple. Prior to that, Ross was the head coach of Delaware from 2006-16. He has also spent time as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s, Drexel, and Lehigh.

BEST PLAYERS

Camian Shell (Coffeyville CC transfer) – 5’10 Guard.

Kyle Duke (Returning) – 6’4 Guard – 2.9 PPG last season.

Jason Murphy (Frostburg State DII) – 6’9 Forward

Evan Joyner (Yavapai College transfer) – 6’8 Forward

Jeremy Robinson (Returning) – 6’6 Forward – 3.9 PPG last season.

LAST YEAR

NC A&T went 13-19 overall and 8-10 in the CAA to finish tied for sixth in the conference. The Aggies lost arguably their two top players from a year ago to the transfer portal, with Kam Woods transferring up to the ACC with NC State and Marcus Watson heading to Towson.

METRICS

According to Kenpom.com, North Carolina A&T is projected to be one of the worst teams in all of Division One basketball this year. Kenpom.com has NC A&T as the No. 356 team in Division One out of 362 teams.

GAME TIME

The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

SPREAD

The spread is currently (Monday A.M.) set at Pitt (-24.5). The over/under is 142.5. Pitt’s team total is projected around 83.5 points, while NC A&T’s projected team total is 58.5. All odds found on DraftKings Sportsbook.

TV

You can find Monday’s game on ACC Network Extra.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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