Logan and Crean Earn Top C-USA Honors
Cincinnati senior guard Steve Logan and Marquette head coach Tom Crean, who has led the Golden Eagles to their highest national ranking (No. 9) since February, 1979, today earned the league’s top two individual honors as Player of the Year and Ray Meyer Coach of the Year, respectively.
You would be hard pressed to find a player more valuable to his team than Logan is to the No. 5-ranked Bearcats, who earned their fifth outright a share of their seventh straight overall Conference USA regular season championship. Cincinnati, the top seed in the C-USA Tournament, meets the winner of the South Florida-UAB first round game in Thursday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal. Logan leads the league in scoring at 22.6 points per game and his 1,892 career points are second in school and league history. He is the second player in Conference USA history to earn the league’s top annual award in back-to-back years. Former Cincinnati All-American Danny Fortson was the first to achieve this feat in 1996 and 1997.
The 6-0 senior guard, who is a finalist for The Naismith Award, The Wooden Award, and the 2002 Senior CLASS Award (the top senior collegiate player who has remained committed to the university despite the overwhelming pressure to turn professional), has a 51-consecutive game double figure scoring streak. He is the first player in Conference USA history with multiple 40-point games in the same season and joins former teammate and unanimous 1999-2000 National Player of the Year Kenyon Martin, as the only Conference USA individuals to earn Player of the Week honors at least five times in the same season. He is also among the top three in C-USA and UC history with 432 assists, and he is the winningest player in Cincinnati and league history, having participated in 107 wins during his career. Logan has helped Cincinnati to its seventh straight 25-plus victory season.
After being picked to finish third in Conference USA’s American Division in the coaches poll at the start of the year, Crean and Marquette has enjoyed a record-setting regular season. In addition to the program’s highest national ranking in more than 20 years, Crean led the 24-5 Golden Eagles to its first 20-win season since 1997-98, the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout title (defeating Tennessee, Indiana and Gonzaga in consecutive nights), the team’s first 10-0 start in five seasons, and the best Conference USA record (13-3) in school history. The Golden Eagles posted a 16-0 home record, its first undefeated home ledger since 1995-96. It marks the fourth time in Conference USA history that a team has won 16 home games.
The key to Marquette’s re-emergence under Crean’s guidance has been a balanced effort on both ends of the floor. The Golden Eagles rank among the top 25 in the nation in several statistical categories, including field goal percentage defense, field goal percentage, rebound margin, scoring defense and scoring margin. The state of Wisconsin has certainly taken notice of Crean and Marquette’s success, as the Golden Eagles have set the state college basketball single-game attendance record three times in the last four weeks. On Feb. 2, 18,698 fans jammed The Bradley Center to witness Marquette’s 74-60 victory over then-No. 4 Cincinnati, followed by a record crowd of 18,753 fans two weeks later against Louisville. Finally, that record was broken March 1 when MU drew 18,788 fans to its season finale triumph over DePaul.
2001-02 CONFERENCE USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Logan, Cincinnati, G, 6-0, 196, Sr., Cleveland, Ohio (Lakewood St. Edward)
2001-02 CONFERENCE USA RAY MEYER COACH OF THE YEAR
Tom Crean, Marquette