March 5, 2012
Players from five different schools are represented on the 2011-12 All-Conference USA men's basketball first-team, featuring one senior and four underclassmen. Voting on the awards was done by the C-USA head coaches and media members in each conference city.
The lone senior was UAB forward Cameron Moore, the 2011 C-USA Preseason Player of the Year. Moore is the league's top rebounder, averaging 10.4 per game. He is also one of only two Conference USA student-athletes to average a double-double on the season with 16.2 ppg (third in C-USA). Additionally, Moore leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game. He has recorded 13 double-doubles this season and 27 for his career, including eight of the last 10 games of the regular season. Moore was named to the all-conference second team a year ago.
Regular-season champion Memphis placed sophomore guard Will Barton on the first team, after earning third-team honors as a freshman. Barton leads the conference in scoring, and ranks among the Top 30 nationally, averaging 18.7 points per game. He tossed in a career-high 30 points in the Tigers' regular-season finale win at Tulsa to secure the regular-season title and top seed in the C-USA Championship. In that game, he also became just the ninth player in Memphis history to score 1,000 career points in only two seasons.
Tulsa sophomore Jordan Clarkson led the Golden Hurricane to a No. 3 seed in this year's C-USA Championship. The 6-4 guard led TU in scoring (16.6 ppg), assists (2.6 apg), field goal percentage (.440) and free throw percentage (.784). Clarkson has strung together 27 straight games scoring in double-figures and his 16.6 average ranks second in C-USA.
UCF junior forward Keith Clanton has paced the Knights in scoring and rebounding this season. A third-team selection last year, Clanton ranks eighth on the C-USA scoring chart with 15 points per game and fifth in rebounding (8.4 rpg). UCF enters this week's C-USA Championship with a 21-9 overall record for its second 20-win season in a row. The Knights also earned a first-round bye in the tournament with a 10-6 mark in conference play and posted an impressive 16-1 record at home. Additionally, Clanton was instrumental in the Knights' win over defending national champion Connecticut in non-conference play.
Seven-time C-USA Freshman of the Week selection Ricky Tarrant of Tulane rounds out the first-team and is the first freshman to make the squad since Memphis' Tyreke Evans in 2009. Tarrant posted the two top offensive performances in C-USA, scoring 33 in outings against SMU and UAB. Of his seven Freshman of the Week honors, he earned five in a row during conference play to set a record for consecutive selections. He was also named the Player of the Week Dec. 5 following the Green Wave's non-conference win over Georgia Tech.
Rice junior Arsalan Kazemi of Rice earns a repeat selection to the second-team as he joined Moore as the only other player in the conference to average a double-double on the season. He also set the C-USA mark for career double-doubles with 43 on the season. Kazemi is joined on the second team by classmate Miguel Paul of East Carolina. Sophomores Tarik Black of Memphis, DeAndre Kane of Marshall and Neil Watson of Southern Miss round out the second-team selections.
Three seniors are part of the all-conference third unit, including SMU forward Robert Nyakundi as a repeat selection from a year ago. East Carolina senior forward Darrius Morrow and Marshall guard Damier Pitts were also voted to this season's third team, along with Southern Miss junior forward Jonathan Mills and Memphis sophomore guard Chris Crawford.
These 15 All-Conference players will all be in action at the 2012 C-USA Men's Basketball Championship, March 7-10 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Will Barton, Memphis, G, 6-6, 175, So., Baltimore, Md.
Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-8, 245, Jr., Orlando, Fla.
Jordan Clarkson, Tulsa, G, 6-4, 195, So., San Antonio, Texas
Cameron Moore, UAB, F, 6-10, 230, Sr., San Antonio, Texas
Ricky Tarrant, Tulane, G, 6-0, 170, Fr., Pleasant Grove, Ala.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Tarik Black, Memphis, F, 6-8, 243, So., Memphis, Tenn.
DeAndre Kane, Marshall, G, 6-4, 200, So., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Arsalan Kazemi, Rice, F, 6-7, 220, Jr., Esfahan, Iran
Miguel Paul, East Carolina, G, 6-1, 180, Jr., Winter Haven, Fla.
Neil Watson, Southern Miss, G, 5-11, 170, So., Kansas City, Kan.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Chris Crawford, Memphis, G, 6-4, 212, So., Memphis, Tenn.
Jonathan Mills, Southern Miss, F, 6-6, 230, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
Darrius Morrow, East Carolina, F, 6-8, 245, Sr., Atlanta, Ga.
Robert Nyakundi, SMU, F, 6-8, 220, Sr., Arlington, Texas
Damier Pitts, Marshall, G, 5-10, 165, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.