March 16, 2009
PITTSBURGH—Sophomore DeJuan Blair became the first Pitt men’s basketball player since 1974 to earn First Team All-America honors by the United States Basketball Writers Association, the organization announced Monday.
Blair is the first Pitt player to earn USBWA All-America honors since Jerome Lane made the second team in 1988. No Pitt player had made the first team since Billy Knight in 1974.
Last week, Blair was also named the USBWA District 2 Player of the Year. Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon was selected as the District 2 Coach of the Year and Blair, along with senior teammates Levance Fields and Sam Young earned All-District Team accolades.
A National Player of the Year candidate, Sporting News First Team All-America selection, co-Big East Player of the Year, the only unanimous All-Big East First Team pick and USBWA District Player of the Year honoree, Blair averages 15.6 points per game and a league-leading 12.2 rebounds per game. He has posted two 20-20 performances on the season (vs. Notre Dame and vs. Connecticut), totaled 17 double-double games, scored 20 or more points in 10 contests and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 20 games. He ranks among national leaders in offensive rebounding (1st), total rebounding (4th) and field goal percentage (17th). He also set the school record for most rebounds over a two-game stretch with 41 (23 vs. UConn, 18 vs. DePaul), surpassing the previous two-game record of 38 set by Jerome Lane in 1987-88. Blair currently ranks among single school season leaders in field goal percentage (second), rebounds (fifth), rebound average (seventh), offensive rebounds (second) and defensive rebounds (fifth).
No. 1 seeded Pitt (28-4, 15-3 Big East) opens NCAA Tournament play on Friday at approximately 2:50 p.m. ET when it takes on No. 16 seed East Tennessee State in Dayton, Ohio. All NCAA Tournament games will be broadcast on CBS.
USBWA ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
First Team All-America
DeJuan Blair, Pitt, F, 6-7, 265, So., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Stephen Curry, Davidson, G, 6-3, 185, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, F, 6-10, 251, So., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Tyler Hansborough, North Carolina, F, 6-9, 250, Sr., Poplar Bluff, Mo.
James Harden, Arizona State, G, 6-5, 218, So., Los Angeles, Calif.
Second Team All-America
Sherron Collins, Kansas, G, 5-11, 200, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame, F, 6-8, 255, Jr., Schererville, Ind.
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, G, 6-4, 208, Jr., Norcross, Ga.
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest, G, 6-2, 180, So., Indianapolis, Ind.
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, 7-3, 263, Jr., Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania