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MINER ILLUSTRATED VOL 1 ISSUE 9

MARCH 7, 2011

2011 CONFERENCE USA MEN’S&WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT PREVIEW


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MINER ILLUSTRATED VOL I ISSUE 9

FromTheEDITOR

March is simply the best time of the year. I should clarify; March Madness is the best time of the year. Only in March will you see and experience the greatest range of emotion. Fans and teams alike share in a unique bond where every detail affects so much towards the outcome of a game. Every pass, every shot made or missed, and for some teams, how loud their fans get when cheering them on. It’s the time of year where everyone knows what’s on the line and that there will be no tomorrow. One team will emerge victorious; earning another chance to run through the gauntlet of challenges the next opponent presents with the shortest amount of time to prepare, all in hopes of earning a championship. The other team will leave the arena with heads hung low, wondering what could have been done different; what made the difference in the game as they make the trek back to their campus with an entire off-season to contemplate their mistakes. March is about the raw emotion that you see from a team; the fight they have to demonstrate to be the team that gets one more game. For everyone in El Paso, it’s your turn to have the opportunity to be part of this great time of year as the 2011 Conference USA Men’s and Women’s Championships are held at UTEP. Miner Illustrated wanted to do its part, and the result is this 66-page special edition issue of Miner Illustrated Magazine breaking down each men’s and women’s team in the tournament. You’ll find information about the team’s season, a player focus and key stats about the team alongside our predictions as to who will win it all and get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. You’ll find copies of the tournament brackets as well as information on what to do while here in El Paso, thanks to our business partners over at I’m Doing El Paso. It hasn’t been easy; in fact it’s been a hectic couple of weeks as we have put this together. Several weeks of work, hours spent on the phone getting stats, photos, and information for stories; quite simply it’s been a labor of love. So without further ado, to all of our guests, welcome to El Paso and let the games begin!

MARCH 7, 2011

a publication of Shamrock Media LLC CHRIS AVILA PRESIDENT REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JEFF TAYLOR CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER GUS CONTRERAS ANGEL LUNA ALEX MORALES JOSH PUGA “UTEP66” STAFF WRITERS DANNY LEVARIO DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS ADAM DIAZ SALES DIRECTOR SUZETTE THOMPSON MAGAZINE DESIGN Letters to the editor, general feedback and advertising inquiries: show@minerillustrated.com Cover photo: The Don Haskins Center was filled to capacity earlier this season for the UTEP

Chris Avila

season opener against Pacific. Ivan Pierre Aguire/UTEP Athletics


THE GUIDE Final Conf erence USA rank

Final season and C-USA record 1 0

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1 UAB BRIAN TRIPPE UAB KALEIDOSCOPE

Team season recap article

Featured player article

For UAB to have success in the Conference USA Tournament, senior guards Aaron Johnson and Jamarr Sanders will have to carry the team. Johnson is the Blazers’ pre-season all-conference point guard, who leads C-USA in assists and minutes played, while Sanders leads the team in scoring and is deadly from behind the three-point line. Johnson’s value is unmatched by any player in the conference. Without him on the court, UAB plays stagnant on offense and lacks passion on defense. Johnson’s problem—if you can call it that—is that he goes all-out all the time. Offensively, he can get into the lane and dish as well as anyone. Defensively, he averages about two charges per game, but sometimes his over eagerness puts his team in a difficult spot. “It’s all about him trying to make a play,” head coach Mike Davis said. “He loves to make big plays by taking charges, but he’s got to be a lot smarter than what

22-7 12-4 C-USA

he is sometimes.” In a pivotal game against Memphis, Johnson picked up his fourth foul trying to take a charge with eight minutes left in a tied game. Davis was forced to take his floor general out of the game, and the Tigers promptly pulled away. “It’s hard for us to run a lot of offense with A.J. not in the game,” Davis said. As for Sanders, his value comes through his unselfishness and his ability to knock down open shots. For a stretch of games leading up to the tournament, UAB played without center Cameron Moore, who suffered a broken left hand. Opposing teams spent those games doubling Sanders every time he touched the ball because they knew he was UAB’s most dynamic scorer. “We’ve got to play off of Jamarr,” Davis said. “You can’t control teams from doubling him every time he comes off a screen.” But on Feb. 12 in a game against Rice, Sanders scored 37 points, on 8-of-14 from the three-point line. Sanders’ impact as a scorer is obvious, but it is his ability to

pass up contested shots to find the open man that sets him apart from his peers. “Jamarr, he gets a lot of guys shots,” junior forward Ovie Soko said. “The amount of people he gets open and the amount of points that are generated just off teams focusing on him; he probably accounts for half of our points. When you got two players guarding him, there’s always somebody open.” Though Davis has said that he needs Sanders to score about 18-20 points a game in order for UAB to win, Coach Davis understands his senior guard will have games where he won’t get the points. Still, Sanders ability to share the ball effectively will make him just as potent of a threat to opposing teams. Sanders, along with Johnson, are the only seniors UAB has. They will be relied on to carry the Blazers through March. Historically, senior guards are the difference between winning and losing come March. Johnson and Sanders will go a long way in determining how far the Blazers can go come the Conference USA Tournament.

jammarSANDERS For senior guard Jamarr Sanders, this year’s success comes as no surprise. While in junior college, Sanders was ranked 37th in scoring in the nation. After transferring from Northwest Florida State College last year, Sanders became UAB’s top returning scorer (10.4 ppg) and rebounder (4.9 rpg). He also led the team in three-pointers made (70) and attempted (187). This year, the 6-foot 5-inch native from Montgomery, Alabama, has amassed 516 points, averaging nearly 18 points per game. His free throw percentage sits at an impressive .802% while he has garnered 26 steals this season, proving that he is not only good on the offensive side of the ball but on

the defensive side as well. Sanders also holds the team’s second highest assists per game (2), showing what a team player he can be. This quality is the reason Sanders is leading the team. Sanders has started every game in the past two seasons and has thus become an integral, even necessary, part of the UAB team. With UAB currently sitting atop the C-USA standings, Sanders will have to bring his all in the final games of the season if he expects to lead his team to the Conference Championship.

Photo: Mar vin Gentr y/US Presswire


Significant team plyaer

Significant stats about the team

break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Aaron Johnson SR PPG 11.6, RBG 2.8, APG 7.5

G

Cameron Moore JR PPG 15.6, RBG 9.8,

F

Jamarr Sanders SR PPG 17.9, RBG 4.5, APG 2

G

Ovie Soko SO PPG 9.2, RBG 6

F

Robert Williams FR PPG 2, RBG 2.6

G

KEY RESERVES Dexter Fields PPG 7, RBG 2

S

SO

G

Preston Purifoy FR PPG 3.5, RBG 1.4

G

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Anthony Criswell

60%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Preston Purifoy 45.2% REBOUNDS PER GAME Cameron Moore 9.8 ASSISTS PER GAME Aaron Johnson 7.5

Senior guard Aaron Johnson Douglas Jones/US Presswire

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Preston Purifoy

87%


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Men’sPREDICTIONS: WhoWinstheTourney andisNamedMVP? The Staff at Miner Illustrated took a little time to sit back and evaluate the men’s tournaments and objectivly we selected who we thought would win the Conference USA tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA trounament. We begin with the men’s predictions and discuss who we thinkwill winn it all and what player will be the most valuable based on that prediction. WHO WILL WIN THE C-USA TOURNAMENT? ALEX MORALES: I still believe UTEP has the best shot at winning the C-USA Tournament. They are currently 16-2 on the year at home and the atmosphere at the Don is going to favor the home team. Plus, they had their choice of playing time; they chose the 7:05 pm time slot. Against the top teams UTEP has done well. They destroyed Memphis at home. Against Southern Miss, they were up 13 before going cold. They split against Tulsa and could have won the series if it hadn’t been for UTEP’s triple overtime loss. With all that said, I think UTEP is going to be too tough at home not to win.

their coaches. UTEP has four great players in Randy Culpepper, Julyan Stone, Jeremy Williams, and Christian Polk. Randy Culpepper averages 19 points a game, and leads the conference in steals with 60 steals this season. The Miners will also be relying on Julyan Stone’s abilities at the guard position that averages eight points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game. Stone is also UTEP’s and C-USA all-time leader in assists. JOSH PUGA: After the home loss to UCF, the Miners seem to be clicking at the right time on their home court by demolishing Memphis and defeating a tough Marshall team in the friendly confines of the Don Haskins Center. Led by the senior backcourt of Randy Culpepper, Julyan Stone and Christian Polk (who seems to be out of his slump), UTEP will find a way to capture the Conference USA tournament title.

ANGEL LUNA: UTEP is going to win the C-USA tournament. The Miners are playing good defense, so they don’t have any reason to worry against any C-USA team in the conference tournament, especially playing at the Don Haskins Center. Randy Culpepper is playing his best game at the right time averaging 25.0 in the final four games, while Julian Stone’s defense and leadership will take UTEP to the top.

UTEP66: There are eight teams, who if they get hot, could win the balanced C-USA tournament. Assuming John Bohannon and Michael Perez are available for the tournament, I’m taking the Miners by a narrow margin over talented UAB and the young athletically gifted Memphis team. Of the tournament teams, the Miner’s resume has the best combination of defense, experience and coaching. Rebounding will be key, as will the shooting of Randy Culpepper, Christian Polk, Jeremy Williams, Julyan Stone and, this may surprise many, Claude Britten. At a packed Don, the Miners will put it all together for a big tournament.

GUS CONTRERAS: UTEP will win the Conference USA tournament because they are the most experienced team in the nation. The Miners will be at home and will be motivated by the fans and

WHO WILL BE NAMED THE MVP? ALEX MORALES: I have to go with Randy Culpepper to win conference tournament MVP. He is dynamic on both sides of the ball. He plays with too high of an intensity

that he cannot be stopped, plain and simple. Also, Culpepper shines the brightest on the biggest stage. When he is hot, there


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is no stopping Culpepper. Being that this is Culpepper’s senior year and he will be playing front of his home fans, he is sure to come out and play with the most motivation ANGEL LUNA: UTEP point guard Julian Stone will be named MVP. If you are looking for an impact player, Stone is the most impressive point guard in Division I basketball. He averages 8.9 ppg., 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assts.

GUS CONTRERAS: Randy Culpepper is a fourth year senior, and one of the most electrifying players in the country. Culpepper will no doubt look to end his college career with a great performance at the conference tournament, and get his team into the NCAA tournament. The Miners will need Culpepper to use his offensive and defensive abilities to bring home the conference tournament championship.

JOSH PUGA: UTEP’s Randy Culpepper has had some of his best performances in the Don Haskins Center, and he is looking to keep it going by taking the Miners back the NCAA tournament after leading the team to the C-USA tournament title. UTEP66: Randy Culpepper. Period.

The staff at Miner Illustrated feel UTEP’s home court advantage will help propel the team to victory during the Conf erence USA tour nament. Ivan Pier re Aguir re/UTEP Athletics


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UAB 1 BRIAN TRIPPE UAB KALEIDOSCOPE For UAB to have success in the Conference USA Tournament, senior guards Aaron Johnson and Jamarr Sanders will have to carry the team. Johnson is the Blazers’ pre-season all-conference point guard, who leads C-USA in assists and minutes played, while Sanders leads the team in scoring and is deadly from behind the three-point line. Johnson’s value is unmatched by any player in the conference. Without him on the court, UAB plays stagnant on offense and lacks passion on defense. Johnson’s problem—if you can call it that—is that he goes all-out all the time. Offensively, he can get into the lane and dish as well as anyone. Defensively, he averages about two charges per game, but sometimes his over eagerness puts his team in a difficult spot. “It’s all about him trying to make a play,” head coach Mike Davis said. “He loves to make big plays by taking charges, but he’s got to be a lot smarter than what

22-7 12-4 C-USA

he is sometimes.” In a pivotal game against Memphis, Johnson picked up his fourth foul trying to take a charge with eight minutes left in a tied game. Davis was forced to take his floor general out of the game, and the Tigers promptly pulled away. “It’s hard for us to run a lot of offense with A.J. not in the game,” Davis said. As for Sanders, his value comes through his unselfishness and his ability to knock down open shots. For a stretch of games leading up to the tournament, UAB played without center Cameron Moore, who suffered a broken left hand. Opposing teams spent those games doubling Sanders every time he touched the ball because they knew he was UAB’s most dynamic scorer. “We’ve got to play off of Jamarr,” Davis said. “You can’t control teams from doubling him every time he comes off a screen.” But on Feb. 12 in a game against Rice, Sanders scored 37 points, on 8-of-14 from the three-point line. Sanders’ impact as a scorer is obvious, but it is his ability to

pass up contested shots to find the open man that sets him apart from his peers. “Jamarr, he gets a lot of guys shots,” junior forward Ovie Soko said. “The amount of people he gets open and the amount of points that are generated just off teams focusing on him; he probably accounts for half of our points. When you got two players guarding him, there’s always somebody open.” Though Davis has said that he needs Sanders to score about 18-20 points a game in order for UAB to win, Coach Davis understands his senior guard will have games where he won’t get the points. Still, Sanders ability to share the ball effectively will make him just as potent of a threat to opposing teams. Sanders, along with Johnson, are the only seniors UAB has. They will be relied on to carry the Blazers through March. Historically, senior guards are the difference between winning and losing come March. Johnson and Sanders will go a long way in determining how far the Blazers can go come the Conference USA Tournament.

jammarSANDERS For senior guard Jamarr Sanders, this year’s success comes as no surprise. While in junior college, Sanders was ranked 37th in scoring in the nation. After transferring from Northwest Florida State College last year, Sanders became UAB’s top returning scorer (10.4 ppg) and rebounder (4.9 rpg). He also led the team in three-pointers made (70) and attempted (187). This year, the 6-foot 5-inch native from Montgomery, Alabama, has amassed 516 points, averaging nearly 18 points per game. His free throw percentage sits at an impressive .802% while he has garnered 26 steals this season, proving that he is not only good on the offensive side of the ball but on

the defensive side as well. Sanders also holds the team’s second highest assists per game (2), showing what a team player he can be. This quality is the reason Sanders is leading the team. Sanders has started every game in the past two seasons and has thus become an integral, even necessary, part of the UAB team. With UAB currently sitting atop the C-USA standings, Sanders will have to bring his all in the final games of the season if he expects to lead his team to the Conference Championship.

