Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and Pittsburgh forward Sam Young are repeat selections on the 2008-09 All-Big East First Team chosen by the coaches.
Six players were named to the All-Big East First Team. The Big East Player of the Year will come from that list. The other individual awards will be announced March 9.
Harangody, a 6-8 junior, led the BIG EAST in scoring with a 23.7 average and finished second in rebounding with a 12.1 mark. In league games, he was the scoring and rebounding champion, compiling averages of 25.2 points and 12.8 boards. He is the first player in BIG EAST history to win the scoring and rebounding crowns in two seasons. This year, Harangody led all league players with 21 double-doubles.
Young, a 6-6 senior, was Pitt’s top scorer this season with an 18.8 average. He pulled down 6.1 rebounds per game. Young shot 50.5 percent from the floor and helped the Panthers to a 28-3 record, a 15-3 BIG EAST mark and a No. 2 seed at The BIG EAST Championship. Last season, he was named BIG EAST Most Improved Player.
DeJuan Blair, a teammate of Young, was a force in the paint for the Panthers. The 6-7 center averaged 15.6 points and a league-leading 12.4 boards. He shot 59.6 percent from the floor and posted 17 double-doubles. The sophomore was the only unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Last year, Blair was named BIG EAST Co-Rookie of the Year.
Hasheem Thabeet was the defensive anchor to Connecticut’s success. The 7-3 junior averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and a blocked shot average of 4.5 that is second in the nation. With 89 blocks in league games this season, Thabeet is already second on the all-time BIG EAST blocks list with 243 rejections, trailing Patrick Ewing by only five. Thabeet was the 2007-08 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.
Jerel McNeal was a defensive force early in his career before blossoming into an all-around performer as a junior and senior. He was chosen BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year two seasons ago. This year, he finished third in the league in scoring with a 20.1 average and fourth in steals with a 2.1 mark.
Terrence Williams is one of the league’s most versatile performers. The senior forward is averaging 12.8 points. He is among the BIG EAST leaders in rebounds, assists and steals. Williams is averaging 8.5 boards, 5.1 assists and 2.3 steals. He helped lead the Cardinals to the BIG EAST regular-season title with a 16-2 record.
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.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.