18 May 2011
Very rarely should Pitt basketball be too good for something. Pitt hasn't won a national championship and it wasn't too long ago we were all celebrating just making the NCAA tournament. Pitt is not North Carolina; it is not Duke; it is not Kentucky; it is not Kansas.
That being said - REALLY?
The Philly Hoop Group Classic, a 5th annual Thanksgiving Weekend basketball event featuring Division I level college teams.
The 2011 multiple team event will feature: University of Pittsburgh, James Madison University, LaSalle University, University of Pennsylvania, Rider University & Robert Morris University.
The Philly Hoop Group Classic’s Final Round games will be played at The Palestra on Friday, November 25th & Saturday November 26th. The event’s preliminary games will be played at participating schools from November 13th through the 23rd.
I'm assuming St. Vincent's was booked that weekend.
Just how bad are thees teams? If last year's records are any indication (often times they're not, but bear with me), Pitt will be playing three teams that finished with winning records: Two of them Pitt played and won by a combined 40 points, the other finished sixth in the Colonial Conference.
I understand that you can't schedule Texas/Maryland/Illinois in the Garden every season, but these teams have the potential to be RPI killers. Further, Pitt gains nothing from these games. Not exposure, not experience and definitely not quality wins. And God forbid they somehow lose one of them.
If nothing else, the semi-final round will be the same day as the Backyard Brawl, so hopefully it will be the second blowout of the day.
UPDATE: So new details from Ray Fittipaldo:
Also announced today, Pitt will play Penn at the Palestra in the Philly HoopGroup Classic Thanksgiving weekend. That game against the Quakers will take place Nov. 25. The Panthers will play three more games in that event, all at the Petersen Events Center between Nov. 13 and 23. The other teams taking part in the tournament are: Robert Morris, Rider, La Salle and James Madison.
Originally, Pitt was supposed to play two games at the Pete and two at the Palestra, but Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was not elated at the field of teams in the event, so he decided that the other game would be played at the Pete.
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