Photo: Mar vin Gentr y/US Presswire


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Aaron Johnson SR PPG 11.6, RBG 2.8, APG 7.5

G

Cameron Moore JR PPG 15.6, RBG 9.8,

F

Jamarr Sanders SR PPG 17.9, RBG 4.5, APG 2

G

Ovie Soko SO PPG 9.2, RBG 6

F

Robert Williams FR PPG 2, RBG 2.6

G

KEY RESERVES

S

Dexter Fields SO PPG 7, RBG 2

G

Preston Purifoy FR PPG 3.5, RBG 1.4

G

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Anthony Criswell

60%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Preston Purifoy 45.2% REBOUNDS PER GAME Cameron Moore 9.8 ASSISTS PER GAME Aaron Johnson 7.5

Senior guard Aaron Johnson Douglas Jones/US Presswire

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Preston Purifoy

87%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Scottie Haralson SO G PPG 11.4, RBG 3.5 Justin Hurtt SR PPG 19.9, RBG 3.9, APG 2.4

G

Steven Idlet JR PPG 12.1, RBG 6.5

C

D.J. Magley JR PPG 3.9, RBG 4.1

F

Bryson Pope SO G/F PPG 6.3, RBG 2.9, APG 2.4

KEY RESERVES Jordan Clarkson FR G PPG 10.8, RBG 1.8 Joe Richard JR PPG 3.1, RBG 5.7

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE D.J. Magley

61.3%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Scottie Haralson 39.2% REBOUNDS PER GAME Steven Idlet 6.5 ASSISTS PER GAME Justin Hurtt 2.4 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Scottie Haralson & Justin Hurtt 82.9%

Junior center Steven Idlet Tulsa Athletics


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TULSA 2 REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED The Tulsa men’s basketball team has not exactly been blowing away the competition this year, but they have been doing enough to keep themselves tied for second place in the Conference USA standings. At 11-5 in C-USA play, Tulsa sits in the same position they were in this time last year. Going into the conference tournament near the top of the rankings, the Golden Hurricane stand a good chance of only improving upon their record, but it all depends on whether they show up to play or not. After losing their season opener to Appalachian State by a mere three points, the Golden Hurricane managed to find their rhythm and nabbed victories against Oral Roberts and Missouri State. Unfortunately, their win streak was short lived when they dropped their home season opener to UNLV, 71-80. Once again, Tulsa managed to get back on track to beat Stanford and Cal State Northridge, only to follow up with three straight

Senior Justin Hurtt has been leading the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for three years now. Having played in all 36 games his sophomore year, Hurtt managed to earn 19 double-figure scoring games and shot 80 % from the free throw line. Hurtt when on to start all games, except one, his junior year. He picked up another 25 double-digit scoring games, shot 57% from the field, 54% from the three-point range and 86% from the free throw line. This season has not been any different for the 6’ 4” guard from Raytown, Missouri, who has once again started every game and currently has a career 46 double-figure scoring games. Hurtt’s average of 20.3 points per game cannot be ignored when you consider

18-12 11-5 C-USA

losses. It seems this up-and-down trend would continue for the Golden Hurricane. They managed to gain a record of 4-4 in their first eight conference games, alternating wins and losses throughout the month of January. In games versus UTEP, Houston and Southern Miss, Tulsa shot nearly the same percentage as their opponent, but was outshot in three-pointers and outrebounded, thus leading to losses in all three games. On the contrary, in games against Rice, UAB, and Tulane, Tulsa outshot and outrebounded their opponents to earn victories. Currently, in conference play, Tulsa is ahead of its opponents in threepointers made (35 percent), offensive and defensive rebounds nabbed (37.1 per game) and overall shooting percentage (44 percent). The aforementioned statistics can be credited to Tulsa’s top players: Justin Hurtt, Steven Idlet, Scottie Haralson and Bryson Pope. Hurtt has been leading the Golden Hurricane since last year, having started all the games this season. The senior

guard leads the team in free throws made (82 percent) and overall points (608). Assisting Hurtt in leading Tulsa is junior Steven Idlet, who leads the team in shots made (52 percent) and defensive rebounds (132). Sophomores Haralson and Pope have added to the team’s depth this year. Haralson holds the team record for three-pointers made (38 percent), while Pope has had nearly as many assists as Hurtt and is third in steals. But for all the talent Tulsa has, their season has come down to executing the basics. In games where the Golden Hurricane played good defensive basketball, they walked away with victories; a factor that head coach Doug Wojcik has picked up on. Still, considering that the win one, lose one trend continues, it’s hard to say what the Hurricane is capable of come the conference tourney. If the right team comes to play, Tulsa could finally blow the competition away this upcoming week. El Paso may need to go on hurricane watch.

justinHURTT

that 18 of Tulsa’s games this season have been decided by 10 or less points. Hurtt, afterall, has been the team’s top scorer in 22 of its 30 games this season. To put it simply, if Hurtt is not scoring, Tulsa is not winning. Several times this year, the game winning basket has been placed in Hurtt’s hands. With as much as Hurtt contributes to the team, it’s hard to image what Tulsa is going to do next year. Who is going to step up and fill Hurtt’s big shoes and mightily talented hands? It’s evident that Tulsa will be the one hurting when Hurtt moves on to the greater things that are no doubt in store for him.

Photo: Tulsa Athletics


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UTEP 2 REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED In Tim Floyd’s first season as the head coach at UTEP, the Miners have had somewhat of a transition year. The transition hasn’t come in the form of player personnel. Rather, the change comes in the style of basketball UTEP now plays in comparison to the dribble-drive attacking offense that was played under former head coach Tony Barbee. Under Floyd, the intricate details of defense are being emphasized; the positioning of feet and hands, the concept of help defense, and the importance of effective communication. Gone are the days where fans would watch acrobatic dunks and fancy passing. Instead, this year the fans have been treated to virtually a whole new team. This new style of play has worked for UTEP as is evident from their 23-8 (11-5 C-USA) record, which has the Miners tied for 2nd place in the Conference USA standings. Their high ranking has earned

23-8 11-5 C-USA

UTEP a first round bye in the Conference Tournament this week, which will provide the Miners an extra day of preparation; not that they need it. As last year’s Conference USA champions, UTEP has been preparing to defend their title all season long. They started the pre-conference season playing Pacific in front of a sell-out crowd in the Don Haskins Center. Unfortunately, the Miners lost by five points. Over the next 13 games, the Miners amassed an impressive 9-4 record, giving them an overall 12-3 record at the start of conference play. Once in conference play, the real test of UTEP’s talent began. Senior guard Randy Culpepper has led the team all season and is currently averaging nearly 20 points per game. Fellow senior Julyan Stone’s immense size has been beneficial on the defensive side of the game; he leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 per game. Teammate Christian Polk, who averages 11.3 points per game, has had an up-and-down year. Senior guard

Claude Britten had to step up during Polk’s slump. He did so effectively and currently contributes nearly 8 points per contest. With an 11-5 C-USA record, UTEP has not always played to its potential this year. Early in the conference season, the Miners lost to UAB, 97-100, in triple overtime. A few weeks later, the Miners suffered a gut- wrenching last second loss to Tulsa, 68-69. Both teams are currently sitting above UTEP in the conference rankings and are looking to keep UTEP from backto-back conference championships. In all five of their losses, the Miners tried to come from behind to win the game; a trend that prevailed for most of the season. With the conference tournament only days away, the Miners have an advantage over all its adversaries—they are playing on their home court, where the Miners are 17-2 for the season. This is what the team has been preparing for all season, to defend their home court and walk away with another championship.

randyCULPEPPER

To say, senior Randy Culpepper has been there for the UTEP Miners this season would be an understatement. Culpepper has carried this team all the way to its current 2nd place ranking in C-USA. As a junior, Culpepper was named the Conference USA Player of the Year, and he looks to be on his way yet again this year. Currently, Culpepper averages nearly 20 points per game. His impressive shooting has placed Culpepper 4th in school history in scoring with 1, 664 points. To add to this, Culpepper is UTEP’s all-time leader with 252 three-point field goals and 719 three-point attempts, showing that he is a threat from anywhere on the court. But Culpepper is not only a top offensive player; he does more than

his part on the defensive side of the ball. Culpepper holds the team high in steals with 65 for the year. And though the 6’ guard is the smallest player on the team, he has still managed to contribute three boards per game, proving that size does not always matter. As the team’s most experienced and talented player, Culpepper will have to keep carrying the team during the conference tournament. If he plays to his potential, as he has all year, Culpepper could find himself and the team at an NCAA tournament later this month.

Photo: Jeff Taylor/Miner Illustrated


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Claude Britten SR PPG 7.4, RBG 2.3

C

Randy Culpepper SR G PPG 19.6, RBG 3.1, APG 2.9 Christian Polk SR G PPG 11, RBG 2.9, APG 3.1 Julyan Stone SR PPG 8.9, RBG 7.3, APG 5.3

G

Jeremy Williams SR F PPG 10.6, RBG 5.3

KEY RESERVES John Bohannon FR PPG 5.7, RBG 5

C

Gabe McCulley JR G/F PPG 5.7, RBG 3.7

R

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Claude Britten 55.8% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Michael Perez 47.1% REBOUNDS PER GAME Julyan Stone 7.3 ASSISTS PER GAME Julyan Stone 5.3

Senior guard Julyan Stone Jeff Taylor/Miner Illustrated

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Christian Polk

93.5%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Will Barton FR PPG 12.6, RBG 4.8, APG 2.8

G

Tarik Black FR F PPG 9, RBG 5 Charles Carmouche JR G PPG 7.6, RBG 3.3 Will Coleman SR PPG 7, RBG 4.4 Joe Jackson FR PPG 9.3, RBG 2.3, APG 3.3

F

G

KEY RESERVES Chris Crawford FR G PPG 6.7, RBG 2.9, APG 3 Wesley Witherspoon JR F/G PPG 10.6, RBG 4.7

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Will Coleman & D.J. Stephens 62.1% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Antonio Barton 44.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Tarik Black 5 ASSISTS PER GAME Joe Jackson 3.3 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Wesley Witherspoon 78.4%

Senior forward Will Coleman Memphis Athletics


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MEMPHIS 4 22-9 10-6 C-USA

ALEX MORALES MINER ILLUSTRATED The University of Memphis is looking to regain its form by returning to the NCAA tournament after missing it last year for the first time since the 2003 season. The Tigers are currently in the thick of the chase to win the regular season conference championship, after having their string of championships snapped last year by UTEP. Memphis was tied with Southern Miss going into the final game of the season. Memphis defeated Tulane on Mar. 5th ending the regular conference season with a 10-6 record. Before last year, the Tigers won the conference tournament four years in a row. This year’s squad aims to win the tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Memphis (22-9, 10-6 C-USA) is under the direction of second year coach of Josh

Pastner, who is looking to make his first trip to the “Big Dance.” Pastner’s squad has five players, who have experienced playing in the NCAA Tournament. Senior Will Coleman has the most experience of all the members on the team and is gunning for his third trip to the tournament. Sans Coleman, Memphis is a very young, talented, but inexperienced team. They currently have eight freshmen on the squad. The Tigers are led by freshman Will Barton, who leads the team with 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Memphis started the season at 11-3, touting one of the toughest non-conference schedules of C-USA. They played Kansas, Georgetown and Tennessee. Despite losing to all three early in the season, the team used those games as measuring sticks to see how they would fare in conference play. The Tigers started off conference play

against ECU with a win but suffered their first loss to SMU for the second straight year. Memphis rebounded with four straight wins against the likes of UAB, Southern Miss, Marshall and UCF. They also took a break from conference play and defeated a strong Gonzaga team. Memphis suffered a bit of a setback losing to Rice for the first time by 15 points. They were able to get back into the win column against Houston. Unfortunately, their momentum was squashed by a devastating loss against UTEP. Since then, Memphis has slipped in the C-USA rankings, but stands a good chance of moving back up into 2nd place. If the Tigers play to their potential, they’re going to be a force to reckon with during the C-USA Tournament. With the talent the team possesses, the Tigers have a legitimate shot to win the tournament in El Paso.

willBARTON Memphis had yet another great recruiting class, but no one has had as big of an impact to the team as freshman guard Will Barton. Barton came into the season not only highly recruited, but he also made headlines by saying that he was going to help Memphis go undefeated and win a National Championship. Sadly, one of those won’t come to fruition. Barton leads the Tigers in scoring at 12.5 points a game. He has nabbed 389 points this season, an impressive number for a first year player. Barton is also pulling down four boards a game and has caused havoc on defense with about two steals a game. Barton has already had 20 games

where he has scored in the doublefigures; in four of those games, he scored at least 20 points. In games when Barton has scored 20 or more points, the Tigers are 3-1. Even when he isn’t scoring, Barton is still a threat to the opposing team. Barton has had at least one assist in nearly every game this season. The Tigers are a tough team to play against when Barton is on his game. Be sure that Memphis will ride Barton’s coat tails all the way through the tournament.

Photo: Memphis Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

SOUTHERN 5 MISS 21-9 9-7 C-USA

TRAVIS THORNELL THE STUDENT PRINTZ

The Southern Miss men’s basketball team will look to try to make the Sun City their own personal desert paradise. In the seventh season of the Larry Eustachy era, the Golden Eagles have appeared to turn the corner. After the 2009-2010 season that showed an improving program, Southern Miss fans expected the 2010-2011 version to build on the previous squad’s success. Coach Eustachy and his players have done just that as they head into the conference tournament tied for third place. Led by a core group of seniors, the Golden Eagles have shown flashes of brilliance. Two-time Conference USA Player of the Week, senior forward Gary Flower and sharp shooting senior guard R.L. Horton highlight the veterans in the starting lineup. Seniors Sai’Quon Stone,

a Conference USA All-Defensive Team selection, along with Josimar Ayarza and Torye Pelham give USM an experienced bench. True freshman guard D.J. Newbill, Southern Cal transfer Angelo Johnson and junior forward Maurice Bolden round out the starting lineup. The Golden Eagles have posted spectacular wins by defeating South Florida and California on the road; two teams from elite conferences, which energized a sometimes reluctant fan base. The conference victory against then 22nd ranked Central Florida was Southern Miss’ first home win over a ranked opponent since 1986. In the stretch headed into the tournament, the Golden Eagles took down two of the top teams in C-USA, defeating UAB, 75-71, on Feb. 2 and UTEP, 64-51, on Feb. 16. But that hasn’t meant the Golden Eagles haven’t struggled this season. Southern Miss went through three

difficult loses, in mid-January, to Marshall 95-65, a crippling 76-75 defeat to Memphis on a last second shot and a humbling 79-65 loss to SMU. After a fourgame winning streak, the Golden Eagles were upended once again by Memphis, but turned around and beat UTEP by 13 points. The Golden Eagles seemed to have righted the ship as they head into the conference tournament and will look to be one of many C-USA teams trying to impress the NCAA selection committee. But regardless of the outcome on Selection Sunday, coach Eustachy feels the year has been a success for his team. “We’ve got great players and we have worked hard as a staff to get great players. It’s as simple as that. We’ve gotten great fan support. This is the best fan support we have gotten here.”

garyFLOWERS This year at Southern Miss has been all about Flowers, Gary Flowers. The native from Dallas, Texas, has led the Golden Eagles to a 9-7 conference record, putting them in a tie for fourth. Flowers impressive year comes as no surprise when you look at the successful collegiate basketball career he has had. Prior to playing for Southern Miss, Flowers played for Chipola under current Golden Eagle assistant Greg Heiar. Once at Southern Miss, Flowers started every game of his junior year (2009-10). His ability to execute both offensively and defensively made Flowers a force to deal with. Last year, he was ranked 10th in C-USA with 15 ppg; he also ranked 6th in rebounds (8.3 rpg), 4th in blocks (1.8 bpg) and 10th

in field goal percentage (.465 ). With Flowers playing so well, there was no doubt who would be leading the Golden Eagles in the 2010-2011 season. Going into the conference tournament, Flowers currently leads the Golden Eagles in points (552), blocks (44), rebounds (225 total), and is second in free throw percentage (.7236 and field goal percentage (.476). He is averaging 19 points per game as well as 7.8 rebounds per game. With such numbers, Flowers has the potential to carry his team all the way.

