March 30, 2009
NEW YORK, N.Y.—University of Pittsburgh sophomore DeJuan Blair became the first Pitt men’s basketball player since 1958 to earn First Team All-America honors from the Associated Press, the organization announced on Monday. Pitt senior forward Sam Young was named to the AP All-America Third Team.
Blair finished third in the voting with 294 votes behind Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin (335 votes) and North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (304 votes). He has been recognized as a First Team All-America selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association, The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. He is a finalist for the Naismith, Wooden and USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year awards.
Blair becomes the second Pitt player to earn Associated Press First Team All-America honors. Don Hennon also earned the distinction in 1958. AP All-Americans at Pitt include Hennon (First Team in 1958, Second Team in 1959), Jerome Lane (Third Team in 1987, Second Team in 1988), Brandin Knight (Third Team in 2002), Aaron Gray (Third Team in 2007) and Sam Young (Third Team in 2009).
The All-East Regional selection, co-Big East Player of the Year, USBWA District 2 Player of the Year and the Big East’s only unanimous All-Big East First Team honoree, Blair concluded his sophomore season averaging 15.7 points per game and a league-leading 12.3 rebounds per game. He posted two 20-20 performances on the season (vs. Notre Dame and vs. Connecticut), totaled 21 double-double games, scored 20 or more points in 11 contests and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 22 games. He ranks among national leaders in offensive rebounding (1st), total rebounding (4th) and field goal percentage (16th). 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 ends the 2008-09 season ranked among school season leaders in field goal percentage (second, .593), rebounds (second, 432), rebound average (seventh, 12.3), offensive rebounds (second, 195) and defensive rebounds (second, 237).
In his two-year career, Blair has scored 979 points (13.6 ppg.), pulled down 769 rebounds (10.7 rpg.) and shot 56.8 percent (394-694) from the floor. Last year, he capped his freshman season at Pitt by earning consensus Freshman All-America honors, the co-Big East Rookie of the Year award, Big East All-Rookie Team accolades and All-Big East honorable mention honors.
An All-Big East First Team selection for the second straight season, Young concluded his senior year with 19.2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game averages. He set his own season scoring record with 690 points on the year, shot 50.2 percent (261-520) from the floor and 37.2 percent (54-145) from 3-point range. He finished his four-year career ranked fourth on Pitt’s career scoring list with 1,884 points, set the school’s career games played record (143) and ranked among career leaders in 20-plus scoring games (32), double figure scoring games (97), field goals made (716) and blocked shots (109). Young also garnered All-America honors from Sports Illustrated (Second Team) and The Sporting News (Third Team).
Blair and Young helped guide Pitt to a 31-5 record, second place finish in the Big East regular season (15-3 slate) and the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in three different weeks this year. Pitt also went an undefeated 19-0 at home, won its first 16 games to start the season and defeated the nation’s No. 1 ranked team on two occasions.
ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
First Team All-America
Blake Griffin, 6-10, So., Oklahoma, 335 votes (71 first team)
Tyler Hansbrough, 6-9, Sr., North Carolina, 304 votes (50 first team)
DeJuan Blair, 6-7, So., Pitt, 294 votes
James Harden, 6-5, So., Arizona State, 290 points
Stephen Curry, 6-2, Jr., Davidson, 288 points
Second Team All-America
Luke Harangody, Jr., Notre Dame
Ty Lawson, Jr., North Carolina
Jodie Meeks, Jr., Kentucky
Jerel McNeal, Sr., Marquette
Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, Jr., Connecticut
Third Team All-America
Sherron Collins, Jr., Kansas
Toney Douglas, Sr., Florida State
Gerald Henderson, Jr., Duke
Terrence Williams, Sr., Louisville
Sam Young, Sr., Pitt