Thabeet, Blair Share Big East Player Of Year Award

Full story: Hartford Courant

They had to be separated Saturday in Pittsburgh, their mid-court collision nearly the impetus for a fracas.
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated Mar 12, 2009
builder 101

Lebanon, CT

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#1
Mar 11, 2009
 

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Why is it that the Uconn girls always finish their college education before they head to the WNBA but the boys are always quick to leave and start making the big bucks. Okafor got his degree before he headed for the NBA. Smart guy!!!
PPPP

Roseland, NJ

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#2
Mar 11, 2009
 

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The answer to that is kind of obvious. WNBA players don't make any money. NBA players do. How many college graduates from UConn will be making over 1 million dollars per year there first year out of college? How many will even have a job right out of college?

The UConn girls deserve to commended because most of them are great student-athletes. However, there is really no comparison between them and the men's players. The men's players (even the ones that will never make the NBA) have been treated like superstars since they were kids and basketball has been there number one priority for probably 10 years before they even got to college. This superstar treatment, the basketball first mentality, and other social things like the amount of attention they get from females can easily distract from school. These all factor in to the disparity, but the main reason is that Craig Austrie, who will never even sniff the NBA, can possibly make more money off basketball than Maya Moore who may end up being one of the best women's players ever.
Jesse

Monroeville, PA

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#3
Mar 11, 2009
 
Yes, I'm a Pitt fan, so let's get that out of the way. Based on conference statistics and the two games that Pitt and UConn played, how is it that Thabeet managed to get a share of BE player of the year?
Chris

Westwood, MA

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#4
Mar 11, 2009
 

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Jesse wrote:
Yes, I'm a Pitt fan, so let's get that out of the way. Based on conference statistics and the two games that Pitt and UConn played, how is it that Thabeet managed to get a share of BE player of the year?
Hmmm, let's see... Thabeet is second in block shots in the history of the Big East only behing Patrick Ewing, changes the game with his defense, two yr BE defensive player of the year, and is averaging in double figures, and had a triple double I believe in two games. That's your answer.
East only behind Patrick Ewing
Marcus

Derwood, MD

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#5
Mar 11, 2009
 

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Jesse wrote:
Yes, I'm a Pitt fan, so let's get that out of the way. Based on conference statistics and the two games that Pitt and UConn played, how is it that Thabeet managed to get a share of BE player of the year?
Obviously you read stats on the internet and can't understand what happens in a game. But who the heck am I to tell you:

-- Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez:...calling Thabeet the best player in the country and his choice to be the No. 1 pick in this spring’s NBA Draft.

--“I’ve said many times, I think he’s as good, or better,(defensively) than anyone who’s ever been in the league,” Jim Boeheim said.

-- ESPN analyst Dick Vitale stood before a national television audience Saturday evening and said he would pick Thabeet as the league’s best player right now.

And I don't think Blair is even the best player on HIS OWN TEAM.

But who the heck am I to tell an all-knowing Pitt fan?
Go Pitt

Franklin, MA

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#6
Mar 11, 2009
 

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I can't say it an better than Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, so here is his take which is statistics driven rather than personality driven

Blair was robbed!

By Bob Smizik | Wednesday, 10:40 a.m.

Statistics don’t always tell the full story. But sometimes they do. And the Big East Player of the Year voting is one of those cases.

Pitt’s DeJuan Blair outscored Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet in conference play. He also outrebounded him in conference games. And, of significant import, he outplayed him in two conference game, both of which were won by Pitt while Connecticut was ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Yet in voting done by the league’s 16 coaches the two players ended in a tie for Player of the Year honors.

DeJuan BlairBlair was robbed!

Blair, easy-going guy that he is, had no objections and apparently neither did anyone else. Who complains about winning such a prestigious honor?

But if Blair graciously took the high road, allow us to take the low road.

The statistic that are being presented here are the ones accumulated in the 18 conference games, not in the games when, for example, Pitt played IUP and Connecticut played Morgan State

In league competition, Blair was second in rebounding with 12.3 a game and Thabeet was third at 10.5. In scoring, Blair was 13th at 16.1 points. Thabeet averaged 12.6 points in league play and was not ranked in the top 30 scorers. In offensive rebounds, Blair was first with 5.3 and Thabeet third with 3.8.

The one category where Thabeet dominated Blair was in blocked shots. He was first with 4.9 per game and Blair was 11th a 1.2.

