UCF's Taylor and Memphis' Calipari Take Top C-USA Individual Honors
March 11, 2009
UCF senior guard Jermaine Taylor has been named the Conference USA Player of the Year for the 2008-09 season, while Memphis head coach John Calipari has been named the league's Coach of the Year, it was announced today prior to the opening of the 2009 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship.
Taylor became the first player in UCF history to be named to the USBWA District IV team and also earned first team All-Conference USA honors. He averaged a league-record 29.1 points in C-USA play and has moved into fourth place on the conference's all-time scoring chart. He has led the Knights in scoring in 29 of the team's 30 contests in 2008-09. On nine occasions, Taylor has scored more than 30 points and he also posted one 40-point showing.
Taylor has been one of the most accurate shooters in the country this season. He is shooting 48.5 percent overall and his 3-point field goal percentage (38.4) is good for 51st in the nation. Taylor has knocked down 91 triples this season.
The senior closed the regular season in strong fashion, averaging 35.1 points in UCF's final seven contests. He leads all active UCF players on the glass, grabbing 5.3 rebounds per contest. Taylor, who is listed at 6-foot-4, is also first on the team with 24 blocks. Taylor becomes the first Conference Player of the Year from UCF since Mark Jones was named the 1998 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year.
Calipari was named the C-USA Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and the third time in four seasons. On Tuesday, he was also named the USBWA District IV Coach of the Year. Calipari is a finalist for both the Henry Iba Award and Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award.
In his ninth season at the helm of the Tigers, Calipari led Memphis to its fourth consecutive Conference USA regular season championship, going undefeated in league play for the third-straight year. The Tigers have won 58 straight games against C-USA opponents, the third-longest streak in NCAA history. The team's 104 overall wins over the past three years are tied with the 1994-96 Kentucky squads for the most ever and the 132 wins over the past four years are one shy of tying the 1998-2001 Duke teams for the most in that period.
The Tigers (28-3 overall) enter the Conference USA Championship with a nation's-best 22-game winning streak. Memphis is ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
2008-09 CONFERENCE USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2008-09 CONFERENCE USA COACH OF THE YEAR
Memphis Head Coach John Calipari- Conference USA Coach of the Year
John Calipari Quotes
What is the biggest challenge that you have faced this year with this group of players?
What happened to Butler and Cleveland State, do you put the tape of that on in your locker room?