Oct. 29, 2010
EXHIBITION GAME ONE
Pitt vs. Northwood University (Fla.)
Sunday, Oct. 31, Petersen Events Center 2 p.m. ET.
No. 5 PITT (25-9 in 2009-10) vs. No. 12 NORTHWOOD, Fla. (27-6 in 2009-10)
Television: Tape delay-Pitt Panthers Television on The Comcast Network (Channel 188 or 210). John Phillips and Curtis Aiken will call action.
Internet Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com (link: http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/gametracker/launch/gt_mbaskbl.html?event=946469&school=pitt&sport=mbaskbl&camefrom=&startschool=&)
The Coaches: Pitt--Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th as head coach (188-54); Northwood--Rollie Massimino, 5th year at Northwood, Fla., 35 years overall (619-420).
Rankings: Pitt--AP: 5; ESPN: 4; Northwood, Fla.--NAIA Division II: 12.
PITTSBURGH--No. 5 ranked Pitt will play its first competition of the 2010-11 basketball season when it hosts NAIA Division II and No. 12 ranked Northwood University, Fla. on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. ET.
Northwood, Fla. is coached by Rollie Massimino, who coached Villanova to the 1985 national title. Entering the 1985 NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed, the 1985 Villanova team has the distinction of being the lowest seeded team to ever win a national championship. Massimino's coaching career spans 35 years. He coached at Villanova from 1973-92, UNLV (1992-94) and at Cleveland State (1996-2001). The Northwood staff also features 1985 Final Four star Dwayne McClain, who serves as assistant coach.
The Seahawks enter the 2010-11 season ranked No. 12 in NAIA Division II after completing a successful 27-6 overall record and a 12-4 slate in The Sun Conference last year. Northwood returns two starters from last year's team that advanced to the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament in senior Melvin Calhoun and sophomore Patrick Horstmann. Calhoun, a 5'9 guard from Port Chester, NY., shot 41.5% from the field last season and ranked second on the team with 93 assists. Horstmann, a 6'7 guard from Wettenberg, Germany, was tabbed the 2009-2010 The Sun Conference Freshman of the Year after ranking fifth nationally in NAIA Division II in defensive rebounds per game and 10th in total rebounds during his freshman campaign.
Pitt will enter its season ranked among the nation's top-5 teams in at least one poll for the fifth time in school history. In preseason polls, Pitt is ranked No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. Pitt was also picked as the preseason favorite to win the Big East title.
Pitt enters Sunday's matchup after having won 22 consecutive exhibition games. Head Coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 14-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2003.
Pitt will be without starting forward Nasir Robinson, who underwent surgery on his right knee Wednesday morning. He is expected to be sidelined for three-to-six weeks. Gilbert Brown is listed as questionable for the game.
Pitt's second exhibition game will be on Thursday, Nov. 4 against Indiana, Pa. at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff for that contest is at 7 p.m.