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Chuck Landon: MU players give annual All-C-USA selections

Mar. 08, 2011 @ 12:18 AM

EL PASO, Texas -- Conference USA needs to follow the NHL's example.

Bouncing checks?

No.

C-USA should pick its all-conference team the same way the NHL determined the sides for its 2010 All-Star Game.

Let the players decide.

It worked for the NHL.

And, goodness knows, allowing the players to vote for opponents they actually competed against head-to-head seems more logical than Conference USA's method of having coaches and media fill out ballots.

Case in point, my annual Marshall All-Opponents Team.

It was chosen solely by the Herd's 13 players.

So, on the eve of sixth-seeded Marshall taking on No. 11 Houston at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Conference USA Tournament here in the Haskins Center, this is who the Herd selected.

FIRST TEAM:

Randy Culpepper, UTEP -- The 5-foot-10 senior guard, who scored 24 points during an 82-74 win over Marshall, was the only player named on all 13 ballots.

Gary Flowers, Southern Miss -- The 6-8 senior forward just missed being a unanimous selection, appearing on 12 ballots. Against Marshall, he scored 20 points in each game along with six and 12 rebounds.

Papa Dia, SMU -- The 6-9 senior center posted the best all-around performance of any individual against Marshall. He had 21 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. He was named on 10 ballots.

Jamarr Sanders, UAB -- The senior guard was named on seven ballots. That's because he connected on 14 of 31 field goal attempts in two games while averaging 16 points.

Cameron Moore, UAB -- The 6-10 junior forward was a tremendous presence on the boards, grabbing 12 and 14 rebounds. Although he scored only nine points in one game, he bounced back with 8-for-16 shooting, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc, for 18 points. He appeared on five ballots.

SECOND TEAM:

Arsalan Kazemi, Rice -- The C-USA king of double-doubles was denied that against Marshall, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. But the 6-7 sophomore forward won the Herd's respect. He was named on five ballots.

Justin Hurtt, Tulsa -- The senior guard leads C-USA in scoring with 20.3 points per game. But Marshall held him to 5-for-15 shooting and 15 points. That's why he appeared on only four ballots.

Will Barton, Memphis -- The 6-6 guard is the only true freshman on the All-Opponents Team. But he earned it by shooting 15-for-29 from the floor and averaging 17.5 points. He was named on three ballots.

Aaron Johnson, UAB -- The 5-8 senior point guard is the most under-rated player in the league. He averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 assists against Marshall and appeared on two ballots.

Jontae Sherrod, East Carolina -- This guard grabbed the last spot on the team by averaging 19.0 points on 13-for-25 shooting against the Herd. He was named on two ballots.

But wait, there's more.

Marshall's players also voted on "Player of the Year," "Coach of the Year," and "Freshman of the Year."

Flowers edged Culpepper for "Player of the Year" honors, six votes to five, with two abstentions. The "Coach of the Year" went to UAB's Mike Davis with 10 votes, followed by Marshall's Tom Herrion with two and East Carolina's Jeff Lebo, one.

As for "Frosh of the Year," Marshall players said they wouldn't participate unless they could vote for the Herd's DeAndre Kane.

Hey, I didn't say this process was perfect.

Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827. E-mail him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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