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2008–09 Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball team

The 2008–09 Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The head coach was Jamie Dixon, who was serving for his 6th year as head coach at Pittsburgh and 10th overall at the university. The team played its home games in the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2008–09 Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball
Pitt Panthers wordmark.svg
Legends Classic Champions
NCAA Tournament, #1, East Region
Elite Eight, L 76–78 vs. Villanova
ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)
Ranking
CoachesNo. 6
APNo. 4
2008–09 record31–5 (15–3 Big East)
Head coachJamie Dixon (6th season)
Assistant coaches
Home arenaPetersen Events Center
(Capacity: 12,508)
Seasons
2008–09 Big East men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#1 Louisville 16 2   .889     31 6   .838
#4 Pittsburgh 15 3   .833     31 5   .861
#5 Connecticut 15 3   .833     31 5   .861
#11 Villanova 13 5   .722     30 8   .789
#23 Marquette 12 6   .667     25 10   .714
#13 Syracuse 11 7   .611     28 10   .737
West Virginia 10 8   .556     23 12   .657
Providence 10 8   .556     19 14   .576
Notre Dame 8 10   .444     21 15   .583
Cincinnati 8 10   .444     18 14   .563
Seton Hall 7 11   .389     17 15   .531
Georgetown 7 11   .389     16 15   .516
St. John's 6 12   .333     16 18   .471
South Florida 4 14   .222     9 22   .290
Rutgers 2 16   .111     11 21   .344
DePaul 0 18   .000     9 24   .273
2009 Big East Tournament winner
As of April 4, 2009[1]; Rankings from AP Poll

OutlookEdit

The Pittsburgh Panthers, defending Big East Conference Tournament Champions, came off a 27–10 (10–8) record in the 2007–08 season which included their seventh straight 20-win season, seventh straight season with 10 league wins in the Big East Conference, and a seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Pitt advanced to the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Michigan State. That season also marked the seventh time in the last eight seasons that Pitt advanced to the Big East Tournament Championship title game, which tied for the most appearances in league history. Pitt began the season returning three starters, each of its top three scorers, and seven of its top 10 players from the previous year. Pitt found itself ranked among the top 10 teams nationally in most preseason polls and publications. Five newcomers, including one junior college transfer and four freshman, joined Pitt for the 2008–09 season.[2]

Coaching staffEdit

Name[3] Position Year at
Pittsburgh
Alma Mater (Year)
Jamie Dixon Head coach 10th (6th as head coach) TCU (1987)
Tom Herrion Associate head coach 2nd Merrimack (1989)
Pat Sandle Assistant coach 8th San Francisco State (1987)
Brandin Knight Assistant coach 3rd University of Pittsburgh (2005)
Brian Regan Director of operations 2nd Saint Vincent (1988)

RosterEdit

[4]
Name # Position Height Weight (lb.) Year Hometown Previous school
Tyrell Biggs 5 Forward 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 250 4Senior Nanuet, NY Don Bosco Prep HS
DeJuan Blair 45 Forward 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 265 2Sophomore Pittsburgh, PA Schenley HS
Gilbert Brown 11 Guard/Forward 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200 2Sophomore (RS) Harrisburg, PA South Kent School
Sean Brown 14 Forward 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 215 4Senior Pittsburgh, PA Canon McMillan HS
Jermaine Dixon 3 Guard 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 195 3Junior, Transfer Baltimore, MD Tallahassee CC
Levance Fields 2 Guard 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 190 4Senior Brooklyn, NY Xaverian HS
Tim Frye 24 Guard 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 2Sophomore Mars, PA Mars Area HS
Ashton Gibbs 12 Guard 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 1Freshman Scotch Plains, NJ Seton Hall Prep
Gary McGhee 52 Center 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 250 2Sophomore Anderson, IN Highland H.S.
Dwight Miller 25 Forward 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 230 1Freshman Nassau, Bahamas St. Pius X HS
Nasir Robinson 35 Forward 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 220 1Freshman Chester, PA Chester HS
Ryan Tiesi 21 Guard 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 2Sophomore Pittsburgh, PA North Allegheny HS
Brad Wanamaker 22 Guard 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 205 2Sophomore Philadelphia, PA Roman Catholic HS
Travon Woodall 1 Guard 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 190 1Freshman Brooklyn, NY St. Anthony HS
Sam Young 23 Forward 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 4Senior Clinton, MD Hargrave Military Academy

ScheduleEdit

Pitt's 2008–09 schedule included, in addition to their Big East slate, nine non-conference opponents that were ranked the previous season in the nation's top-100 Ratings Percentage Index, nine opponents that advanced to post-season play, and five that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.[2]

