A Pittsburgh Hill District native who grew up in a house just 600 yards from Petersen Events Center, DeJuan Blair burst onto the college basketball scene last year as a freshman. A unanimous Freshman All-America selection, Big East Rookie of the Year, All-Big East honorable mention honoree and three-time national player of the week, Blair's game combines power, athleticism, finesse, quickness and personality. He is an athletic power forward with outstanding court awareness and passing ability. He uses his long 7-foot-2-inch wingspan for positioning on rebounds and knocking away passes on defense. An aggressive rebounder, Blair attacks the glass with desire both on offense and defense. He led the Big East in offensive rebounding last year while averaging 3.9 boards per game. Blair has drawn comparisons to former Pitt star Brian Shorter for his combination of low-post power and finesse moves and former Pitt center Sam Clancy for his ability to play the center position at his height. Blair has also become a fan favorite for his glowing on-court personality.
Consensus Freshman All-America selection...CollegeInsider.com All-America Freshman team selection...Rivals.com Freshman All-America Third Team selection...CollegeHoops.net Freshman All-America honorable mention selection...Honored as the Big East's co-Rookie of the Year...Selected to the NABC All-District 2 Second Team...Big East All-Rookie Team selection and All-Big East honorable mention honoree...Three-time National Freshman of the Week selection by Rivals.com (Nov. 13, Dec. 12, Dec. 18)...Three-time Big East Rookie of the Week selection (Dec. 17, Dec. 23, Jan. 14)...Became the first player in school history to both surpass the 400-point and 300-rebound marks as a freshman...Ranked No. 39 nationally in rebounds per game (9.1 rpg.)...Ranked among Big East leaders in rebounding (4th), field goal percentage (7th), steals (11th), offensive rebounding (1st, 3.89) and defensive rebounding (9th)...Set Pitt freshman season records for games started (36), games played (37), rebounds (337) and field goals made (168)...Also ranked among school freshman season leaders in minutes played (4th-963), points (2nd-429), scoring average (4th-11.6), field goal attempts (2nd-313), field goal percentage (5th-.537), free throws made (2nd-93), free throw attempts (2nd-149), rebound average (3rd, 9.1), steals (3rd-62) and steals average (3rd-1.7)...Became just the second freshman in school history to grab over 300 rebounds in a season...Set school freshman game record for most offensive rebounds (10 vs. Houston Baptist, 11/9)...Registered 14 point-rebound double-doubles on the year, one shy of Pitt's freshman record of 15 set by Sam Clancy (1977-78)...Reached double figure scoring in 25 games and double figure rebounding 17 times...Averaged 9.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in Pitt's two NCAA Tournament games...Finished with 14th double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds (seven offensive) in BEC Championship vs. Georgetown, 3/15...Scored 16 points (5-6 FG) with eight rebounds in Big East Quarterfinal vs. Louisville, 3/13...Registered 13th double-double with a career-high 22 points (8-10 FG) and 14 rebounds vs. DePaul, 3/9...Finished with third consecutive double-double wtih 18 points (6-7 FG) and 10 rebounds (six offensive) along with a career-high four assists vs. Cincinnati, 2/27...Registered double-double (20 points/11 rebounds) with two steals vs. Louisville, 2/24...Finished with 14 points (6-11 FG) and 13 rebounds (eight offensive) at Notre Dame, 2/21...Scored 15 points (6-8 FG) with seven rebounds vs. Providence, 2/12...Registered double-double with 13 points (5-14 FG) and 13 rebounds (nine offensive) along with three steals at Connecticut, 2/2. His nine offensive rebounds ranked second on Pitt's all-time freshman list...Finished with 10 points (3-7 FG) and 14 rebounds vs. Villanova, 1/30...Scored 14 points (7-13 FG) with four assists and seven rebounds vs. Rutgers, 1/26...Scored 15 points (6-12 FG) with nine rebounds in 33 minutes vs. Georgetown, 1/14...Earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors (Jan. 14) for the third time on year after averaging 16.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks...Finished with a career-high tying 20 points (6-9 FG), 14 rebounds and hit 8-12 free throws in 33 minutes vs. Seton Hall, 1/12...Finished with 12 points and nine rebounds (five offensive) at South Florida, 1/9...Registered 12 points and 15 rebounds (seven offensive) in a career-high 37 minutes at Villanova, 1/6...Named Big East Rookie of the Week for second consecutive week (Dec. 23) for his performance vs. Duke...Grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds (14 defensive), scored 15 points (4-8 FG) in a then career-high 35 minutes vs. Duke, 12/20. Became just the third freshman in school history to pull down 20 or more rebounds in a game at Pitt since Sam Clancy (20) achieved the feat on Feb. 22, 1978...He was one rebound shy of the school's freshman rebounding record of 21 set by Mel Bennett in 1975...Named Big East Rookie of the Week (Dec. 17) following his 20-point, 10-rebound, five block performance vs. Oklahoma State...Totaled double-double with 20 points (8-10 FG) and 10 rebounds and set career-highs for blocked shots (5) and minutes played (31) vs. Oklahoma State, 12/15...Registered 16 points (7-13 FG) and 14 rebounds (career-high 11 defensive rebounds) with three steals at Washington, 12/8...Finished with 10 points (5-11 FG) with nine rebounds (five offensive) and three steals at Duquesne, 12/5...Registered second double-double of the year with 11 points (4-7 FG) and 11 rebounds (six offensive) along with three steals off the bench vs. Toledo, 12/1. Missed start because he was attending his great-grandfather's funeral in Pittsburgh...Named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week after his Hispanic College Fund Challenge performance (week of Nov. 5-11)...Named to the Hispanic College Fund Challenge All-Tournament team after averaging 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, shooting 70 percent (21-30) from the floor and grabbing 17 offensive rebounds in the three games...Led Pitt with 16 points (8-15 FG), eight rebounds (five offensive) and three steals vs. St. Louis, 11/11...Scored 20 points (9-11 FG) with 14 rebounds (10 offensive) and four steals in debut vs. Houston Baptist, 11/9. The double-double marked the first for a Pitt freshman since Sean Miller (13 points/10 assists) accomplished the feat on Nov. 28, 1987. It was only the second double-double registered by a freshman in a debut game at Pitt since 1972-73 (when freshmen were sanctioned to compete by the NCAA). Became the first freshman to start a debut at Pitt since Levance Fields (2005)...His 20 points and 14 rebounds both ranked second among Pitt's all-time freshman debut performance lists: Ricardo Greer (21 points in 1997) and Sam Clancy (16 rebounds in 1977).
