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Pitt Honors Men's Basketball Team With Season-Ending Awards Banquet




April 18, 2010

PITTSBURGH—Junior Brad Wanamaker and sophomore Ashton Gibbs were honored as co-Most Valuable Players as the University of Pittsburgh recognized its 2009-10 men’s basketball team with its annual awards banquet Sunday at the Westin Hotel. A crowd of approximately 300 alums, Panther Club members, fans, coaches, 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 Pederson and Head Coach Jamie Dixon. Voice of the Panthers Bill Hillgrove served as Master of Ceremonies. Dixon was also presented with the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

 

Ten team awards were announced by Dixon. Sophomore Nasir Robinson earned the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award, senior Jermaine Dixon and junior Gary McGhee were honored as co-Best Defensive Player Awards, while junior Gilbert Brown and senior Chase Adams both earned the Coaches Award for outstanding attitude. Redshirt freshman Travon Woodall was named the team’s Most Improved Player. Gibbs was named the team’s Free Throw Shooting leader after converting 88.4 percent from the line and McGhee was the team’s top rebounder (6.8 rpg.). Dixon and Wanamaker both received the Captains Award for outstanding leadership. Freshman J.J. Richardson won the Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award and freshman Dante Taylor received the team’s Academic Excellence Award for his success in the classroom.


 

 

 

Despite losing four starters including two NBA players, Pitt concluded the 2009-10 season with a 25-9 overall record, a second consecutive second place finish in the Big East with a 13-5 slate, the school’s ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and a No. 3 seed upon entering the tourney. Prior to the season, Pitt was unranked and picked to finish ninth in the Big East by league coaches.

 

Next year, Pitt returns four of five starters, seven of its top eight scorers, 86 percent of its scoring and 91 percent of its rebounding. In preseason rankings, Pitt is already listed as a top-10 nationally ranked team.

 

TEAM AWARDS

Most Valuable Player: Brad Wanamaker, Ashton Gibbs

Most Improved Player: Travon Woodall

Best Defensive Player: Jermaine Dixon, Gary McGhee

Captains Award: Jermaine Dixon, Brad Wanamaker

Team Rebounding Leader: Gary McGhee (6.8 rpg)

Free Throw Shooting Leader: Ashton Gibbs (88.4%)

Most Inspirational Player: Nasir Robinson

Coaches Award: Gilbert Brown, Chase Adams

Academic Excellence Award: Dante Taylor

Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award: J.J. Richardson

 

PITT’S 2009-10 MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

*Entered the Big East Tournament as the league’s No. 2 seed for the second consecutive season with a 13-5 record after being picked to finish ninth in the annual preseason coaches’ poll. Finished ranked among the nation’s top-25 programs after entering the season unranked in both major polls.

 

*Defeated three top-5 nationally ranked teams (No. 5 Syracuse, No. 5 West Virginia and No. 3 Villanova), the nation’s only program to achieve that honor.

 

*Pitt ranks among the nation’s top-6 programs in most NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances over the last nine seasons. Only two programs nationally have advanced to more Sweet Sixteens during that span. Those programs include: Duke-7 and Kansas-6. Pitt, Texas, Connecticut and Michigan State all have advanced to five during that period.

 

*Advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a school record ninth consecutive season and 22nd time in school history. Previously, Pitt appeared in three straight NCAA Tournaments from 1987-89. The nine consecutive appearances rank as the most in the Big East Conference during that span. Villanova ranks second with six straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

 

*Became one of only seven schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past nine seasons (2001-10). The seven schools include Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.

 

*Compiled a 245-65 record and .790 winning percentage over the past nine seasons (2001-10), which ranks among the nation’s top-five best winning percentages during that span. The .790 winning percentage ranks No. 1 in the Big East during that period.

 

*Achieved a school record ninth straight 20-win season (25-9). It was Pitt’s 17th all-time 20-win season.

 

*Pitt’s 25 wins tied for the seventh most season wins in school history.

 

*Surpassed 20 wins overall and 10 wins in Big East regular season play for a school record ninth consecutive season. Pitt is the only Big East program to have surpassed 20 overall games and 10 league games in each of the past nine seasons. Additionally, Pitt is one of only three schools nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament and win 20 overall and 10 league games in each of the last ninth seasons. The other three schools include Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt.

 

*Finished the Big East regular season tied for second place with a 13-5 record. The 13 wins tied for the second highest win total in league play since Pitt joined the Big East in 1982-83. Pitt’s combined two-year Big East record of 28-8 ranks as the third winningest two-year total in school history.

 

*Achieved a school record and ninth straight 10-win Big East regular season (13-5). Over the last nine years, Pitt owns a 109-41 record and .727 winning percentage in Big East regular season games, which ranks first in the conference during that period.

 

*Head Coach Jamie Dixon became the first coach in school history to guide Pitt to seven straight NCAA Tournaments (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010) and seven straight 20-win overall and 10-win league seasons.