Photo: Southern Miss Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Josimar Ayarza SR PPG 7.7, RBG 3.9,

F

Gary Flowers SR PPG 19.8, RBG 7.8

F

R.L. Horton SR PPG 11.9, RBG 2.9, APG 2.1

G

Angelo Johnson JR PPG 8.1, RBG 3.6, APG 4.4

G

D.J. Newbill FR PPG 9.4, RBG 6.6

G

KEY RESERVES

S

Maurice Bolden JR PPG 7, RBG 4.3

G

LaShay Page PPG 6, RBG 2

G

SO

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Torye Pelham 60.9 % 3-POINT PERCENTAGE D.J. Newbill 42.9 % REBOUNDS PER GAME Gary Flowers 7.8 ASSISTS PER GAME Angelo Johnson 4.4 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Sai’Quon Stone 83.6 %

Senior guard R.L. Horton Douglas Jones/US Presswire


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Tirrell Baines SR PPG 12.5, RBG 6.7

F

DeAndre Kane FR PPG 15.1, RBG 5.3, APG 3.4

G

Shaquille Johnson JR G PPG 9.4, RBG 2.9, APG 2.2 Damier Pitts JR PPG 15.3, APG 4

G

Nigel Spikes SO PPG 5.5, RBG 6

C

KEY RESERVES Dago Pena JR G/F PPG 8, RBG 3, APG 1.1 Johnny Thomas JR PPG 8.7, RBG 4.5

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Aundra Williams 57.1% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Dago Pena 43.6 % REBOUNDS PER GAME Tirrell Baines 6.7 ASSISTS PER GAME Damier Pitts

4

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Johnny Higgins 79.5%

Redshirt freshman guard DeAndre Kane Marshall Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

MARSHALL 5 21-10 9-7 C-USA

AARON PAYNE THE PARTHEON Watching this year’s Thundering Herd men’s basketball team can be described as riding a roller coaster. The example would be Marshall’s 75-71 defeat of then ranked in-state rival West Virginia on Jan 19th. One game later, the Thundering Herd lost to East Carolina, 82-81, in the final seconds of regulation. The Herd has had occurrences like this all season, and because of this inconsistency, it has been hard to figure out what kind of team first-year head coach Tom Herrion inherited. However, now at the end of the season, Marshall has seemingly worked out the proverbial kinks that hurt them early on, such as free-throw shooting and rebounding, thanks to the aforementioned Herrion. The poster-child for the turnaround in free-throw shooting is redshirt

sophomore center Nigel Spikes. In the first 24 games of the season, Spikes was 35 of 78 from the charity stripe. Spikes decided that enough was enough and began to work with junior guard Dago Pena on his shooting. In the next four games, Spikes went 11 of 14 from the free-throw line including a six-for-eight performance in a home overtime victory against Tulane. Marshall has also begun to dominate the rebounding category, as of late. Against UAB at home, the Herd was embarrassed as they were out rebounded 39 to 23 in the 64-48 defeat. In the next four games, however, Marshall collected more rebounds than its opponents by double figures in each contest. This included a 42 to 26 rebounding advantage over Tulsa at home, which led to a 79-61 victory. “I feel that we’re a presence and active on the glass,” Herrion said. “This is what we need to be heading down the stretch.”

An aspect of the Herd’s game that the team takes pride in is its defense. Marshall has played consistent lock-down defense throughout most of the season, shutting down high-scoring teams. A recent example again would be in the home victory over Tulsa. Coming into the contest, the Golden Hurricane was shooting .355% from beyond the threepoint line. Marshall was able to limit that to .154% in their matchup. Is Tom Herrion pleased with the lockdown defense he’s seen from his team? “I’m happy, but clearly not pleased,” Herrion said. “Our players have learned how to prepare for team tendencies and player tendencies. That shows in the execution of assignments. That pleases me.” Herrion and crew will come into the C-USA tournament as one of the hottest teams in conference and look to walk out of El Paso with a championship.

deandreKANE ADAM ROGERS One would hardly expect a redshirted freshman to be leading a team, but that is just the case with Marshall’s guard DeAndre Kane. This 6-foot 4-inch native from Pittsburgh, PA, has had an impressive first year in collegiate ball. Though technically last season was Kane’s first year, he sat out the season on a partial-academic disqualifier. This set back, if you can call it that, didn’t deter Kane from giving it his all this season. Having started all 31 games this year, Kane is average 31 minutes per game. In his time on the court Kane has amassed an average of 5.4 rebounds per game and a free throw percentage of .649%.

Kane currently leads the team in several areas, including points per game (15.1) and total points this season (469). He also leads the team in steals (31) and defensive rebounds (134). Kane has shown that he is an asset, both offensively and defensively, to the team. As their leading scorer, Kane has led the Thundering Herd to 21 victories this season. Currently, Marshall sits at 9-7 in conference play. Though they sit in the middle of the C-USA standings, with Kane on their side, the Thundering Herd could cause some upsets come tournament time

Photo: Marshall Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

SMU 7 GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED SMU’s play against its conference opponents can be summed up in one word: sporadic. The Mustangs started off conference play with a 79-70 loss at Tulane and followed that up with a 64-58 upset over Memphis. The Mustangs then posted two losses to Houston and UAB. Almost out of nowhere, the team then went on a five-game winning streak beating the likes of Southern Miss, Tulsa, Rice, ECU and Tulane. Unfortunately, the streak was snapped by a 65-57 loss to UTEP. Since then, SMU has had an up and down season in the remainder of its conference contests. SMU’s inconsistency comes in the form of its players. Arguably, SMU has the best two big men in the conference in senior forward Papa Dia and junior forward Robert Nyakundi. The pair has combined for 34 points and 13 rebounds

17-16 8-8 C-USA

per game, leading Conference USA in their respective positions. But SMU’s trouble hasn’t come from its big men, it has come from its other positions. The Mustangs have a freshman guard, Jere Samarrippas, who averages seven points and four assists per game. After Samarrippas, there’s no other production, sans the front court. The Mustangs tout upperclassmen, Mike Walker and Rodney Clinksales, both guards, who average two and six points per games, respectively. Head coach Matt Doherty, who is in his 10th season as head coach and has 20 years of coaching experience behind him, leads the Mustangs. SMU finally found their niche from Doherty in the middle of conference play, going on a five-game winning streak. SMU was clicking in all aspects of their game as they averaged 65 points per game and made a comeback in the standings. The Mustangs tied their conference high of 79 points in a win against

Southern Miss to begin their win streak. SMU then followed up with a 59-58 road win against Tulsa, in which Nyakundi hit a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in regulation. The Mustangs saw their win streak snapped by UTEP, in El Paso, in a 6757 loss. SMU’s loss included a terrific performance by Papa Dia, who turned in an 18 point and 10 rebound performance against the Miners. SMU has improved since the start of conference play. They currently sit at 8-8 in the conference. No doubt, SMU can continue to improve going into the C-USA Tournament. But in order to do so, the Mustangs will have to rely on their play in the paint and their young guard. SMU’s big men must carry their team into and through the conference tournament. Without the dependability of Dia and Nyakundi, the Mustangs will have a rough go against their conference opponents.

papaDIA Papa Dia, SMU’s 6-foot 11-inch, senior from St. Louis, Senegal, averages 19 points and nine rebounds per game. The Mustangs senior center has had eleven double-doubles this season. Dia scored a season high 27 points against Houston and had a season high 13 rebounds against ECU and Rice. Last year as a junior, Dia averaged only 12 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per contest. His talented playing put him in 17th place in scoring in C-USA and 5th place in rebounding. Undoubtedly, his talent has grown over the past year. This season Papa Dia averages 34 minutes a game and has played in every Mustangs’ game this season.

Dia is a very physical player, using his strength and size to his advantage. Dia has recorded the most foul shots of any SMU player this season; going to the line 155 times and making 122 of those attempts. Dia also leads the Mustangs in blocked shots with 32 in conference play and 67 for the overall season. Dia has been projected as the third best forward/center in the 2011 NBA draft. His play is vital to the SMU men’s team, especially through its rough spots. Dia must utilize every aspect of his game for the Mustangs to do well in the conference tournament.

Photo: SMU Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Papa Dia SR PPG 18.4, RBG 9

F

Justin Haynes JR PPG 5.3, RBG 2.5

G/F

Robert Nyakundi JR F PPG 16.1, RBG 4.4, APG 2.2 Jeremy Samarrippas FR G PPG 7.4, RBG 2.2, APG 3.4 Mike Walker SR PPG 6.7, RBG 1.2, APG 1.3

G

KEY RESERVES Ryan Harp SR G PPG 2.3, RBG 2.2 Collin Mangrum SR G PPG 5, RBG 2.3

A

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Justin Haynes

60.7%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Robert Nyakundi 48.3% REBOUNDS PER GAME Papa Dia 9 ASSISTS PER GAME Jeremy Samarrippas 3.4

Head coach Matt Doherty SMU Athletics

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Robert Nyakundi 89.2%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Jamar Abrams JR G/F PPG 10.1, RBG 4.3 Corvonn Gaines SO G PPG 6.5, RBG 3.0, APG 3 Darrius Morrow JR F PG 12.2, RBG 5.4 Jontea Shorred SR PPG 15.2, RBG 3.4

G

Erin Straughn SO PPG 5, RBG 4.6

G

KEY RESERVES Chad Wynn SR PPG 3.3, RBG 1.7

C

Brock Young SR PPG 10.7, RBG 2.5, APG 4.3

G

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Darius Morrow 59.4% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Petar Torlak 46.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Darrius Morrow 5.4 ASSISTS PER GAME Brock Young 4.3 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Jontae Sherrod 81.9%

Junior forward Darrius Morrow ECU Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

EAST 7 CAROLINA 16-14 8-8 C-USA

JOSH PUGA MINER ILLUSTRATED

East Carolina comes to the Don Haskins center with a record of 16-14 overall, 8-8 in Conference USA, and the role of spoiler on their minds. In his first year as head coach, Jeff Lebo has made a steady improvement from the Pirates’ last season record of 10-21 (4-12 in C-USA), and he is looking for his team to make some waves in El Paso. Lebo has successfully revived basketball programs (Tennessee Tech, Chattanooga and Auburn), and it seems he is on the same path with East Carolina. ECU had a slow start to conference play, losing their conference season opener to Memphis, 58-61. Over the next 11 games, ECU lost six more games, including losses to UAB, SMU, Marshall, Tulsa, and twice to Southern Miss. As of late though, the Pirates have been on an

upward turn, nabbing wins against UTEP, Rice and Memphis. The Pirates have a formidable starting five with four players averaging double figures. Most of the scoring comes from the backcourt, which is led by senior guard Jontae Sherrod. Sherrod averages nearly 16 points per game while also excelling on the defensive end with 84 defensive rebounds and 32 steals this season. Starting opposite Sherrod is the sharpshooting senior guard Jamar Abrams, who averages 10.3 points a game and shoots 41 percent from the three-point line. Point guard Brock Young usually comes off the bench to provide an offensive spark, recording on average 10 points and four assists per game. In the front court, the Pirates are led by 6-foot 8-inch, junior forward Darius Morrow, who is averaging 12 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Morrow also

leads the team in field goal percentage, making an impressive 52 percent of his shots. Key reserves are sophomore guards, Corvonn Gaines and Erin Straughun, who provide scoring and rebounding for the backcourt. In the front court, freshman forward Robert Sampson and senior center Chad Wynn bring added size to the paint against the bigger teams in the conference. East Carolina is an experienced squad, especially the starting five, who can create problems for any team that they face. The Pirates are not a very deep team, but they have been competitive in almost every conference game they have played, including some big wins against UCF and UTEP. If the backcourt gets hot from the outside and Morrow has success in the paint, they could pull an upset or two during the Conference USA Tournament.

jamarABRAMS At 6-foot 6-inches, Jamar Abrams is a versatile player that can cause a matchup problem for almost any team in C-USA. More importantly, the senior guard may be the key to East Carolina’s success in the C-USA Tournament. Abrams, who can play the No. 2 or 3 spot on the court, can hurt a team in the paint or from the perimeter. He’s a streaky shooter that will make any team pay; shooting 40 percent from the three-point line, if a team leaves him open. Not only can Abrams knock down the long jumper, but Abrams can break his opponent s down with his dribble. Abrams is a good defender and can

crash the boards with his length and athleticism. Abrams scored a seasonhigh 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a Feb. 23 home win against UTEP. Going into the tournament, Abrams is averaging 10 points per game and has 300 points for the season. With a field goal percentage of .465 and a threepoint percentage of .406, Abrams is deadly from any spot on the court. No doubt he will be the player ECU will rely on to make big plays come tournament time.

