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Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Fourth in Big East; Ashton Gibbs Named Preseason Player of the Year




Oct. 19, 2011

Watch Gibbs' Pre-Event Speech |  Pitt Media Day Photo Gallery |  2011-12 MBB Schedule (pdf) |  2011-12 Schedule |  2011-12 Prospectus

NEW YORK--The Pitt men's basketball team was selected by league coaches to finish fourth and senior Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) was named the preseason Player of the Year at the Big East Conference's annual media day Wednesday at the New York Athletic Club.

In a vote of the league's 16 coaches, Pitt finished fourth with 188 total points. Syracuse and Connecticut tied for first place with 209 votes apiece followed by No. 3 Louisville (201 points), No. 4 Pitt, No. 5 Cincinnati (169), No. 6 Marquette (155) and No. 7 West Virginia (132). Since 2002-03, Pitt has been picked to finish in fourth place or higher in six of the last eight league preseason polls.

Gibbs became Pitt's fifth preseason Big East Player of the Year following in the footsteps of Charles Smith (1986-87), Jerome Lane (1987-88), Brandin Knight (2002-03) and Aaron Gray (2006-07). The Scotch Plains, N.J. native was the league's only returning All-Big East First Team selection from a year ago.

Gibbs, who is a second year Wooden Award nominee, also enters his senior season as a Naismith Award candidate. He has garnered several preseason honors and nominations including Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, Lindy's Big East Player of the Year, Athlon Big East Player of the Year, Sporting News All-America Third Team and a Dick Vitale First-Team All-America (Solid Gold).

As a junior, Gibbs earned All-Big East First Team honors and was named an AP All-America honorable mention selection He led Pitt in scoring (16.8 ppg), ranked third nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (49.0), paced the Big East in 3-point field goals made (102) and ranked second in the league in free-throw percentage (88.9). He also became the 39th player in school history to score 1,000 points in career. Over his first three seasons, Gibbs has totaled 1,207 career points, averaged 12.1 points per game, converted 216 of 490 3-point field goals (44.1 pct.) and hit 233 of 265 free-throws (87.9 pct).


 

 


This past summer, Gibbs led the USA Men's Basketball team in minutes played (21.8 mpg) and averaged 11.6 ppg, while helping guide the team to a 7-1 record at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. In 2009, he led the Under-19 USA Basketball Team to a Gold Medal and undefeated 9-0 record at the FIBA World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon, along with seniors Gibbs, Nasir Robinson and Nick Rivers represented the Panthers in New York City.

Pitt returns two starters (Gibbs and Robinson) 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's first exhibition game is on Saturday, Oct. 29 against La Roche College at 4 p.m.

 

2011-12 PRESEASON BIG EAST COACHES POLL

Rk.

Team (first place votes)

Points

1.

Connecticut (7)

209

1.

Syracuse (5)

209

3.

Louisville (3)

201

4.

PITT (1)

188

5.

Cincinnati

169

6.

Marquette

155

7.

West Virginia

132

8.

Villanova

127

9.

Notre Dame

114

10.

Georgetown

104

11.

Rutgers

75

12.

St. John's

71

13.

Seton Hall

56

14.

USF

43

15.

Providence

40

16.

DePaul

27

 

2011-12 PRESEASON BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh

2011-12 PRESEASON BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Andre Drummond, Connecticut

2011-12 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM

Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (player of the year), G, Sr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.

Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, G/F, So., 6-5, 185, Norcross, Ga.

Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-2, 215, Raleigh, N.C.

Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, F, G, 6-8, 235, Unionville, Conn.

Kris Joseph, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-7, 210, Montreal, Quebec

Kevin Jones, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-8, 260, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

 

2011-12 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM

Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-9, 260, Cincinnati, Ohio

Alex Oriahki, Connecticut, F/C, Jr., 6-9, 240, Lowell, Mass.

Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Jr., 5-11, 180, Seattle, Wash.

Scoop Jardine, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-2, 190, Philadelphia, Pa.

Maalik Wayns, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Philadelphia, Pa.

 

2011-12 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION

Andre Drummond, Connecticut, C, Fr., 6-11, 275, Middletown, Conn.

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, So., 6-0, 170, Roxbury, Mass.

Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, So., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.

Jae Crowder, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 235, Villa Rica, Ga.

Augustus Gilchrist, USF, F/C., Sr., 6-10, 245, Clinton, Md.

 

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