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Pitt's Gibbs wins Most Improved Player in Big East

| Monday, March 8, 2010

Pitt sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs was named the Big East Most Improved Player Award on Monday.

The 6-foot-2 Gibbs becomes the sixth Pitt player in the past 11 years to win the award. Only one other school has won the honor more than once since 1997 (Syracuse, 3).

Rutgers center Hamady Ndiaye was named Defensive Player of the Year, Syracuse forward Kris Joseph won the Sixth Man Award and Notre Dame senior guard Tory Jackson won the Sportsmanship Award.

Gibbs, who was named second-team all-Big East on Sunday, averaged 16.2 points per game. He averaged 4.3 points per game as a reserve freshman. His improvement of 11.9 points per game ranks as the second highest yearly scoring jump in Pitt history. Larry Harris increased his scoring 15.0 points per game from 1974-75 to 1975-76.

Other Pitt players to be named Most Improved in the Big East are Sam Young, Aaron Gray, Carl Krauser, Brandin Knight and Ricardo Greer.

Gibbs also leads the Panthers in scoring (16.2 ppg.), minutes played (1,086), 3-point field goals (74), 3-point field goal percentage (40.4) and free throw percentage (89.0).

No. 2 seeded Pitt (24-7, 13-5) will play Thursday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament against either No. 7 seed Notre Dame, No. 10 Providence or No. 15 Seton Hall. Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year will be announced on Tuesday.

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