Photo: Rob Goldberg, Jr./ ECU Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

UCF 9 ALEX MORALES MINER ILLUSTRATED The University of Central Florida came into the season being overlooked by the majority of the teams in Conference USA. They were not given an opportunity to compete with the likes of Memphis, UTEP, Southern Miss or UAB. But the Knights (19-10, 6-10 C-USA) stormed out of the gates in nonconference play winning all 13 of their non-conference games and gained national recognition as being the No. 18 team in the country. They beat teams like Florida, Miami, University of Massachusetts, and Princeton. UCF opened up their first conference game with a win against Marshall, giving them 14 straight wins. With an undefeated record, the team’s first since the 2005 season, the Knights looked like a solid contender for the regular season conference title. Then, UCF proceeded to lose the

19-10 6-10 C-USA

next eight games in conference falling to 1-8. Their first loss came at the hands of Houston, where the Knights gave up the game by a mere five points. Bigger losses to Southern Miss and ECU followed shortly thereafter, and so it continued. With every loss, the Knights saw their dream of the conference title slip further and further away. Thankfully, the Knights were able to get things together by mid-February. In their last six games, UCF has won five of its six contests, including a big 74-68 win in El Paso against UTEP, who was tied for first place at the time. The Knights snagged an even bigger victory a week later when they beat Southern Miss, yet another first place team. The Knights seem to be back on track as they head towards the conference tournament in El Paso. They are led by sophomore Marcus Jordan, who is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Jordan leads the team in scoring, registering 15.9 points

per game along with 3.2 assists. UCF’s sophomore Keith Clanton has been a force inside scoring 13.9 points and pulling down 8.2 rebounds a game. Junior Isaac Sosa is an experienced guard, who has helped spread out the opposing defenses with his ability to shot and drive the ball. Sosa is averaging a little less than nine points per game. Against the top four teams in conference, the Knights are now 3-5. UCF seems to be running once again on all cylinders as they head towards the conference tournament. Last year, they were bounced in the second round by UTEP. This year, they hope to improve on that. If the Knights are able to play to their potential, they are going to be a scary opponent to whomever they meet in the tournament. If they are able to avoid mistakes and play like they did preconference, they may just gain their bid to the NCAA Tournament.

marcusJORDAN After having a sub-par freshman year where he only scored eight points a game, guard Marcus Jordan has come out on fire during his sophomore season. Jordan has almost doubled last year’s average with 15.5 points per game this season. Jordan put in his time in the gym during the off-season and his hardwork has paid off. His ability to drive the ball has not only helped create opportunities for his teammates, but it has also put him on the free-throw line. Jordan is one of UCF’s better free throw shooters, making 81 percent of his attempts. What makes him even more

dangerous is his ability to spread the defense of the opposing team. He is shooting 36 percent from behind the arc; a skill that was not in his arsenal last year. Jordan is an ever-evolving player and wants to prove that he can be a star basketball player just like his father Michael was. If Jordan continues to make big-time buckets late in the games, UCF has a chance to do a lot of damage in the conference tournament.

Photo: UCF Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Keith Clanton SO PPG 14.3, RBG 8.7

F

Tom Herzog SR PPG 6.1, RBG 4 Marcus Jordan SO PPG 15.6, RBG 2.5, APG 3.4

C

G

A.J. Rompza JR G PPG 6, RBG 2.3, APG 3 Isaac Sosa JR PPG 8.5, APG 0.7

G

KEY RESERVES

N

Dave Diakite SO PPG 4, RBG 2.8

F

P.J. Gaynor JR PPG 5.1, RBG 3.1

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Dwight McCombs 69.8% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Keith Clanton 36.6% REBOUNDS PER GAME Keith Clanton 8.7 ASSISTS PER GAME Marcus Jordan 3.4

Sophomore forward Keith Clanton UCF Athletics

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE A.J. Tyler

80.8%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Connor Frizzelle JR G PPG 10.8, RBG 1.8 Tamir Jackson SO PPG 13.5, RBG 2.6, APG 3.5

G

Arsalan Kazemi SO F PPG 15.7, RBG 11.5, APG 1.3 Lucas Kuipers JR PPG 6.4 , RBG 3.1

F

Cory Pflieger SR PPG 4.7, RBG 2

G

KEY RESERVES Suleiman Braimoh SR F PPG 4.6, RBG 2.1 Trey Stanton SR PPG 6.2, RBG 4.3

C

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Suleiman Braimoh 55.6% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Bryan Beasley & Nate Schwarze 40% REBOUNDS PER GAME Arsalan Kazemi 11.5 ASSISTS PER GAME Tamir Jackson 3.5 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Connor Frizzelle 89.9%

Sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi Rice Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

RICE 10 GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED The Rice men’s basketball team has had a rough time this year in conference play, managing to produce a handful of signature wins. Rice had a difficult non-conference schedule playing the likes of Texas, Arizona, Miami and LSU. The Owls were narrowly defeated 62-59 by Texas and earned a win against LSU, showing how tough this team can be. Veteran head coach Ben Braun, who is in his third season as coach of the Owls, leads a young team that has to deal with a steep learning curve. The Owls started off conference play with a close 85-81 loss to Tulane and followed that up with three straight losses to Tulsa, Southern Miss and UTEP. Despite a 0-4 start to conference play, Rice rallied to win two games in a row against UCF

13-17 5-11 C-USA

and Houston. Rice’s losses can be largely contributed to their lack of maturity on the court. The Owls play with seven underclassmen, who show great promise in the future but need time to develop in the present. Sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi has been Rice’s standout player this season, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. That kind of turnout from an underclassman is unseen in the rest of the conference. Sophomore guard Tamir Jackson, who averages 14 points and three assists per game, helps this young Rice team out by providing a second scoring option. Jackson has been depended on to make accurate passes, but has sadly turned the ball over 85 times this season. Still, the Owls don’t just rely on their underclassmen. Senior’s Trey Stanton and Connor Frizzelle have combined for 17 points and

six rebounds per game. The Owls mix of youth and experience has helped them gain several signature wins this the year. Rice defeated Memphis 67-52 and held the Tigers to a season low in points, until they traveled to El Paso a few weeks later. Jackson scored 20 points, while Kazemi, who recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds, led the Owls. This marquee win shows that Rice can be tough to defeat at home but lacks the experience needed to be successful at all times. The Owls will face a tough seeding in the conference tournament and will need to play like an experienced team. This means they must rely heavily on guard play or utilize a hi-low offense. Either way, Rice will need to rely on Kazemi and Jackson to dictate their play if they want to extend their season.

arsalanKAZEMI Arsalan Kazemi, a sophomore forward, has been Rice’s player of the year. Kazemi has averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game and has been the reason the team has not allowed the season to get completely out of hand. Kazemi was born in Esfahan, Iran, and emigrated to attend school in North Carolina and play basketball. Kazemi earned himself a spot on Conference USA’s All-Freshman Team of the Year for the 2009-10 season. This season, Kazemi scored a season high of 28 points against Tulane at home and recorded a season high 19 rebounds against East Carolina. Kazemi shoots 75 percent from the

free-throw line and has played in every one of Rice’s 30 games, averaging 30 minutes in each. With a 53 percent field goal shooting percentage and 326 rebounds this season alone, Kazemi is Rice’s most important player when he’s on the floor. The Owl’s must get productive inside play from Kazemi if they wish to do well in the conference tournament, meaning he may need to improve his passing from the block, because the longer Kazemi is on the floor the better chance Rice has to keep advancing.

Photo: Rice Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

HOUSTON 11 12-17 4-12 C-USA

GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED Houston was projected to finish in fifth place in the conference at the start of the season. It is safe to say they have not lived up to those expectations. The main reason is due to the Cougars’ poor road record. If you were to ask head coach James Dickey for his thoughts on his team’s record on the road, he is sure not to be too pleased, to say the least. Houston’s poor Conference USA record can be blamed on their away record. The Cougars’ opponents have averaged 75 points per game when playing in their home courts while Houston has averaged only 69 points per game while on the road. Yet, Houston has had some success at home. The Cougars were victorious at home against UCF, Tulsa and Tulane. Unfortunately, these wins came against teams in the bottom half of the conference. The Cougars started conference play with an 85-73 loss to Southern Miss in

Hattiesburg, Miss. They followed that up with a 76-71 win versus UCF. Houston then hit a rough patch that saw them lose five games in a row. The Cougars played three out of five games on the road at Rice, East Carolina and Tulsa. Houston’s troubles did not stop there. After a 79-68 win against Tulane, the Cougars dropped another five games in a row heading into the final game of the season. Working to bring Houston some success is senior forward Maurice McNeil, who averages 13 points and eight rebounds per game. Senior guard Zamal Nixon pitches in with nearly 10 points per game while freshman forward Alandise Harris, who is averaging nine points and six rebounds per game, has also helped contribute to the Cougar’s offensive and defensive game. But the team suffered a major loss when Dickey suspended senior starting guard Adam Brown for breaking team rules. The loss of Brown was pivotal; Brown was putting up 13 points in 33 minutes of play per game. The Cougars

have had to depend on some of their younger players to step up. Freshman forward Kirk Van Slyke has been relied on coming off the bench, averaging six points and three rebounds per game. Van Slyke’s performance may not be overly impressive, but at 6-foot 9-inches, he takes up a large portion in the paint. Sophomore forward Kendrick Washington has also contributed at the forward position, averaging eight points and five rebounds per game. In their final contest of the regular conference season, Houston had the opportunity to add another notch to the win column, but let victory slip away. Despite great showing by Nixon, who scored 18 points, and McNeil, who nabbed nine rebounds, the Cougars lost to Rice 57-72. If the Cougars plan to live up to the expectations of the pre-season, they will need to work together to create some offense. Something they have been lacking as is evident from their record.

mauriceMcNEIL

Senior forward Maurice McNeil’s role is vital in Houston’s game plan. The Cougars look to McNeil, who averages 13 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of play per game. McNeil has played in 26 of 27 Houston’s games and has started 22 of them. The Cougars have looked to McNeil’s experience at his position to teach many of the team’s younger forwards. As a junior, McNeil was already leading this team in many aspects. He played all 33 games last season, starting in 23 of them. McNeil averaged seven rebounds per game in nearly 25 minutes of playing time. This year, McNeil’s season high in points came against Tulsa, where he

scored 21 points. In rebounding, his season high (13) came against East Carolina. Maurice McNeil’s size and weight have given him an advantage around the basket since he is able to not only create a shot but also finish it. The team’s dependence on McNeil became quite evident when fellow senior Adam Brown was suspended from the team. Heading into the conference tournament, McNeil is looking not only for victory but to also make his second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance while with Houston.

Photo: Jeff Taylor


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Adam Brown SR PPG 13, RBG 4.2, APG 2.9

G

Maurics McNeil SR PPG 13.1, RBG 7.6

F

Zamal Nixon SR G PPG 9.3, RBG 2.6, APG 4.7 Darian Thibodeaux JR G PPG 8.2, RBG 2.8, APG 2.2 Kirk Van Slyke SO PPG 6.2, RBG 3.1

F

KEY RESERVES Alandise Harris FR PPG 9.3, RBG 5.3

F

Kendrick Washington SO F PPG 8.9, RBG 5 TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Maurice McNeil

50%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Adam Brown 43.5% REBOUNDS PER GAME Maurice McNeil 7.6 ASSISTS PER GAME Zamal Nixon 4.7

Freshman forward Alandise Harris Brett Davis-US Presswire

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Zamal Nixon

91.9%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

David Booker SR PPG 7.8, RBG 3.8

F

Jordan Callahan SO G PPG 13.7, RBG 2.6, APG 3.8 Johnny Mayhane SR G/F PPG 5.9, RBG 1.9 Kris Richard SR PPG 11.8, RBG 5.9, APG 2.3

G

Kendall Timmons SO G PPG 16.5, RBG 8.7, APG 3.4

KEY RESERVES Aaron Holmes SR G/F PPG 8.9, RBG 4.1 Kevin Thomas PPG 2.4, RBG 1

FR

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Aaron Holmes

54.4%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Aaron Holmes 51.9% REBOUNDS PER GAME Kendall Timmons 8.7 ASSISTS PER GAME Jordan Callahan 3.8 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Ben Cherry

87.5%

Kendall Timmons Thomas Shea/Houston Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

TULANE 12

13-16 3-13 C-USA

REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED For a team that started out with eight straight home wins, this season has sure come crashing down on the Tulane men’s basketball team. Tulane entered Conference USA play with a record of 10-3, having outscored its opponents by an average of more than 15 points per game. Yet, after seizing two close wins against Rice and SMU at the start of conference play, Tulane endured a 12-game losing streak, the longest of any Conference USA team this season, before beating Houston on Mar. 2nd. Tulane’s problem has lied not in its execution but in its follow through. Having been noted as a second-half team, the Green Wave has relied heavily on its ability to make scoring runs late in the game. This worked well against teams like Centenary and Maryville, where Tulane posted wins of an excess of 40 points. But when faced with the tougher teams of the C-USA, the Green Wave has

fallen short. Despite the shortcomings, Tulane holds some rather surprising stats for a team going into the conference tournament dead last, which can be attributed to senior Kris Richard and sophomores Jordan Callahan and Kendall Timmons. Richards ranks fifth at Tulane in alltime three-pointers (133) made and has succeeded in scoring double figures 51 times in his career; 16 coming this season. His teammate, Callahan, has also had scoring success, reaching double figures in 26 of the 29 games he has played this season. Leading the Green Wave is Timmons, who has reached double fingers in nearly every game this season, averaging 17 points per game. The team as a whole has outscored opponents this season by an average of four points per game. So how has a team with such scoring capability racked up so many consecutive losses? The answer is not in what the Green Wave has done successfully, but in what they have failed to do.

Prior to conference play, Tulane was on par with its opponents in rebounding, but since then the team has given up nearly 25 rebounds per game. Furthermore, Tulane has failed to execute while at the line, making 408 of its 589 attempted free throws this season. Both factors have proved to be detrimental to the Green Wave’s season. In conference play, Tulane has lost nine of its last 12 games by less than 10 points; six of those by a mere five points or less. If the Green Wave improved their rebounding and free throw shooting, they may have accrued more wins. Should head coach Ed Conroy make note of these weaknesses and address them prior to the conference tourney, Tulane may prove to be a formidable opponent to the higher-ranked C-USA teams it will meet. Although they stand little chance of improving much on their dismal season record, the Green Wave could surprisingly wash away an opponent or two this upcoming week.

kendallTIMMONS One would not expect a sophomore to be leading a college basketball team, but this is the case with Tulane sophomore Kendall Timmons. As a freshman in the 2008-09, Timmons suffered a season-ending back injury only 9 games into the season. But the 6’5” guard from Fort Worth, Texas, did not let that stop him from becoming the top Tulane player the following year. As a redshirted freshman, Timmons proved why he is such an invaluable asset to the Green Wave team by holding the team high average of 12.2 points per game in C-USA contests; the second most by a freshman in the entire conference. Currently, Timmons has had the type of season most players only dream of. He has had double figure scoring in 26

games (41 in his career) and has nabbed double figure rebounds in 9 contests this season already. Having started every game this season, Timmons leads the team in shots from the field (45%), three pointers (40%), offensive and defensive rebounds (60, 185), blocks (16) and steals (55). Proving that he is not only an effective offensive player, but Timmons can work the defensive end of the game as well. considering that Timmons is only half way through his collegiate career, there is no doubt his impact on Green Wave basketball will continue. And though, Tulane may not advance far in the conference tourney, look for Timmons to continue putting up big numbers on the court.

