Here is Pitt’s schedule for the 2011 Hoop Group Classic men’s basketball tournament this season.
Nov. 13 — Rider at Pitt
Nov. 22 — LaSalle at Pitt
Nov. 25 — Penn vs. Pitt at the Palestra
Nov. 27 — Robert Morris at Pitt
As you can see, the Panthers will play three of their four Hoop Group games at the Pete. Pitt was originally planning on playing two games at the Pete and two at the Palestra, but, perhaps because the competition wasn’t as good as advertised, the Panthers moved one game to the Pete.
That leaves one game, against Penn, at the Palestra. It will be Pitt’s first game at one of the meccas of college basketball since playing Villanova on Jan. 18, 1986.
Now, as for the competition. The Hoop Group Tournament field left a lot to be desired.
But it wasn’t going to be a complete waste of a trip. The Pitt players from Philly — Nasir Robinson and incoming freshmen Malcolm Gilbert and John Johnson — got another chance to play in front of their hometown and it would give Pitt some more exposure in a Philadelphia region loaded with quality recruits from high school freshmen on up.
*** Coach Jamie Dixon said all four incoming freshmen — Khem Birch, Durand Johnson, Gilbert and JJ — are expected to be enrolled in time for the start of the second summer semester, June 20. That is the first day of the Green Tree Summer League.