Jan. 23, 2009
GAME: 19 #4 PITT (17-1, 5-1 Big East) at WEST VIRGINIA (14-4, 3-2 Big East)
Sunday, January 25, 2009 4 p.m. ET WVU Coliseum (14,000) Morgantown, W.Va.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh/ESPN-360 (John Sanders and Anthony Buford; Producer: Chuck Scatterday).
Television Affiliates: New York City (MSG), Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (Brighthouse), Baltimore-Washington, D.C. (MASN), Kansas City (MetroSports), Providence, R.I. (Cox-New England), New Orleans, La. (Cox-New Orleans), ESPN Full Court, ESPN-360.
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 130 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (149-41); West Virginia: Bob Huggins, 2nd year at WVU (40-15), 27th year overall (630-226).
Rankings: Pitt: 4-AP, 4-ESPN; West Virginia: unranked (as of Jan. 19).
Series: Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 176th time in series history with WVU holding a 93-82 advantage. Pitt has won four of the series' last five meetings.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--No. 4 ranked Pitt (17-1, 5-1 Big East) travels to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on West Virginia (14-4, 3-2 Big East) for a Sunday, Jan. 25 game at the WVU Coliseum. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. ET.
The basketball version of the "Backyard Brawl" rivalry will be televised by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on FSN Pittsburgh with John Sanders (play-by-play) and Anthony Buford (color commentary) calling action. Chuck Scatterday will handle production.
Pitt gets back into action after a six-day hiatas. The contest is the first of two straight road games. With a 78-60 victory over No. 8 Syracuse at the Petersen Events Center on Jan. 19, Pitt improved to 5-1 in the Big East standings. The Panthers moved to 27-9 under Jamie Dixon in games following a loss. Sam Young scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, DeJuan Blair totaled his 12th double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Levance Fields finished with 15 points and six assists as the Panthers outscored the Orange 47-32 in the second half. Pitt's 16-game win streak ended with a 69-63 loss at No. 20 Louisville on Jan. 17. Pitt totaled season-highs of 20 turnovers and 26 personal fouls as Louisville used a 19-3 run down the stretch to claim the win. Jermaine Dixon led Pitt with a career-high 19 points and a career-high three 3-pointers.
With its 75-62 win over South Florida on Jan. 14, Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon (149 career wins) moved into sole possession of third place on Pitt's all-time coaching victories list after only six years. He surpassed Paul Evans, who compiled a 147-98 record in eight years at Pitt from 1986-94. Dixon and Evans are both behind H.C. Carlson (367-247 in 31 years) and Robert Timmons (174-189 in 15 years).
For the second time in the last six years, Pitt began a season with a 16-0 start. The 16-0 start ranks third among Pitt's all-time best men's basketball starts to a season. Pitt went 21-0 to win the mythical national title in 1927-28 and began the 2003-04 season with an 18-0 record in Head Coach Jamie Dixon's first season. Dixon has guided Pitt to 10-0 starts in each of his first six seasons as head coach. Additionally, Dixon has guided Pitt to six of the top-10 best starts to a season in school history.
Through its first 18 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-17.8 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-9.9 margin. The Panthers are also converting 47.4 percent (528-1115) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 38.0 percent shooting. Pitt has also held 17 of its 18 opponents to 70 points or less and 10 teams to 60 points or less.
Several Pitt players are ranked among national leaders in various statistical categories (as of Jan. 18, 2009). DeJuan Blair ranks third nationally in rebounding (12.8) and leads the nation in offensive rebounds with 6.1 orpg (The NCAA does not rank top offensive rebounders). He is also ranked No. 20 in field goal percentage (59.3). Levance Fields ranks third nationally in both assist:turnover ratio (4.00) and assists per game (7.1), while Sam Young is rated 56th in scoring (18.4).
In West Virginia, Pitt plays the third of a difficult five-game stretch that includes games against four nationally ranked opponents and three road contests. During this current five-game stretch, Pitt will play four nationally ranked opponents in No. 9 Louisville, No. 8 Syracuse, West Virginia, No. 20 Villanova and No. 19 Notre Dame. Pitt has played four consecutive nationally ranked opponents only once in its 101-year men's basketball history. That stretch occured from Jan. 5, 1990-Jan. 19, 1990.
Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 176th time in series history. West Virginia owns a 93-82 advantage in the series and has defeated Pitt in 23 of the 30 all-time meetings played in the WVU Coliseum. Pitt has claimed four of the series' last five games against West Virginia. Pitt is 22-59 all-time vs. WVU in Morgantown. In the last meeting between the two schools at the WVU Coliseum, West Virginia defeated Pitt 76-62 on March 3, 2008.
West Virginia enters the contest with a 14-4 overall record and 3-2 Big East slate. The Mountaineers enter the game on a three-game win streak after defeating Georgetown (75-58 on Jan. 22), South Florida (62-59 on Jan. 17) and Marshall (87-76 on Jan. 14). WVU is led by Da'Sean Butler's 16.9 ppg., Alex Ruoff's 16.1 ppg. and Darryl Bryant's 10.6 ppg.
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Pitt plays the third of a difficult five-game stretch against teams who either are or were nationally ranked during the season. Three of those games are on the road. The stretch includes at No. 9 Louisville, No. 8 Syracuse, at West Virginia, at No. 20 Villanova and vs. No. 19 Notre Dame.
Pitt and West Virginia meet for the first time this year and for the 176th time in series history. Pitt has claimed four of the last five meetings. Pitt is 22-59 all-time vs. WVU in games played in Morgantown. West Virginia owns a 23-7 record in games played at the WVU Coliseum.
With a win, Jamie Dixon would become the first Pitt coach in school history to win three games against WVU at WVU Coliseum. Dixon is 6-4 all-time vs. WVU and 2-3 vs. the Mountaineers in Morgantown.