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Conference USA 2002-03 Season Recap

May 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Conference USA 2002-03 Season Recap

by Zach Van Hart

During the first half of the season, the Louisville Cardinals were not only the story of C-USA, but of the whole country. The Cards won 18 of their first 19 games and climbed to as high as No. 2 in the nation. But they faded down the stretch and Marquette, led by conference MVP Dwyane Wade, climbed to the top. The Golden Eagles were challenged by the resurgent Memphis Tigers, but eventually captured the regular season title.

But during the C-USA Tourney, Marquette suffered a quarterfinal upset to No. 9 seed UAB. The Blazers then knocked off No. 4 Saint Louis and looked prime to make a miraculous journey into the Big Dance. But they fell just a little short against hometown Louisville. The Cardinals squeaked past Memphis during the semis before topping UAB, 83-78.

NCAA Tournament

Marquette
Defeated Holy Cross, 72-68
Defeated Missouri, 101-92
Defeated Pittsburgh, 77-74
Defeated Kentucky, 83-69
Lost to Kansas, 94-61

Louisville
Defeated Austin Peay, 86-64
Lost to Butler, 79-71

Memphis
Lost to Arizona State, 84-71

Cincinnati
Lost to Gonzaga, 74-69

NIT

Alabama-Birmingham
Defeated UL Lafayette, 82-80
Defeated Siena, 80-71
Lost to St. John’s, 79-71

DePaul
Lost to North Carolina, 83-72

Saint Louis
Lost to Minnesota, 62-52

Awards

First Team All C-USA
Dwyane Wade, Marquette
Reece Gaines, Louisville
Marque Perry, Saint Louis
Morris Finley, UAB
Chris Massie, Memphis
Louis Truscott, Houston

Second Team
Charles Gaines, Southern Miss
Will McDonald, South Florida
Demon Brown, Charlotte
Antonio Burks, Memphis
Leonard Stokes, Cincinnati

Third Team
Robert Jackson, Marquette
Sam Hoskin, DePaul
Travis Diener, Marquette
Junior Blount, TCU
Reggie Kohn, South Florida

Most Valuable Player

Dwyane Wade – Marquette junior guard

Season averages – 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists per game. Reece Gaines competed with Wade for half the season, but Wade eventually blew the entire league out of the water.

Freshman of the Year

Francisco Garcia, Louisville

Newcomer of the Year

Robert Jackson, Marquette

Defensive Player of the Year

Dwyane Wade, Marquette

Coach of the Year

John Calipari, Memphis

Marquette 27-6, 14-2 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Robert Jackson, graduated
Dwyane Wade, leaving early for NBA

Key players returning:
junior guard Travis Diener, senior center Scott Merritt, sophomore forward Steve Novak

Top returning scorer – Diener, 11.8 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Merrit, 6.6 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Diener, 5.6 assists per game

Coaching moves – Assistant coach Darrin Horn took head coaching job at Western Kentucky

Memphis 23-7, 13-3 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Chris Massie, graduated
John Grice, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Antonio Burks, sophomore guard Jeremy Hunt, sophomore forward Rodney Carney

Top returning scorer – Carney, 9.8 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Carney, 4.8 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Burks, 4.7 assists per game

Louisville 25-7, 11-5 C-USA

Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3
Players leaving:
Reece Gaines, graduated
Marvin Stone, graduated
Erik Brown, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Ellis Myles, sophomore forward Francisco Garcia, sophomore guard Taquan Dean

Top returning scorer – Garcia, 11.2 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Myles, 7.9 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Garcia, 2.1 assists per game

Injuries – Myles ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee during a game Feb. 28 and doctors estimate he will not return to full activity till the end of August.

