Tipoff is at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN; Pitt has won six of its last seven and 14 of its last 18 vs. Syracuse.
Pitt is the No. 4 seed; will begin Big East Championship play on Thursday, March 14 at 2 p.m. in a Quarterfinal Round game against either Syracuse, Seton Hall or South Florida.
Contest marks the final Big East regular season game in school history; Game to be televised on ESPN Regional on 37 affiliates across the country.
Pittsburgh vs. Wichita State - AP Photos
Practice for a second-round NCAA tournament game against Wichita State.
Pittsburgh vs. DePaul - AP Photos
No. 23 Pittsburgh vs. Villanova - AP Photos
No. 20 Pittsburgh vs. St. John's - AP Photos
Dante Taylor returns for his senior season after a 2011-12 year that saw him start 20 games at center. Described as a highly skilled, athletic post player, Taylor has shown flashes of excellence. His strengths are his physical rebounding presence, offensive rebounding prowess, quickness and athleticism around the basket. He is also ranked among Pitt's all-time career leaders in blocked shots and is an aggressive offensive rebounder. An experienced and raw talent, Taylor is fast up and down the court, exhibits expanded range with his jumper and is a fast developing post-player. A sturdy power forward/center who knows how to score, Taylor has the ability to play with skill, athleticism and physicality. He is a physically gifted player who runs and rebounds. He has an impressive mid-range game and exceptional ball-handling skills for a big man. Following three years of development, look for Taylor to have a promising senior season in 2012-13.
Played in 104 games with 20 career starts...Ranks 19th among all-time career school leaders in blocked shots (67)...Scored 521 points (5.0 ppg.) and grabbed 457 rebounds (4.4 rpg.) in his three-year career...Forty-nine percent (226 of 457) of his career rebounds are offensive.
Started 20 games at center including each of the season's last 11 contests...Led team in blocked shots (25)...Averaged 2.5 offensive rebounds, 4.9 total rebounds and 5.8 points per game...Reached double figure scoring in six games and double figure rebounding in three contests...Earned Coaches' Award for attitude at team banquet...Scored a career-high 17 points on a perfect 8-8 shooting night and grabbed eight rebounds vs. St. John's, 2/29...Scored 11 points (5-7 FT) with five rebounds and two blocks at Louisville, 2/26...Finished with eight points (3-4 FG) and five rebounds at Seton Hall, 2/12...Scored nine points (3-6 FG) with five rebounds vs. Villanova, 2/5...Finished with eight points and seven rebounds at West Virginia, 1/30...Matched career-highs for rebounds (11) and offensive rebounds (seven) vs. Syracuse, 1/16...Played a career-high 29 minutes, grabbed 11 rebounds with two blocks vs. Cincinnati, 1/1...Scored 14 points, converted a career-high 7-10 field goals and grabbed eight rebounds (six offensive) vs. St. Francis, Pa., 12/20...Registered his second career double-double with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, set then career-highs for assists (3) and minutes played (27) vs. Duquesne, 11/30...Missed two games (Penn and Robert Morris) due to migraine headaches caused by a collision in the LaSalle contest...Scored 11 points (4-5 FG) with six rebounds vs. LaSalle, 11/22...Made first career start in season opener vs. Albany, 11/11.
Played in 33 of 34 games off the bench at center...Averaged 5.1 points and 4.5 rebounds (2.1 offensive rebounds per game) in 33 contests and 497 minutes on the year (15.0 mpg.)...Reached double figure scoring three times and double figure rebounding twice on year...Earned the Jaron Brown Pursuit of Academic Excellence Award at team banquet...Led Pitt with seven rebounds (four offensive) in Big East Tournament game vs. Connecticut, 3/10...Registered first career double-double with a career-high 14 points (6-7 FG) and 10 rebounds vs. Delaware State, 12/8...Recorded a then season-high 12 points (5-7 FG) with five rebounds vs. Rider, 12/4...Finished with 11 points (4-5 FG) and four rebounds in 15 minutes vs. Penn, 11/27...Grabbed 11 rebounds (career-high tying seven offensive) and scored seven points vs. North Florida, 11/13.
Played in all 34 games and averaged 13.9 minutes per game off the bench at center...Ranked second on team in blocked shots (20) and finished the year with a 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game averages...Reached double figure scoring in four games and double figure rebounding in three games on year...Big East Academic All-Star...Earned Academic Excellence Award at team banquet...Set then career-highs for field goals (5-8), offensive rebounds (six), assists (three) and scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 16 minutes vs. Rutgers, 3/6...Scored 10 points (3-4 FG) and grabbed eight rebounds in a career-high 23 minutes at Syracuse, 1/2...Grabbed 10 rebounds including a career-high six offensive vs. Ohio, 12/22...Scored 12 points (4-4 FG) with five rebounds in 21 minutes played vs. Indiana, 12/8...Grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and blocked four shots in 20 minutes vs. Eastern Kentucky, 11/19...Saw action in his first collegiate game, played 19 minutes off the bench, scored 13 points (5-7 FG) and grabbed five rebounds vs. Wofford, 11/13.
