Pitt Men's Notebook: Young, Blair get all-region honors
March 29, 2009 4:00 AM
Pitt's Sam Young, in his final game in a Panthers' uniform, watches as Villanova players celebrate their dramatic victory last night in Boston. Young scored 28 points in his farewell performance.
By Ray Fittipaldo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BOSTON -- Pitt senior Sam Young exited the tournament and Pitt with a bang.
Young was magnificent throughout the NCAA tournament and capped a brilliant four-game run with a 28-point performance in Pitt's 78-76 loss to Villanova in the NCAA East Region final last night at TD Banknorth Garden.
For the tournament, Young scored 93 points. He was named to the all-region team along with DeJuan Blair (18 points and 10 rebounds last night) and Villanova's Dwayne Anderson, Dante Cunningham and Scottie Reynolds.
Reynolds was named the most outstanding player of the East Region.
"I've said all along he's a guy that's gotten better and better every year," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said of Young. "And he seemed to get better as the season went on and down the stretch. He can put the ball in the basket, and that was key for us.
"The last couple of weeks he's gotten better and that's a result of hard work and determination. That's been the story of his career at Pitt."
In the record books
Young has 1,884 points and finished his career in fourth place on Pitt's all-time scoring list. Senior point guard Levance Fields finished with 1,247 points and is in 20th place behind Jaron Brown (1,258).
Fields finished with 270 assists. That is a single-season school record. He finished his career with 645 assists, which is third behind Brandin Knight (785) and Sean Miller (744).
Pitt finished with a 31-5 record, the identical record that Dixon had in his first season as head coach in 2003-04. The 31 victories are a school record.
Three seasons after losing in the Elite Eight as freshmen against eventual national champion Florida, the Villanova seniors finally came full circle and advanced to the Final Four. It is Villanova's first trip to the Final Four since 1985 when the Wildcats upset Georgetown and won the national championship.
Boston College, which left the Big East Conference four seasons ago for the Atlantic Coast Conference, was the host school for the four games played this weekend. Ironically two Big East teams played for the right to go to the Final Four.
"I think it's great," Boston College athletic director Gene DeFillipo told the Boston Globe of having Pitt and Villanova play in the East Region Final. "They deserve it."
Starting power forward Tyrell Biggs had zero points and two rebounds in 15 minutes last night. It was the second consecutive game in which Biggs did not score. In four NCAA tournament games, Biggs scored nine points. ... Ashton Gibbs was 0 for 3 from behind the arc. After opening the tournament making 5 of 6 3-point attempts, Gibbs missed on his final five attempts in the past two games. ... Villanova was 6 for 20 from the 3-point line. ... Pitt and Villanova split games last season. It was incorrectly reported in yesterday's editions that Pitt had lost its previous two games against the Wildcats. ... Former Pitt assistant Barry Rohrssen, who recruited Fields and Biggs, was in the Pitt fan section. He is the head coach at Manhattan College. ... Attendance was 18,871.