I'm not a big fan of year-end lists, but still, I got to thinking - we've seen some pretty good individual performances this past year. So with that said, here are what I think were the top ten.
10. Gilbert Brown Vs. Maryland Eastern Shore - December 18, 2010: No, Pitt wasn't exactly playing Duke, but Gil still showed why he could someday play in the NBA. Brown had a career-high 28 points and had one of the best shooting games of his career (11-13 from the field 4-5 from three-point range, 2-2 from the line) while adding five rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
9. Gary McGhee Vs. Duquesne - December 1, 2010: McGhee posted perhaps the best game of his career. The numbers weren't huge, but his impact was. McGhee registered a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and tied a school record with seven blocks. He got Pitt off to a good start in the first-ever basketball game at the Consol Energy Center.
8. Jon Baldwin vs Rutgers - October 23, 2010: Jon Baldwin only had five catches in this game, but it seemed like every one was a big one. He had two catches of more than 40 yards and one went for a touchdown. Baldwin also added a 23-yard reception that nearly went for a second TD, getting Pitt down to the 2-yard line, on his way to 139 receiving yards - a season high and only five short of his career high.
7. Nasir Robinson vs Louisville - January 16, 2010: When you think of Nasir Robinson, you rarely think about his scoring. But against Louisville in January, he had his biggest night ever, scoring 26 points. Want to put that in perspective? Ashton Gibbs' career-high is 25. Nas also had 11 rebounds in leading Pitt, one below his season high of 12 established this season.
6. Tino Sunseri Vs. Syracuse - October 16, 2010: Sunseri played perhaps his best game of his short career throwing for 281 yards and four touchdown passes. He also started the game red hot, completing 12 of his first 16 passes on his way to leading Pitt to an important win. The game was on the road against an upstart Syracuse team and was Pitt's Big East opener.
5. Ashton Gibbs Vs. Syracuse - January 2, 2010: In its first game of the new year, Pitt won a big one on the road against No. 5 ranked Syracuse. Pitt was supposed to be in a rebuilding year and I didn't give the Panthers much of a chance. It was in Syracuse and only the second Big East game of the season. The Panthers were down by ten in the first half and it was looking like the rout could be on. But Gibbs ended up with 24 points and a career-high six three pointers. His eight rebounds led the team and were also a career-high.
4. Jabaal Sheard vs Louisville - October 30, 2010: Sheard has the only defensive performance in my top ten. He was a one-man wrecking crew against an improved Louisville team. Sheard was double-teamed at times, but still managed to tally two sacks, three tackles for losses, and two forced fumbles in helping Pitt keep Louisville to a season-low three points. Pitt was the only team that held Louisville to single digits in scoring all season.
3. Ray Graham Vs. Florida International - October 2, 2010: Graham officially created a running back controversy when he ran all over the field against Florida International to the tune of a 277-yard performance - second highest in school history. Graham added three touchdowns, including an explosive 79-yard TD run and, officially made Pitt's running game a two-headed monster.
2. Dion Lewis Vs. Cincinnati - December 4, 2010: Dion Lewis had an amazing year last season, so when you consider the fact that he had a career-best yardage total this season, you know it had to be a big game. Lewis ran for 261 yards on a snow covered field in the Big East finale. It also came in a game when Pitt could have easily laid down after being squashed by West Virginia the week before. And as if that weren't enough, Lewis also scored a career-high four touchdowns.
1. Ashton Gibbs Vs. Providence - March 4, 2010: Gibbs stunned a Providence team at the buzzer by heaving a three-point shot well beyond the arc to defeat the upset-minded Friars. Providence looked like it was on its way to a second straight upset win. The thing you may forget is that Gibbs night wasn't just tied to that one shot. He had a career-high 25 points on 9-13 shooting, a career-high six three-pointers (6-9 from behind the arc), and added four rebounds and three assists for good measure. All in all, the performance of the year. Graham and Lewis both had spectactular groundg games, but it could be argued that Pitt wins both of those games without them.