Photo: Tulane Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

BUICK CONFERENCE USA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Wednesday-Saturday, March 9-12, 2011 - Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas Wednesday March 9

Thursday March 10

Friday March 11

Saturday March 12

(1) UAB (8) East Carolina

11 a.m. (CBS C)

11 a.m.

(9) UCF (4) Memphis (5) Southern Miss

2 p.m.* (CBS College Sports)

1:30 p.m. (CBS C)

1:30 p.m.

(12) Tulane

9:35 a.m. (CBS)

CHAMPION

(3) UTEP (6) Marshall

5:30 p.m. (CBS C)

5:30 p.m.

(11) Houston (2) Tulsa (7) SMU 8:00 p.m.

(10) Rice

8:00 p.m. (CBS C)

4:30 p.m.* (CBS College Sports)

All times are MST *highest remaining seed entering the semifinals will play at 2 p.m.


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

East Carolina Houston Marshall Memphis Rice SMU

Southern Miss Tulane Tulsa UAB UCF UTEP

2011 Buick Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championship – March 9-12 – El Paso, TX – Memorial Gym & Don Haskins Center

2011 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Bracket WEDNESDAY MARCH 9 

 

 

 

(7) UAB (15‐14, 7‐9) 

 

 Game 1                          12 pm 

THURSDAY MARCH 10 

SATURDAY MARCH 12 

 

 

 

 

Game 5                 12 pm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(10) Marshall (9‐20, 5‐11) 

(6) Memphis (19‐11, 8‐8) 

 

Game 6              2:30 pm 

Game 2                       2:30 pm 

 

(11) Southern Miss          (10‐19, 5‐11) 

(5) East Carolina (15‐14, 9‐7) 

(2) UCF (19‐10, 12‐4) 

FRIDAY MARCH 11 

Game 9     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3) Rice (18‐12, 10‐6) 

(4) Tulane (20‐9, 9‐7) 

 

CBS C/9 am 

  CBS C/6 pm 

Game 11   

C‐USA’s NCAA  Automatic  Qualifier 

Game 7                    5 pm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 10     

Game 3                          5 pm 

 

(12) Tulsa (5‐19, 1‐15) 

(1) Houston (25‐4, 16‐0) 

(8) SMU (14‐15, 7‐9) 

 

Game 8              7:30 pm 

 

 

 

Game 4                       7:30 pm 

 

 

 

 

 

(9) UTEP (15‐13, 7‐9) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS C/11:30 am 

All times Mountain 


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Mesa Street Bar & Grill - 2525 N. Mesa, This high-end eatery is polished both in its atmosphere and its menu. Their appetizers are unique and their entrees live up to its reputation. Full bar. 2900 - 2900 N. Mesa, A posh, modern restaurant with menu items that you won’t nd anywhere else in El Paso. Their martinis will keep the fun going all through the night. Full bar.

Geo Geske - 2701 N. Stanton, A chic, comfortable Crave Kitchen and Bar - 300 Cincinnati Ave., Ameridining spot that serves up avorful American fare. Full can food with a border twist, menu items include bar. green chile mac 'n cheese and bacon-wrapped Chicago’s Street Food - 2400 N. Mesa, Set up like a shrimp. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. classic street scene from the Windy City, a variety of Toro Burger Bar - 2609 N. Mesa & 6590 Montana Ave., Family friendly restaurant offers all kinds of burgers -Chicago dishes like foot-long hot dogs and pizzas angus, kobe, turkey, veggie, salmon and crab. Pair with toppings galore. Beer by the bottle. your pick with sweet potato fries or spiral chips. Crawdaddy’s - 212 Cincinnati Ave. Just like its Cajun Rib Hut - 2612 N. Mesa, In the mood for some BBQ? offerings, this place is loud and spicy with good Stop by for some brisket, beef ribs or smoked chicken. gumbo, smokin’ hot wings and a smoky blackened You can get your x with platter or sandwich, sides inchicken sandwich. Full bar. clude french fries, slaw and potato salad. Beer by the Jaxon’s - 7410 Remcon Cir & 1135 Airway Blvd. This El bottle. Paso staple has two locations that offer up tasty Southwestern dishes and appetizers. On-site breweries that produce a great selection of micro-brews.

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Black Market - 110 W. Robinson Ave, This underThe Hoppy Monk - 4141 N. Mesa, The place to be for ground bar has indie art on its walls, music pumping beer lovers. Period. With over 60 beers on tap and through the speakers and cheap drinks owing at the dozens more in the bottle, you’ll nd it hard not nd a bar. What more do you need? brew that you love. Commonwealth - 115 Durango, Casual bar and res- Mini Bar - 2626 N. Mesa, This Tiki-themed dive bar has taurant in the Union Plaza entertainment district. 30+ cheap drinks and a great patio for scoping out Cincinbeers on tap and a full bar ready to whet your whistle, nati revelers. you’ll be sure to relax and work up an appetite.

The Garage Tequila Bar - 4025 N. Mesa, If Tequila’s The Palomino - 2601 N. Mesa, This new arrival to the your poison, then saunter up to the bar and lick your Cincinnati area serves up classic cocktails and beer in lips while choosing from the dozens and dozens of a dark atmosphere with plenty of steer skulls adornMexican ne liquor.$5 margaritas. ing walls. The Garden - 511 Western Ct., The Garden is a place Star Canyon Winery - 2601 N. Stanton, Feel like relaxto retreat for cold beers, classic cocktails and delicious ing away from the rowdy bar scene? Sip on some vino food. More upscale than some of the other bars, so at this nice, rustic wine bar while snacking on some shine button up before venturing in. cheese and fruits. Hemingway’s - 214 Cincinnati Ave., Once voted best Sintini Martini Lounge - 6127 N. Mesa. Delicious bar in the country by Playboy Mag, The place to go for martinis which run $5 each most nights. a cold beer in a manly, no-frills environment, the macho writer himself would have preferred. Hope & Anchor - 4012 N. Mesa, This epic bar has a rockin’ jukebox and offers a great liquor and beer selection. The spacious patio offers a great view of the Franklin Mountains under the stars of West Texas.

Live Jazz at The Hoppy Monk. 7pm, Wednesday The Madama Butterry - El Paso Opera will stage the PucMonk hosts live jazz along with $1 off Belgians all day cini classic at 730pm through the weekend at the so stop by for some great beer and great music! Plaza Theatre. epopera.org C-USA Glory Road Block Party - Wednesday through Fellini Film Cafe - 220 Cincinnati St. "Foreign & AlterSaturday on the UTEP campus. Live music, vendors, native Films" A unique concept for lovers of ne food, beer and more. c-usa.utep.edu coffee, food and good movies.


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Your independent site for news, analysis and opinion about UTEP Miner athletics.

m ner illustrated.com


M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

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Women’sPREDICTIONS: WhoWinstheTourney andisNamedMVP? The staff at Miner Illustrated took a little time to sit back and evaluate the women’s tournament and objectively

Houston has the odds and is the f avorite to win the Conf erence USA women’s basketball tour nament after going 16-0 in the regular season. Houston Athletics

selected who we thought would win the Conference USA tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA

tournament. For this section, the staff looks over the women’s bracket and reviews who we think will win the


M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

bracket. We also discuss who will be the most valuable player based on that prediction and to us, it’s a pretty easy pick. WHO WILL WIN THE C-USA TOURNAMENT? ALEX MORALES: Houston will win the conference tournament for the women. The Lady Cougars have been unstoppable so far in the conference. They have beaten every single team at least once,

and I do not see them slipping up during the tournament. Houston is a very balanced team that has the ability to score with anyone on the floor. I will be shocked if Houston is upset in the tournament. ANGEL LUNA: The Lady Cougars are the team to beat with a record of 24-4, including the best record on the road 122. They are on a 15-game winning streak at this moment. The Lady Cougars have the best scoring balance in C-USA with Brittney Scott (15.9 ppg), Porsche Landry (15.2 ppg), Courtney Taylor (15.6 ppg) and Lesslee Mason (10.5 ppg). GUS CONTRERAS: Houston will win the Conference USA tournament because they are flat out the best team in the conference. Their unbeaten record speaks for itself, and their team’s experience will spur them on. The Cougars are 25th in the nation and will definitely use all their weapons to win the tournament. Houston is packed with experienced players such as Porsche Landry, Lesslee Mason, Brittney Scott, and Courtney Taylor. They have the number one seed and easiest road to the finals; they will finish C-USA undefeated in 2011. JOSH PUGA: Not sure any team can derail the Houston Cougars as they have steamrolled through Conference USA going 16-0 heading into the tournament as not only the hottest team in the conference, but one of the hottest teams in the country. Houston might face some resistance, but they only lose if they beat themselves. UTEP66: Twenty-fifth ranked Houston has been the elite team in the conference this year, and this year’s tournament is theirs. No team in the conference can match their balanced scoring threats of Britney Scott, Courtney Taylor and Porsche Landry, who each average over fifteen points per game. A balanced scoring attack coupled with the rebounding of Lesslee Mason and Courtney Taylor will be a formidable task for any C-USA team to match.

4 1

WHO WILL BE NAMED THE MVP? ALEX MORALES: Southern Miss’ senior Tanesha Washington is by far the best player in Conference USA. She is almost averaging a double-double a game. She is scoring 16 points and grabbing nine boards a game. She is a force inside the paint. Southern Miss revolves their offense around Washington. If they need a basket or a timely rebound, Washington is the one person who more than likely will give them either one. There is no one who can match her athleticism in every facet of the game in C-USA. ANGEL LUNA: Houston senior Courtney Traylor registered her 18th double-double of the season at Marshall with 18 points and 10 rebounds to go with two blocks and two steals. She was also named C-USA Player of the Week five different times. She averages 15.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. GUS CONTRERAS: Houston senior forward Courtney Taylor, who averages 15 points and 11 assists per game, is the best player in the conference. Hands sown, she is the MVP of the conference and should also win C-USA Player of the Year. JOSH PUGA: Reigning C-USA Player of the year Courtney Taylor from Houston is having another great season, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. She has been almost impossible to stop this season and will continue her dominance leading Houston to the CUSA tournament title. UTEP66: Quite simply, Courtney Taylor of Houston.


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Porsche Landry JR PPG 15.3, RBG 3.5, APG 4

G

Brittany Mason SR PPG 5.5, RBG 4.9, APG 1.7

F

Lesslee Mason SR F PPG 10.5, RBG 8.9, APG 1.5 Brittney Scott SR G PPG 15.9, RBG 3.5, APG 2.4 Courtney Taylor SR F PPG 15.6, RBG 11.4, APG 1.6 KEY RESERVES Roxana Button JR PPG 5.9, RBG 1.8

G

Jasmine Johnson SR PPG 5, RBG 2.3

G

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Courtney Taylor 49.8% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Brittney Scott 40% REBOUNDS PER GAME Courtney Taylor 11.4 ASSISTS PER GAME Porsche Landry FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Brittney Scott

4

79.3%

Senior forward Cour ney Taylor Stephen Pinchback


4 3

M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

HOUSTON 1 25-4 16-0 C-USA

GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED Houston has been Conference USA’s best team this year. The Cougars have amassed an impressive 16-game undefeated streak in conference play. Houston has been solid in every facet of their game and keeps improving with every game. The Cougars have recently been put in the rankings as the 24th best team in the nation. The women’s division in Conference USA has been overlooked all season; otherwise, this experienced Houston team would have already been in the polls. Houston started out conference play trouncing Tulsa 78-48. Senior guard Brittney Taylor, who scored 17 points and nabbed nine rebounds, along with senior forward Courtney Taylor, who had 16 points and eight rebounds, led the

Cougars. Houston then went to SMU and won a tight 77-73 game where they let a 15 point halftime lead dwindle down to four. The Cougars’ experience has helped the team grind through some of their victories and has allowed them to put up great stats in every game. Houston averages 44 rebounds per game, and they outrebound their opponents by at least two per game. Rebounding, especially by forwards Courtney Taylor and Lesslee Mason, has been the key to the Cougars’ success this season. Houton’s starting team is composed of four seniors and one junior; all who play at least 29 minutes per game. Their experience has been one of the reasons this team is so good, and the fact that Houston’s key players play the majority of the game has helped them out as well. Still, Houston has had their fair share

of close games, like their game versus UCF where the Cougars won by a mere three points or their game against Rice last week where they scraped by with a four point victory. Yet, because the Cougars can shoot and rebound the ball so well, they have managed to bail themselves out every time. There are not many teams in the nation playing with more momentum as Houston is at the moment. Houston has earned the number one seeding in the conference tournament and with it, a first round bye. Houston will need to continue to rely on their momentum and its four seniors if they want to walk away with the conference championship. They are by far the favorites to win, but with every team gunning for the championship, Houston can’t get too confident just yet.

courtneyTAYLOR Senior forward Courtney Taylor is Houston’s key player to watch and may even be the conference tournament MVP if she continues playing as well as she has all season. Taylor has won C-USA player of the week five times and averages 15.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 32 minutes per game. She scored a career-high 31 points against Tulsa this year and a career-high 19 rebounds against Tulane. Taylor has been named to C-USA’s AllDefensive Team the past two seasons and was name C-USA’s Player of the Year last season. Taylor is Houston’s all-time leader

in double doubles and rebounding and is sixth at the school in scoring. She is one of the main reasons Houston is undefeated in conference play. Taylor plays physical down in the paint and can rebound on the offensive end of the court so effectively that she is first in C-USA in total rebounds (299) and rebounds per game (11.5). The Cougars will need Taylor if they are to extend their winning streak into the conference tournament.

Photo: Stephen Pinchback


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

UCF 2 ALEX MORALES MINER ILLUSTRATED The University of Central Florida women’s basketball team closed out the season with an eight-game winning streak heading into the conference tournament. The Knights have secured the number two seed in the Conference USA tournament. By securing the number two seed, the Knights have gained that precious firstround bye every team desires. They will not have a game on the first day of from the tournament, thus gaining a valuable day of rest. Currently, UCF is 19-10 on the year and 12-4 in conference play. During their winning streak, they were scoring 66 points per game while limiting their opponents to only 58 points per game. UCF beat the likes of Tulsa, UTEP, Marshall, UAB, Tulane, ECU, Southern Miss and Memphis during their impressive win streak.

