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Pitt basketball notebook: Freshmen Adams, Robinson make starting debuts

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Steven Adams, from New Zealand, looks down to a reporter while answering questions during the annual media day for the NCAA college basketball team on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 6:02 p.m.

• Center Steven Adams and guard James Robinson are both expected to start Friday. It will be the first time that Pitt has started two freshmen in a game since Jan. 6, 2004. Chris Taft and Antonio Graves — who was filling in for injured Carl Krauser — started that game. Coach Jamie Dixon said he doesn't expect the same starting five to last all season, but the group that includes guard Tray Woodall and forwards Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna started both exhibition games. “Right now they're defending the best,” Dixon said. “I hope some guys make some strides, make some improvements.”

• Dixon said Robinson could be their best perimeter defender. “He's strong, he's got good size, good understanding and very good lateral quickness, that's the thing that stands out about him,” he said.

• Woodall returned to practice Wednesday after missing several days due to illness.

• Dixon said they don't know a lot about Mount St. Mary's because coach Jamion Christian is new to the program. At 30 years old, Christian is the third-youngest coach in Division I and came to the Mountaineers after serving as an assistant at VCU.

• Pitt has won 15 straight season openers and is 72-33 all-time dating to 1905-06. They have won 21 of the last 22 openers, with the lone loss coming against Illinois State, 69-50, on Nov. 24, 1996.

— Karen Price

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