PITTSBURGH—For the second consecutive season, senior Brad Wanamaker and junior Ashton Gibbs were both honored with the team’s Most Valuable Player Award as the University of Pittsburgh recognized its 2010-11 men’s basketball team with its annual awards banquet Sunday evening at the Westin Hotel. A crowd consisting of fans, coaches, alums, Panther Club members, family members, support staff and student-athletes attended the event.
The event featured an inspiring highlight video of the season along with speeches from Athletic Director Steve Pedersen and head coach Jamie Dixon. Voice of the Panthers Bill Hillgrove served as Master of Ceremonies. Dixon was also presented with The Sporting News National Coach of the Year Award. Sporting News Senior Writer and Pittsburgh native Mike DeCourcy was on hand to present the honor to Dixon.
Ten team awards were announced by Dixon. Seniors Gilbert Brown, Gary McGhee and Wanamaker received the Captains Award for outstanding leadership. McGhee was also the team’s top rebounder, pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game. Junior Nasir Robinson was honored with the Best Defensive Player Award, while freshman J.J. Moore earned the Coaches Award for outstanding attitude. Sophomore Dante Taylor received the Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award, while redshirt freshman Cameron Wright earned the Academic Excellence Award for success in the classroom. Redshirt freshmen Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna won the Most Improved Player Award after their yearly development. Gibbs earned the team’s Free Throw Shooting Award after converting 88.9 percent from the line. Senior Nick Rivers and sophomore Tray Woodall won the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award.
Pitt concluded the 2010-11 season with a stellar 28-6 overall record and captured the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 league mark. Pitt also earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history and advanced to its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Best Defensive Player: Nasir Robinson
Team Free Throw Leader: Ashton Gibbs (88.9 %)
Team Rebounding Leader: Gary McGhee (7.7 rpg.)
Most Inspirational Player: Nick Rivers and Tray Woodall
Coaches Award: J.J. Moore
Academic Excellence Award: Cameron Wright