A 2009 graduate of National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md., where he played four seasons of basketball for head coach Trevor Brown...Named a McDonald's All-American...Participated in the McDonald's All-America Game (April 1, 2009 in Miami, Fla.)...Became the fifth Pitt signee in school history to earn McDonald's All-America team honors joining Charles Smith (1984), Jerome Lane (1985), Bobby Martin (1987) and Brian Shorter (1987)...Invited to tryout for the USA Basketball Under-19 Team during the summer of 2009 in Colorado Springs, Colo....Scored 15 points (6-11 FG) and grabbed six rebounds for the East All-Stars in the 2009 McDonald's All-America Game...Won the McDonald's All-American Skills Competition, in which he completed a full-court dribbling and shooting course in 37 seconds...Named to the Parade All-America Second Team...Washington Post All-MET Player of the Year...Averaged 23.8 points (665 total points), 13 rebounds, three blocked shots per game and hit 65 percent (161-247) of his free throws as a senior...Guided NCA to a 26-6 overall record...Named First Team All-MET by the Washington Post and earned Independent private school all-league honors...Scored over 30 points eight times and finished with 20 or more 19 times...Registered 23 double-doubles in 28 contests on the year...Scored 30 points and converted 18-24 free throws in NCA's season finale vs. Mount Zion (N.C.)...Scored season-high 34 points two times against both Mount Zion (N.C.) and Jericho Christian...Scored 31 points with a career-high 21 rebounds vs. Theodore Roosevelt...Finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds vs. Friendship Collegiate...Named Most Valuable Player after scoring 33 points and totaling 11 rebounds vs. Oak Hill Academy...Hit four 3-pointers, scored 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds vs. Living Faith...Named game MVP after scoring 26 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the Reebok All-American All-Star Game...Averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior...Named Second Team All-MET by the Washington Post and earned Independent private school all-league honors...Guided National Christian Academy to a 22-7 record and No. 11 ranking in the Washington D.C. metro area as a junior...Averaged 8.6 points per game as a sophomore...Transferred to National Christian Academy following his freshman season...Ranked the nation's No. 14 recruit nationally by Bob Gibbons...Rated the No. 16 recruit nationally by ESPN-U...Ranked the No. 17 recruit nationally by Scout.com's Dave Telep...Rated the nation's No. 16 player by Scout.com...Ranked the nation's No. 24 player by Rivals.com...Ranked the No. 24 player nationally by USA Today...Rated the nation's No. 28 player by PrepStars Magazine...Ranked the nation's No. 36 recruit by Rise Magazine...Named to The Sporting News Washington D.C. All-Metro team...Named one of the top performers at the LeBron James United States Skills Academy...Voted Best Post Player at the NBA Top-100 Camp.
Born Dante Taylor on March 18, 1990...Son of Lisa Sharpe of White Plains, N.Y., located 20 miles north of New York City...Has a sister Michelle and brother Michael...Committed to Pitt at the 2008 summer Triple S. Harley Davidson Shootout in Morgantown, W.Va....Honored by his hometown of Greenburgh, N.Y., as being a "native son" during halftime of the Frankie Williams All-Star game in June 2009...Named MVP of the game after scoring 32 points...2008 NBA draft picks Patrick Ewing Jr., Kevin Durant and Deron Washington all played basketball recently at National Christian Academy...Pitt recruited him since his sophomore season...Developed and improved over his three years at NCA...Earned honor roll academic status two times as a high school student...Chose Pitt because of its continued loyalty, style of play, coaching staff, academic support, family atmosphere, Big East Conference and proximity to his home of New York...Has several tattoos including one that says "RIP Grandpa" for his mother's father, who died before he was born. Another tattoo on his left arm has a basketball with a ribbon around it and the words "Respect My Hustle." Others say "Blessed Baller" and "Fear None, Trust Few"...Roommate is Tray Woodall...Social Sciences major.
Points: 17, St. John's, 2/29/12.
FG made: 8, St. John's, 2/29/12.
FG attempts: 10, St. Francis, Pa., 12/20/11.
3FG Made: None.
3FG attempts: 1, Cincinnati, 1/1/12.
FT made: 5, two times- at Louisville, 2/26/12; Youngstown State, 11/28/09.
FT attempts: 8, vs. Duquesne, 12/2/09.
Rebounds: 12, Eastern Kentucky, 11/19/09.
Off. Rebs.: 7 three times- at Syracuse, 1/16/12; Illinois-Chicago, 11/10/10; North Florida, 11/13/10.
Def. Rebs.: 8, New Hampshire, 12/4/09.
Assists: 3, vs. Duquesne, 11/30/11.
Steals: 2, at Cincinnati, 1/4/10.
Blocks: 4, two times- vs. Oklahoma State, 12/10/11; Eastern Kentucky, 11/19/09.
Minutes: 29, Cincinnati, 1/1/12.
2011-12 SEASON HIGHS
Points: 17, St. John's, 2/29.
Rebounds: 11, three times- at Syracuse, 1/16; Cincinnati, 1/1; vs. Duquesne, 11/30.
Assists: 3, vs. Duquesne, 11/30.
Steals: 1, 13 times.
Blocks: 4, vs. Oklahoma State, 12/10/11.
Minutes: 29, Cincinnati, 1/1.
DANTE TAYLOR FEATURE STORIES
Taylor getting ready for life as a starter, June 29, 2011, John Grupp, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Taylor in position to make an impact, Dec. 8, 2010, Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pitt's Taylor a `very different player,' June 25, 2010, Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Recruit alters game to fit Pitt, Big East style, Nov. 22, Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Freshman center plans on running a lot, Nov. 6, 2009, Randy Lieberman, Pitt News
Taylor pays no attention to his advanced billing, Nov. 1, 2009, Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Taylor could be Pitt's next star, Oct. 15, 2009, Alan Robinson, Associated Press
Taylor, Pitt look to continue tourney streak, Oct. 14, 2009, Steve Megargee, Rivals.com
Taylor hones game in summer league, June 30, 2009, John Grupp, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Taylor wins MVP despite family struggle, June 5, 2009, Adam Zagoria, SportsnetNY
National Christian Academy (Md.)
Height / Weight:
6-9 / 235