 

*With his 188 career wins, Head Coach Jamie Dixon tied the NCAA Division I all-time coaching record for most wins after seven seasons as a head coach. He tied the record held by Gonzaga’s Mark Few set from 2000-06.

 

*Dixon concluded the 2009-10 season as the winningest coach in Big East history with a current .696 winning percentage in league games (94-41). Following Dixon are: 2. John Thompson, Georgetown (.653), 3. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut (.642), 4. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse (.642) and 5. Lou Carnesseca, St. John’s (.635).

 

*Dixon (.777 career winning percentage) concluded his seventh season ranked as the third winningest active coach in NCAA Division I college basketball. Dixon currently trails Gonzaga’s Mark Few (.802) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (.795).

 

*Named Madison Square Garden’s “Team of the Decade” after winning two Big East titles and advancing to seven league tournament title games from 2000-09. Jamie Dixon was named Madison Square Garden’s “Coach of the Decade” after leading Pitt to the 2008 Big East title and four tournament title games, along with creating the Maggie Dixon Classic, the nation’s premier women’s college basketball event.

 

*Became one of only three schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament and win at least one game in the tourney in eight of the last nine seasons. Those three schools include: Pitt, Duke and Wisconsin. No school has advanced to each of the last nine NCAA Tournaments and won at least one game in each of the nine tourneys.

 

*Sophomore Ashton Gibbs earned Pitt’s sixth Big East Most Improved Player Award in the last 11 years and was selected to the All-Big East Second Team. Senior Jermaine Dixon was named the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year by Sporting News magazine.

 

*Completed the season with a 17-1 home record, which ranks as Pitt’s sixth best home winning percentage.

 

*Concluded its eighth year in the Petersen Events Center with a 132-11 all-time record and .923 winning percentage (16-0 in 2002-03, 19-1 in 2003-04, 13-4 in 2004-05, 16-1 in 2005-06, 16-2 in 2006-07, 16-2 in 2007-08, 19-0 in 2008-09 and 17-1 in 2009-10). The 132-11 record and .923 winning percentage ranks among the nation’s top-5 best marks since the arena opened in 2002 (Kansas-.949, Gonzaga-.935, Duke-.931, Wisconsin-.925, Pitt-.923).

 

*Sold out the Petersen Events Center for the seventh consecutive season and has enjoyed a string of 150 consecutive home sellouts dating back to a January 12, 2002 game against Notre Dame.

 

2009-10 HONORS AND AWARDS

 

ALL-AMERICA

Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year

Jamie Dixon

 

USA Basketball National Coach of the Year

Jamie Dixon

 

Finalist

Associated Press COY

USBWA Henry Iba Award

Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award

 

Bob Cousy Award Finalist

Ashton Gibbs

 

ALL-REGION

USWBA All-Region 2 Team

Ashton Gibbs

 

ALL-CONFERENCE

Big East Most Improved Player

Ashton Gibbs

 

All-Big East

Second Team: Ashton Gibbs

 

Sporting News All-Big East

Defensive Player of the Year

Jermaine Dixon

 

Big East Statistical Champions

Free Throw Percentage: Ashton Gibbs (88.4%)

 

Big East Player of the Week

Ashton Gibbs (Jan. 4)

 

Big East Academic All-Stars

Tim Frye, Ashton Gibbs

 

TEAM AWARDS

Most Valuable Player: Brad Wanamaker, Ashton Gibbs

Most Improved Player: Travon Woodall

Best Defensive Player: Jermaine Dixon, Gary McGhee

Captains Award: Jermaine Dixon, Brad Wanamaker

Team Rebounding Leader: Gary McGhee (6.8 rpg)

Free Throw Shooting Leader: Ashton Gibbs (88.4%)

Most Inspirational Player: Nasir Robinson

Coaches Award: Gilbert Brown, Chase Adams

Academic Excellence Award: Dante Taylor

Jaron Brown Pursuit of Academic Excellence Award: J.J. Richardson

 

MILESTONES

Brad Wanamaker, one of only six players in school history to average over 10 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in a season

Brad Wanamaker, one of only 11 players in school history to register over 300 points and 150 assists in a season

Jamie Dixon, first and only coach in school history to win 20-plus overall games and 10-plus Big East games in seven consecutive seasons

Jamie Dixon, first and only head coach in school history to guide Pitt to seven straight NCAA Tournaments

 

SCHOOL RECORDS SET

INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

Consecutive free throws made, Ashton Gibbs (46 from 11/24/09-1/4/10)

3-point field goals made-sophomore, Ashton Gibbs (74)

3-point field goals attempted-sophomore, Ashton Gibbs (184)

Free Throw percentage-game, Ashton Gibbs (14-14 at Seton Hall, 1/24/10)

 

TEAM RECORDS

Most consecutive winning seasons (10)

Most consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9)

 

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