UTEP's backcourt duo of Randy Culpepper and Julyan Stone were both honored for their tremendous seasons today. Culpepper was named to the 1st Team All Conference USA team. Stone was named to the second team. Culpepper and Stone were the only Miners named to the team.
Overall, league champion UAB led the conference with three players named to the first or second team. Unsurprisingly, C-USA assist leader Aaron Johnson of UAB made the first team at point guard.Johnson was joined by running mate Jamarr Sanders on the first team and forward Cameron Moore on the second team.
Here are the complete first, second, and third teams:
1. Randy Culpepper (G) UTEP Miners
2. Aaron Johnson (G) UAB Blazers
3. Jamarr Sanders (G) UAB
4. Papa Dia (F) SMU Mustangs
5. Gary Flowers (F) Southern Miss. Golden Eagles
6. Justin Hurtt (G) Tulsa
1. Julyan Stone (G) UTEP Miners
2. Kendall Timmons (G) Tulane Green Wave
3. Marcus Jordan (G) Central Florida Knights
4. Arsalan Kazemi (F) Rice Owls
5. Cameron Moore (F) UAB
1. Will Barton (G) Memphis Tigers
2. Jontae Sherrod (G) East Carolina Pirates
3. DeAndre Kane (G) Marshall Thundering Herd
4. Keith Clanton (F) UCF
5. Robert Nyakundi (F) SMU
Looking at this list, it's hard to argue that anybody was left off. I'm not overly shocked that DeAndre Kane made the third team over teammate Damier Pitts. I think the Freshman of the Year race is now down to two players, Kane and Will Barton.
As for MVP, it's anybody's guess. Usually, the league MVP comes from the league champion. But how will the league choose between Sanders and Johnson at UAB? WIll they split votes? Could that open the door for Randy Culpepper, Justin Hurtt, Papa Dia, or Gary Flowers to win it? SMU was perhaps the most surprising team in the league this year and Dia single handedly carried that team during key stretches of games. Flowers was the best player on USM's team but the Eagles finished a disappointing 5th in the league. Culpepper only trailed Hurtt in the C-USA scoring race. Hurtt was simply incredible this season. I would have no problem with him winning it.
Just like the muddied C-USA championship race we had this season, the race for MVP is just as tight. Who do you think should be MVP?