Blair, Young Earn Big East First-Team Honors

Blair powers way to first-team All-Big East

The Pitt men's basketball team had three representatives on the 2008-09 All-Big East squads after a vote by the Conference's 16 head coaches.

Sophomore center DeJuan Blair and senior forward Sam Young were selected to the First Team, while senior point guard Levance Fields was named to the Third Team. The Big East will announce its award-winners for Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Best Defensive Player, Coach of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Rookie of the Year and Sportsmanship awards Tuesday at a 5:30 p.m. press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Pittsburgh also placed three players on the 2002-03 and 2003-04 All-Big East teams, and Young became just the fourth player in school history to earn two All-Big East First-Team honors. The others were Charles Smith (1986-87 and 1987-88), Brian Shorter (1988-89 and 1989-90) and Aaron Gray (2005-06 and 2006-07).

A senior from Clinton, Md., Young leads Pitt in scoring (18.8 points per game) and ranks second in rebounding (6.1 rebounds per game). He has converted 50.5 percent (222-440) of his field-goal attempts and 35.9 percent (42-117) of his 3-point attempts. In his four-year, 138-game career, Young has tallied 1,776 points, 676 rebounds and 135 assists. He capped off the regular season Saturday with a 31-point, 10-rebound performance in a 70-60 win against No. 1 Connecticut and was named Big East Player of the Week for his efforts.

Blair takes home All-Big East First-Team honors after he earned the Big East's co-Rookie of the Year award, All-Big East honorable mention and Big East All-Rookie team honors last year as a freshman. The sophomore from Pittsburgh averages 15.6 points and a league-leading 12.4 rebounds per game while shooting 59.6 percent (195-327) from the floor and recording two 20-20 performances (Notre Dame and Connecticut) and 17 double-doubles this season. He is rated among national statistical leaders in offensive rebounding (1st), rebounds per game (3rd) and field-goal percentage (16th).

Fields garners his second post-season conference honor as he was named to the All-Big East Second Team in 2006-07. A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Fields leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.09), ranks second nationally in assists per game (7.6) and averages 10.9 points per game. This season, he became just the sixth player in school history to score more than 1,000 points and dish out better than 500 assists in a career and set school records for career assist-to-turnover ratio (2.91) and most point-assist double-doubles in a career (eight). His career record as a starter is 79-15 (.840 winning percentage).

No. 2 seeded and No. 3-ranked Pitt (28-3, 15-3 Big East), at least until it moves up Monday afternoon in the final regular-season polls, opens Big East Tournament competition Thursday at 7 p.m. against either Notre Dame, Rutgers or West Virginia. The contest will be nationally televised by ESPN.

2008-09 All-BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAMS

ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM

Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, C, Jr., 7-3, 263, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Terrence Williams, Louisville, F, Sr., 6-6, 210, Seattle, Wash.

Jerel McNeal, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-3, 200 Chicago, Ill.

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame, F, Jr., 6-8, 251, Schererville, Ind.

DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh, C, So., 6-7, 265, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sam Young, Pittsburgh, F, Sr., 6-6, 215, Clinton, Md.

ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM

A.J. Price, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-2, 181, Amityville, N.Y.

Wesley Matthews, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-5, 215, Madison, Wis.

Jonny Flynn, Syracuse, G, So., 6-0, 185, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Dante Cunningham, Villanova, F, Sr., 6-8, 230, Silver Spring, Md.

Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Jr., 6-7, 225, Newark, N.J.

ALL-BIG EAST THIRD TEAM

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-1, 195, Indianapolis, Ind.

Jeff Adrien, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-7, 243, Brookline, Mass.

Earl Clark, Louisville, G/F, Jr., 6-8, 220, Rahway, N.J.

Levance Fields, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 5-10, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, So., 6-5, 185, Bronx, N.Y.

BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION

Weyinmi Efejuku, Providence, G, Sr., 6-5, 210, Fresh Meadows, N.Y.

Dominique Jones, USF, G, So., 6-4, 205, Lake Wales, Fla.

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.

Alex Ruoff, West Virginia, G, Sr., 6-6, 220, Spring Hill, Fla.

BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Fr., 6-9, 255, Cincinnati, Ohio

Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, Fr., 6-0, 175, Bronx, N.Y.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, Fr., 6-10, 240, Gretna, La.

Samardo Samuels, Louisville, F, Fr., 6-8, 240, Trelawny, Jamaica

Mike Rosario, Rutgers, G, Fr., 6-3, 180, Jersey City, N.J.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, F, Fr., 6-9, 205, Long Island City, N.Y.

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