A 2007 graduate of Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, located less than a mile from the Petersen Events Center...Lettered four seasons for Head Coach Fred Skrocki...Concluded four-year career with a 103-16 overall record, 57-0 career record vs. Pittsburgh City League teams and 1,563 career points...Named the Associated Press Pennsylvania State Player of the Year and First Team All-State for the second consecutive season...Earned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Area Player of the Year and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous Five honors...Guided Schenley to the PIAA Class 4A state championship, becoming the first City League team to win the state title since 1978...Scored 18 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and blocked six shots in leading Schenley to the state title with a 78-71 win over Chester...Averaged 16.2 points and 14 rebounds per game in leading Schenley to a 29-3 overall record, No. 11 national ranking by USA Today and consensus top-20 national ranking...Only the second player in the last 22 years to earn Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous Five honors three years in a row (Blackhawk's Brandon Fuss-Cheatham was the other)...Led the Spartans to their third consecutive City League title, becoming just the fourth team in the past 50 years to win three straight titles...Three-time Pittsburgh City League Player of the Year...Named MVP of the Roundball Classic...Played on USA Junior All-Star squad that toured Europe with teammate Brad Wanamaker...Earned MVP honors after scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds for Team USA in the title game vs. Russia (played in France)...Also averaged a double-double for the squad in the team's five games played...First Team All-State selection as a junior...Earned Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous Five and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 10 honors after averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as a junior...Three-time All-City League selection...Led Schenley to a PIAA Class 4A state title game before losing the championship game to Lower Merion (60-58) and 30-2 record as a junior...Guided Schenley to the City League title with a victory over Taylor Alderdice at Mellon Arena...Named Second Team All-State as a sophomore after leading the Spartans on a 30-game win streak that led to the state finals...Consensus top-100 recruit...Rated the No. 18 player nationally in the USA Today recruiting rankings...Ranked the No. 19 recruit nationally by Scout.com...Rated the No. 39 player nationally by Bob Gibbons...Ranked as the No. 60 player nationally by HoopScoop...Rated as the No. 46 player nationally by Midwest Scouting Report...Rated the No. 57 player nationally by Rivals...Ranked as the No. 12 center in the country by Rivals.com...Played for the Pittsburgh JOTS AAU Team for Head Coach J.O. Stright and assistant Darelle Porter...Helped guide team to a seventh place finish at the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla....Scored 24 points in the title game to lead the JOTS to the Pittsburgh JamFest title at the Petersen Events Center (April 21-23)...Named MVP of the West Virginia Jam Fest.
Born DeJuan Blair on April 22, 1989...Son of Greg Blair and Shari Saddler...Has a brother Greg, who started on the Schenley state title team...Extremely close to his grandmother Donna Saddler...Cousin of Pitt football player Cameron Saddler...Father Greg played and graduated from Schenley in 1991 and his mother, Shari averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds at Serra Catholic in the 1980s...Owns a 7-foot-2-inch wingspan...Grew up in a house just 600 yards from the Pitt campus...Attended high school a mile from campus...Nickname is the "Big Fella" or simply "Fella"...First dunk took place at Pittsburgh's Ammons Recreation Center as a 6-foot-4-inch eighth grader...Announced his commitment to Pitt in a press conference at Ammons Recreation Center...After he committed to Pitt, claimed that he knew the Pitt campus better than the Panthers' coaching staff...Favorite player is Shaquille O'Neal and favorite book is the Biography of Shaquille O'Neal...Models his game after Charles Barkley...Received 18 scholarship offers...Is the first Pittsburgh City League Player to play at Pitt since Darelle Porter (1987-91) and the first Schenley basketball player to sign with Pitt since Sonny Lewis (1976-78)...Wayne Williams (1978-79) was the last Schenley player to compete for Pitt...Selected Pitt over Florida, Kansas State, Indiana, Marquette, Miami, West Virginia, Wake Forest and Tennessee...Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.