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Regardless of the fact that Dejuan Blair got the best of Hasheem Thabeet on national television as well as the fact that Pitt was responsible for two of UConn's three losses this year, the two big men have no choice but to split this year's Big East Player of the Year honors. Direct your anger at the Big East coaches, who were responsible for the vote.

Thabeet averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 4.5 blocks per game; Blair's numbers were 15.6, 12.4, 1.2, and 1 block per game. But Thabeet had quite a head start, with considerably more buzz not only for this trophy but also for national honors from the beginning of the season.

With his share of the award, Blair becomes the third Panther to either win or split the conference's top billing, joining Charles Smith (1988) and Brandin Knight, who shared it with Caron Butler in 2002. Blair is the second sophomore in league history to win, the only other time being last year when Notre Dame's Luke Harangody took it home.

As usual, Blair was humble and likable in accepting the award:

"This is a team effort award," Blair said. "I just got it individually, but everyone on this team deserves it. They got me the ball, so I could get 20 points. Maybe not the rebounds, but they got me the ball to get the points. They kept pushing me. They kept my confidence up. Just them fighting with me is an honor. I guess it's a big accomplishment for me and my family and Pitt and my friends. It's a beautiful honor."

Well said, Dejuan. Blair and the Panthers start their postseason on Thursday at the topsy-turvy Big East Tournament, where they'll take on the winner of Notre Dame-West Virginia. The Irish advanced to the second round with a 61-50 win over Rutgers on Tuesday. 16-seeded, 0-18-in-the-Big-East DePaul took out Cincinnati and 13-seeded St. John's knocked out Georgetown, winning a BET game for the first time since 2003 in the process. Pitt should take notice of the upsets, but the Panthers usually don't take anyone lightly during this annual event.

Thabeet, Blair Share BIG EAST Player of the Year Award
[Big East]
Pitt's Blair and UConn's Thabeet are Big East co-players of the year [PG]

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1 comment:

RedHawks Hockey said...

this is bull crap.