March 7, 2011
Six seniors from five schools are represented on the 2011 All-Conference USA Men's Basketball first-team. Voting on the awards was done by the C-USA head coaches and media members in each conference city.
Regular-season champion UAB placed two members on the first team in guards Aaron Johnson and Jamarr Sanders. Johnson leads the nation this season with 7.9 assists per game and set the school record with 228 assists as he enters the 2011 Buick C-USA Men's Basketball Championship, just eight helpers shy of the conference mark. Sanders is the team's leading scorer (17.8 ppg) and ranks fifth in C-USA. He also produced the largest offensive output by any C-USA player this season with 37 points in the Blazers' win over Rice.
UTEP guard Randy Culpepper, the reigning C-USA Player of the Year, had another outstanding season in his senior campaign to repeat as a first-team selection. He is the second-leading scorer in UTEP and Conference USA history. He also ranks second in the C-USA record book for steals, third in three-point field goals, third in field goals and ninth in free throws.
Southern Miss senior forward Gary Flowers scored in double-figures in 27 of 28 games for the Golden Eagles this season. A second-team selection last season, he ranked among the Top 10 conference leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots to jump up to the first team this season. The Dallas, Texas native also became the fourth-fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 career points, achieving the feat in just 59 games.
SMU senior Papa Dia, a three-time C-USA Player of the Week selection, is the first Mustang to earn first-team honors. He leads the conference in field goal percentage (.582) and blocked shots (2.2 bpg), as well as ranking third in rebounding (9.0 rpg). His 13 double-doubles rank as the second-most in conference play this season and he has 26 for his career. Dia also tied a conference record by hitting 10-of-10 field goal attempts in a win over Southern Miss.
Tulsa senior guard Justin Hurtt concluded the regular season as the leading scorer in Conference USA, averaging 20.3 points per game, to earn his spot on the 2011 first team. In addition to topping the C-USA scoring chart, Hurtt also ranks among the Top 20 scorers nationally. He came up big in several conference games to help the Golden Hurricane to their No. 2 seed in this week's C-USA Championship.
UAB and UTEP were also represented on the second team with Blazers' junior forward Cameron Moore and Miners' senior guard Julyan Stone, who is the C-USA career assist leader. That pair was joined by sophomores Marcus Jordan of UCF, Arsalan Kazemi of Rice and Kendall Timmons of Tulane.
East Carolina guard Jontae Sherrod is the senior member of the third unit. He is joined by SMU junior forward Robert Nyakundi, UCF sophomore forward Keith Clanton and a pair of freshmen in DeAndre Kane of Marshall and Will Barton of Memphis.
These 16 All-Conference players will all be in action at this week's Buick C-USA Men's Basketball Championship, March 9-12 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
2010-11 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Randy Culpepper, UTEP, G, 6-0, 165, Sr., Memphis, Tenn.
Papa Dia, SMU, F, 6-9, 235, Sr., St. Louis, Senegal
Gary Flowers, Southern Miss, F, 6-8, 214, Sr., Dallas, Texas
Justin Hurtt, Tulsa, G, 6-4, 201, Sr., Raytown, Mo.
Aaron Johnson, UAB, G, 5-8, 185, Sr., Chicago, Ill.
Jamarr Sanders, UAB, G, 6-4, 200, Sr., Montgomery, Ala.
2010-11 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Marcus Jordan, UCF, G, 6-3, 200, So., Chicago, Ill.
Arsalan Kazemi, Rice, F, 6-7, 205, So., Esfahan, Iran
Cameron Moore, UAB, F, 6-9, 205, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
Julyan Stone, UTEP, G, 6-7, 200, Sr., Goletta, Calif.
Kendall Timmons, Tulane, G/F, 6-8, 205, So., Fort Worth, Texas
2010-11 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Will Barton, Memphis, G, 6-6, 175, Fr., Baltimore, Md.
Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-8, 240, So., Orlando, Fla.
DeAndre Kane, Marshall, G, 6-4, 200, Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Robert Nyakundi, SMU, F, 6-8, 220, Jr., Arlington, Texas
Jontae Sherrod, East Carolina, G, 6-3, 210, Sr., Tarboro, N.C.