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Scrimmage
Sun. Oct. 26*
2:30 pm
Blue/Gold (Scrimmage)  Gold
63–54
 

Petersen Events Center (N/A)
Pittsburgh, PA
Exhibition
Sun. Nov. 2*
4:00 pm
Seton Hill W 102–51 
Petersen Events Center (6,020)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sun. Nov. 9*
1:00 pm
La Roche W 82–30 
Petersen Events Center (6,008)
Pittsburgh, PA
Regular season
Fri. Nov. 14*
7:00 pm
No. 5 Fairleigh Dickinson W 86–63  1–0
Petersen Events Center (10,043)
Pittsburgh, PA
Mon. Nov. 17*
7:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 6 Miami (OH) W 82–53  2–0
Petersen Events Center (10,072)
Pittsburgh, PA
Fri. Nov. 21*
7:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 6 Akron
Legends Classic Regional
W 86–67  3–0
Petersen Events Center (10,133)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Nov. 22*
4:00 pm
No. 6 Indiana Univ. (PA)
Legends Classic Regional
W 86–60  4–0
Petersen Events Center (9,003)
Pittsburgh, PA
Tue. Nov. 25*
7:00 pm, PantherVision
No. 4 Belmont W 74–60  5–0
Petersen Events Center (9,595)
Pittsburgh, PA
Fri. Nov. 28*
7:30 pm, HDNet
No. 4 vs. Texas Tech
Legends Classic Championship Round
W 80–67  6–0
Prudential Center (3,510)
Newark, NJ
Sat. Nov. 29*
7:30 pm, HDNet
No. 4 vs. Washington St
Legends Classic Championship Game
W 57–43  7–0
Prudential Center (2,991)
Newark, NJ
Wed. Dec. 3*
7:00 pm, PantherVision
No. 3 Duquesne
The City Game
W 78–51  8–0
Petersen Events Center (10,387)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Dec. 6*
7:00 pm, PantherVision
No. 3 Vermont W 80–51  9–0
Petersen Events Center (10,122)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Dec. 13*
7:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 3 Maryland-Baltimore County W 91–56  10–0
Petersen Events Center (10,188)
Pittsburgh, PA
Wed. Dec. 17*
9:30 pm, ESPN2
No. 3 Siena W 79–66  11–0
Petersen Events Center (10,045)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sun. Dec. 21*
5:30 pm, FSN National
No. 3 at Florida State W 56–48  12–0
Donald L. Tucker Center (6,522)
Tallahassee, FL
Wed. Dec. 31
2:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 3 at Rutgers W 78–72  13–0
(1–0)
Louis Brown Athletic Center (6,308)
Piscataway, NJ
Sat. Jan. 3
12:00 pm, ESPN
No. 3 at No. 11 Georgetown W 70–54  14–0
(2–0)
Verizon Center (19,397)
Washington, D.C.
Sun. Jan. 11
12:00 pm, ESPN Regional/WTAE-TV
No. 1 St. John's W 90–67  15–0
(3–0)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Wed. Jan. 14
7:00 pm, ESPN-U
No. 1 South Florida W 75–62  16–0
(4–0)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Jan. 17
6:00 pm, ESPN
No. 1 at No. 20 Louisville L 69–63  16–1
(4–1)
Freedom Hall (20,082)
Louisville, KY
Mon. Jan. 19
7:00 pm, ESPN Big Monday
No. 4 No. 8 Syracuse W 78–60  17–1
(5–1)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sun. Jan. 25
4:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 4 at West Virginia
Backyard Brawl
W 79–67  18–1
(6–1)
WVU Coliseum (14,329)
Morgantown, WV
Wed. Jan. 28
7:00 pm, ESPN-U
No. 3 at No. 21 Villanova L 67–57  18–2
(6–2)
Wachovia Spectrum (17,491)
Philadelphia, PA
Sat. Jan. 31
12:00 pm, ESPN
No. 3 Notre Dame W 93–80  19–2
(7–2)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Mon. Feb. 2*
7:00 pm, PantherVision
No. 6 Robert Morris W 92–72  20–2
Petersen Events Center (10,122)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Feb. 7
2:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 6 at DePaul W 92–69  21–2
(8–2)
Allstate Arena (9,814)
Rosemont, IL
Mon. Feb. 9
7:00 pm, ESPN Big Monday
No. 4 West Virginia
Backyard Brawl
W 70–59  22–2
(9–2)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Feb. 14
4:00 pm, ESPN
No. 4 Cincinnati W 85–69  23–2
(10–2)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Mon. Feb. 16
7:00 pm, ESPN Big Monday
No. 4 at No. 1 Connecticut W 76–68  24–2
(11–2)
XL Center (16,294)
Hartford, CT
Sat. Feb. 21
7:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 4 DePaul W 80–61  25–2
(12–2)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Tue. Feb. 24
7:00 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 1 at Providence L 81–73  25–3
(12–3)
Dunkin Donuts Center (11,887)
Providence, RI
Sat. Feb. 28
8:30 pm, ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh
No. 1 at Seton Hall W 89–78  26–3
(13–3)
Prudential Center (9,800)
Newark, NJ
Wed. Mar. 4
7:30 pm, ESPN2
No. 3 No. 13 Marquette W 90–75  27–3
(14–3)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. Mar. 7
12:00 pm, CBS
No. 3 No. 1 Connecticut W 70–60  28–3
(15–3)
Petersen Events Center (12,908)
Pittsburgh, PA
Postseason
Big East Men's Basketball Championship
Thu. Mar. 12
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 2 (2) vs. No. (7) West Virginia
Big East Championship Quarterfinals, Backyard Brawl
L 74–60  28–4
Madison Square Garden (19,375)
New York City, New York
NCAA Tournament
Fri. Mar. 20
2:55 pm, CBS
No. 4 (1) vs. No. (16) East Tennessee State
NCAA Championship First Round
W 72–62  29–4
University of Dayton Arena (12,499)
Dayton, Ohio
Sun. Mar. 22
2:50 pm, CBS
No. 4 (1) vs. No. (8) Oklahoma State
NCAA Championship Second Round
W 84–76  30–4
University of Dayton Arena (12,596)
Dayton, Ohio
Thu. Mar. 26
7:27 pm, CBS
No. 4 (1) vs. No. 20 (4) Xavier
NCAA Sweet Sixteen
W 60–55  31–4
TD Banknorth Garden (N/A)
Boston, Massachusetts
Sat. Mar. 28
7:05 pm, CBS
No. 4 (1) vs. No. 11 (3) Villanova
NCAA Elite Eight
L 76–78  31–5
TD Banknorth Garden (18,871)
Boston, Massachusetts
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.   Postseason ranks represent seeds in the applicable tournament. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

