NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 10, 2009)—University of Connecticut junior men’s basketball player Hasheem Thabeet has been named the BIG EAST Conference Co-Player-of-the-Year for 2008-2009, it was announced Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Thabeet, who was also named BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year for the second consecutive season as well as a member of the 2008-2009 All-BIG EAST Conference First Team, shares the Player-of-the-Year award with Pittsburgh sophomore center DeJuan Blair.
UConn’s Thabeet enters post-season play after averaging a “double-double” in 30 regular season games with 13.6 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game while adding a league-leading 4.5 blocked shots per game. Connecticut posted a regular season record of 27-3 and finished tied for second place in the BIG EAST Conference with a 15-3 league mark.
The BIG EAST Player-of-the-Year honor for Thabeet marks the seventh time a Connecticut basketball standout has been the recipient of the award in the 30-year history of the league. Other UConn stars honored as BIG EAST Player-of-the-Year include: Donyell Marshall in 1993-94, Ray Allen in 1995-96, Richard Hamilton in both 1997-98 & 1998-99, Caron Butler in 2001-02, and Emeka Okafor in 2003-04.
Connecticut and Georgetown have each had seven Player-of-the-Year honorees in BIG EAST play since the 1979-80 season. St. John’s and Notre Dame have each had four honorees, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Boston College three each, Villanova and Seton Hall two honorees each, and Miami one award winner.
BIG EAST Player-of-the-Year Winners
Connecticut (7)—Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton (2), Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, Hasheem Thabeet.
Georgetown (7)—John Duren, Patrick Ewing (2), Reggie Williams, Charles Smith, Alonzo Mourning, Jeff Green.
Notre Dame (4)—Pat Garrity, Troy Murphy (2), Luke Harangody.
St. John’s (4)—Chris Mullin (3), Walter Berry.
Syracuse (3)—Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Hakim Warrick.
Pittsburgh (3)—Charles Smith, Brandin Knight, DeJuan Blair.
Boston College (3)—John Bagley, Troy Bell (2).
Villanova (2)—Kerry Kittles, Randy Foye.
Seton Hall (2)—Dan Calandrillo, Terry Dehere.
Miami (1)—Tim James.