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March 9, 2009

Pitt's workmanlike Young earns top honors

As perhaps the most anonymous leading scorer for a top-10 team, Sam Young seems to be the perfect face for Pittsburgh basketball.

Young, a senior forward, turned in another workmanlike week to keep Pittsburgh in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, earning Rivals.com national player of the week honors.

Connecticut had no answer for Young on Saturday in Pitt's second victory over the Huskies this season. Both Pittsburgh wins came when UConn was ranked No. 1 in the country. Young scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, going 13-of-23 from the field in the 70-60 win.

Earlier in the week, Young had 18 points and eight rebounds in a 90-75 victory over fading Marquette. Young heads into the Big East tournament averaging 21.6 points in his past eight games.

Also considered:

North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough improved to 6-2 against in his career Duke with 17 points and eight rebounds in a 79-71 win over the Blue Devils on Sunday. He added 22 points and 15 rebounds in an 86-78 victory at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

Guard Scottie Reynolds helped Villanova keep up in the Big East with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 77-60 win at Notre Dame on Monday. He added 23 points and four assists in a 97-80 victory over Providence on Thursday.

Josh Shipp became a member of the winningest senior class in UCLA history with a career week. Shipp set a career high with 28 points and six rebounds in a 94-68 rout of Oregon on Saturday. He had 27 points Thursday in a 79-54 victory over Oregon State.

Auburn clawed its way onto the NCAA bubble late in the season and earned a bye in the first round of the SEC tournament thanks to senior forward Korvotney Barber. He had 13 points and 16 rebounds in a 77-73 win at Alabama on Tuesday and 16 points and 17 rebounds in a 69-53 victory over LSU on Saturday.

Guard Jerome Randle led California to a split of its games against the Pac-10's Arizona schools. Randle had 31 points, five assists and two rebounds in an 83-77 win at Arizona on Thursday. He added 24 points, four rebounds and two assists in an 83-66 loss at Arizona State on Saturday.

Vanderbilt has had a disappointing season, but center A.J. Ogilvy ended the regular season playing well. He had 33 points and 10 rebounds in a 75-67 upset at LSU on Wednesday and added 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 75-58 victory over Arkansas on Sunday.

NON-BIG SIX PLAYER OF THE WEEK: F Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

Faried wasn't his normal dominant self in the first half of the Ohio Valley Conference tourney final against Austin Peay, but that changed in a major way through the second half and in two overtimes.

Faried came up with critical rebounds late in regulation and hit a go-ahead alley-oop before Austin Peay tied the score with a second remaining. Faried finished with 15 points, 10 boards and three blocks including a block of a 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime.

Faried, the Ohio Valley tournament MVP, also had 22 points and 17 rebounds in the semifinal against UT Martin and 15 points and 17 rebounds in a first-round game against Eastern Kentucky.

Also considered:

Center Artsiom Parakhouski earned Big South tournament MVP honors as Radford earned its first NCAA bid since 1998. Parakhouski had 24 points and eight rebounds against High Point, nine points and 13 rebounds against UNC-Asheville and 26 points and 18 boards in the final against VMI.

Behind forward Mike Smith, East Tennessee State clinched its first NCAA berth since 2004. Smith, the tournament MVP, had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the first round against Stetson, 19 points and seven rebounds in a semifinal against Belmont and 22 points and 12 boards in an 85-68 win over top-seeded Jacksonville in the final.

Kwadzo Ahelegbe led Northern Iowa to an NCAA tournament bid with an excellent week in the Missouri Valley tournament. Ahelegbe had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a win over Indiana State, 21 points, four assists and three rebounds in a win over Bradley and 17 points and five rebounds in the title game against Illinois State.

Kevin Anderson helped Richmond end the season with a winning record in the Atlantic 10 with 24 points and six rebounds in a 64-62 victory at Charlotte and 29 points and four rebounds in an 80-75 upset of Xavier.

Senior Tony Danridge helped New Mexico clinch a share of the Mountain West regular-season title with 29 points and five assists in a 77-71 win over Utah and 29 points, four rebounds and three assists in a 74-73 victory at Wyoming.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

Aminu broke out of his slump in time to lift Wake Forest to the second seed in the ACC tournament.

Aminu recorded two double-doubles last week against Maryland and Clemson, his first double-double since a Jan. 31 loss to Georgia Tech.

He had 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 96-88 win over Clemson on Sunday and 16 points and 14 boards in a 65-63 victory at Maryland on Tuesday.

Also considered:

Tyreke Evans helped Memphis wrap up another undefeated Conference USA season with 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a 69-60 victory at Houston on Wednesday and 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 74-47 rout of Tulane on Saturday.

DeMar DeRozan helped USC salvage the final week of its regular season with 19 points in an 80-66 win over Oregon on Thursday and 16 points, five rebounds and three assists in a 68-52 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

Ole Miss guard Terrico White finished the regular season with four consecutive 20-point games. He had 29 points and seven rebounds Wednesday in a 98-91 victory over Arkansas and 21 points and two rebounds in an 82-80 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.

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