#7 Pittsburgh 65, Villanova 59
Gray leads all scorers with 18 points in 59-49 victory - No. 7 Pitt's fifth consecutive.
Pittsburgh vs. Dayton (12-23-06)
Pittsburgh vs. Oklahoma State (12-21-06)
Pittsburgh 88, Florida State 66 - November 24, 2006 (photos courtesy of Associated Press)
An All-America and Big East Player of the Year candidate, Aaron Gray decided to complete his college eligibility and return to Pitt for his senior season. The 2005-06 Big East Most Improved Player and All-Big East First Team honoree, Gray went from averaging 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore to becoming the only Big East player to average a double-double with 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds as a junior. Gray is a tireless worker who made great strides to improve over his previous three seasons at Pitt. He is a powerful big man with reliable hands who has proved that he can rebound, catch, shoot and score inside. As only the second seven-footer to play at Pitt, Gray is effective around the basket. With desire and work ethic, his game continues to improve.
Has seen action in 77 career games with 33 starts...Career averages include 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game...Enters season with .537 career shooting percentage (230-428)...Has helped lead Pitt to three NCAA Tournament appearances and three 20-win seasons...Has 18 career double-double performances, has reached double figure scoring 29 times and double figures in rebounding 20 times.
Named Big East Most Improved Player at the league's awards banquet, Pitt's fourth player to earn that award over the last seven seasons...Earned All-Big East First Team honors, the sixth player in school history to achieve that distinction...First player at Pitt to average a double-double (13.9 ppg./10.5 rpg.) since Jerome Lane accomplished the feat in 1987-88. Also became the 10th player in school history to average a double-double for a season...Big East Rebounding Champion (10.5 rpg), the first Pitt player to lead the league in rebounds since Isaac Hawkins (9.7 in 1997-98)...First player to average double figure rebounds since Jerome Lane averaged 12.2 rpg. in 1987-88...Big East All-Tournament selection after registering double-doubles in three of four games and averaging 13.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in four contests. Also set the Big East record for most rebounds in a tourney with 47...Earned Pitt's Most Improved Player Award and Rebounding Leader Award at team banquet...Started all 33 contests at center...Registered double-doubles in 18 of 33 contests on year...His 18 double-doubles and 10.5 rebounds per game led the Big East...Scored 20-plus points in six games...Reached double figure scoring in 27 of 33 games on year...Reached double figure rebounding in 20 of 33 games on year...Scored 12 points (5-11 FG) in NCAA Tournament Second Round vs. Bradley, 3/19...Recorded his 18th double-double with 17 points (6-6 FG) and 13 rebounds and blocked a career-high tying five shots in NCAA Tournament First Round vs. Kent State, 3/17...Scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 17th double-double in the Big East Championship Final vs. Syracuse, 3/11...Registered 16th double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds including nine offensive in Big East Championship quarterfinal vs. West Virginia, 3/9...Scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Big East First Round vs. Louisville, 3/8...Notched 14th double-double with 17 points (7-11 FG) and 12 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. Seton Hall, 3/3...Scored 17 points (7-10 FG), pulled down nine rebounds and registered two blocks vs. Providence, 2/25...Scored 10 points (4-5 FG) pulled down seven rebounds and handed out three assists at Marquette, 2/18...Scored 22 points on a perfect 9-9 field goals, grabbed nine rebounds in 30 minutes at Providence, 2/15...Registered his 13th double-double on the season with 15 points (6-7 FG), 10 defensive rebounds and had a career-tying two steals vs. Cincinnati, 2/12...Hit 6-9 field goals, scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds in 30 minutes vs. West Virginia, 2/9...Notched 12th season and third consecutive double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds at Georgetown, 2/5...Finished with his 11th double-double of the year with a game-high 23 points (7-10 FG, 9-10 FT) and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes at Connecticut, 1/31...Notched his 10th double-double on the season, scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds including a career-high nine offensive boards in 31 minutes vs. Marquette, 1/28...Led Pitt with 14 points (7-11 FG) along with nine rebounds in a career-high 36 minutes at St. John's, 1/21...Scored 20 points and surpassed career-highs for free throws made (10) and free throw attempts (15) and grabbed nine rebounds at Rutgers, 1/18...Recorded third consecutive and ninth double-double on year with 10 points and 12 rebounds at Louisville, 1/15...Blocked a career-high five shots and registered eighth career double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds vs. DePaul, 1/12...Registered his seventh double-double, surpassed career-highs for points (25), minutes (34), field goals made (11), field goal attempts (18) and pulled down 11 rebounds vs. Notre Dame, 1/4...Pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds, scored six points in a then career-high 33 minutes of action at South Carolina, 12/28...Scored a team-high 14 points (5-8 FG) with seven rebounds along with a career-high tying four assists vs. Coppin State, 12/21...Scored 11 points (3-5 FG), pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked two shots for his third consecutive double-double of the year vs. Vermont, 12/17...Scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his fifth double-dobule of the year vs. Penn State, 12/10...Registered his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds (12 defensive) at Duquesne, 12/7...Scored 10 points, had one block and two assists vs. Auburn, 12/4...Registered third double-double of career with a career-high 22 points (7-10 FG) and 11 rebounds. Also hit 8-10 free throws, blocked four shots and played in a career-high 30 minutes vs. St. Francis (N.Y.), 11/29...Scored 15 points (6-10 FG), grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots vs. Maine, 11/26...Made first career start vs. Saint Peter's, 11/19 and notched his first career double-double. He also registered then career-highs for points (17), rebounds (11), field goal attempts (15) and minutes (28).
