C-USA Men's Basketball Specialty Awards Announced
March 6, 2012
IRVING, Texas - All-Conference Team selections Cameron Moore of UAB, Ricky Tarrant of Tulane and Neil Watson of Southern Miss added to their honors as they received 2011-12 C-USA Specialty Awards. Moore highlighted the All-Defensive Team as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. First-team pick Tarrant was the unanimous pick for C-USA Freshman of the Year honors. Watson was named the C-USA Newcomer of the Year, as well as chosen as the C-USA Sixth Man of the Year. All awards were voted on by the conference's head coaches and select media.
Tarrant was unanimously selected to receive the Freshman of the Year honor. A seven-time C-USA Freshman of the Week, he posted the two top offensive performances in C-USA, scoring 33 points in outings against SMU and UAB. Against the Blazers, he scored 29 of the 33 in the second half as the Pleasant Grove, Ala., native returned to his home state. Of his weekly honors, he earned five in a row during conference play to set the league record for consecutive selections. He was also named C-USA Player of the Week Dec. 5 following the Green Wave's non-conference win over Georgia Tech. Tarrant is joined on the all-freshman team by Houston duo TaShawn Thomas and Joseph Young, Rice guard Dylan Ennis and UTEP forward Julian Washburn.
Moore is the league's top rebounder, averaging 10.4 per game. The senior forward from San Antonio also ranked third in C-USA with 16.2 ppg, and is one of only two Conference USA student-athletes to average a double-double for the season. He also leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game. Moore has recorded 13 double-doubles this season and 27 for his career, including eight of the last 10 games of the regular season. He was named to the all-conference second team a year ago. In addition to Moore, all-conference first-team pick Keith Clanton of UCF was also selected to the 2011-12 All-Defensive Team. The pair is joined by Marshall junior Dennis Tinnon, Memphis sophomore Tarik Black and Southern Miss junior Jonathan Mills.
Watson becomes the first player in conference history to win both awards. The sophomore forward joined the Golden Eagles after spending one season at Coffeyville Community College. In his first year, he has come off the bench to help lead Southern Miss to a 24-6 record and No. 2 seed in the 2012 C-USA Championships. Watson leads the Golden Eagles with 12.1 points and 4.5 assists, good for 16th and third in the league, respectively. He is also second in C-USA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) and third in free throw percentage (.856). The Kansas City, Kan., native has scored in double-figures in 21 games. His 143 free throws rank fourth on the sophomore list and seventh on the school single-season list. His 141 assists are second on the sophomore list and ninth on the single-season list, and his 36 three-pointers are tied for fifth among all sophomores.
The 2012 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship tips off Tuesday, March 7, at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. Saturday's title game begins at 11:35 a.m. EST and will be nationally televised on CBS. Tickets are available on www.ConferenceUSA.com, www.gotigersgo.com, and by calling the Memphis box office at 888-867-8636 or FedExForum box office at 901-205-2640.
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR