Sports

Pittsburgh hoping to add a dash of offense to its potent defense in ACC bow

  • Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, left, works his team during an exhibition NCAA college basketball game between UC San Diego and Pittsburgh on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh coach allows the 2013-14 season will have a different flavor to it now that the Panthers have officially jumped from the Big East to the ACC. Just don't expect Dixon to get away from the things that made Pitt one of the most successful programs in the country over the last decade.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, left, works his team during an exhibition NCAA college basketball game between UC San Diego and Pittsburgh on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh coach allows the 2013-14 season will have a different flavor to it now that the Panthers have officially jumped from the Big East to the ACC. Just don't expect Dixon to get away from the things that made Pitt one of the most successful programs in the country over the last decade.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh's James Robinson (0) shoots in the first half of the exhibition NCAA college basketball game against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, in Pittsburgh. This is Pittsburgh's first season in the ACC and sophomore Robinson is the team's top point guard. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh's James Robinson (0) shoots in the first half of the exhibition NCAA college basketball game against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, in Pittsburgh. This is Pittsburgh's first season in the ACC and sophomore Robinson is the team's top point guard. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson (5) brings the ball down court in the first half of the exhibition NCAA college basketball game against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Pittsburgh. Johnson grew up in Baltimore and was recruited by Maryland before signing with Pitt. The Panthers have proven to be a good fit for the athletic swingman. He's not sure if the old guard in the ACC will feel the same way about the Panthers crashing the party. Pittsburgh starts its first season in the ACC this year. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson (5) brings the ball down court in the first half of the exhibition NCAA college basketball game against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Pittsburgh. Johnson grew up in Baltimore and was recruited by Maryland before signing with Pitt. The Panthers have proven to be a good fit for the athletic swingman. He's not sure if the old guard in the ACC will feel the same way about the Panthers crashing the party. Pittsburgh starts its first season in the ACC this year. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

Jamie Dixon built Pittsburgh into an annual contender in the Big East by putting a premium on defense.

Yet even Dixon allows he might have to switch it up as the Panthers prepare for their first season in the ACC.

Pitt will try to push the pace a little bit as it trades Connecticut and Louisville for Duke and North Carolina. The Panthers are coming off a 24-9 season that ended with another early exit from the NCAA tournament and lost guard Tray Woodall to graduation and center Steven Adams to the NBA.

Pitt will be younger, smaller and quicker this season. Senior Talib Zanna replaces Adams at center, where Dixon hopes Zanna's speed will be an advantage.

The Panthers open the season on Nov. 8 against Savannah State.