March 8, 2009
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Three University of Pittsburgh men's basketball players--DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields--were named to various 2008-09 All-Big East squads on Sunday following a vote of the league's 16 head coaches. Blair and Young were selected to the First Team, while Fields was named to the Third Team.
The league 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 on Tuesday at a 5:30 p.m. press conference at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Three Pitt players earned All-Big East accolades for the third time in school history. Pitt also placed three players on the 2002-03 and 2003-04 teams.
Young becomes just the fourth player in school history to earn two All-Big East First Team honors. The other players include 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 ppg.) and ranks second in rebounding (6.1 rpg.). He has converted 50.5 (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 totaled 1,776 points, 676 rebounds and 135 assists. He capped off the regular season yesterday with a 31-point, 10-rebound performance in a win over No. 1 Connecticut. He 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 totaling two 20-20 performances (Notre Dame and Connecticut) and 17 double-doubles on the year. He is ranked among national statistical leaders in offensive rebounding (1st), rebounds per game (3rd) and field goal percentage (16th).
Fields garners his second postseason 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:turnover ratio (4.09), ranks second nationally in assists per game (7.6 apg.) and averages 10.9 points per game. This season, he became just the sixth player in school history to score over 1,000 points and dish out over 500 assists in a career and set school records for career assist: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) opens Big East Championship competition on Thursday at 7 p.m., when it will play one of three different opponents in quarterfinal action: Notre Dame, Rutgers or West Virginia. The contest will be nationally televised on 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.