Patton Named All-Conference USA

Senior center Mark Patton was selected to the All-Conference USA team today, in voting by all 12 league head coaches and selected media members. Patton was a third team All-C-USA selection, marking his first selection to an all-league team (Marshall was a member of the Mid-American Conference in Patton's first three seasons. The former West Virginia Player of the Year as a prep at nearby Cabell Midland HS, taking the Knights to the state championship in 2002, leads MU with 14.9 points per game.

Mark Patton also leads the Herd in rebounding, with 6.9 per game (sixth in C-USA), while he was fifth in the league in scoring. Patton also is among the leaders in field goal percentage (50 percent, seventh in league); blocked shots (1.3 per game, 35 on the year and fourth in league); and was second in the league in offensive rebounds with 98 on the season, 185 total.


Mark Patton, shown in win over East Carolina, is selected third team All-Conference USA. file photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

"I'm excited for Mark representing our program on the C-USA third team," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "He's worked hard and had a great season." Patton was similarly thrilled about his first all-conference honor. "I'm honored to be a part of such a great group of players," said Patton. "That list, right on down, deserved it. They can all really play." Patton will lead the Thundering Herd into its first-ever Conference USA Basketball Tournament game on Wednesday when Marshall, the eight seed, faces No. 9 Tulane at 7 p.m. EST. The Herd will be looking to reverse what was one of its worst games of the year at New Orleans in Fogelman Arena on Tulane's campus back on February 4, a 61-36 win by the Green Wave. Marshall shot a season-worst 23.6 percent against Tulane (13-55) and just 11.1 percent from three (2-18). Tulane shot 45 percent and held MU to just 15 points in the second half, and the lowest scoring total for a Marshall team since Cam Henderson's quint scored just 23 points in a loss at San Diego State in 1948.

Tulane is led by senior forward/center Quincy Davis, who joined Patton on the third team all-league team. Davis is averaging 13 points per game, exactly what he scored in the first meeting with the Herd. Tulane comes into Wednesday's game losing four of its last six, including falling at Tulsa on Saturday night. The Green Wave was in a three-way tie with the Golden Hurrican and Rice at 6-8 in league play, but lost the tie-breakers to fall to the number eight seed. Also for Tulane, keep an eye on David Gomez, who averages around 12 points per game but had 17 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first game with the Herd.


Marshall's Ryan Lamb and Tre Whitted trapped Memphis guard Darius Washington in the game in Huntington, a 91-81 Tiger win. Wasington is first team All-Conference this year and he and Memphis would play MU again if the Herd can beat Tulane Wednesday. file photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

Memphis senior Rodney Carney and Tiger junior Darius Washington, Jr. led the All-Conference USA team this year. Carney, who is a possible All-American candidate, averages 17 points per game. Another possible All-American is fellow first team mate Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson, the outstanding point guard at UAB. Johnson is eighth in the nation in assists, at 6.4 per game, and in steals with 2.8 per game. Other members of the first team include UTEP center John Tofi, who averaged about 14 points per game before blowing out his ACL and is now out for the rest of the season, and the league's leading scorer at nearly 21 points per game in Rice's Morris Almond.

Second team selections were Houston's Ramon Dyer and Oliver Lafayette; East Carolina's Corey Rouse, the leading rebounder in the league at nearly 11 per contest; UAB guard Marvette McDonald, who has scored 95 points in his last four games; and UTEP big man Jason Williams. Along with Patton and Davis, the rest of the third team All-Conference USA team includes SMU guard Bryan Hopkins; Houston guard Lanny Smith; and Memphis freshman Shawne Williams, the only non-senior or junior to make the all-league team. Williams is expected to be named C-USA Freshman of the Year and be a member of the league All-Frosh team, announced later this week along with Coach, Player and Defender of the Year. MU's Markel Humphrey is a candidate for the All-Freshman team, as he has averaged over seven points and 4.9 rebounds per game this year for the Herd.

The Conference USA Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Aeropostale, is at the FedEx Forum on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Tickets can be purchased at www.herdzone.com or call 1-800 THE HERD. Once in Memphis, ticket are available at the arena or through Ticketmaster at $30, $15 and $5 each. Play begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. (EST) with No. 7 Rice and No. 10 SMU. At 3:30 p.m., No. 6 Tulsa will meet No. 11 Southern Miss. The Herd and the Green Wave play at 7 p.m., heard on WRVC 930-AM and WDGG, "The Dawg" 93.7-FM in the Tri-State, as well as on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network, with pre-game at 6 p.m. At 9:30 p.m., No. 5 UCF meets No. 12 seed East Carolina.

On Wednesday, No. 2 UAB faces the winner of Rice-SMU at 1 p.m., while No. 3 UTEP awaits the Tulsa-Southern Miss winner. At 7 p.m., the No. 1 seeded Memphis Tigers will take their home court against the winner of the Marshall-Tulane game. At 9:30, No. 4 Houston will face either UCF or East Carolina. The semi-finals will heav the highest ranked team playing the 4 p.m. (EST) game, followed by the other teams at 7 p.m. Those games can be seen on CSTV (channel 174 on Adelphia cable in the Huntington viewing area). The championship game is at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday on CBS Sports (channel 13, WOWK-TV in Huntington-Charleston). The winner of the tournament wins the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, although most experts have Memphis and UAB already in the tournament.


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