Sports

Pitt off and running behind Young, Johnson as second year in ACC looms

  • Pittsburgh's Michael Young (2) shoots over Philadelphia's Peter Alexis in the first half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh's Michael Young (2) shoots over Philadelphia's Peter Alexis in the first half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon watches his team play against Philadelphia in the first of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon watches his team play against Philadelphia in the first of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson (5) shoots for three points over Philadelphia's TJ Huggins (23) in the first half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson (5) shoots for three points over Philadelphia's TJ Huggins (23) in the first half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon is having his team pick up the pace as it begins its second season in the ACC.

The Panthers focused on improved conditioning in the offseason as they try to adapt to ACC's more uptempo style of play.

Pitt will rely heavily on athletic forward/center Michael Young. The sophomore lost weight in the offseason while adding muscle. Dixon hopes Young's development will make him a matchup problem for opponents.

The Panthers will start the season without senior guard Cam Wright, who is out with a fractured foot. He likely won't play during an important trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational later this month.

Pitt opens the season on Friday night against Niagara.