UTEP's Culpepper Named C-USA Men's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Oct. 13, 2010
IRVING, Texas – UTEP senior guard Randy Culpepper was selected as the 2010-11 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Culpepper is one of four seniors comprising the preseason all-conference team. He is joined by classmates Gary Flowers of Southern Miss, Justin Hurtt of Tulsa and Brock Young of East Carolina. The lone junior on the first team is Memphis swingman Wesley Witherspoon.
Culpepper is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year. He ranks fourth in UTEP history and 15th in C-USA annals with 1,664 points. He is UTEP's all-time leader with 252 three-point field goals, hitting a school-record nine three-pointers in two different games last season, and rates second in school history with 180 steals. The Memphis native has led UTEP in scoring 31 times over the last three seasons. He has scored 20+ points 28 times in his career and ranks sixth in school history with five 30-point games. Last season, Culpepper was named All-America honorable mention by the Associated Press after averaging a team-leading 17.9 points and 1.8 steals.
Flowers earned a spot on the 2010 All-Conference USA second team in his first season with the Golden Eagles. The 6-8 forward was the team’s leading scorer (15.0 ppg), rebounder (8.3 rpg) and shot blocker (1.8 bpg). He also earned a nod on the 2010 C-USA All-Tournament Team, leading Southern Miss to the semifinals with a double-double average of 18.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in the three championship games.
Hurtt was one of three Tulsa players to score more than 500 points last season and will be the team’s top returning scorer. He averaged 14.5 points per game, including a career-high 34 points against East Carolina. Hurtt also earned C-USA Player of the Week honors following a 21-point performance in TU’s 86-65 win over Oklahoma State.
Young was an all-conference third-team selection a year ago after leading the league in assists for the second season in a row. He averaged 5.5 per game in 2009-10. He currently ranks seventh in career assist average (5.26) and needs just 154 more to set the conference career assists record.
Rounding out the preseason team is Witherspoon, who was one of the Tigers’ key performers as a sophomore last season. The 2009 Sixth Player of the Year played all 34 games for Memphis in 2009-10. He will be the Tigers’ top returning scorer, averaging 12.5 points per game last season, and free-throw shooter as he was 120-of-157 (.764) at the charity stripe.
The preseason all-conference second team features 2009-10 all-conference selections Papa Dia of SMU, Aaron Johnson of UAB and Jeremy Williams of UTEP, 2010 All-Freshman Team member Arsalan Kazemi of Rice and a Memphis newcomer in freshman Will Barton.
El Paso will serve as host city for the 2011 Conference USA Basketball Championship, March 9-12 at the Don Haskins Center. The championship game is slated for Saturday, March 12 at 11:35 a.m. EST/9:35 a.m. MST on CBS.
2010-11 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2010-11 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM
2010-11 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM
Today in Conference USA : http://cstvpodcast.cstv.com.edgesuite.net/cusa/101310_cusa_today.mp3