Nov. 21, 2009
GAME 4: WICHITA STATE (2-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley) vs. PITT (3-0, 0-0 Big East)
O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Monday, November 23, 2009
7:30 p.m. ET Sprint Center (18,500) Kansas City, Mo.
Television: ESPN2 (Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo; Producer: Jonathan Labovich).
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). XM Satellite Radio: N/A.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (166-45); Wichita State: Gregg Marshall, 3rd year at WSU (30-37); 12th year overall (224-120).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV, WSU: not ranked.
Series: Pitt and Wichita State meet for the second time in men's basketball. Pitt is 0-1 all-time vs. the Shockers. The last time the two schools met in basketball was on December 26, 1964, a 109-58 neutral site loss played in Philadelphia as part of the Quaker City Tournament.
Pitt (3-0) travels to Kansas City, Mo. to play in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Pitt meets Wichita State (2-0) at the Sprint Center on Monday, November 23. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET. No. 3 Texas and Iowa play in Monday's second game.
The winners of Monday's contests will meet for the CBE Classic championship on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9:50 p.m. ET. That contest will be televised on ESPN2. The consolation game is set for Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN-U.
All four games will be televised nationally with Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo providing analysis. Jonathan Labovich will produce.
Pitt improved to 3-0 and extended its home win streak to 24 straight games with a 71-60 win over Eastern Kentucky on Thursday. The game marked Pitt's second CBE Classic matchup. Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 20 points, Nasir Robinson finished with 15, Lamar Patterson added 10 and Dante Taylor pulled down 12 rebounds. The win gave Pitt its 41st straight home win over a non-conference opponent. The school record for most consecutive non-conference home victories is 43 set from November 7, 2000-January 2, 2005. Pitt also improved to 69-1 against non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt opens with three straight wins for the 12th consecutive season following victories over Binghamton (71-46) and Wofford (63-60).
Pitt begins its 103rd campaign of basketball and 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 in center DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs) and small forward Sam Young (Memphis Grizzlies), along with 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 started five players in its season opener against Wofford that had accumulated just one previous career start. Dixon (broken fifth metatarsal 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.
Wichita State is 2-0 after wins over Fairleigh Dickinson (80-64) and Arkansas-Monticello (79-50). The Shockers are led by Toure Murry (15.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg.), JT Durley (15.0 ppg., .667 FG pct.) and David Kyles (11.0 ppg.). The Shockers return three starters and seven letterwinners from a team that finished 17-17 and tied for the fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference (8-10) last year. Pitt is 11-16 all-time vs. Missouri Valley Conference opponents. The last time Pitt played a MVC team was Bradley in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, a 72-66 loss on March 19, 2006.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt plays its first game away from home vs. Wichita State in the CBE Classic. Pitt is 11-16 all-time vs. Missouri Valley Conference opponents. Its last MVC opponent was Bradley in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
For the third straight game, Pitt will start five players who had a combined one career start prior to entering the season opener. Pitt opens its season without its two top returnees from last year: returning starter Jermaine Dixon (broken right foot) and last year's sixth man Gilbert Brown (academic suspension).
Jamie Dixon enters tonight's contest with a perfect 34-0 career record in November games. He is a combined 76-4 vs. non-conference opponents.
Pitt is off to its 12th straight 3-0 start to a season. A win would give Pitt its 11th straight 4-0 start.
Pitt has won 37 consecutive November games dating back to a 69-63 loss to USF on Nov. 25, 2001.
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