Feb. 5, 2009
GAME 23: #6 PITT (20-2, 7-2 Big East) at DePAUL (8-15, 0-10 Big East)
Saturday, February 7, 2009 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT Allstate Arena (18,500) Rosemont, Ill.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (Lou Canellis, Dave Kaplan; Producer: Major Howe).
Television Affiliates: Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), New York City (MSG), Chicago (WWME), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla. (Brighthouse), Washington, D.C.-Baltimore (MASN), Kansas City (Metro Sports KC), Providence-New England (Cox-NE), ESPN Full Court.
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 123 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (152-42); DePaul: Jerry Wainwright, 4th year at DePaul (51-63), 15th year overall (237-207).
Rankings: Pitt: 6-AP, 5-ESPN; DePaul: unranked.
Series: Pitt owns a 3-1 all-time record vs. DePaul. Since DePaul joined the Big East in 2005-06, Pitt is 3-0 vs. the Blue Demons. Pitt owns a 17-8 record vs. schools that joined the Big East in 2005-06: Cincinnati 4-1, DePaul 3-0, Louisville 4-3, Marquette 3-4, South Florida 3-0.
PITTSBURGH--No. 6 ranked Pitt (20-2, 7-2 Big East) begins the second half of Big East regular season play when it travels to Chicago, Ill. to take on DePaul (8-15, 0-10 Big East) at Allstate Arena. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.
Pitt has won 20 or more games for the eighth straight season and for the 16th time in school history. Jamie Dixon became the first coach in school history to win 20-plus games in six straight years. Pitt is the only Big East program to win 20 overall games and 10-plus league games in each of the last seven seasons.
With its 92-72 win over Robert Morris on Monday, Pitt completed its third all-time undefeated non-conference slate with a 13-0 record. Pitt also went undefeated in both 2003-04 (14-0) and 2005-06 (11-0).
Pitt's 20-2 record ties for the school's all-time third best record after 22 games played. 21-1 in Jamie Dixon's first year in 2003-04, 20-2 both in 1929-30 and this year, 19-3 in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 1987-88 and 18-4 both in 2002-03 and 2007-08. A sidenote: Pitt finished an undefeated 21-0 en route to the mythical national title in 1927-28.
Pitt gets back into Big East Conference play and enters the game with a 7-2 Big East regular season record after defeating Notre Dame 93-80 on Jan. 31. DeJuan Blair totaled the ninth 20-20 performance in school history with 23 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in leading five players in double figures. Trailing by six points at halftime, Pitt scored the second half's first nine points to take control of the game. The Panthers outrebounded Notre Dame 49-30 and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds in the 13-point win.
Through its first 22 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-16.1 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-9.5 margin. The Panthers are also converting 47.6 percent (644-1353) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 39.5 percent shooting. Pitt has also held 19 of its 22 opponents to 70 points or less and 10 teams to 60 points or less. Pitt is ranked among the nation's top-10 teams in five statistical categories (as of Feb. 1, 2009): 6th in winning percentage, 6th in scoring margin, 3rd in rebound margin, 9th in assists per game, 2nd in assist:turnover ratio.
Several Pitt players are ranked among national leaders in various statistical categories (as of Feb. 1, 2009). DeJuan Blair ranks fourth nationally in rebounding (12.9) and leads the nation in offensive rebounds with 6.0 orpg according to StatsLLC (Note: the NCAA does not rank top offensive rebounders). He is also ranked No. 24 in field goal percentage (58.9). Levance Fields ranks second assist:turnover ratio (3.55) and fifth in assists per game (6.8), while Sam Young is rated 74th in scoring (17.9).
DePaul enters the contest on a 10-game losing streak. The Blue Demons are 0-10 in Big East play and 8-15 overall. DePaul is led by Dar Tucker's 18.5 points per game average. Josh Koshwal (13.5 ppg.) and Will Walker (13.0) also are top scorers.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
At 7-2, Pitt begins the second half of Big East regular season play.
Pitt is 4-2 in road games and 3-2 in Big East road games this year. Under Jamie Dixon, Pitt is 26-15 all-time in Big East road games.
At 20-2, Pitt has won 20-plus games for its eighth consecutive season. Pitt is the only Big East school to win 20 overall games and 10-plus league games in each of the last seven seasons. Dixon is the only Pitt coach in school history to win 20 or more overall games in six straight seasons.
Over the last eight seasons, Pitt owns the Big East's top record (209-53), has advanced to a league-record seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments and compiled a Big East best seven straight 20-overall win, 10-league win seasons. Pitt is the only Big East school to appear in each of the last seven NCAA Tournaments.