19-10 12-4 C-USA

The Knights’ four losses in conference play were to SMU, Memphis, Houston, and ECU. Those three of those four losses came all in one single stretch in late January. The Knights are led by D’Nay Daniels, Chelsie Wiley, and Aisha Patrick. Daniels is a senior guard and forward, who is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds per game. Wiley is also a senior guard, who is scoring 14 points per game as well. Patrick, who is a junior guard, is scoring 10 points per game while pulling down eight boards per game. Rounding out the top five players are senior guard Jelisa Caldwell and junior forward Ashia Kelly. Caldwell contributes nearly 10 points per game while Kelly pulls down nearly four boards per game. All five starters are averaging over 27 minutes a game. On the bench for UCF are Genevia Carter and Erika Jones, who have provided the starters some valuable resting time.

Prior to the start of conference play, UCF held a record of only 7-6, but the Knights played some tough teams in non-conference play. They lost to both Florida and Florida State, who is currently ranked no. 12 in the nation. But once UCF entered conference play and faced teams they knew, their record vastly improved. Against the top teams in C-USA, the Knights went 6-3. By avenging their first 74-53 loss to Memphis in the season finale, the Knights earned a chance for a bid into the NCAA tournament. All they have to do now is continued being victorious come the conference tournament. It seems as though UCF has found a way to overcome the sloppy play that earned them their earlier losses. By finishing the season with a win, they have the momentum they need heading into the conference tournament in El Paso.

d’nayDANIELS Senior guard and forward D’Nay Daniels has played a big role in UCF’s women’s basketball team during her four year tenure with the school. This Atlanta, GA, native has been a starter for the Knights since her freshman year. As a junior, Daniels scored 10.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. She held a .436 field goal for percentage for the year, the team high. This year, Daniels has only improved her game. Her hard work has paid off as she is a force to reckon with on the offensive side of the ball. This year she is averaging 14 points per game as well as recording eight rebounds per game. Daniels is an unselfish player as she

has also dished out 20 assists during the year. On the defensive side of the ball, Daniel has registered 35 steals and 13 blocked shots. When Daniels has been fouled and sent to the free throw line, she has made 75 percent of her free throws. If Daniels can play up to her potential, the sky is the limit for the Knights. With Daniels, they can go into El Paso and come out as the champions of the Conference USA tournament and more importantly gain that automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Photo: UCF Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

D’Nay Daniels SR G/F PPG 14, RBG 7.9 Jelisa Caldwell SR G PPG 9.9, RBG 3.6 Ashia Kelly JR F PPG 3.7, RBG 3.5 Aisha Patrick JR G PPG 10.2, RBG 8.1 APG 3.9 Chelsie Wiley SR G PPG 13.9, RBG 2.2 APG 2

KEY RESERVES Gevenia Carter SO PPG 6.1, RBG 1.4

G

Erika Jones FR F/C PPG 3.6, RBG 4.3

S

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Ashia Kelly

51.2%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Ashia Kelly 36.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Aisha Patrick 8.1 ASSISTS PER GAME Aisha Patrick 3.9 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Chelsie Wiley

Senior guard Chelsie Wiley UCF Athletics

81.6%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Jessica Goswitz S0 G PPG 7.9, RBG 3.9 Brianna Hypolite JR F PPG 11.4, RBG 4.4 Jessica Kuster FR F PPG 13.7, RBG 10.8 Morgan Mayse SR F PPG 11.5, RBG 4.3 D’Frantz Smart JR G PPG 6.1, RBG 3.9, APG 6

KEY RESERVES Megan Elliott JR F PPG 4.4, RBG 4.1 Amenemope McKinney JR G PPG 2.9, RPG 1.6

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Jessica Kuster

46.7%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Morgan Mayse 47.4% REBOUNDS PER GAME Morgan Mayse 10.8 ASSISTS PER GAME Morgan Mayse

6

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Jessica Goswitz 76.8%

Freshman forward Jessica Kuster Anthony Vasser/Rice Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

RICE 3 GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED The Owls have had an up and down season, and yet, they hold a 10-6 record in C-USA play. They have played impressively in some exciting games, especially considering that Rice’s team contains players with various levels of experience. Perhaps, this is why the Owls haven’t played better this season. The Owls’ freshman forward Jessica Kuster has played well beyond her experience, or lack thereof, averaging 13.7 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. On the experienced side, senior forward Morgan Mayse averages 11.5 points and 4.3 points per game. Rice averages 65 points per game, outscoring its opponents by a mere three points per game. In the pre-conference season, Rice held a 8-6 record. They suffered losses to teams such as Baylor, Texas A&M, UALR and LU. On the other hand, they

18-12 10-6 C-USA

Owls were victorious against the likes of Montana State, Georgia State and Texas State. Rice then started the conference season with a game against UCF, where they were defeated 81-68. Next, the Owls headed to Tulsa and were able to escape with a 61-53 win. Rice then went on a two game split to break even with their record. This season the Owls have gained the majority of their points through their forwards, especially junior forward Brianna Hypolite. Hypolite averages 11.4 points per game. The Owls’ offense may be a bit one-sided this season. Junior guard D’Frantz Smart only averages six points per game and could be part of the reason Rice has struggled at times. Despite being a big team, Rice does not rebound the ball well and is often outrebounded by their opponents. On average, Rice has nabbed 41 rebound per game. The Owls have been dependant on Kuster to rebound, but she is only

a freshman and that is a lot to expect from a player with such little playing experience. In spite of their rebounding troubles, the Owls did go on a four game winning streak against UAB, Tulane, Tulsa, and SMU. Rice’s 74-70 triumph against Tulane in overtime garnered four Rice players double digits, though they were outrebounded 48-37. The Owls finished the regular conference season with a 73-63 win over SMU. With this win, Rice finds itself in fourth place going into the conference tournament and has clinched a first round bye. Before the tournament, the Owls will need to find a way to rebound the ball better. Head coach Greg Williams needs to get his team together and have them buy into rebounding. Mayse is going to have to help Kuster down in the paint, and the team will need to work together if they want to go the distance in the conference tournament.

jessicaKUSTER 6-foot 2-inch forward Jessica Kuster is one of the best young players in the nation, let alone Conference USA. Kuster has been name C-USA Freshman of the Week 10 times this season. The young freshman from San Antonio, TX, averages 13.7 points and 10.8 rebounds per game for Rice. Kuster has had 11 double doubles, 14 double-digit rebounding games, and 21 double-digit scoring games. She scored a Conference USA high 35 points and 10 rebounds against Long Beach State. Kuster has played in all of Rice’s games, but has only started 19 of them. Kuster’s impressive play should be no surprise considering the talent she possessed coming in. During her

senior in high school, Kuster posted 22 double-digit scoring games and 15 double-digit rebounding games. She was undoubtedly an asset to her high school team and is now an asset to this Rice squad. Kuster’s talent has not only benefited Rice, but it has shown that there are some really talented young players coming through this league. The Owls are going to need to rely on Kuster to keep playing well if they are to progress in the conference tournament.

Photo: Anthony Vasser/Rice Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

TULANE 4

20-9 9-7 C-USA

REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED Heading into the conference tournament, Tulane currently sits in 4th place. This standing is enough to earn them a first round bye, and therefore, garner them an extra day of rest before beginning tournament play. Tulane can attribute their success to the high level of experience its squad has had this season. Four of Tulane’s top five players are seniors, which has helped earn the Green Wave a season record of 20-9 (9-7 C-USA). Tulane started its season with a fourwin run before losing their first game to Portland State by a mere seven points. The Green Wave then went on another winning-streak beating Cal State Fullerton, Saint Joseph’s and Detroit. Tulane earned one more loss to Louisiana Tech, 72-78, before beginning conference play.

Once in conference play, the Green Wave won four in a row against SMU, UAB, ECU and Marshall. Tulane was dealt its first conference loss by Southern Miss, in a showdown that led to overtime, where the Green Wave eventually lost by five points. Tulane would go on to win another before losing once more in overtime; this time to conference opponent Rice, 70-74. This second overtime loss singled a turn in the tide for the Green Wave. After posting a 6-2 conference record, Tulane went on a four-game losing streak, losing to the likes of SMU, Houston, UTEP and UCF. Three of these losses were by a mere four points, one was in overtime (UCF) and two were against opponents the Green Wave had already beaten earlier in the season. The slump could have been attributed to the squad’s individual players, if a weak link could have be found. But with all

five of its top players earning on average over 10 points per game, it’s hard to say why the Green Wave suddenly lost its momentum. Despite the team’s slump, team leader Danielle Nunn continued to post over 15 points per game and nearly six rebounds per contest. Likewise, senior guard Tiffany Aidoo posted nearly 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Rounding out the top five, seniors Roshaunda Barnes and Brittany Lindsay each posted 12 points per game while sophomore Olivia Grayson, the lone underclassmen of the group, earned nearly 11 points per game. Whether it was simply a slump or not, Tulane is back on track, having won three of its last four games of the regular conference season. It seems this turn of the tide has come at the right moment, putting the Green Wave in position to make a big splash come the Conference USA tournament.

daniellaNUNN Senior guard Daniella Nunn has had the type of senior year all collegiate basketball players want. Averaging 15.6 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game, Nunn can work both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, proving why she is Tulane’s team leader this season. It comes as no surprise that this 5’9” Texas native has stepped up for this team. Last year, in her first season with the team, Nunn played in all 33 games and started the final 23 games of the season. Her contribution to the team netted her 363 points last season. This season Nunn has posted 302 points, not as many as last season, but still the team high.

Currently, Nunn has a field goal percentage of .575 and a free throw percentage of .669. Though she has no three points to her credit, Nunn has made up for this in steals (32) and assists (44) as well as rebounds (120). Nunn’s ability to share the spotlight may have subtracted from her personal stats this season, but it has brought Nunn and the Green Wave conference success, putting them in the right position to give the conference leaders a run for their money in the conference tournament.

Photo: Parker Walters/ Tulane Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Tiffany Aidoo SR G PPG 13.1, RBG 4.4 Roshaunda Barnes SR G PPG 12.4, RBG 3.6 APG 5 Brett Benzio JR PPG 7.2, RBG 7

C

Olivia Grayson SO G PPG 10.6 RBG 5.8 APG 4.9 Danielle Nunn SR G/F PPG 15.1, RBG 5.8 APG 2.2

KEY RESERVES Whitney Bibbins FR G/F PPG 7.4 , RBG 4.7 Brittany Lindsey SR PPG 12, RPG 4.1

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Danielle Nunn

58.2%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Tiffany Aidoo 39.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Brett Benzio 7 ASSISTS PER GAME Roshaunda Barnes

Senior guard Tiffany Aidoo Jennifer Stewar t/US Presswire

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Olivia Grayson

5

75%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Ashley Clarke JR PPG 9.4, RBG 4, APG 3.6

G

Kim Gay SR PPG 12.2, RBG 6

F

Chareya Smith JR PPG 8.4, RBG 3.7 Alison Spivey SR PPG 9, RBG 3.8, APG 2.3

F

G

Crystal Wilson JR G PPG 6.6, RBG 3.5, APG 2.2 KEY RESERVES Jean Best JR PPG 6.7, RBG 4.3

C

Kelly Smith SR PPG 5.9, RBG 3.2

G

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Jean Best

61.3%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Alison Spivey 36.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Kim Gay 6 ASSISTS PER GAME Ashley Clarke 3.6 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Kim Gay

80.3%

Junior guard Ashley Clarke Rob Goldberg, Jr./ECU Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

EAST 4 CAROLINA 15-14 9-7 C-USA

JOSH PUGA MINER ILLUSTRATED

East Carolina is looking to salvage a disappointing 15-14 (9-7 C-USA) season as they try to turn things around here in El Paso. First-year head coach Heather Macy is looking for her team to gain some confidence to take into next season and hopes to turn some heads in the process. Macy was highly successful in the Division II ranks at Francis Marion University (Florence, SC) leading the Patriots to three straight NCAA Division II Tournament berths while compiling a 75-19 record before taking over at ECU. And while this year has been a struggle at times, the Pirates are making strides with Macy at the helm and are slowly coming around. The Pirates are led by the inside-out combo of Allison Spivey and Kim Gay. Senior forward Gay leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12

points and six rebounds per game. She is a force in the paint and is the team’s most reliable free-throw shooter converting on 80% of her attempts. Senior guard Spivey averages nine points per game and is one of the unquestioned leaders on the team. She is a dangerous shooter that will make a team pay if they leave her open. Starting in the backcourt with Spivey is a pair of 5-foot 6-inch guards, Ashley Clark and Celeste Stewart; both play bigger than their listed height. Clark averages nine points a game and is the team leader in assists, dishing out almost four per game while Stewart chips in with almost five points per game. Starting opposite Gay in the front court is junior forward Chareya Smith, who is averaging eight points and nearly four rebounds per contest. Off the bench to spell the back court are guards Cristal Wilson (6.6 ppg) and Shala Hodges (4.8 ppg). Both provide an

offensive spark when the starters take a seat. In the front court, the Pirates turn to center Jean Best (7 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and forward Kelly Smith (5.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) to provide much needed size and rebounding. One key reserve worth mentioning that won’t be playing in the tournament is talented sophomore forward Arian Jackson (8.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who injured her knee February 2nd versus Memphis and is out for the season. Even with Jackson’s injury all is not lost. After losing four of their first five conference games, the Pirates won eight out of their last eleven contests and are improving just in time to make a run in the tournament. Depth will still be an issue as the tournament rolls along, but the Pirates are a team to keep an eye on in C-USA Tournament next week.

allisonSPIVEY 5-foot 10-inch senior guard Allison Spivey is a gritty and talented player that has the ability to take over a game with her shooting touch (37% from the three-point line) and high basketball IQ. As a junior, Spivey scored in the double digits 17 times, including a career high 25 points. This year Spivey has amassed 259 points; 168 of which are from the three-point range. Spivey is a great leader that demands the most out of each of her teammates, similar to an assistant coach on the floor. She does an excellent job getting teammates involved. With her size and length, she can

cause problems on defensive side by creating mismatch problems for opposing teams on the offensive side of the floor. Spivey is coming off one of her best games of the season scoring 15 points off of a season high five threepointers while grabbing seven boards with three assists in a win over Tulsa (Feb. 24). No doubt ECU will rely on Spivey to lead the team throughout the conference tournament.

