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Men's Basketball Holds Preseason Media Day

Jermaine Dixon is Pitt's lone returning starter in 2009-10.

Jermaine Dixon is Pitt's lone returning starter in 2009-10.

Oct. 15, 2009

Press Conference Transcript | Updated 2009-10 MBB Schedule |   Pitt Basketball Tickets |  2009-10 Roster and Schedule (pdf)  
Watch J. Dixon's Media Day Interview | Watch C. Adams' Media Day Interview | Watch T. Woodall's Media Day Interview

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 on the Petersen Events Center floor. Interviews were followed by a team photo.

 

NCAA mandated practices begin on the evening of Friday, Oct. 16.

 

Pitt returns just one starter--senior Jermaine Dixon--from a team that finished with a school record 31-5 record and 15-3 Big East slate, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1974, ascended to the nation's No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history and entered the NCAA Tournament with a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history.


 

 

 

Next week, Pitt will be in New York City and Madison Square Garden for Big East media day.

 

The Petersen Events Center will host an NBA Exhibition Game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks owner and Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban is expected to attend. He will give a speech on campus on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the WPU Assembly Room.

 

Pitt will also host its Blue-Gold Men's Basketball Scrimmage on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center. This will be the first opportunity for fans to view the 2009-10 Pitt men's basketball team. Pitt's first exhibition game is Sunday, Nov. 1 vs. Slippery Rock at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.

 

Here are some preseason storylines leading into the coming season:

 

2009-10 PITT MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON STORYLINES

 

*     Pitt begins its quest for a ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and ninth straight season with 20 or more wins.

*     Pitt must find a way to replace four departed starters including NBA players in center DeJuan Blair and small forward Sam Young, power forward Tyrell Biggs and point guard Levance Fields. Over the last four seasons, the foursome combined for 286 starts, 4,714 points, 2,282 rebounds and 932 assists. Blair, Fields and Young each finished with over 1,000 points apiece.

*     Last season, Pitt finished with a school-record tying 31-5 overall record, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight/Regional Final for the first time in 35 years, ascended to the nation's No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history and earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

*     Pitt returns one starter in senior off guard Jermaine Dixon. The Panthers also return several letterwinners with experience including junior guard Brad Wanamaker, junior center Gary McGhee, sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs and sophomore forward Nasir Robinson. Freshmen Dwight Miller and Travon Woodall also return to the mix after redshirting the 2008-09 season.

*     Head Coach Jamie Dixon enters his seventh season at Pitt with a 163-45 overall record. The 163 victories set an NCAA Division I all-time record for most wins after the first six seasons as a head coach. Dixon also became the first coach in school history to guide Pitt to six straight NCAA Tournaments, six consecutive 20-win seasons and six straight 10-plus league win years. This summer he guided the USA Basketball Under-19 Team to the FIBA World Championship title with an undefeated 9-0 record. Pitt's Ashton Gibbs also played on the title-winning squad.

*     Once again, Pitt will play a difficult schedule in 2009-10. Combining the last seven seasons, Pitt has ranked No. 4 nationally in average RPI. The Panthers will play an 18-game Big East schedule for the third consecutive season. Pitt will also play 21 games against opponents advancing to postseason play in 2008-09 and 10 contests versus teams advancing to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Opponents highlighting Pitt's non-conference slate include Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic, Texas, Iowa and Wichita State in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic and the final basketball played game in Mellon Arena against Duquesne.

*     Pitt welcomes five newcomers including a four-member freshman class of Lamar Patterson, J.J. Richardson, Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna. The four-member class has been ranked among the nation's top-25 recruiting classes by Scout.com, Rivals.com, ESPN-U and hoopscooponline. Pitt also adds a transfer in senior Chase Adams from Centenary. A Baltimore native, Adams is eligible to compete immediately because Centenary is moving from NCAA Division I competition to NCAA Division III.

 

WHAT PITT RETURNS IN 2009-10

Category

Percent Returning

Last year's starters:

20% (1 of 5)

Last year's total starts:

21% (37 of 180)

Team's top-10 in minutes played:

70% (7 of 10)

Total minutes played:

42% (3075 of 7200)

Points scored:

34% (945 of 2801)

Field goals made:

32% (330 of 1040)

Field goal attempts:

35% (751 of 2173)

3-point FG made:

47% (105 of 225)

3-point FG attempts:

48% (306 of 639)

Offensive rebounds:

22% (115 of 533)

Defensive rebounds:

39% (354 of 899)

Total rebounds:

33% (469 of 1432)

Personal fouls:

52% (302 of 585)

Assists:

40% (256 of 633)

Turnovers:

45% (197 of 436)

Blocked shots:

40% (55 of 139)

Steals:

47% (115 of 246)

 

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