Louisville senior guard Reece Gaines and Marquette junior Dwyane Wade, two of the premier collegiate players in the nation, headline the 2003 All-Conference USA First Team, which features Memphis senior center Chris Massie, Saint Louis senior guard Marque Perry and Houston senior forward Louis Truscott. Four of the first team members earned all-conference honors last season, including Gaines and Wade who repeat as first team selections. The awards are voted on by the league's coaches and media.
Gaines is Conference USA's active leading scorer with 1,948 points, third all-time in league history. This season, he is averaging 18.4 points per game, second in C-USA and is fourth in the league in assists with 5.3 per game. Gaines helped the Cardinals build a 17-game winning streak at point during the season and will lead them back to the NCAA Tournament after a two-year hiatus. Gaines is a finalist for the Naismith and Oscar Robertson Trophies, both honoring the nation's top collegiate player, and he was among the Top 30 players on the Wooden Award mid-season checklist. He is also one of 10 finalists for the CLASS award, Conference USA's only representative on the list, which stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, is presented annually to the nation's premier senior Player-of-the-Year for NCAA Division I men's basketball. Gaines was also named to the NABC's All-District 7 First Team.
Wade has emerged as one of the nation's top all-around performers, leading Marquette to the Conference USA regular season crown. He leads C-USA in scoring (21.9 ppg) and is second in steals with 61, while shooting .511 from the field and averaging 4.15 assists. Along with Gaines, Wade is also a finalist for the Naismith and Robertson awards and is among the Wooden Award Top 30 watch list. He has led the Golden Eagles in scoring in 21 of 27 games this season and has scored in double figures in 57 of 60 career outings. A first team All-District 11 selection, Wade has captured C-USA Player of the Week honors five times this season. In just two seasons of play, Wade has registered 1,161 career points.
Massie has played an integral part in Memphis' late season surge to the National Division crown and a Top-20 ranking after missing the first seven games of the season. In only his second season, Massie has established himself as one of Conference USA best big men, as the top power forward in the nation. A member of the All-District-7 Second Team, he has recorded eight double-doubles In the Tigers' current 11-game win streak and is averaging a double-double with 17.3 points and 10.9 rebounds this season. In January, Massie scored a career-high 34 points at home against Tulane.
Perry has been Saint Louis' driving force, leading the Billikens on a seven-game winning streak to close out the regular season. This season, Perry has made some of the biggest shots in Conference USA, helping SLU to come-behind one-point victories over Louisville at home, ending the Cardinals 17-game winning streak, and a driving layup to upend DePaul. Both shots came in the game's final three seconds. Perry is C-USA's fifth-leading scorer, averaging 17.5 points per game.
Rounding out the first team is Truscott, who leads Conference USA in double-doubles with 15. At TCU, he grabbed a career-best 21 boards, one of the top rebounding performances in the nation this season. He leads the league in rebounding, averaging 11.3 per contest and is tied for 11th in scoring at 15.2 per game. Truscott also earned Player of the Week honors and was named to All-District 9 Second Team.
The Conference USA second team includes Charlotte junior guard Demon Brown, Marquette sophomore guard Travis Deiner, UAB junior guard Morris Finley, Marquette, senior forward Robert Jackson and Cincinnati senior guard Leonard Stokes.
C-USA's third team is comprised of Memphis junior guard Antonio Burks, DePaul senior forward/center Sam Hoskin, Tulane senior guard Waitari Marsh, South Florida senior center Will McDonald and Southern Miss junior forward Charles Gaines.
Ten of the 15 all-conference picks were guards including three first-team members and four on the second team.
Twelve teams had at least one player named to one of the all-league teams. Conference USA regular-season champion Marquette had the most selections with three, while Memphis had two selections.
Conference USA will release the All-Freshman Team, Freshman of the Year, Sixth Player and Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday. The Player of the Year and Coach of the Year will be announced on Wednesday.
2002-03 C-USA MEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
2002-03 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Reece Gaines, Louisville, G, 6-6, 195, Sr., Madison, Wis. (Madison West)
Chris Massie, Memphis, C, 6-9, 253, Sr., Arcola, Texas (Oxnard College)
Marque Perry, Saint Louis, G, 6-1, 185, Sr., Chicago, Ill. (Prosser)
Dwyane Wade, Marquette, G, 6-4, 210, Jr., Oak Lawn, Ill. (Richards)
Louis Truscott, Houston, F, 6-7, 215, Sr., Houston, Texas (Milby)
2002-03 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Demon Brown, Charlotte, G, 6-1, 195, Jr., Baltimore, Md. (Maine Central)
Travis Diener, Marquette, G, 6-0, 165, So., Fond du Lac, Wis. (Goodrich)
Morris Finley, UAB, G, 5-11, 174, Jr., LaFayette, Ala. (LaFayette)
Robert Jackson, Marquette, F, 6-9, 255, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis. (Mississippi State)
Leonard Stokes, Cincinnati, G, 6-6, 202, Sr., Buffalo, N.Y. (Turner Carroll)
2002-03 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Antonio Burks, Memphis, G, 6-0, 200, Jr., Memphis, Tenn. (Hiwassee College)
Charles Gaines, Southern Miss, F, 6-7, 220, Jr., Houston, Texas (Southwest Missouri State)
Sam Hoskin, DePaul, F/C, 6-9, 260, Sr., Detroit, Mich. (Schoolcraft J.C.)
Waitari Marsh, Tulane, G, 6-3, 195, Sr. Chicago, Ill. (Julian)
Will McDonald, South Florida, C, 6-11, 249, Sr., New Orleans, La. (Clark)
C-USA All-Conference Teams
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