Home » Pitt: 100 Years of Pitt Basketball by Sam Sciullo Jr.
Pitt: 100 Years of Pitt Basketball Sam Sciullo Jr.

Pitt: 100 Years of Pitt Basketball

Sam Sciullo Jr.

Published September 15th 2005
ISBN : 9781596700819
156 pages
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 About the Book 

From 2001-2004, no Division IA mens college basketball program in the country had a better winning percentage (88-16, .846) than the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt also won (or shared) three consecutive Big East Conference regular-season or tournament championships during that period. Approaching its 100th year of intercollegiate basketball, Pitt could lay claim to the assertion that these were, indeed, a rejuvenation of its glory days. It wasnt always that way. The university--once known as the Western University of PennsylvaniA-- fielded its first basketball team in 1905-06. The team practiced and played just about anywhere it could find a floor and a couple of hoops. Crowds were small, media coverage was slim, and the future of the program was doubtful. That program officially became known as the University of Pittsburghs Panthers in 1909. After H.C. Doc Carlson--a former Pitt football and basketball player as well as a physician by trade--became head coach in 1922, the program firmly established itself. In 1925, the Panthers had their first true home facility when they moved into the Pavilion--a gym beneath Pitt Stadium. Carlson would lead the Panthers to a pair of mythical national titles by the end of the 1920s. Pitt: 100 Years of Pitt Basketball is the definitive history of basketball at the University of Pittsburgh. From Charley Hyatt, Doc Carlsons first All-American, through sure and steady point guard Brandin Knight, some of college basketballs most influential players have worn blue and gold. Scoring whiz Don Hennon burst onto the scene in the 50s, followed by rugged Brian Generalovich in the 60s, and silky smooth Billy Knight in the 70s. Sam Bam Clancy helpedturn Pitts program around in the late 70s, and when Pitt was invited to join the Big East Conference in 1982, the face of the program changed forever. Its rosters and coaching staffs--formerly filled with Pennsylvania boys and men with Pitt backgrounds--would soon include players and coaches from across the nation. Charles Smith and Jerome Lane gave Pitt a dynamic one--two inside punch-and a pair of Big East titles--in the 1980s. And when Ben Howland left Northern Arizona in 1999 to coach the Panthers, aided by a young assistant named Jamie Dixon, Pitt basketball was on the cusp of college basketball greatness.