Men’s basketball: Blue-Gold scrimmage officially starts the season

By Jay Huerbin

When the Pitt men’s basketball team hosts its annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage tonight, it will be… When the Pitt men’s basketball team hosts its annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage tonight, it will be fans’ first chance to see the 2009-10 team.

Tipoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.

Head coach Jamie Dixon uses the Blue-Gold scrimmage as a real game simulation and follows a typical game day schedule. The game will consist of two seven-player split squads, which will play two 15-minute halves with a five-minute halftime break.

The Panthers return one starter in senior guard Jermaine Dixon, who is one of two seniors on the team. Senior transfer Chase Adams comes to Pitt after spending three years at Centenary College in Louisiana.

Returning players include junior letter-winners Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee, along with sophomore letter-winners Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson. Gibbs won a gold medal with Team USA at the FIBA U19 World Championships over the summer.

Freshmen Dwight Miller and Travon Woodall — who were redshirted last season — make their return, as well..

Four freshmen also join the Panthers. Lamar Patterson, J.J. Richardson, Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna are new faces on the team.

Pitt finished the 2008-09 season with a 31-5 overall record and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1974. It also peaked as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team during the season and earned an overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Both were firsts for the program.

Admission to the Blue-Gold game is free and open to the public. General admission seating is available, and fans are encouraged to move close to the court.

Pitt’s first exhibition game is on Nov. 1, when it hosts Slippery Rock at 4 p.m. The regular season starts Nov. 13 when Wofford visits the Petersen Events Center.