Photo: Rob Goldberg, Jr./ ECU Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

MEMPHIS 6 19-11 8-8 C-USA

ALEX MORALES MINER ILLUSTRATED The University of Memphis women’s basketball team started the season playing its best basketball, winning 10 games in a row at one point. But as the season has progressed, they have not continued to play up to the talent that this team possesses. The Tigers currently sit at 19-11 overall and 8-8 in Conference USA play. They lost their last five out of six games. They had a chance to regain momentum when they close out the season against the second place team, UCF, whom they have already beaten earlier in the season, but instead, the Tigers lost their final game 70-49. During their losing stretch, Memphis was outscored by its opponents by nearly 15 points per game. The Tigers allowed the opposition to average 68 points per game while only scoring 53

points themselves. In order to have any momentum going into the conference tournament, the Tigers must find a way to win again. Memphis has talent on their roster as they are led by two extremely talented players. Junior Brittany Carter, who transferred from the University of Georgia after her freshman year, leads the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. She also dishes out 2.2 assists per game. Junior Jasmine Lee is also a transfer from the University of Georgia, who sat out all last year due to transfer rules. Lee is currently averaging 12.3 points per game while hauling an impressive 8.5 rebounds per game. Aiding Carter and Lee is sophomore forward Nicole Dickson, who has averaged 9.8 points and four rebounds per game. Junior guard Ramses Lonlack has also contributed by chipping over nine points and nearly five rebounds per game.

Rounding out the top five players is senior guard Alex Winchell, who adds nearly seven points per contest. Momentum is key to any sport and if the Tigers can gain some steam, they have an opportunity to make some noise in the tournament. As the Tigers are currently in sixth place in the standings, they will most likely face one of the lower ranked teams, giving Memphis an opportunity to advance well into the tournament. Yet, anything can happen in a conference tournament. Memphis is looking to play the role of spoiler and steal an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament from one of the top four teams in the Conference USA. In order to do this, Memphis will have to ride the backs of their two junior stars, who will need to bring their A-game, and play as a team.

brittanyCARTER Junior guard Brittany Carter has always been a talented player on the courts. Coming out of high school, she was a highly touted recruit. She played her first year at the University of Georgia before transferring to Memphis. Last year, she was named to First Team All-Conference and was also named Newcomer of the Year as she scored 19 points a game and 5.6 rebounds a game. Her 654 points from a year ago ranks as the eighth most points in a single season by a Tiger. This year Carter’s scoring average is down to 13.7 points a game, but she has 47 steals and 14 blocks to her credit this year. Her three-point percentage sits at 34 percent, and she has a .419

field goal percentage. Despite not scoring as much as she did a year ago, the offense still revolves around her. Carter is capable of taking on an extra load if one of her teammates is not on point. She has the ability to drive the ball and get to the basket. Her Achilles’ heel is free throws as she only makes 64 percent of those. If Carter is able to play to her potential, she can carry the Tigers far into the Conference USA Tournament and help them regain the form that they had earlier in the season.

Photo: Joe Mur phy/Joe Murphy Photography


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Brittany Carter JR G PPG 13.7, RBG 3.9, APG 2.2 Savannah Ellis SR PPG 4.3, RBG 5.6

C

Jasmine Lee JR PPG 12.3, RBG 8.5

P

Ramses Lonlack JR PPG 9.5, RBG 4.7

G

Alex Winchell SR PPG 6.8, RBG 1.5

G

KEY RESERVES Nicole Dickson SO PPG 9.8, RBG 4

F

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir FR G PPG 3.6, RPG 1.2

R

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Jasmine Lee

51.4%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Nicole Dickson 41.3% REBOUNDS PER GAME Jasmine Lee 8.5 ASSISTS PER GAME Alex Winchell 4.2

Junior guard Jasmine Lee Joe Mur phy/Joe Mur phy Photography

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir 76.9%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Meagan Brown JR C PPG 4.2, RBG 5.8 Karisma Chapman FR F PPG 6.6, RBG 4.34 Amanda Peterson SR G PPG 10.4, RBG 2.2 LaShaunda Pratt JR G PPG 9.5, RBG 3.2 Khalilah Watson SO G PPG 5.2, RBG 4.3, APG 2.4

KEY RESERVES Amber Jones SO G PPG 11.7, RBG 3.1 APG 2.2 Destiny Samuels FR PPG 3, RBG 3.2

C

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Destiney Samuels 53% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Amanda Peterson 38.3% REBOUNDS PER GAME Meagan Brown 5.8 ASSISTS PER GAME Khalilah Watson 2.4 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE LaShaunda Pratt 75.8%

Senior guard Amanda Peterson Photo: UAB Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

UAB 7 BRIAN TRIPPE UAB KALEIDOSCOPE Last year, UAB struggled during the regular season but carried a three-game winning streak into the Conference USA Tournament. The Blazers took that momentum to the tournament championship game before falling to eventual champion Tulane. Coach Audra Smith sees similarities in this year’s team. UAB lost six of its first seven conference games before getting back into the conference race with the help of a four-game winning streak. “It’s been kind of a rocky, up and down year,” Smith said. “The most exciting thing about Conference USA is that it’s wide open. So much parity in our league makes it exciting going into the tournament.” One of the biggest reasons for UAB’s recent success is the team’s ability to come together. The team faced adversity just before the start of conference play

15-14 7-9 C-USA

when leading scorer Jala Harris left the team for undisclosed reasons. Harris, a sophomore point guard who was the C-USA freshman of the year last season, was averaging 15.5 points, but the team has found ways to make up for her loss. First off, Amanda Peterson, the only senior for UAB, is one of the most dynamic shooters in the conference. Peterson has picked up her scoring since Harris left, and earlier in the year, became UAB’s all-time 3-point shooter with 82 three-pointers to her name this season. “Just since she’s been here she’s been an unbelievable leader by example with how hard she works, what she shows in terms of her heart,” Smith said. Additionally, transfer junior guard LaShaunda Pratt’s experience has been a welcomed addition for the Blazers as she has taken Harris’ place in the starting lineup. Pratt has 9.2 points per game as well as three rebounds per game. Further helping the Blazers is freshman

forward Karisma Chapman, who has the team’s second highest field goal percentage at .427 as well as the highest three-point percentage (.389). Chapman and fellow teammate Khalilah Watson each nab over four rebounds per game. Starter and center Megan Brown averages more minutes per game (26.7) than any Blazer player except Peterson. Brown’s scoring average may not be the highest (4.1 ppg) on the team, but her nearly 6 rebounds per game have been a necessary component to the Blazers’ defensive game. The key for UAB, however, will be its resiliency. Last year the Blazers did a nice job of building on their late season success; Smith expects the same from her squad in this year’s tournament as well. “There was sense of urgency last year and I see that now,” she said. “We’re playing hard and we’re playing together. The team has gelled and is on a roll.”

amandaPETERSON UAB guard Amanda Peterson is the lone senior on a team full of youngsters. Though she is not the vocal leader some might expect her to be, her maturity is the glue that holds the Blazers together. With UAB’s young lineup, Peterson’s leadership will determine the Blazers’ success in the Conference USA Tournament. “She’s a coaches’ dream in terms of how she practices like she plays,” said head coach Audra Smith. “By the players seeing her work ethic that’s what they’re following.” Last year, Peterson set a single season record with 83 three-pointers, which put her in 5th place in the Conference USA rankings for threepointers made in an collegiate career.

Peterson became the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers made earlier in the year and looks to build on that success by making it to her first NCAA Tournament. In addition, Peterson has 10.7 point per game, a free throw percentage of .745, and 21 steals to her name this year. Her teammates understand that this is Peterson’s last year. UAB will have to win the conference tournament to make the big dance. “She’s seeing a sense of urgency because this is it for her in terms of basketball,” says Smith. “She’s taking advantage of every moment.”

Photo: UAB Athletics


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

SMU 7 GUS CONTRERAS MINER ILLUSTRATED SMU is one of the most experienced teams in Conference USA, and they will try and use that experience in the conference tournament. Yet, despite their experience, SMU has had a rough season thus far, and so they come into the tournament in seventh place. The Mustangs have played some really solid games, but they lack consistency. SMU’s troubles have primarily stemmed from their excessive turnovers this season. The Mustangs have turned the ball over 519 times compared to 500 by their opponents, and this should not be happening for a team of experience players. On the other hand, SMU has had no trouble scoring. SMU as a team has scored an average of 67 points per game. Although, the Mustangs have had to rely heavily on a couple key players to get

14-15 7-9 C-USA

them this far. Junior post Christine Elliot leads the Mustangs with 10.3 points and seven rebounds per game. Three other SMU players that have also scored well are junior guard Samantha Mahnesmith (10.5 ppg), Delisha Wills (10.3 ppg) and Raquel Christian (9.6 ppg). SMU started off conference play with a 62- 58 loss at Tulane. Though Samantha Mahnesmith scored 16 points, SMU wasn’t able to get a full team showing. SMU followed this loss with another; this time against Houston. Thankfully, the Mustangs picked up steam and won their next three conference games against Tulsa, UCF and UTEP. The next 10 games were an almost even mixture of wins and losses for the Mustangs, but unfortunately, SMU wrapped up their regular conference season with a loss to Rice, 73-63. Most of the Mustangs troubles have come in contests away from home, where they currently hold a 2-7 record.

The trouble on the road is tough to understand because this team is filled with upperclassmen that have a lot of experience playing in other arenas. The team’s leaders in terms of turnovers are sophomore guard Alisha Filmore and junior Christine Elliott, who have compiled 74 turnovers each. Most teams’ turnovers come from their guards, so it is rather unusual to have an inside player with so many. SMU will have to limit these turnovers if they want to succeed in the conference tournament. The Mustangs come into the conference tournament in seventh place, but they still have a chance to do well. They have been very inconsistent at times, but this is still a senior team and their leadership is vital. If the Mustangs get a hot shooting hand and play better defensively, they just might surprise some teams.

raquelCHRISTIAN 5-foot 6-inch SMU redshirt senior guard Raquel Christian is one of the flashiest players that SMU has. Christian transferred to SMU from Texas Tech and has played very well this year, averaging 10 points per game and 22 minutes per game. Christian’s main threat is from beyond the arc, where she has amassed an impressive 51 three-pointers this season. She is known to take a lot of chances from three-point range so when she is hot, she can really hurt the opposing team. Against UTEP, Christian scored eight three-pointers and finished the game with 35 points, proving what a threat she can be. Last season, Christian finished the year shooting 44 percent from beyond

the three-point line and 86 percent from the free throw line. This year, she has shot 39 percent from the threepoint line and 67 percent from the free throw line; a slight drop from last year’s stats but still impressive enough to make an impact on the court. Christian is considered a super sub and adds experience to this SMU team. If Christian can get find a way to repeat her last performance in El Paso from beyond the arc, the opposing teams are going to be in trouble. SMU will use her talents to do some damage in the tournament.

Photo: SMU Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Haley Day SR G/F PPG 8.7 , RBG 5.8, APG 2.4 Christine Elliott JR PPG 10.5, RBG 7.4

P

Alisha Filmore SO G PPG 7.9, RBG 3.1, APG 3.9 Raquel Christian SR G PPG 9.6 RBG 2.2 APG 1.3 Delisha Wills SR F PPG 10.3, RBG 4.9 KEY RESERVES

Samantha Mahnesmith JR G PPG 10.5, RBG 2 Akil Simpson FR PPG 5.1, RBG 4.2

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Christine Elliott

54%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Alisha Filmore 41.5% REBOUNDS PER GAME Christine Elliott 7.4 ASSISTS PER GAME Alisha Filmore 3.1

Senior guard Raquel Christian SMU Athletics

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Samantha Mahnesmith 82.3%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Gloria Brown JR PPG 12, RBG 6.9

F

Dietra Caldwell JR G PPG 9.6,RBG 4.1, APG 3.4 Ashley Milian SR PPG 6.2, RBG 3.5

F

Kayla Thornton FR F PPG 6.5, RBG 5.6 Kelli Willingham FR G PPG 9.1, RBG 2.7 APG 4.2

KEY RESERVES Erika Warren PPG 4.3, RBG 2

JR

F

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Ashley Milian

55.3%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Dietra Caldwell 39.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Gloria Brown 6.9 ASSISTS PER GAME Kelli Willingham 4.2 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Gloria Brown

80.6%

Senior forward Ashley Milian Chr is Avila/Miner Illustrated


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

UTEP 7 REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED The Lady Miners have been picking away at this season, working to climb to the top of the Conference USA rankings. But with a 7-9 C-USA record (15-13 overall), UTEP finds itself in 9th place going into the Conference USA Tournament. Prior to conference play, the Lady Miners were sitting with an 8-4 record. They opened the season with a victory against UC Irvine. UTEP followed that up with an overtime loss to New Mexico State. The Lady Miners did not let this loss affect them and proceeded to win seven of their next 10 games by an average of 14 points per contest. Then conference play began. In their first C-USA contest, UTEP defeated ECU by nine points. Next, they suffered a loss to Marshall by a mere four points but recovered from this with a victory against Memphis. This up and down trend continued for the Lady Miners for the next five games; after which they held a 4-4

15-13 7-9 C-USA

record in the conference play. UTEP endured its first losing streak of conference play when they suffered back-to-back losses to Tulane, UAB and UCF. This streak seem to single a shift in the Lady Miners’ season and came as no surprise to the team, having lost their starting guard Briana Green to a seasonending injury. Stepping up for Green was guard Kelli Willingham. As a freshman, Willingham has had to grow up quickly and lead the team. Currently, Willingham averages nine points and three rebounds per game. She has an impressive .803 free throw percentage and 38 steals to her name this season. Aiding Willingham in leading the Lady Miners is junior forward Gloria Brown. Brown leads the team in points per game (12) and field goal percentage (.546). Brown has used her talent to cause 59 blocks this season and grab 32 steals. Although, Brown has not started a single game for UTEP, she is undoubtedly an essential part of their team. Rounding out the top five are junior

guard Dietra Caldwell and freshman forward Kayla Thornton. Caldwell is second in scoring to Brown with nearly 10 points per game. She leads the team in steals (34) and nabs four rebounds per contest. Thornton contributes in the rebound department with nearly six per game and has nearly as many steals (31) as Brown. Unfortunately, the Lady Miners suffered another loss when sophomore forward Anete Steinberga was injured at the end of the regular conference season. Prior to her injury, Steinberga was scoring nearly eight points per game and had an impressive field goal percentage of .476. Her loss will be felt by the Lady Miners going into the conference tournament; they will have to rely on their bench to step up in Steinberga’s absence. Should the Lady Miners regroup and get back to their pre-conference performance, UTEP could go far in the tournament. But they will have to work together and rely on their young guard Willingham to continue leading the team.

gloriaBROWN Junior forward Gloria Brown has stepped up this year to help lead the Lady Miners. At 6-foot 2-inch, the Philadelphia, PA native, has used her size and talent to become UTEP’s go-to player. Prior to playing for UTEP, Brown played for Trinity Valley Community College. While there, Brown became the only junior college player in the nation ranked in the top 15. She was 10th in blocks (2.4), 3rd in field goal percentage (62%), and 9th in rebounding (19.4). Brown was the No. 2 recruit when UTEP nabbed her. This year, Brown has showed us all why she was third overall in national junior college players. Currently, Brown is UTEP’s leading scorer (12.1 ppg) and leading rebounder (7.1 rpg). Brown

also has the team’s highest free throw percentage (.806) and the most blocks (59) this season. Brown has had 20 games this season in which she has scored in the double digits. She has also had seven double doubles this season. In games where Brown has had double doubles, the Lady Miners are 5-2, proving without a doubt that UTEP needs Brown to be on her game if they want to succeed. Going into the conference tournament, Brown will need to continue putting up points and nabbing rebounds if the Lady Miners expect to go far.

