March 4, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C.-In its inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team had a league-leading four All-ACC Academic Team selections, the conference announced on Tuesday. Pitt's four Academic All-ACC honorees include redshirt junior Cameron Wright (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine) and freshmen Jamel Artis (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep, Mass.), Josh Newkirk (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God Academy) and Michael Young (Duquesne, Pa./St. Benedict's Prep, N.J.).
Four Virginia Tech players also earned All-ACC Academic honors. Sixteen total ACC men's basketball players were selected to the team. To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.
A business major, Wright garners his third overall and second consecutive academic all-league honor. As one of Pitt's most improved players in 2013-14, Wright has started all 30 games and is averaging 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 30.7 minutes per game. He has registered 17 double figure scoring games on the year and his career/season-highs are 20 points vs. Duquesne, nine rebounds at Miami and eight assists vs. Albany. He is a candidate for the men's basketball ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Pitt's other three honorees are each in their first basketball season at Pitt. All three are enrolled in the Dietrich College of Arts & Sciences. Young has started all 30 games at power forward while averaging 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He has notched five double figure scoring games on the season including a career-best 13 points in two contests. In all 30 games played, Newkirk averages 15.7 minutes, 4.3 points and 1.5 assists off the bench for Pitt. Last night against NC State, he scored a career and team-high 20 points on 7-8 shooting and was a perfect 5-5 from 3-point range. He also tied a school record with seven consecutive 3-pointers in Pitt's last two games. Artis has played in all 30 games at power forward and averages 15.4 minutes, 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game with two double figure scoring contests.
Seven total Pitt players or half of the team's 14-player roster were nominated for the honor, including freshman Joshua Ko (Dietrich College of Arts & Sciences), junior Aron Nwankwo (Neuroscience) and sophomore Joseph Uchebo (Dietrich College of Arts & Sciences).
Under 11th year head coach Jamie Dixon, the Pitt Basketball Program has enjoyed a history of academic success. The program achieved back-to-back top-10 NCAA Academic Performance Rankings in both 2010-11 and 2011-12 and earned three University of Pittsburgh Team Academic Achievement Awards (2004, 2006 and 2008). In addition, over 80 percent of its student-athletes have graduated over the last 12 years.
Pitt (22-8, 10-7 ACC) plays its final regular season game at Clemson on Saturday, March 8. Tipoff is a 4 p.m. ET for an ACC Network televised game.
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