PITTSBURGH – The madness is back Saturday, Oct. 8, as the University of Pittsburgh presents #ThrowbackThrowdown at Stage AE. The one-hour event featuring player introductions, coaches’ interviews and contests will serve as the official tipoff to the 2016-17 Pitt men’s and women’s basketball campaigns and is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.
Admission to the event is free with doors opening at Stage AE at 9:30 a.m. The first 1,000 students in attendance will receive a Pitt script throwback shirt and a wristband for lower bowl seating at Heinz Field for Pitt’s homecoming football game against Georgia Tech scheduled to kickoff at 12:30 p.m. that day.
Kevin Stallings is in his first year at Pitt after compiling 455 wins in previous head coaching stints at Illinois State and Vanderbilt. Pitt returns six of its top seven scorers from last year’s team that finished 21-12 overall and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 13thtime in the past 15 seasons. The return of seniors Jamel Artis, Sheldon Jeter, Chris Jones and Michael Young give the Panthers one of the most experienced teams in the ACC. Young earned third team All-ACC honors a year ago after averaging 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Artis, a third team all-league pick in 2015, contributed 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Pitt is the only team in the ACC with two returning all-conference performers.
Hall of Fame coach Suzie McConnell-Serio enters her fourth season at the helm of the women’s program. This year, Pitt returns its top two scorers in sophomore Brenna Wise (10.7 ppg.) and junior Yacine Diop (10.4 ppg.). The pair combined for 35.3 percent of the team’s rebounds and 22.2 percent of assists last season. Wise led all ACC rookies in rebounding (7.6 rpg.) en route to earning a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team. She also was named to the ACC All-Academic Women’s Basketball team as a business major. As all but one starter have returned to the lineup, there’s a chance to build on last year’s 13-18 record with a host of new talent. Three newcomers highlight the roster in true freshmen guards Jasmine Whitney and Alayna Gribble, as well as DePaul graduate transfer center Brandi Harvey-Carr.