RankingsEdit

Ranking Movement
Legend: ██ Improvement in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Wk 15 Wk 16 WK 17 Wk 18 Final
AP 5 6 4 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 4 3 6 4 4 1 3 2 4 n/a
Coaches 6 6 4 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 4 3 5 4 4 1 4 2 4 6

AccomplishmentsEdit

 
The early minutes of a game against number-one-ranked UConn on March 7, 2009, at the Petersen Events Center. A portion of the Oakland Zoo can be seen at the bottom. Pitt won the nationally televised game 70–60.
  • During the 8th week of the season, the Panthers were ranked No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches poll. This was the first time in program history that the basketball team held the top ranking in either poll.
  • The Panthers were named the champion of the 2nd Annual Legends Classic Tournament. Sam Young was named the tournament MVP.
  • Pitt won their first and second game in their history over a team ranked No. 1 in the AP or Coaches poll when they defeated number one ranked Connecticut 76–68 in Hartford on February 16, 2009, and again defeated the top-ranked Huskies 70–60 at home on March 7, 2009.
  • Pitt won the most regular-season conference games in school history (15) and achieved their best-ever regular-season record in Big East Conference play (15–3, 0.833).
  • Panther center DeJuan Blair was named Big East Player of the Year, an award he shared with UConn center Hasheem Thabeet.
  • Pitt received its record eighth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament and its record ninth straight post-season national tournament bid.
  • Pitt received its first-ever number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, with his 162nd win coming in the NCAA Tournament over Oklahoma State, broke the NCAA Division I record for most victories in the first six seasons as a head coach formerly held by North Carolina State coach Everett Case.
  • Pitt reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years and the fifth time in the last eight seasons.
  • Pitt tied a school record set in 2003–04 for the most wins in a season, with 31 victories, and won 30 games for only the second time in school history.
  • Pitt's senior class of Sam Young, Levance Fields, and Tyrell Biggs won 112 games during their four-year Pitt careers, giving them the most wins of any senior class in school history.
  • Pitt reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1974. In doing so, it defeated the highest-seeded NCAA Tournament in school history (seeding began in 1979) and won three NCAA Tournament games for the first time.
  • Jamie Dixon won the Naismith Men's College Basketball Coach of the Year as well as the Jim Phelan Mid-season Coach of the Year award.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Big East Conference Standings - 2008-09." ESPN.com. Retrieved 03-23-10.
  2. ^ a b Hotchkiss, Greg. "2008-09 Pitt Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Athletic Media Relations Office. p. 60. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  3. ^ Hotchkiss, pg 66–74
  4. ^ Hotchkiss, pg 64