Tigers shut out of top C-USA awards
March 7, 2007
Rice guard Morris Almond and UCF coach Kirk Speraw today were named Conference USA's player and coach of the year, respectively, based on voting by league coaches and select media.
The University of Memphis, which dominated league play with a 16-0 record, had strong contenders for both awards. Tigers sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts led the U of M in scoring at 15 points per game, but voters went for the gaudy numbers of Almond, who led C-USA and ranks third nationally at 26.6 points per game. Almond also ranked first in C-USA 3-point percentage (.450) and fourth in rebounding (6.4) for the Owls (14-15, 8-8).
Voters apparently went for the surprise element is choosing Speraw over John Calipari for coach of the year. While Calipari's team dominated in exactly the fashion it was expected to, Speraw led the Golden Knights to a 22-8 record, eight more wins than last season, and an unexpected second-place C-USA finish at 11-5.
The Tigers swept these awards last season, as Calipari was named the league's top coach, and the departed Rodney Carney named the league's top player.