MT's Jones and Tulsa's Manning Named C-USA Player and Coach of the Year
March 12, 2014
Middle Tennessee senior forward Shawn Jones has been named the Conference USA Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season, while Tulsa head coach Danny Manning has been named the Gene Bartow Coach of the Year, it was announced today prior to the second round of the 2014 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship.
Jones picked up the honor after leading the Blue Raiders to a share of the regular season C-USA title, marking their third-straight regular season conference championship and fourth in the last five years. The first team All-C-USA selection and three-time C-USA Player of the Week paced Middle Tennessee with 14.5 points per game and 15.1 points in league play.
The Hialeah, Fla., native leads the Blue Raiders on the boards, pulling down 8.5 rebounds a game and 8.1 boards per contest in C-USA games. Jones led MT in blocked shots with 61 on the year to average 2.0 swats per game and 2.5 in conference play. In C-USA only games, he ranks seventh in scoring, fifth in rebounding and second in blocked shots. Jones ranks 19th in the nation in field goal percentage and second in C-USA, shooting 58.1-percent from the floor. The 6-foot-8 senior ranks 43rd in the nation and fourth in the conference with 10 double-doubles on the year.
Jones is the fifth Middle Tennessee player to earn conference Player of the Year honors. LaRon Dendy was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2012, while three were selected as the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. George Sorrell won the OVC honor in 1975, Tim Sisneros followed with the same honor in 1976 and Jerry Beck was a two-time recipient in 1981 and 1982.
Manning earns the Gene Bartow Conference USA Coach of the Year award, coordinated by the Birmingham Tipoff Club, in just his second season at the helm of the Golden Hurricane. He led Tulsa to a 13-3 conference record, giving the Golden Hurricane a share of its first regular season conference title since sharing the Western Athletic Conference crown in 2002.
Playing a challenging non-conference slate, Tulsa rebounded from a slow start to finish 14-3 over in its final 17 games. Included is an eight-game winning streak entering the C-USA Championship, along with five straight victories on the road. The eight-game winning streak is TU's longest since the 2002-03 season. Over its last 13 games, Tulsa has held opponents to 59.2 points, a .369 field goal percentage and a .294 3-point percentage.
Manning joins an impressive list of Conference Coach of the Year winners in Tulsa history, including Bill Self (1999-00), Tubby Smith (1993-94 and 1994-95), Nolan Richardson (1980-81 and 1984-85) and Clarence Iba (1954-55), among others.
The Golden Hurricane enter the Conference USA Championship as the No. 2 seed for the first time since 2011. Tulsa will face either Tulane, North Texas or Rice in a quarterfinal round game on Thursday at Noon MDT.
The C-USA Coach of the Year award is named in honor of Gene Bartow, the legendary former coach at Memphis and UAB, along with other schools, who passed away in January 2012.
2013-14 CONFERENCE USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2013-14 CONFERENCE USA GENE BARTOW COACH OF THE YEAR