April 15, 2012
PITTSBURGH—Junior Tray Woodall and sophomore Lamar Patterson were both honored with the team’s Most Valuable Player Award as the University of Pittsburgh held its annual awards banquet Sunday evening at the Westin Hotel. A crowd consisting of nearly 200 fans, alums, Panther Club members, family members, and student-athletes attended the event.
The evening featured an inspiring highlight video of the season along with remarks from Athletic Director Steve Pederson and head coach Jamie Dixon. 93.7 The Fan’s Jon Burton served as Master of Ceremonies.
Ten team awards were announced by Dixon. Four players received the Captains Award for outstanding leadership this year: Ashton Gibbs, Nick Rivers, Nasir Robinson and Woodall. Robinson also captured the team’s top rebounding title, pulling down 6.6 rebounds per game. Redshirt sophomore Talib Zanna was honored with the Best Defensive Player Award, while junior Dante Taylor earned the Coaches Award for outstanding attitude. Redshirt sophomore Cameron Wright received the Jaron Brown Pursuit of Academic Excellence Award, while freshman Malcolm Gilbert earned the Academic Excellence Award for success in the classroom. Sophomore J.J. Moore won the Most Improved Player Award after his yearly development. Freshman John Johnson and Gibbs shared the team’s Free Throw Shooting Award after Johnson converted 86 percent of his shots and Gibbs sank 85.5 percent of his attempts. Gibbs and Robinson won the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award.
Pitt concluded the 2011-12 season with a 22-17 record, advanced to its 12th consecutive post-season tournament and captured the College Basketball Invitational Championship. Pitt won five of six games and defeated Washington State in the CBI’s best two-of-three series.
Most Improved Player: J.J. Moore
Best Defensive Player: Talib Zanna
Team Rebounding Leader: Nasir Robinson (6.6 rpg)
Coaches Award: Dante Taylor
Academic Excellence Award: Malcolm Gilbert