Photo: Jeff Taylor /Miner llustrated


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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

MARSHALL 10 9-20 5-11 C-USA

AARON PAYNE THE PARTHEON The 2010-2011 edition of the Marshall women’s basketball team has been working on building confidence heading into the conference tournament. “I think to get confidence back, you have to get players back,” head coach Royce Chadwick said. “We’re a better basketball team with our full allotment of players.” The Thundering Herd has been plagued by the absence of key players this season. Sophomore guard Erica Woods and freshman forward Brittany Turner were medically ruled out before the season began. Transfer sophomore guard Shynisha Johnson’s request letter was not approved in time for her to play for Marshall. Red-shirt freshman guard Milan Germany was ruled academically ineligible for the second semester. Sophomore forward Adrian Randall left the team in the second semester for personal reasons.

Finally, transfer junior guard Latiedra Elliot, junior guard Rashedah Henriques and sophomore forward Veronica Ruiz, all starters for Marshall suffered injuries during the season that forced them to miss multiple games. During the absence of the three starters, production for the Herd slipped. Marshall went on a seven game losing streak including an embarrassing 57 point defeat, the largest margin of defeat in program history, at the hands of in-state rival West Virginia. Turnovers were a big problem for Marshall during the skid as the Herd averaged a turnover margin of -8.9. This was mostly due to young players having to play more than they normally would have. Players like freshman guard Dorina Barrett, freshman forward Orlandria Williams and freshman forward Salesse Stovall saw more minutes than the normal freshman ball player does. However, the good news for Herd fans was Ruiz came back to the team right

before the seven-game skid started, Elliot came back for the road game against UAB, and Henriques returned one game later against ECU. Henriques’ first game back marked the return of the original starting five. In their second game with the original five, the Herd was able to end the losing streak with a victory on the road against Southern Miss, 57-48; Chadwick’s first win inside the Reed Green Coliseum. The return of the veteran players not only ended the losing streak, it helped end the turnover ailment. During the next five games, Marshall averaged a turnover margin –0.2 and had a record of 3-2. “We’ve got people that are healthy and getting better every game,” Chadwick said. “It’s been a very difficult season and it’s been a situation where everyone had to overcome more than their normal share in a season.” The Herd will look to come to El Paso with confidence and perhaps turn some heads in the conference tournament.

tynikkiCROOK JARROD CLAY THE PARTHEON Tynikki Crook is truly the definition of a senior leader. The senior center/forward leads the Thundering Herd in points scored per game, averaging 16.1, and in rebounds per game with 9.1. Crook has not only been a standout for the Herd this season, but for her entire career, and in turn finds herself towards the top of a number of Marshall career-records. This season the Detroit native worked her way to fourth all-time in scoring in the program’s history with more than 1,400 points. Crook says that her offensive production comes as a bit of a surprise. “I didn’t come in here as a scorer so

I had to work on my game,” Crook said. “Its something I continue to work on so the record surprised me a little bit.” Crook ranks in the top 100 nationally in scoring, but she is by no means a one trick pony. She also finds herself ranked in the top 60 nationally in rebounds per game and has climbed Marshall’s all time charts ranking fourth all-time in rebounds. Despite some rough times the Thundering Herd has faced the past few seasons, Crook has continued to be the standout player, carrying the team through its highest highs and lowest lows.

Photo: Marshall Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Tynikki Crook SR PPG 16.2, RBG 9.1

F

Lateidra Elliott JR G PPG 8.6, RBG 2.2, APG 3.1 Rasheda Henriques JR G PPG 7, RBG 3.7 Alaya Mitchell JR G PPG 6.6, RBG 3.9, APG 2.4 Veronica Ruiz SO G/F PPG 8.3, RBG 5.8

KEY RESERVES Tessa Johnson SO G PPG 3.6 RBG 1.1 Dorina Barrett FR G PPG 3.2, RBG 1.6 TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Tynikki Crook

49%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Rasheda Henriques 30.7% REBOUNDS PER GAME Tynikki Crook 9.1 ASSISTS PER GAME Lateidra Elliott 3.1

Senior forward Tynikki Crook Marshall Athletics

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Tessa Johnson

90.9%


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS Geneshia Dunbar SR C PPG 5, RBG 6.4 Jamierra Faulkner FR G PPG 12.3, RBG 3.7, APG 6 Brittany Johnson PPG 6, RBG 2.3

SR G

Niesha Pierce FR G PPG 5.2, RBG 2.7 Tanesha Washington SR G/F PPG 14.6, RBG 9.2

KEY RESERVES Nia Bradford FR G PPG 2, RBG 2.1 Rachel Vigers JR F PPG 16.9, RBG 6.7

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Rachel Vigers

49.8%

3-POINT PERCENTAGE Brittany Johnson 28.4% REBOUNDS PER GAME Tanesha Washington 9.2 ASSISTS PER GAME Jamierra Faulkner FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Rachel Vigers

6

84.5%

Freshman guard Jamierra Senior center/forward Tynikki Faulkner Crook Marshall Athletics Joe Har per/BGN Photography


6 3

M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

SOUTHERN 10 MISS 10-19 5-11 C-USA

TRAVIS THORNELL THE STUDENT PRINTZ

Listening to Southern Miss Lady Eagles head coach Joye Lee-McNelis, one might think they were interviewing the team’s trainer. The Lady Eagles have been hit with major injuries with five players out for the rest of the season including one of their most dynamic players, Rachel Vigers, who is out with a broken hand. Yet, the Lady Eagles have pushed through the hardship. Seniors Tanesha Washington, Geneshia Dunbar, and Brittany Johnson have been able to carry the depleted roster. Washington has averaged nearly 15 points per game, while Dunbar and Johnson have pitched in five and six points respectively. Washington also leads the team in rebounds with nine per game. Freshmen Neisha Pierce and Jamierra Faulkner have rounded out the starting line-up. Pierce is a solid shooter from the

free throw line with a .679 percentage. Faulkner is the team’s second highest scorer with over 12 points per game; she also has 72 steals to her name this year. Faulkner had to become a force, running the point for McNelis and taking the team on her shoulder after Washington was injured for a few games in January. But with only three players on the bench available, the Lady Eagles know they will have to play exceptional with their starting five. “Our league is full of parity. Top teams in the conference go down all the time to the bottom teams. The championship is up for grabs. It’s only been two years since UCF won it from the bottom of the league. For us, the growth and maturity of our team is a big key because we are so young, “Coach McNelis said. The Lady Eagles fit into the parity of the league. They have defeated Tulane and Memphis that have been in the top half of the league the whole season but

have been dropped games to UAB (7-9 C-USA) and Tulsa (1-15 C-USA) that have been on the bottom half. Team has fallen victim to the untimely injuries and a few losing streaks, but the strong core of leadership on the team has kept the team positive. “Losing (Rachel Vigers) was big. It put some pressure on us and we have to do our role. I think we will be okay if we keep in mind that when things get hard, we have to step up to the plate and be a team,” said Washington. The Lady Eagles wrapped up the season with four straight losses to Rice, UTEP, UCF and Marshall; not the momentum they need going into the conference tournament. Southern Miss will have to regroup quickly. The Lady Eagles are more than capable of making a little noise in El Paso if their veteran leadership and spectacular freshmen work together.

jamierraFAULKNER True freshmen are not supposed to be impact players, but don’t tell that to Southern Miss point guard Jamierra Faulkner. Coach Joye Lee-McNelis gave the reins on day one to the freshman from West Palm Beach, Florida, and it’s a decision she has not regretted. “Jamierra leads our attack at all times. There are times she plays like a freshman, and then there are times where she looks like a veteran player. It has been fun to see her overall growth as a point guard because she is very passionate about being the very best that she can be,” said Coach McNelis. With the rash of injuries that have plagued the Lady Eagles, Faulkner has had to grow up on the fly. With veteran players such as Tanesha Washington

and Rachel Vigers sidelined with injuries this season, Faulkner has had to answered the call to lead the team. Against Tulane on January 20th, Jamierra was a rebound away from a triple double with 24 points and 11 assists. Faulkner has earned Conference USA Freshman of the week twice this season for her performances against McNeese State on November 12th and ECU on January 23rd. There is no doubt that Faulkner will continue leading this team come the C-USA tournament, perhaps, even all the way.

Photo: Joe Har per/BGN Photography


6 4

M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

TULSA 12 REBECCA FRAZIER BURCH MINER ILLUSTRATED What started off as a somewhat promising season for the Golden Hurricane, quickly spiraled out of control. With the exception of one game, Tulsa’s season has become a never-ending string of losses. Sitting at 1-15 in conference play, Tulsa will head into the tournament this week dead last. Prior to conference play, Tulsa held a record of 4-4. In the games they won, Tulsa averaged 11 points more per game than its opponents. While in the games they lost, Tulsa averaged only 13 points less than its opponent. Had Tulsa continue winning as many games as they lost, they would be sitting in a much better position. Instead, the Golden Hurricane started conference play with a 30 point loss to Houston. This loss was followed up by two more against Rice and SMU. Tulsa’s lone conference win came in their contest against Southern Miss,

5-19 1-15 C-USA

where the Golden Hurricane beat the Golden Eagles by three points. Unlike their first three conference games, Tulsa managed to shoot well for the field as well as from the free throw line, giving them the edge they needed to walk away with the victory. Sadly, the Golden Hurricane could not keep the momentum going and proceeded to amass 12 start losses. This losing-streak cannot be attributed to a lack of effort though. The members of the Hurricane squad have given it their all in every game, particularly from the likes of Taleya Mayberry, Loren McDaniel and Chanice Scott. Sophomore guard Mayberry has found herself leading this team this season. Currently, Mayberry leads the team in points per game (14.8) and assists per game (3.1) as well as steals per game (3.1). Freshman forward McDaniel has also found herself in a leadership position as she is third in points per game (7.4) and leads the team in rebounds per

game with 6.2. Junior forward Scott has contributed to the team by posting 1.2 steals per game, 1.2 assists per game and five rebounds per game. It seems that Tulsa does not lack talent but rather experience. Of its top five players, the only senior is forward Kara Vaughn, who has played in only nine games this season. In those nine games, Vaughn has amassed a record of nine points per game as well as four rebounds per game; quite a performance in so few games. Though fellow seniors Tatum Beer and Denis Lewis have shone on the court from time to time, their lack of consistency has left the Golden Hurricane’s season in the hands of its less experienced squad members. Should the experienced players step up and the young team leaders continue giving it their all, Tulsa could maybe nab one more victory before their season comes to an end.

taleyaMAYBERRY Sophomore guard Taleya Mayberry has stepped up this season to lead the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. This comes as no surprise considering Mayberry’s success last season when she started all 28 games, was second in scoring with 12.1 points per game, and ended the season with a team-high 89 assists. The Tulsa, Ok. native has continued to shine in her second year with the squad. Currently, Mayberry is averaging nearly 15 points per game and has scored 355 points this season. She boasts a field goal percentage of .351 and a free throw percentage of .653. Mayberry also holds the team-high for assists (75) for the second year in a row. Early in the season, Mayberry posted

the team-best of 24 points in their loss to SMU. In the same contest, Mayberry also had seven rebounds, four steals and four assists in her 38 minutes of play; proving what an asset to the team she is-on both sides of the ball. Mayberry has had five other double digit games versus UTEP, Rice, Marshall, East Carolina and Tulane. Mayberry will need to continue leading her team come the conference tournament. Though this season may not have been what they wanted, with Mayberry’s leadership, Tulsa can plan on success in the seasons to come.

Photo: Tulsa Athletics


break DOWN PROJECTED STARTERS

Tatum Beer PPG 7, RBG 2.9

SR G

Amanda Mason FR F PPG 6.8, RBG 4.1 Taleya Mayberry SO G PPG 14.8, RBG 3.6, APG 3.2 Loren McDaniel FR PPG 7.7 , RBG 6.4

F

Chanice Scott PPG 7, RBG 4.7

F

JR

KEY RESERVES Denise Lewis JR F PPG 6.8, RBG 5.3 Kara Vaughan SR F PPG 8, RBG 4.6

Y

TEAM LEADERS SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Amanda Mason 39.3% 3-POINT PERCENTAGE Tatum Beer 32% REBOUNDS PER GAME Loren McDaniel 6.4 ASSISTS PER GAME Taleya Mayberry 3.2 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE Loren McDaniel 75.4%

Sophomore guard Taleya Mayberry Tulsa Athletics


2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

2

3

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

1st

2nd

4

45

44

43

6

3

5

2

4

46

5

7

(include direct technicals)

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Starter

47

6

8

48

7

9

49

8

10

50

9

51

10

TIME TAKEN

52

11

TIMEOUTS 1

TOTALS

PLAYER

53

12

2

54

13

3

55

14

4

FIELD GOALS

56

15

5

57

16

T

P

59

18

60

19

1

61

20

2

62

21

3

63

22

4

64

23

60* sec. timeouts

65

24

1

66

25

67

26

68

27

69

28

70

29

71

30

TECHNICALS & NOTES:

FG

72

31

73

32

FT

OVERTIMES

1st OT

74

33

TFG

75

34

3FG

2nd OT

SCORING BY PERIODS

2nd HALF

FREE THROWS

SECOND HALF FIELD GOALS

DATE

1st HALF

76

35

FT

77

36

FTA

SUMMARY

3rd OT

78

37

F

79

38

TP

FINAL SCORE

*There is a 60-second timeout only when there is television or when there are at least three electronic-media timeouts in either half.

TIME

ALT POS JUMP BALLS

99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120

58

17

30sec. timeouts

FREE THROWS

FIRST HALF

SHOT CLOCK

SITE

S C S 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 O P R T E S 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139

T

SCORE 1 R U PLAYER SCORING N TIME OF SCORING N I S 39 40 41 42 N P G

2nd HALF

1st HALF

TEAM FOULS

2

1

FOULS (include direct technicals)

NO.

SCORER

TIMER

Roster Approved

COACH

TEAM

M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M

6 6

Official NCAA Scorer’s Sheet

Miner Illustrated Magazine; Vol 1, Issue 9  

Miner Illustrated breaks down all the teams coming to El Paso for the Conference USA tournament. We look at each team's performance this sea...

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