C-USA Men's Basketball Specialty Awards Announced
March 9, 2010
IRVING, Texas - After becoming the only freshman to earn all-conference honors this season, Marshall forward Hassan Whiteside was named the 2010 Conference USA Freshman of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year. Whiteside's teammate, Dago Pena, shared C-USA Sixth Player of the Year honors with Tulsa sophomore Steven Idlet. Memphis sophomore guard Elliot Williams was named the C-USA Newcomer of the Year. All awards were voted on by the conference's head coaches and select media.
Whiteside is joined on the all-freshman team by UCF duo Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan, Rice forward Arsalan Kazemi and Kendall Timmons of Tulane. Whiteside has produced a record-setting freshman campaign. The seven-footer leads the nation in blocks per game (5.4 per game) and not only became the first freshman in Conference history to record a triple-double, but the first player to register three in a career. The three triple-doubles is also the most in the nation this season. Whiteside finished the C-USA regular season with 168 blocks, a career school record and also broke the C-USA single-season mark.
Tulsa senior center Jerome Jordan, a three-time All-Defensive Team selection, joins Whiteside on this year's squad. First-time honors go to Southern Miss junior guard Sai'Quon Stone, UAB junior point guard Aaron Johnson and UTEP junior point guard Julyan Stone.
Williams is playing his first season with his hometown Tigers. The sophomore guard transferred from Duke University and earned a spot on the 2010 All-Conference USA first-team. He has been recognized throughout the season as a C-USA Player of the Week and a four-time Rookie of the Week. Williams has scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games this season and is averaging 18.5 ppg (second in C-USA). He has topped the 20-point mark on 16 occasions, the fourth-highest single-season total in Tiger history. Williams also ranks in C-USA's top 10 in assists per game (3.8) and three-point field goals made (56).
Sophomores Idlet and Pena share 2010 C-USA Sixth Man of the Year award. Idlet has come off the bench in all 31 Golden Hurricane games and ranks fourth on the team in scoring and third in rebounding. Pena played in 28 games for the Thundering Herd with only two starts, averaging 7.0 ppg and shooting better than 50 percent from the field (77-152, .507).
The 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship tips off tomorrow, March 10, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Saturday's title game begins at 10:35 a.m. and will be nationally televised on CBS.
2009-10 CONFERENCE USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
2009-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
2009-10 CONFERENCE USA ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
2009-10 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2009-10 NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
2009-10 CO-SIXTH MEN OF THE YEAR