No matter what Pitt accomplishes under coach Jamie Dixon — and, in seven seasons, it has been a lot — there’s always an asterisk attached.

The Panthers, despite winning at least 25 games each of the last five seasons, still haven’t been to the Final Four since the 1940s.

With nearly every player back from last season’s 25-9 team, they’re hoping this is the season they play into April.

A team that begins the season ranked No. 5 could be Dixon’s deepest, one that could easily use as many as 10 players.

The Panthers have a reliable scorer in point guard Ashton Gibbs, and forward Gilbert Brown could become the premier defender that Jermaine Dixon was. Gary McGhee offers the prerequisite toughness that all good Pittsburgh teams seemingly possess.

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