Go Panthers!
Go Panthers!
Schedule |  Coaches |  Roster |  Videos |  Photos |  News |  Archives
Men's Basketball Opens Season on Friday Against Wofford at 8:10 p.m.

Sophomore Nasir Robinson will make his first career start for Pitt in its season opener Friday against Wofford.

Sophomore Nasir Robinson will make his first career start for Pitt in its season opener Friday against Wofford.

Nov. 12, 2009

Game Day Central | Game Notes | 2009-10 Media Guide | Pitt Basketball Tickets | Wofford Basketball |

GAME ONE: WOFFORD (16-14, 12-8 SoCon in 2008-09) at PITT (31-5, 15-3 Big East in 2008-09)

 

Friday, November 13, 2009 • 8:10 p.m. ET • Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

MEDIA INFORMATION


 

 

Television: www.pittsburghpanthers.com internet stream (video and audio). Access the game here: http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=pitt&media=149595

 

Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). XM Satellite Radio: TBA.

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com

The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (163-45); Wofford: Mike Young, 8th year (90-116 at WC); 8th year as a head coach (90-116).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV, Wofford: not ranked.

Series: Pitt and Wofford meet for the first time in series history. Pitt is 6-2 all-time vs. Southern Conference opponents (Appalachian State 1-0, Davidson 3-2, Furman 2-0). The last time Pitt played a Southern Conference member was on Dec. 18, 1999 vs. Appalachian State, a 67-64 win.

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

PITTSBURGH--Pitt opens its 103rd season of men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 13 when it hosts Southern Conference member Wofford (16-14, 12-8 S.C. in 2008-09) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 8:10 p.m. ET.

 

Prior tonight's tipoff, Pitt will honor its 2008-09 team which advanced to the NCAA Regional Final/NCAA Elite Eight in a banner raising ceremony. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:45 p.m. The presentation will occur prior to the National Anthem.

 

A win over Wofford on Friday would give Pitt its 13th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season. Pitt enters the game with 69-33 all-time record in 102 season openers dating back to the 1905-06 season. It has won 18 of its last 20 season openers and  Jamie Dixon is a perfect 6-0 on opening day. A win against Wofford will give Pitt its 39th straight home win over a non-conference opponent. Pitt has already established a school record with its 38 straight home wins over non-conference opponents. Pitt owns a 66-1 record in games against non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.

 

Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition games over NCAA Division II opponents Slippery Rock (75-64) and Coker College, S.C. (83-40). With the wins, Pitt has now won 22 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a Nov. 10, 1988 loss to Marathon Oil. Head Coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 14-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2002-03 and the Panthers improved to 12-0 in exhibition games since the NCAA cleared other NCAA Divisions for competition. The Panthers defeated Slippery Rock 75-64 on Nov. 1 behind a 27-point, nine rebound performance from freshman Dante Taylor. The 27 points represented the most points scored by a Pitt player in an exhibition game since Chris McNeal scored 29 points vs. Marathon Oil on November 13, 1991. Pitt followed that performance with an 83-40 win over Coker College, S.C. on Nov. 8. The Panthers limited Coker to just six first half points and led 41-6 at halftime. Redshirt freshman guard Travon Woodall led the Panthers with a 21-point performance vs. Coker.

 

Pitt begins its 2009-10 season after it completed a 31-5 record, placed second in the Big East with a 15-3 record, advanced to the NCAA Regional/Elite Eight for the first time in 35 years, ascended to the nation's No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history, completed a perfect 19-0 home record and earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

 

Pitt must find a way to replace four departed starters including NBA players center DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs), small forward Sam Young (Memphis Grizzlies), power forward Tyrell Biggs (playing professionally in Greece) and point guard Levance Fields (playing professionally in Russia). Over the last four seasons, the foursome combined for 286 career starts, 4,714 points, 2,282 rebounds and 932 assists. Fields and Young both scored over 1,000 career points and DeJuan Blair scored 979 points.

 

The Panthers return just one starter (Jermaine Dixon) and six letterwinners from that squad. Pitt will start five players Friday evening that have accumulated just one career start. Dixon (broken fifth metatarsil in right foot) and Gilbert Brown (academic suspension) will not play. For a rundown on how much experience Pitt will have on the floor in the early going, please take a look at the chart on page 6.

 

Wofford is a veteran team that returns all five starters from a squad that finished 16-14 overall and 12-8 in the Southern Conference. The Terriers were picked to finished second in the SoCon South Division.

 

Pitt Associate Head Coach Tom Herrion served as the Head Coach at SoCon member College of Charleston. He guided College of Charleston to a 6-2 record vs. Wofford.

 

Pitt opens its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 115-10 all-time record and .920 winning percentage. The .920 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best home court records over the last seven years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 54 of its last 63 Big East home games and is 49-9 against Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. Only one opponent (Louisville) has defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 66-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 87 of its last 89 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.

 

At home, Pitt is currently riding a 21-game home win streak and concluded the 2008-09 regular season with an undefeated 19-0 home record. Pitt completed its fourth all-time undefeated year at home. Pitt also was undefeated in 2002-03 (16-0), 1973-74 (13-0) and 1974-75 (10-0).  The 21-game home win streak ranks as the nation's third longest streak behind Kansas (41) and Utah State (34).

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•Pitt opens its 103rd season of men's basketball on Friday against Wofford.

 

•Pitt will raise a banner in honor of its 2008-09 NCAA Regional Final/Elite Eight appearance in a pre-game ceremony.

 

•Pitt begins its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 115-10 (.920 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 66-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.

 

•Pitt has won 21 straight home games, a streak which ranks third among the school's all-time home win streaks.

 

•Pitt is riding a school record 38-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.

 

•Pitt will start five players who have a combined one career start. The Panthers open their season without their two top returnees from last year: returning starter Jermaine Dixon (broken right foot) and last year's sixth man Gilbert Brown (academic suspension).