Saint Louis 16-14, 9-7 C-USA

Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3
Players leaving:
Marque Perry, graduated
Drew Diener, graduated
Kenny Brown, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Josh Fisher, sophomore guard Anthony Drejaj, senior forward Chris Sloan

Top returning scorer – Fisher, 8.2 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Sloan, 3.8 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Fisher, 3.7 assists per game

Cincinnati 17-12, 9-7 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Leonard Stokes, graduated
Taron Barker, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Field Williams, junior forward Jason Maxiell, sophomore forward Armein Kirkland

Top returning scorer – Maxiell, 11.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Maxiell, 6.7 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Chadd Moore, 1.6 assists per game

Tulane 16-15, 8-8 C-USA

Starters staying – 1, leaving – 4
Players leaving
Brandon Spann, graduated
Waitari Marsh, graduated
Brandon Brown, graduated
Nick Sinville, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Wayne Tinsley, junior guard Marcus Kinzer, senior center Ivan Pjevcevic

Top returning scorer – Tinsley, 6.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Tinsley, 3.8 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Tinsley, 2.7 assists per game

DePaul 16-13, 8-8 C-USA

Starters staying – 4, leaving – 1
Players leaving:
Sam Hoskin, graduated

Key players returning:
senior center Andre Brown, senior forward Delonte Holland, junior guard Drake Diener

Top returning scorer – Holland, 10.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Brown, 9.0 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Diener, 3.4 assists per game

Charlotte 13-16, 8-8 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Curtis Nash, graduated
Kevin Johnson, transferring
Tory Reed, transferring

Key players returning:
senior guard Demon Brown, sophomore forward Curtis Withers, junior guard Eddie Basden

Top returning scorer – Brown, 16.8 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Basden, 6.9 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Basden, 2.6 assists per game

Alabama-Birmingham 21-13, 8-8 C-USA

Starters staying – 4, leaving – 1
Players leaving:
Eric Bush, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Morris Finley, senior forward Gabe Kennedy, sophomore forward Demario Eddins

Top returning scorer – Finley, 18.3 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Sidney Ball, 5.4 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Finley, 3.2 assists per game

South Florida 15-14, 8-8 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Reggie Kohn, graduated
Will McDonald, graduated

Key players returning:
junior forward Terrence Leather, senior guard Jimmy Baxter, sophomore forward Yusuf Baker

Top returning scorer – Baxter, 14.6 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Leather, 5.3 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Brian Swift, 2.4 assists per game

Coaching change – Seth Greenberg resigned as head coach to take head coaching job at Virginia Tech. Robert McCullum, formerly head coach of Western Michigan, is the new head coach

Houston 8-20, 6-10 C-USA

Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2
Players leaving:
Louis Truscott, graduated
Jeremee McGuire, graduated

Key players returning:
junior guard Andre Owens, junior guard Bryan Shelton, sophomore forward Cedric Hensley

Top returning scorer – Owens, 13.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Owens, 5.1 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Owens, 3.2 assists per game

Coaching change – Michael Young was named assistant coach, after working at UH as a strength and conditioning coach

Southern Miss 13-16, 5-11 C-USA

Starters staying – 4, leaving – 1
Player leaving:
Mario Myles, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Charles Gaines, senior forward Greg Johnson, sophomore Jasper Johnson

Top returning scorer – Gaines, 14.4 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Gaines, 9.3 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Dante Stiggers, 4.5 assists per game

East Carolina 12-15, 3-13 C-USA

Starters staying – 4, leaving – 1
Player leaving:
Travis Holcomb-Faye, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Erroyl Bing, senior guard Derrick Wiley, senior forward Gabriel Mikulas

Top returning scorer – Wiley, 14.0 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Bing, 8.7 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Belton Rivers, 2.1 assists per game

Texas Christian 9-19, 3-13 C-USA

Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3
Players leaving:
Junior Blount, graduated
Bingo Merriex, graduated
Jamal Brown, graduated

Key players returning:
junior guard Corey Santee, junior guard Corey Valsin, sophomore forward Chudi Chinweze

Top returning scorer – Santee, 16.3 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Chinweze, 4.8 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Santee, 5.0 assists per game

     

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