Thabeet was named defensive player of the year, an area that was his strong point. But how did the league’s best defensive player do against Blair?

In the two games against Connecticut, Blair had 30 points, 31 rebounds and four blocks. Granted, Thabeet wasn’t watching him every second of those games, but they were matchups that Blair dominated. That was particularly so in the first game, when Pitt stunned the Huskies at home, as Blair had 22 points and 23 rebounds.

Thabeet’s totals in the two games against Pitt were 19 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.

Thabeet, of course, came into the voting with a head start. He was one of 11 players named by the coaches to the pre-season all-conference team. Blair was not one of those 11, nor was he one of three players who received honorable mention. It was a stunning oversight.

Thabeet dominated early in conference play and even was being mentioned as national player of the year. That talk ended when Blair overwhelmed him at UConn. From that point on, if one player dominated the league, it was Blair. He was the talk of the conference, and deservedly so.

And deservedly so, he should have been the only conference Player of the Year.
Marcus

Derwood, MD

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#7
Mar 11, 2009
 
I see the budget cuts at the ol' Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have made it difficult to keep copy editors on the sports desk. That was a brutal read ...
Enough is Enough

Hartford, CT

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#8
Mar 11, 2009
 
Sorry Marcus but the only award Thabeet should have received was the chickensh** award for gutless performance when the game is on the line. "OOhhh my head hurts, someone shoot my foul shots for me. The game is too close so I can't do it".
How about the "No Show in a big game" award? Thabeet would win that easily.
How about Young getting the nod?
Price is the MVP on the UConn team. They only go as far as he can take them.
Marcus

Derwood, MD

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#9
Mar 11, 2009
 
Enough is Enough wrote:
Sorry Marcus but the only award Thabeet should have received was the chickensh** award for gutless performance when the game is on the line. "OOhhh my head hurts, someone shoot my foul shots for me. The game is too close so I can't do it".
How about the "No Show in a big game" award? Thabeet would win that easily.
How about Young getting the nod?
Price is the MVP on the UConn team. They only go as far as he can take them.
Dude, don't apologize to me! I think Sam Young is the best player in the Big East and Terrence Williams isn't far behind. That said, Thabeet does more to change the opponent's play than he probably does for his own team. Not sure if that makes sense, but it's late... and I'm still at work.
UCONN in the Valley

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#10
Mar 11, 2009
 
Marcus wrote:
<quoted text>
Obviously you read stats on the internet and can't understand what happens in a game. But who the heck am I to tell you:
-- Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez:...calling Thabeet the best player in the country and his choice to be the No. 1 pick in this spring’s NBA Draft.

--“I’ve said many times, I think he’s as good, or better,(defensively) than anyone who’s ever been in the league,” Jim Boeheim said.
-- ESPN analyst **** Vitale stood before a national television audience Saturday evening and said he would pick Thabeet as the league’s best player right now.
And I don't think Blair is even the best player on HIS OWN TEAM.
But who the heck am I to tell an all-knowing Pitt fan?
Excellent post. Documented and factual. A huge improvement over the consistent drivle offered by the 1%er's (UCONN haters). Well said.
UCONN in the Valley

