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Blair named Big East Co-Player of the Year

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DeJuan Blair was named the Big East Co-Player of the Year today, sharing the award with his rival, Hasheem Thabeet of Connecticut.

Blair, a 6-foot-7 sophomore center, is only the third Pitt player to win the prestigious annual award. He joins Brandin Knight (2001-02) and Charles Smith (1987-88).

The award was announced Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden during the first-round of the Big East Tournament.

Blair, who, along with Pitt senior forward Sam Young, was named first-team all-Big East on Sunday, averaged 16.l points and 12.3 rebounds and shot 57.0 percent from the field in Big East games.

Blair had nine double-doubles in conference play and posted 20-point, 20-rebounds games against Notre Dame and Connecticut.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players, and had to submit their ballot on Friday, the day before Pitt beat Connecticut for the second time this season.

Blair becomes only the third player in Big East history to win the Rookie of the Year one season and Player of the Year the next. Notre Dame’s Troy Murphy (2000) and Boston College’s Troy Bell (2001) were the others.

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