Basketball

Herd Men, Women Have Kelly, Scott on First Team All-C-USA

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James Kelly takes inbounds pass with :00.4 on the clock, then hits lay-up to send Marshall men to overtime and win over Southern Miss on Saturday night, 108-106, then becomes first MU men’s player to be named first team All-Conference USA on Monday. (Herd Insider sequence photo by Marilyn Testerman-Haye)

Kelly First To Be First Team All-C-USA For Herd Men

IRVING, Texas – Marshall senior forward James Kelly became the Thundering Herd’s first All-Conference USA Men’s Basketball first team selection since joining C-USA in 2005-06, the league announced Monday.

The senior from Ann Arbor, Mich., is the ninth player in Marshall history to earn All-C-USA honors and for Marshall basketball, and the selection of Kelly means the Herd has had an honoree in each of its 11th consecutive seasons as a member of C-USA.

Second team selections for the Herd in C-USA include current Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside in 2010 alongside teammate Tyler Wilkerson, then DeAndre Kane won those same honors in both 2012 and 2013. Wilkerson and Kane are playing professional basketball internationally.

Kelly is also the first Marshall player to earn first team all-league honors since Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame member J.R. VanHoose was named first team All-Mid American Conference in 2001. Kelly becomes the 28th player in Marshall history to earn first team honors in the Buckeye Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, the MAC, Southern Conference and now Conference USA.

“To say James had a great year is an understatement,” former All-MAC first team player and current Marshall head coach Danny D’Antoni said. “He helped lead the turnaround of this team. Congratulations to him.”

Kelly’s all-around dominant play led to 14 double-double performances, second-most in the league. He was the only player ranked in the top three in the conference for both points (20.6 per game) and rebounds (9.8 per game) for the regular season.

Against Southern Miss on Saturday, he became the second player in Marshall history to record at least 600 points and 300 rebounds in a single season, joining Herd Hall-of-Famer Russell Lee who did it as a junior (1970-71) and as a senior (1971-72). Entering the C-USA Tournament, Kelly has 639 points and 307 rebounds.

The 6-foot-8, 259-pound forward was named the league’s Player of the Week three times this year, marking the first time a Herd player earned the honor more than once. He led the league’s defensive rebounding statistic with 8.1 per game, ranking No. 9 in among Division I men’s basketball players.

Against Charlotte on Feb. 18, he posted Marshall’s first 20/20 game in 43 years with 27 points and 23 rebounds. His 23 boards are the second-most in a single game by a 2015-16 D-I player.

Kelly helped Marshall reach a program-record 12 wins in Conference USA play, as well as the No. 3 tournament seed — its highest in 11 seasons with the league. The Herd also finished 7-2 in C-USA home dates, the most Henderson Center league wins since joining C-USA in 2005-06, and the Herd won 10 games in the Henderson Center for the eighth time in the past nine years.

The three All-C-USA teams are as follows:

2015-16 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech, Sr., G, 6-4, 194, Chipley, Florida
James Kelly, Marshall, Sr., F, 6-8, 259, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Trey Freeman, Old Dominion, Jr., G, 6-2, 175, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Marcus Evans, Rice, Fr., G, 6-2, 190, Chesapeake, Virginia
Robert Brown, UAB, Sr., G, 6-5, 195, Clermont, Florida

2015-16 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Joseph Uchebo, Charlotte, Sr., C, 6-10, 261, Enugu, Nigeria
Adrian Diaz, FIU, Sr., C, 6-11, 230, Miami, Florida
Erik McCree, Louisiana Tech, R-Jr., F, 6-8. 222, Orlando, Florida
Jeremy Combs, North Texas, So., F, 6-7, 196, Dallas, Texas
Chris Cokley, UAB, So., F, 6-8, 241, Savannah, Georgia

2015-16 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee, So., G, 6-2, 220, Athens, Alabama
Reggie Upshaw Jr., Middle Tennessee, Jr., G, 6-7, 232, Chattanooga, Tenn.
William Lee, UAB, So., F, 6-9, 210, Plantersville, Alabama
Nick Norton, UAB, So., G, 6-10, 175, Bloomington, Illinois
Lee Moore, UTEP, Jr., G, 6-4, 175, Kennesaw, Georgia

As the No. 3 seed in the Conference USA Tournament, the Herd will face either No. 6 UTEP or No. 11 FIU on Thursday, March 10, at 9:30 p.m. ET at Legacy Arena in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) in Birmingham, Ala. The game will be televised on American Sports Network and be heard on Marshall flagship stations The Dawg 93.7 FM and ESPN 94.1 FM and AM 930 & 1340 on the Thundering Herd/IMG Sports Network.

