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March 8, 2010

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) became the sixth Pitt player in the last 11 years to earn the Big East Conference Most Improved Player Award, the league office announced on Monday following a vote of its 16 head coaches. Other Pitt players who earned the award during that span include Ricardo Greer (1999-00), Brandin Knight (2001-02), Carl Krauser (2003-04), Aaron Gray (2005-06) and Sam Young (2007-08).


An All-Big East Second Team selection, Gibbs saw his scoring increase by 11.9 points per game from his freshman to sophomore seasons (4.3 ppg. in 2008-09 to 16.2 in 2009-10). He ranks among national leaders in scoring increase and rates as the second highest yearly scoring jump in school history. Pitt's Larry Harris increased his scoring by 15.0 points per game from 1974-75 season to 1975-76.


Gibbs is known for his clutch shooting. He dribbled down court and swished a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Providence on March 4 and his 3-pointer with 26 seconds to go against West Virginia forced overtime. Pitt ended up winning the game, 98-95, in three overtimes.


A Bob Cousy Award candidate, Gibbs leads the Panthers in scoring (16.2 ppg.), minutes played (1086), 3-point field goals (74), 3-point field goal percentage (40.4) and free throw percentage (89.0). He leads the Big East in free throw percentage and also ranks among Big East statistical leaders in scoring (12th), 3-point field goals made (4th) and 3-point field goal percentage (10th). On the year, Gibbs has scored over 20 points 11 times, reached double figure scoring in 27 of 31 games and hit at least six 3-pointers four times (Providence, West Virginia, Syracuse and Binghamton).


Gibbs also set or tied two school records for free throw shooting. His 46 consecutive free throws made earlier in the year established a new school record and his perfect 14-14 performance tied a school record for best percentage in a game.


No. 2 seeded Pitt (24-7, 13-5) opens Big East Championship competition on Thursday at 7 p.m., when it will play one of three potential opponents in quarterfinal action: No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 15 Providence or No. 10 Seton Hall. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.


The Big East also announced several other awards including the Defensive Player of the Year-- Hamady Ndiaye, Rutgers; Sixth Man Award--Kris Joseph, Syracuse and Sportsmanship Award--Tory Jackson, Notre Dame.







Ricardo Greer


Averaged 16.6 ppg., 7.4 rpg. and 2.8 apg. in 1999-00

Brandin Knight


Also named co-Big East Player of the Year in 2001-02

Carl Krauser


Averaged 15.4 ppg., 4.9 rpg and 4.5 apg in 2003-04

Aaron Gray


4.3 ppg. and 2.8 rpg in 2004-05 to 13.9 ppg. and 10.5 rpg in 2005-06

Sam Young


7.2 ppg. in 2006-07 to 18.1 ppg in 2007-08

Ashton Gibbs


+11.9 ppg. increase, All-Big East Second Team selection




Ashton Gibbs Earns Pitt's Sixth Big East Most Improved Player Award Since 1999-2000

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