Memphis' Carney and Calipari Earn C-USA's Top Honors
March 8, 2006
Memphis senior forward Rodney Carney has been named the Conference USA Player of the Year for the 2005-06 season, while Tiger head coach John Calipari has been named the Coach of the Year recipient for the first time in his C-USA career, as announced today in Memphis, site of the 2006 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship presented by Aeropostale.
Carney, who was picked to win the award prior to this year's campaign, was second in the league in scoring at 17.9 ppg and led all C-USA players with a school-record 88 made three pointers in the regular season. Carney will end his career as the all-time leader in three pointers made at Memphis as he enters this week's C-USA Championship with 273 treys. That is also currently the fourth-highest total in C-USA history.
In addition to being named First Team All-Conference USA this season, Carney has been named one of 10 finalists the Oscar Robertson Award and was named to the Wooden and Naismith Awards Midseason Top 30 Lists. Earlier this week, he was named a second team All-American by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and ESPN.com. Carney was named C-USA Player of the Week on three different occasions this season and earned All-Tournament honors at the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Calipari wins the award for the first time after leading Memphis (13-1 in Conference USA play) to its first outright regular season title since winning the Great Midwest Conference championship during the 1994-95 season. Memphis is among four schools in the nation that have a nation-leading 27 wins going into today's action (Connecticut, Duke and Gonzaga).
In his sixth season at the helm of the Tiger program, Calipari has produced a record of 142-58 (.710), which includes 49 wins over the last two seasons. With a mark of 27-3 overall this year and No. 3 ranking, Calipari is one of just five coaches nationally to lead a pair of teams to a Top 5 ranking (UMass -1996). The Tigers are the No.1 seed this week at the 2006 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship presented by Aeropostale and will face either No. 8 Tulane or No. 9 Marshall in their first game on Thursday at 6 p.m. CST.
This marks only the third time in C-USA history that the Coach of the Year and the Player of the Year came from the same team. In 2003, Marquette's Tom Crean and Dwyane Wade earned both honors and in 2000, Cincinnati's Bob Huggins and Kenyon Martin both gained C-USA's top individual accolades.
2005-06 CONFERENCE USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2005-06 CONFERENCE USA COACH OF THE YEAR