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Men's Basketball Ranked No. 5 in Preseason Associated Press Poll




Oct. 31, 2008

NEW YORK--The Pitt men's basketball team will open its 2008-09 season ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, the media organization announced on Friday. Associated Press poll voters consist of writers and broadcasters throughout the nation.

 

Pitt will also enter the year ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll released Thursday morning.

 

With its No. 5 ranking and 1,319 points, Pitt is one of four Big East schools ranked among the nation's top-10 programs including No. 2 Connecticut, No. 3 Louisville and No. 9 Notre Dame. Additionally, Pitt is one of a record-tying seven Big East programs rated among the nation's top-25 including No. 16 Marquette, No. 22 Connecticut and No. 23 Villanova.

 

North Carolina holds the consensus No. 1 ranking with a unanimous 1,800 poll points.


 

 

 

Pitt's No. 5 ranking ties for the third highest preseason Associated Press poll ranking in school history. The Panthers were ranked No. 4 upon entering two seasons: 1987-88 and 2006-07 and No. 5 in 2002-03 and now 2008-09.

 

Pitt returns three starters, each of its top three scorers and seven of its top 10 players from a squad that captured the Big East Championship, finished 27-10 overall and advanced to NCAA Tournament play for a seventh consecutive season. Seniors Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs all return to the squad along with sophomores DeJuan Blair, Gilbert Brown, Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee. Newcomers Jermaine Dixon, Ashton Gibbs, Dwight Miller, Nasir Robinson and Travon Woodall will all contribute.

 

Pitt opens its season on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center with an exhibition game against Seton Hill. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON POLL

1.

North Carolina (72)

36-3

1,800

2.

Connecticut

24-9

1,661

3.

Louisville

27-9

1,638

4.

UCLA

35-4

1,487

5.

PITT

27-10

1,319

6.

Michigan State

27-9

1,311

7.

Texas

31-7

1,259

8.

Duke

28-6

1,250

9.

Notre Dame

25-8

1,243

10.

Gonzaga

25-8

1,162

11.

Purdue

25-9

1,099

12.

Oklahoma

23-12

987

13.

Memphis

38-2

977

14.

Tennessee

31-5

920

15.

Arizona State

21-13

645

16.

Marquette

25-10

592

17.

Miami, Fla.

23-11

570

18.

Southern California

21-12

414

19.

Florida

24-12

403

20.

Davidson

29-7

347

21.

Wake Forest

17-13

312

22.

Georgetown

28-6

311

23.

Villanova

22-13

256

24.

Kansas

37-3

233

25.

Wisconsin

31-5

196

 

Others Receiving Votes:

Xavier 154, UNLV 143, Baylor 128, Saint Mary's, Calif. 122, Syracuse 83, Kentucky 75, Ohio State 64, LSU 31, Texas A&M 30, Washington 19, West Virginia 17, Alabama 16, BYU 16, Virginia Tech 16, Siena 13, Arizona 11, Clemson 11, Vanderbilt 11, Washington State 11, Temple 10, Virginia Commonwealth 8, Butler 7, Creighton 7, New Mexico 3, Cleveland State 2, Stanford 2, UAB 2, American 1, CSU-Northridge 1, Drake 1, Miami, Ohio 1, Saint Joseph's 1, San Diego 1.

 

PITT BASKETBALL IN THE PRESEASON NATIONAL POLLS

Year

Preseason National Rankings

1986-87

16-AP, 9-UPI, 7-USA Today/CNN

1987-88

4-AP, 5-UPI, 3-USA Today/CNN

1989-90

18-AP

1990-91

12-AP, 15-UPI

2002-03

5-AP, 4-USA Today

2003-04

22-AP, 22-USA Today

2004-05

17-AP, 17-USA Today

2006-07

4-AP, 5-USA Today

2007-08

22-AP, 20-USA Today

2008-09

5, AP, 6-USA Today

 

 

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