Steve Coulter of the DU Clarion is the RTC correspondent for Conference USA.
Predicted Order of Finish
- Memphis (15-1)
- UTEP (14-2)
- UAB (12-4)
- Marshall (10-6)
- Southern Mississippi (9-7)
- Houston (8-8)
- Tulsa (8-8)
- East Carolina (6-10)
- Southern Methodist (6-10)
- Central Florida (5-11)
- Tulane (2-14)
- Rice (1-15)
All-Conference First Team
- G: Justin Hurtt, Tulsa, Sr.
- G: Randy Culpepper, UTEP, Sr. (Preseason Player of the Year)
- F: Wesley Witherspoon, Memphis, Jr.
- F: Gary Flowers, Southern Mississippi
- F/C: Will Coleman, Memphis, Sr.
All-Conference Second Team
- G: Brock Young, East Carolina, Sr.
- G: Joe Jackson, Memphis, Fr.
- G/F: Will Barton, Memphis, Fr.
- F: Jeremy Williams, UTEP, Jr.
- F/C: Papa Dia, SMU, Sr.
Several freshman and transfer players will suit up for C-USA squads this season, but three that have grabbed everyone’s attention before the season has gone under way.
- Charles Carmouche, SG, Memphis: The junior transfer from New Orleans is a sharpshooter who can be the difference-maker late in the season. He is eligible to play right way, as the Privateers dismantled their program and moved to Division III status.
- Scottie Haralson, G, Tulsa: The UConn transfer could get a lot of playing time and be one of those studs that people talk about at the end of the season. Of course, it really depends whether he is cleared to play.
- Joseph Young, G, Houston: The freshman was a Parade All-America Third-Team selection from Yates High School. He is a talented young guard in a class with athletic forwards that makes Houston a contender in the conference once again. The infusion of a guy like Young into the lineup could spark a team looking for a playmaker. Young was the Texas Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year last season.
What You Need to Know
- There are six first-year coaches in the league this season; Tim Floyd getting hired at UTEP was probably the biggest offseason coaching move.
- The Conference USA Men’s Basketball Championships will be held in El Paso, giving UTEP a slight home court advantage against their conference opponents. The first game tips off on Wednesday, March 9. The tournament ends on Saturday, March 12 and the final will be broadcasted on CBS.
- UAB’s Aaron Johnson enters the season in need of 173 assists to become the school’s all-time leader. 597 assists is currently the record and the senior point guard leads a well-balanced UAB squad that could emerge as an at-large dark horse. The 5’8 point guard finished his junior year averaging 9.6 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, and 2.5 rebounds per game.