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MUWBSKB 2015-16 Game-927 vs. MTSU 73-79 loss Lexi Browning-9

Leah Scott earns Marshall’s first ever First Team All-Conference USA honor as senior guard for Herd, Marshall will open play in C-USA Tournament in Birmingham on Wednesday on the American Sports Network live from Bartow Arena on the UAB campus. (Herd Insider photo by Rick Haye)

Scott Makes MU Women’s Hoops History As First Team All-C-USA

IRVING, Texas — Marshall senior guard Leah Scott was named first-team All-Conference USA Sunday afternoon following a vote by the league’s head coaches and media representatives.

Scott becomes the program’s first first-team All-Conference USA selection, following second-team picks Sikeetha Shepard-Hall (2006), Modupe Ishola (2007), Tynikki Crook (2011), Chukwuka Ezeigbo and Scott last season (2015).

The Detroit native finished the regular season ranked sixth in the league in scoring (16.6), 12th in defensive rebounding (4.7) and 15th in rebounding (6.6). In league games, she was 12th in steals (1.7) as well.

Scott (1,314 career points) enters next week’s Conference USA Tournament 13 points shy of passing Sheila Johnson (1987-91) for sixth on the program’s all-time scoring list in just three seasons.

Marshall Head Coach Matt Daniel was among a group of four coaches who received one vote for C-USA Coach of the Year, won by UTEP Head Coach Keitha Adams of the No. 1-seeded Miners.

Scott and the rest of the six-seed Thundering Herd (19-10, 9-9) will play Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET against the winner of 11th-seeded UTSA (10-18, 6-12) and 14th-seeded FIU (4-25, 2-16) in the second round. The Roadrunners and Panthers play in the first round Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The tournament’s first round, second round and quarterfinals will be carried on the American Sports Network, Comcast/Xfinity channel 133 in Huntington and Putnam County. The first three rounds of the Tournament are at UAB’s Bartow Arena, then the action for the semifinals and finals move to the BJCCC’s Legacy Arena, where all the men’s games are except the only game in the first round, also at Bartow.

The women’s Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Ed Cohen and former Marist College star Julianne Viani on the call.

2015-16 All-Conference USA First Team
Brandi Wingate, LA Tech, Sr., G/F, Columbia, Maryland
Leah Scott, Marshall, Sr., G/F, Detroit, Michigan
Brea Edwards, Middle Tennessee, Sr., G/F, Rockford, Illinois
Jennie Simms, Old Dominion, RS-Jr., G, Accokeek, Maryland
Cameasha Turner, UTEP, Sr., G, Dallas, Texas
Jenzel Nash, UTEP, RS-Jr., Houston, Texas
Kendall Noble, WKU, RS-Jr., G, Hazard, Kentucky
Tashia Brown, WKU, So., F, Lake Park, Georgia

2015-16 All-Conference USA Second Team
Lefty Webster, Charlotte, Jr., G, Norfolk, Virginia
Alexis Alexander, Charlotte, Sr., F, Atlanta, Georgia
Ali Gorrell, Florida Atlantic, RS-Sr., G, Evergreen, Colorado
Ty Petty, Middle Tennessee, Jr., G, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss, Fr., C, Shreveport, Louisiana
Brittany Winborne, UAB, Sr., F, Baltimore, Maryland
Chelsee Black, UAB, Sr., G, Bessemer, Alabama
Starr Breedlove, UTEP, RS-Sr., G, Teaneck, New Jersey

2015-16 Conference USA All-Defensive Team
Kelsey Criner, North Texas, Jr., G, Dallas, Texas
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss, Fr., C, Shreveport, Louisiana
Starr Breedlove, UTEP, RS-Sr., G, Teaneck, New Jersey
Cameasha Turner, UTEP, UTEP, Sr., G, Dallas, Texas
Kendall Noble, WKU, RS-Jr., G, Hazard, Kentucky

2015-16 Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Laia Raventós, Charlotte, Fr., Santa Eulàlia de Riuprimer, Spain
Grace Hunter, Charlotte, Fr., Raleigh, North Carolina
Alex Johnson, Middle Tennessee, Fr., F, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss, Southern Miss, Fr., C, Shreveport, Louisiana
Deanna Kuzmanic, UAB, Fr., G, Wheeling, Illinois

2015-16 C-USA Women’s Basketball Specialty Awards

Player of the Year: Kendall Noble, WKU

Freshman of the Year: Alex Johnson, Middle Tennessee

Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall Noble, WKU

Newcomer of the Year: Starr Breedlove, UTEP

Sixth Player of the Year: Sparkle Taylor, UTEP

Coach of the Year: Keitha Adams, UTEP

2015-16 C-USA Coaches Circle

Given to head coaches who received one or more votes in the Coach of the Year award:

Cara Consuegra, Charlotte

Matt Daniel, Marshall

Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee

Tina Langley, Rice

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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