Six different schools are represented on the 2013 All-Conference USA men's basketball first team. Twelve of the 16 student-athletes chosen to the three all-conference teams are first-time honorees, including all six members of the first team. Voting on the awards was done by the C-USA head coaches and media members in each conference city.
Senior Dwayne Davis of Southern Miss made an impact in his first season with the Golden Eagles. Davis tossed in a career-high 35 points at Marshall on March 5, then followed that up with 34 against UCF in his home finale March 9. His previous career-best of 28 came on the road against a nationally ranked Memphis team. During non-conference play, he was named to the Progressive Legends Classic All-Tournament Team and registered a double-double in the Golden Eagles' 62-60 win at Georgia.
Tulane junior forward Josh Davis, no relation to Dwayne, has registered a conference-best 16 double-doubles during the regular season and is the only player in C-USA to average a double-double with 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game to rank third and first, respectively. He registered five 20-point games against conference foes and scored 23 points and grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds against Rice. He is a two-time C-USA Player of the Week selection.
East Carolina senior Maurice Kemp is league's second-leading scorer with an average of 18.4 points per game and ranks among the top 50 nationally. He averaged 18.8 points against C-USA opponents. Kemp also ranks among the C-USA top 10 in rebounding (7.7 rpg/7th), blocks (1.0/10th) and steals (1.7/7th). He was named C-USA Player of the Week Feb. 4 following a career-high 33-point performance at Rice. That tied a school record for most points against a C-USA opponent and was his second game with 30 points as he also tossed in 30 against Houston Jan. 16.
Memphis junior Joe Jackson makes his first appearance on an all-conference team, but has twice been named the C-USA Championship MVP. The point guard has been a key to the Tigers 27-4 record and perfect 16-0 mark in conference play. He leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), assists (153) and steals (54) and is the only guard among the league's top 10 in field goal percentage. In his regular season finale March 9 against UAB, Jackson was one rebound shy of a triple-double as he contributed 17 points, nine boards, 10 assists and six steals.
UCF junior Isaiah Sykes earned some attention with his two triple-double performances this season and is the only active player in the country with multiple career triple-doubles. His triple-double in conference play was in an 83-73 win against East Carolina, where he scored 20 points along with career-bests of 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Sykes ranks among the C-USA Top 10 in points (16.0/eighth), rebounds (7.5/ninth), assists (4.5/sixth) and steals (2.3/first). No player in conference history has ever finished among the top 10 in all four categories.
Houston forward TaShawn Thomas rounds out the team as the only sophomore on this year's squad. A two-time C-USA Player of the Week selection this season, Thomas ranks among the top five in both scoring (15.5 ppg/fifth) and rebounding (9.4 rpg/second). He also ranks among the top 20 nationally. Thomas has registered 12 double-doubles this season and 21 for his young career, in which he has started every game to date.
East Carolina, Tulane and UCF were also represented on the second team with Pirates' senior point guard Miguel Paul, Green Wave sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant and the Knights' senior forward Keith Clanton. That trio was joined by juniors DeAndre Kane of Marshall and Rod Rucker of UAB.
Three Memphis players along with sophomores Julian Washburn of UTEP and Joseph Young of Houston make up the third unit. The Tigers are represented by senior forward D.J. Stephens, junior guard Geron Johnson and sophomore guard Adonis Thomas.
These 2013 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship will be held March 13-16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Tickets are available by calling (866) 7-BOK-CTR.
2012-13 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Dwayne Davis, Southern Miss, F, 6-5, 205, Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.
Josh Davis, Tulane, F, 6-8, 215, Jr., Raleigh, N.C.
Joe Jackson, Memphis, G, 6-1, 171, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
Maurice Kemp, East Carolina, F, 6-8, 190, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Isaiah Sykes, UCF, G/F, 6-5, 215, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
TaShawn Thomas, Houston, F, 6-8, 215, So., Killeen, Texas
2012-13 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-9, 250, Sr., Orlando, Fla.
DeAndre Kane, Marshall, G, 6-4, 195, Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Miguel Paul, East Carolina, G, 6-1, 170, Sr., Winter Haven, Fla.
Rod Rucker, UAB, F, 6-5, 220, Jr., Elberton, Ga.
Ricky Tarrant, Tulane, F, 6-2, 190, So., Pleasant Grove, Ala.
2012-13 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Geron Johnson, Memphis, G, 6-3, 197, Jr., Dayton, Ohio
D.J. Stephens, Memphis, F/G, 6-5, 188, Sr., Killeen, Texas
Adonis Thomas, Memphis, F/G, 6-7, 242, So., Memphis, Tenn.
Julian Washburn, UTEP, F, 6-7, 205, So., Duncanville, Texas
Joseph Young, Houston, G, 6-3, 185, So., Houston, Texas