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#11
Mar 11, 2009
 
Go Pitt wrote:
I can't say it an better than Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, so here is his take which is statistics driven rather than personality driven
Blair was robbed!
By Bob Smizik | Wednesday, 10:40 a.m.
Statistics don’t always tell the full story. But sometimes they do. And the Big East Player of the Year voting is one of those cases.
Pitt’s DeJuan Blair outscored Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet in conference play. He also outrebounded him in conference games. And, of significant import, he outplayed him in two conference game, both of which were won by Pitt while Connecticut was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Yet in voting done by the league’s 16 coaches the two players ended in a tie for Player of the Year honors.
DeJuan BlairBlair was robbed!
Blair, easy-going guy that he is, had no objections and apparently neither did anyone else. Who complains about winning such a prestigious honor?
But if Blair graciously took the high road, allow us to take the low road.
The statistic that are being presented here are the ones accumulated in the 18 conference games, not in the games when, for example, Pitt played IUP and Connecticut played Morgan State
In league competition, Blair was second in rebounding with 12.3 a game and Thabeet was third at 10.5. In scoring, Blair was 13th at 16.1 points. Thabeet averaged 12.6 points in league play and was not ranked in the top 30 scorers. In offensive rebounds, Blair was first with 5.3 and Thabeet third with 3.8.
The one category where Thabeet dominated Blair was in blocked shots. He was first with 4.9 per game and Blair was 11th a 1.2.
Thabeet was named defensive player of the year, an area that was his strong point. But how did the league’s best defensive player do against Blair?
In the two games against Connecticut, Blair had 30 points, 31 rebounds and four blocks. Granted, Thabeet wasn’t watching him every second of those games, but they were matchups that Blair dominated. That was particularly so in the first game, when Pitt stunned the Huskies at home, as Blair had 22 points and 23 rebounds.
Thabeet’s totals in the two games against Pitt were 19 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.
Thabeet, of course, came into the voting with a head start. He was one of 11 players named by the coaches to the pre-season all-conference team. Blair was not one of those 11, nor was he one of three players who received honorable mention. It was a stunning oversight.
Thabeet dominated early in conference play and even was being mentioned as national player of the year. That talk ended when Blair overwhelmed him at UConn. From that point on, if one player dominated the league, it was Blair. He was the talk of the conference, and deservedly so.
And deservedly so, he should have been the only conference Player of the Year.
One question for you and the Pulitzer Prize winner Bob "Homer" Smizik--How did Blair do against Louisville, Villanova, and Providence?
Ooooopsss, thought everyone forgot about those 3 games!
Both Thabeet and Blair are great players and the shared honor is well deserved.
UCONN in the Valley

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#12
Mar 11, 2009
 

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Enough is Enough wrote:
Sorry Marcus but the only award Thabeet should have received was the chickensh** award for gutless performance when the game is on the line. "OOhhh my head hurts, someone shoot my foul shots for me. The game is too close so I can't do it".
How about the "No Show in a big game" award? Thabeet would win that easily.
How about Young getting the nod?
Price is the MVP on the UConn team. They only go as far as he can take them.
Let's see....Thabeet was just awarded Defensive Player of the Year and he shares Player of the Year honors with Blair in the toughest conference in college basketball. He is universally seen as a first round draft choice by NBA scouts.
On the other hand we have the famous expert "Eight is Enough" who stoops to childish name calling to describe Thabeet. This is a tough choice.....but I think I will have to go with the BE Coaches and the NBA scouts when it comes to an accurate appraisal of Thabeet and his game.
It was a close call though.
Go Pitt

Jamaica Plain, MA

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#13
Mar 12, 2009
 
OK, if you don't like Bob Smizik, then I'll add this article from SI this morning on Blair by Luke Winn, who is about as pro-UConn as you can get from someone who is supposed to be an impartial national sports journalist...

http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/tourney/pos...
Enough is Enough

Hartford, CT

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#14
Mar 12, 2009
 
Marcus wrote:
<quoted text>
Dude, don't apologize to me! I think Sam Young is the best player in the Big East and Terrence Williams isn't far behind. That said, Thabeet does more to change the opponent's play than he probably does for his own team. Not sure if that makes sense, but it's late... and I'm still at work.
You sound pretty awake. That makes sense.I agree with you on Young.
Hope you got rested up for tonights game.
Enough is Enough

Hartford, CT

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#15
Mar 12, 2009
 
UCONN in the Valley wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's see....Thabeet was just awarded Defensive Player of the Year and he shares Player of the Year honors with Blair in the toughest conference in college basketball. He is universally seen as a first round draft choice by NBA scouts.
On the other hand we have the famous expert "Eight is Enough" who stoops to childish name calling to describe Thabeet. This is a tough choice.....but I think I will have to go with the BE Coaches and the NBA scouts when it comes to an accurate appraisal of Thabeet and his game.
It was a close call though.
Wow cause someone's universally considered a 1st round draft coice that makes him great. This guy will be nothing more than a part time player at best.Like a Sam Bowie or Shawn Bradley.
I'm really hurt you didn't take my side on this.
Do they still get a #1 seed if they fall tonight?
gocards

Louisville, KY

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#16
Mar 12, 2009
 
Marcus wrote:
<quoted text>
Dude, don't apologize to me! I think Sam Young is the best player in the Big East and Terrence Williams isn't far behind. That said, Thabeet does more to change the opponent's play than he probably does for his own team. Not sure if that makes sense, but it's late... and I'm still at work.
I think Young is the most underrated player in the country. Williams is unique, he makes everyone around him better and can be the most dominating player on the floor while only scoring 6 points. That being said, if I am going to build a team around one guy now it would be Blair, if I am banking on potential it would be Thabeet...thats just my opinion.

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