Ashton Gibbs had a very good career at Pittsburgh. He was a quality college basketball player. But I'm not sure whether his early work as an amateur college basketball analyst is going quite so well.
On Thursday, Gibbs made a rather bold prediction regarding his former team:
This will be a final four year for Pitt..Heard it here first
— Ashton Gibbs (@AshtonGibbs12) October 17, 2012
He followed that up a few minutes later with "They should at least in my opinion..Got all the tools." The first missive was retweeted over 200 times and favorited over 60; the second, more reserved tweet, was retweeted a mere three times. I think we can guess which prediction Pittsburgh fans liked better.
For the record, I think Pittsburgh is going to be good. In fact, I think Pitt is due for a major return to the upper echelon of the Big East. The Panthers have some solid returners from last year's disappointing team, but they also added a top center prospect in Steven Adams and a really nice transfer in former Central Michigan star Trey Zeigler. Slotting those players into a lineup with capable guys like Tray Woodall, Lamar Patterson, Talib Zanna and Dante Taylor should make for a balanced, hard-nosed team with (conceivably) much more defensive edge. I like Pitt. The Panthers are a big-time sleeper.
But a Final Four team? Even with the caveat that this year's landscape is wide open, and I'm assuming a return to a less predictable, less obviously hierarchical NCAA tournament ... no, I do not think Pitt is a Final Four team. That's just a bit ambitious.