CDR Preseason POY; Memphis Rules Again
By David Scott - October 11, 2007
MEMPHIS - Conference USA has announced it's preseason honors and there are no surprises of merit. Memphis is the favorite to repeat as the league champ and Tiger junior Chris Douglas-Roberts is the preseason Player of the Year.
Following the jump is the full release from C-USA. We'll be back in about an hour from the FedEx Forum.
MEMPHIS CHOSEN AS REPEAT PRESEASON CONFERENCE USA FAVORITE
Tigers' Douglas-Roberts Named Men's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
IRVING, Texas - With a 66-8 combined record the last two seasons, the Memphis Tigers repeat as the unanimous preseason favorite to win the 2007-08 C-USA men's basketball regularâ€season crown, according to the league's coaches. The Tigers' Chris Douglas-Roberts, a preseason All-America candidate, was the unanimous selection by coaches as the Preseason Player of the Year.
Memphis is coming off its seventh straight postseason appearance in seven years under head coach John Calipari, having advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight the last two seasons. The Tigers welcome back all five starters, including Douglas-Roberts and fellow C-USA preseason team member Joey Dorsey. Douglas-Roberts was the team's leading scorer last season (15.4 ppg.) and was named MVP of the 2007 C-USA Championship. Dorsey was the 2007 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and led the conference in rebounding (9.4 rpg). Memphis will also welcome McDonald's All-America point guard Derrick Rose to its line-up as the Tigers ride a 32-game home winning streak into the 2007-08 season.
Houston and UAB tied for second in the coaches' poll. The Cougars return two All-Conference USA players in Robert McKiver and Lanny Smith, who was limited to four games last season after undergoing surgery on his left foot. McKiver earns a spot on the C-USA Preseason team, after leading UH with 19.2 ppg (second only to NBA first-round pick Morris Almond of Rice) and 112 assists. He also set the school record for most three-point field goals in a game (9) and a single season (116). Coach Tom Penders enters the season needing just 16 more wins to reach the 600-plateau for his career.
UAB returns senior Paul Delaney III, a 2007 All-Conference USA first team selection and a coaches- choice to the C-USA Preseason Team. Delaney ranked among the league leaders in points (15.5), assists (5.2), steals (1.9) and minutes (37.1) last season. Second-year head coach Mike Davis also welcomes back starters Lawrence Kinnard and Frank Holmes, while transfers Walter Sharpe (Mississippi State), Robert Vaden (Indiana) and Channing Toney (Georgia) will be able to take the floor for the Blazers in 2007-08.
Southern Miss comes off its first 20-win season (20-11) under fourth-year head coach Larry Eustachy and the Golden Eagles were picked to finish fourth by the coaches. Sophomore Jeremy Wise was selected to the C-USA Preseason Team. Wise was on the All-Conference USA second team as a freshman, while earning C-USA Freshman and Newcomer of the Year honors. Wise and classmate Sai'Quon Stone were the team's top two scorers last season with 17.3 ppg and 10.3 ppg averages in their rookie campaigns.
Tulsa, led by third-year head coach Doug Wojcik, also posted 20 wins (20-11) in 2006-07 and was the coaches' fifth pick for this season. The Golden Hurricane returns 70.4 of its scoring from a year ago, including its top two scorers in senior Rod Earls (11.2 ppg) and sophomore Ben Uzoh (9.9 ppg). Memphis will serve as host city for the 2008 Conference USA Championship, March 12-15 at the state-of-the-art FedExForum.
The championship game is slated for Saturday, March 15 at 11:35 a.m. EST/10:35 a.m. CST on CBS.
2007-08 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, G, 6-5, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
2007-08 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Paul Delaney III, UAB, G, 6-foot-2, Sr., Decatur, Ga.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, G, 6-foot-6, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-foot-9, Sr., Baltimore, Md.
Robert McKiver, Houston, G, 6-foot-3, Sr., New Haven, Conn.
Jeremy Wise, Southern Miss, G, 6-foot-2, So., Jackson, Miss.