Rick McCann: C-USA specialty awards serve as tournament warmup
TULSA, Okla. — Memphis guard Chris Crawford came off the bench for the Conference USA men's regular season champions and was the recipient of conference Sixth Man of the Year recognition.
Crawford, a 6-foot-4 junior, was fourth on his team in scoring average (9.3) and second in assists (104).
Danuel House from the Houston Cougars, a 6-7 forward, was the C-Freshman of the Year. House ranked among the top five freshman leaders in scoring (12.4), rebounding, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and steals.
Memphis senior forward D.J. Stephens was named as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-5 leaper is the league leader in blocked shots with 2.26 per game and led the Tigers with a 6.7 rebound average. He had more than 50 dunks.
All-C-USA first team selection Dwayne Davis played only one season at Southern Miss and averaged 15.9 points to pick up Newcomer of the Year honors.
ROAD WOES: Marshall men's and women's teams haven't fared well this season away from home. In true road games, the Thundering Herd men are 1-11 (Feb. 20 win at UCF) and the women's team is 1-10 (Dec. 8 win at Southern Illinois).
FREE ONES: Marshall still ranks last in Conference USA free throw shooting at 59.5 percent, but showed improvement in its final three regular season games.
Marshall shot 77.8 percent at Houston (21 of 27), 77.4 percent against Southern Miss (24 of 31) and 70 percent at East Carolina (14 for 20).
WEAVER FOR THREE: Shay Weaver of the Herd women's team ranks second in school history for 3-point field goals with 67 for the season. Kizzy Hart set the record with 68 in the 2007-08 season.
Weaver, only a sophomore, also ranks fifth in Herd career records with 106.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Marshall guard Dre Kane averaged 22 points last year in four conference tournament games and made the all-tournament team. Kane's 40 points, 15 field goals and 32 field goal attempts in a triple-overtime defeat of Tulsa set event records. Marshall forward Dennis Tinnon averaged 10.5 points and 11 rebounds and was also an all-tournament selection.
GO TO GOFF: Herd senior forward Rob Goff, who set a career-high of 27 points in a Saturday game at East Carolina, also had a pretty fair performance when the Thundering Herd played Feb. 6 at Tulane.
Goff came off the bench and played for 16 minutes against the Green Wave, who won 91-75.
He had eight points on 4-for-4 shooting and grabbed four rebounds before fouling out.
THE OPENING TIP: Marshall has won the opening jump ball in 25 of its 31 games. The six games when Marshall didn't control the jump ball were all losses. Those games were at Kentucky, at Hofstra, Delaware State, at Ohio, at UAB and at Houston.
THE STREAK: Marshall's streak of games with at least one 3-point field goal is 710 dating back to the 1989 season and is believed to be the 11th longest in NCAA Division I.
PICK COMES TRUE: The Herd women's team was picked to finish last (12th) in the C-USA preseason poll, and that's where it finished.
Sports editor Rick McCann covers Marshall men's basketball for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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