Played in all 29 games and averaged 11.6 minutes per game off the bench...Named a Big East Academic All-Star for the second straight season...Earned the team's Academic Excellence Award for the second straight year...Ranked second on squad in field goal percentage (.576, 49-85)...Dished out a career-high four assists, scored five points and pulled down four rebounds vs. West Virginia, 2/23...Scored a career-high 15 points on a career-high 7-8 field goals with two assists at Villanova, 2/20...Finished with nine points (3-5 FG), grabbed five rebounds in 15 minutes vs. Notre Dame, 2/12...Scored nine points (3-3 FG), connected on 3-4 free throws in 13 minutes vs. Providence, 1/31...Contributed six points, four rebounds, blocked three shots in only 13 minutes vs. Syracuse, 1/29...Scored seven points (3-4 FG), grabbed three rebounds in 12 minutes at Connecticut, 1/22...Scored six points vs. South Carolina, 12/29...Scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds vs. Coppin State, 12/18...Scored seven points, contributed five rebounds vs. Duquesne, 12/4...Added eight points and five rebounds vs. St. Francis (Pa.), 12/1...Scored nine points and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds vs. Loyola, 11/27.
Played in 15 games and 88 minutes on season...Named a Big East Academic All-Star...Earned team's Academic Excellence Award at team banquet...Scored two points on a layup over Emeka Okafor in the home win against Connecticut, 2/15...Played six minutes vs. St. John's, 2/4...Grabbed three rebounds in a season-high 13 minutes vs. Georgia, 12/30...Played 10 minutes vs. New Hampshire, 12/27...Played a then career-high 13 minutes, contributed four points and five rebounds vs. Chicago State, 12/17/03...Saw first career game action with eight minutes and scored seven points with three rebounds vs. St. Francis (Pa.), 11/22.
A 2003 graduate of Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pa. (pronounced E-may-es), where he lettered three seasons for Head Coach Tony Semler...Named Pennsylvania's Gatorade State Player of the Year as a senior...Selected First Team Class 4A All-State as a senior...McDonald's All-America nominee...Totaled 975 career points in his varsity career...Averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots as a senior...led the Emmaus Green Hornets to a 21-3 regular-season record and Lehigh Valley Conference title as a senior...Two-time Lehigh Valley All- Conference and All-Area selection...Named Tournament MVP at the Western Lehigh Exchange Club Christmas Tournament...Third team All-State selection after he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and led Emmaus to the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals as a junior...Played in the Pittsburgh Hoops Classic held at the Petersen Events Center...Rated among Athlon Sports' top-20 senior centers (No. 15) and among nation's top-100 recruits...Listed as the No. 99 senior recruit by Rivals.com...Ranked No. 93 among the top-100 rising seniors by PrepStars magazine...Standout at the Lehigh Valley HoopGroup Basketball Tournament when he led his team to victory over defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Harrisburg H.S....Played in summer league competitions with the New Jersey All-Stars, Philly Hoops, Keystone Blazers, Sonny Hill All-Stars and Lehigh Valley All-Stars...Also played football and was a pitcher on the baseball team.
Born Aaron Michael Gray on December 7, 1984 in Tarzana, Calif....Son of Michael and Sandy Gray...Brother Matthew played baseball at Bloomsburg...Uncle, Steve Gray, played basketball at Duke (1975-79)...Steve Gray played in 88 career games and along with teammates Mike Gminski, Jim Spanarkel and Gene Banks, led Duke to the 1978 Final Four...An uncle also played linebacker at UCLA...Trained with former Pittsburgh football player John Graham (lettered in 1983)...Nickname is "A.G."...Favorite movie is "Men of Honor"...Selected Pitt for its style of play...Once shattered a backboard in a high school game...Lost 30 pounds between his sophomore to junior seasons while working out and playing summer pickup basketball games against college and NBA players in Philadelphia...Just the second seven-footer to play at Pitt. The other was current Minnesota Timberwolves center Mark Blount (1995-97)...Majors in communication & rhetoric.
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