Pitt Assistant Coach and All-time great Brandin Knight joins Junker, Laird and Benz to talk about the 8-1 Panthers and game against Davidson at Madison Square Garden.
From Pitt Pr- THE OPENING TIP
• Pitt (8-1) faces Davidson (7-1) Sunday, Dec. 20 at Madison Square Garden in the showcase game of the 2015 Gotham Classic. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. with ESPNU broadcasting the contest.
• The Panthers are 45-45 all-time at Madison Square Garden, including a 22-15 mark under Jamie Dixon.
• Pitt enters Sunday’s contest ranked sixth in the country in offensive efficiency. Pitt has scored 90 or more points in a game four times and is 24th in the NCAA in scoring at 85.3 points per game.
LAST TIME OUT
• Pitt is coming off a 72-62 win over Morehead State Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Petersen Events Center. Jamel Artis (22) and Michael Young (20) combined for 42 points, matching a season-high, in the victory.
• Artis went 6-of-9 from the field and 10-of-11 from the foul line, while Young was 4-of-8 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw stripe.
• The Panthers set season-highs for free throws made (29) and attempts (36) against the Eagles. Artis and Young both matched career highs for free throws made in the contest.
• Pitt shot 80.6 percent (29-of-36) from the free throw line, marking the fifth time on the year it has shot better than 80.0 percent from the line.
• Rafael Maia grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go along with four points, three assists, one block and three steals.
• Pitt posted a 37-28 rebounding advantage and limited the Eagles to nine offensive rebounds. Morehead State entered the contest averaging 15.7 offensive rebounds per game.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Pitt is 20-4 in the month of December over the past four seasons. Jamie Dixon owns a 77-11 mark in the month for his career.
• Jamie Dixon is tied with Tubby Smith for seventh on the list for most wins through 13 seasons. Dixon’s 315 victories are two shy of Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) for sixth place.
• Pitt is 271-59 against unranked opponents under Jamie Dixon, including an 8-0 mark this season.
• Michael Young has the top KenPom.com offensive rating (132.4) in the NCAA (minimum 28 percent of team’s possessions used). Offensive rating is a measurement of the number of points generated per 100 possessions.
• The trio of Jamel Artis, James Robinson and Michael Young has started 43 consecutive games as a unit. Robinson has started 111 of 112 career contests, while Young has started every game (79) of his career. Artis has started each game since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
• James Robinson owns a career 3.77:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, tops in ACC history (minimum two years and 300 assists). Robinson has recorded more assists than turnovers in 105 of 112 career games. He has been turnover-free in seven games and is second in the NCAA with an 8.80:1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
• Sterling Smith needs seven points to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his career. He is averaging 9.7 points per game over a 102-game collegiate career.
• Michael Young has scored 20 or more points in three of the past four games and is tied for second in the ACC with five 20-point games.
• Rafael Maia has started the past four contests and is averaging 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in that span. He is 11-of-18 (.611) from the field since joining the starting lineups and has led the Panthers in rebounding in each of the past two games.
• Pitt ranks second in the ACC with a .782 free throw percentage. The Panthers have shot 80.0 percent or better from the charity stripe five times this season.
• Pitt has made as many free throws (169) as its opponents have attempted (169) on the year. The Panthers rank sixth nationally with a .782 free throw percentage.
• Michael Young (17.4) and Jamel Artis (15.1) combine to average 32.5 points per game on 58.1 percent (104-or-179) shooting from the field and 83.0 percent (73-of-88) shooting from the free throw line. Either Young or Artis have led the team in scoring in seven of Pitt’s nine games.
• The Panthers rank 14th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency at 113.9 points per 100 possessions (KenPom.com).
• Pitt has registered 20 or more assists in a game five times and has assisted on 68.8 percent of its field goals this season. The Panthers rank third in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.84:1), while also ranking sixth in assists per game (6th – 20.2), assists per possession (.286) and assists per field goal made (.688).
• The Panthers have shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in five of the past seven contests and are tied for fourth in the ACC with a .495 field goal percentage.
• Pitt enters Sunday’s contest ranked 21st in the NCAA RPI, while Davidson is 18th overall. The Panthers are 4-1 on the year against teams ranked in the top 100 of the RPI.
• Pitt leads the ACC in assists (20.2 apg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.84:1) and defensive rebounds (29.67 drpg.), while also ranking second in free throw percentage (.782), field goal percentage defense (.376), three-point field goal percentage defense (.302) and scoring margin (+23.8).
• James Robinson has committed just five turnovers over a team-high 242 minutes played (one turnover per 48:40 of game action).
• Pitt is 120-66 against teams currently in the Atlantic 10 Conference, including a 22-2 mark under Jamie Dixon. The Panthers have won 12 straight games against A10 teams.
• Pitt was named Madison Square Garden “Team of the Decade” after winning two Big East Championships and advancing to seven league tournament title games from 2000-10.