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Men's Basketball Hosts Preseason Media Day




Oct. 13, 2011

2011-12 MBB Schedule (pdf) |  2011-12 Schedule |  2011-12 Prospectus
Gibbs Interview | Taylor Interview | Birch Interview | Patterson Interview | Woodall Interview | Photo Gallery

PITTSBURGH--The Pitt men's basketball team hosted its annual preseason media, photo and video day on Thursday at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon and the Panthers were available for interviews and photo requests.

Dixon held his annual preseason press gathering. Pitt's players were available for interviews in the Petersen Events Center lobby. Interviews were followed by a team photo.

NCAA mandated practices begin on the evening of Friday, Oct. 14.

Next Wednesday, Pitt will be in New York City and the New York Athletic Club for Big East media day. Representing Pitt will be Jamie Dixon, along with seniors Ashton Gibbs, Nasir Robinson and Nick Rivers.

Pitt returns two starters and seven of its top-10 letterwinners from a squad that won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, finished 28-6 overall, garnered a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season.

Pitt will host its Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair, Fan Fest and Blue-Gold Men's Basketball Scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Petersen Events Center. The Fan Fest/Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair begins at 2:30 p.m. while the scrimmage will tipoff at 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public for both events. Free parking is available in the OC Lot. This is also the first opportunity for media and fans to view the 2011-12 Pitt men's basketball team.

Pitt men's basketball season tickets are sold out. Fans may join the basketball season ticket waiting list by contacting the University of Pittsburgh Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT or (412) 648-PITT or visiting www.pittsburghpanthers.com.

2011-12 PITT PRESEASON STORYLINES

Here are some preseason storylines heading into the coming season:

*Pitt begins its quest for an 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th straight season with 20 or more wins.

*Pitt returns two starters (Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson), seven of its top-10 scorers, seven of its top-10 in minutes played, 58.6 percent of its scoring and 55.3 percent of its rebounding from a team that finished 28-6 overall, won the Big East regular season title outright, advanced to its 10th straight NCAA Tournament and earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the tourney.

*Jamie Dixon enters his ninth season as Pitt's head coach with a 216-60 overall record. The 216 victories set an NCAA Division I all-time record for most wins after the first eight seasons as a head coach. Dixon became the first coach in school history to guide Pitt to eight straight NCAA Tournaments, eight consecutive 20-win seasons and eight straight 10-plus win years in Big East play. He also became the only NCAA Division I head basketball coach in each of the last six years to guide a program to six consecutive NCAA Tournaments and at least one victory in each of the six tournaments.

*Pitt enters the 2011-12 season as a consensus top-20 ranked program in the national polls.  After winning the Big East regular season title outright in 2010-11, their sixth Big East championship in the past 10 years, the Panthers will once again be a favorite to contend for the title.

*Ashton Gibbs enters his senior season as a Wooden Award and Naismith Award nominee and was named the preseason Big East Player of the Year by Lindy's and Athlon.  Ranked among Pitt career leaders in several categories including 23rd in points scored (1,207), fourth in 3-point field goals made (216), second in 3-point field goal pct. (.441) and second in free throw pct. (.879), Gibbs has the opportunity to end his career as one of the greatest scorers and shooters in school history.

*In late September, Pitt announced that it will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Jamie Dixon's overall record against the ACC teams is 20-2, including 3-0 vs. Boston College, 1-0 vs. Duke, 3-0 vs. Florida State, 1-0 vs. Maryland, 1-0 vs. Miami, 9-2 vs. Syracuse and 2-0 vs. Virginia Tech respectively.

*Once again, Pitt will play a difficult schedule in 2011-12. Combining the last nine seasons, Pitt has ranked No. 3 nationally in combined average RPI. Pitt will also play 16 games against opponents that advanced to postseason play in 2010-11, including 13 contests versus teams advancing to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Opponents highlighting Pitt's non-conference slate include Tennessee (Dec. 3) in the Big East/SEC Challenge, Oklahoma State (Dec. 10) in the Madison Square Garden Classic, Duquesne (Nov. 30) in the annual City Game at Consol Energy Center and a visit to the renowned Palestra for a Thanksgiving weekend game against Penn (Nov. 25).

*For the second time in program history, Pitt will host ESPN College GameDay prior to its contest against Louisville (Jan. 21). Pitt has appeared on ESPN College GameDay four previous times since the show began in 2005.

WHAT PITT RETURNS IN 2011-12

Category

Percent Returning

Last year's starters:

40% (2 of 5)

Last year's total starts:

40% (68 of 170)

Team's top-10 in minutes played:

70% (7 of 10)

Total minutes played:

57.7% (3936 of 6824)

Points scored:

58.6% (1472 of 2514)

Field goals made:

58.9% (522 of 886)

Field goal attempts:

59.2% (1105 of 1866)

3-point FG made:

70.8% (143 of 202)

3-point FG attempts:

69.9% (358 of 512)

Offensive rebounds:

61.8% (299 of 484)

Defensive rebounds:

51.7% (452 of 874)

Total rebounds:

55.3% (751 of 1358)

Personal fouls:

61.1% (373 of 610)

Assists:

53.3% (317 of 595)

Turnovers:

58.9% (234 of 397)

Blocked shots:

36.9% (41 of 111)

Steals

53.8% (86 of 160)

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