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May 8, 2013

Okay, so as the match-ups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge were being leaked this morning, it became clear that Pitt wasn’t going to land one of the heavyweights from the B1G. That’s not surprising. Pitt will not be considered in the preseason as one of the top 5 or 6 teams in the ACC. So, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan St., Ohio St. and Indiana weren’t going to be likely opponents. Among the best of the rest there would have been Iowa, Illinois and Purdue. But Iowa and Purdue got leaked and their opponents were not Pitt.

So, more and more likely it was going to be a Pennsylvania battle.

And indeed it will be. Penn State comes to the Pete on Tuesday, December 3.

Now the Nits will be better than they were this past year. They have a bunch of decent players coming back from injury, including Tim Frazier.

But, from helping the overall strength of Pitt’s non-con schedule it won’t do much.  So that’s the bad news. Also John Johnson won’t be eligible to play for Penn State for that game.

I’m still relatively happy with the game. There really was no reason for Pitt and Penn State to stop playing basketball. Other than the fact that Penn State was really tired of being embarrassed. Hopefully this will be the spark to renew this as an annual game.

Remember DeAndre Kane? A one-time teammate of DeJuan Blair and D.J. Kennedy at Schenley? Jamie Dixon always liked Kane. He recruited him despite his academic struggles. Originally Kane was supposed to be part of (someone’s) 2009 class. But he needed prep school so it became 2010 when he actually was a freshman at Marshall.

He’s a graduate transfer. He has one more year of eligibility left, and it came down to USC and Pitt. The 6-4 guard has decided that his years of knowing Dixon and coming home was the pick.

The Marshall transfer, who hails from Pittsburgh, told CBSSports.com that he will commit to Jamie Dixon and the Panthers this weekend on a visit. Kane returned from a trip to USC this past weekend, and also considered Saint Mary’s, but said the chance to play at home and in the ACC was too much to pass up.

“It’s a perfect situation for me,” Kane told CBSSports.com.

Kane averaged 15.1 points and seven assists last season for the Thundering Herd…

He provides offense, but this is still a gamble in my view.

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