Baines, Dorris Named To C-USA Teams

IRVING, Texas - As the only freshman to earn all-conference honors, Memphis guard Derrick Rose was named the 2007-08 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, while teammate Joey Dorsey repeated as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, as voted by the conference's 12 head coaches and select media. MU's Tirrell Baines was on the All-Frosh team, while Herd senior Mark Dorris is on the defensive squad.

Mark Dorris and Tirrell Baines join teammate Markel Humphrey in the Conference USA post-season awards. Humphrey was named All-Conference USA third team for the second consecutive year in a row, despite the stress fracture in his heel that has dogged him in all C-USA games. "It's remarkable and well deserved," said Herd Head Coach Donnie Jones in Memphis. "I think the coaches and the people in the league realize what he has done for our team, with his injuries, and he has been vital to everything that has happened with our team." Marshall ended the season 16-13, the first winning seasons since 2000-01, and won eight games and three games on the road in C-USA for the first time.

Humphrey was the last Marshall player to be named to the All-Freshman team, in 2005-06, before Baines grabbed the honor with 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Herd as a true frosh. Dorris is Marshall's first member of the All-Defensive team, and the Herd senior led the league with 1.9 steals per game in all games and 2.0 steals per game in 16 league games. He leads Marshall in scoring with 13.9 points per game, 14.2 per game in C-USA games. He also averages 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in addition to leading the team and league in steals with 53 total, 32 in league games and 124 in his three years at Marshall which is tenth all-time for the Herd. He needs just nine points in the Herd's opening game in the Conference USA Tournament against Tulane, who Marshall beat 68-54 in Huntington and 70-68 at New Orleans, when Dorris nailed a jumper for the win with 1.6 seconds left.

Jones was also pleased with Dorris being named to the defensive team, although the Herd coach thought his point guard, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes could have been named as well. "Mark's a very good defender, and we thought Pierre was very good, as well," said Jones. "The guys they recognize are the guys with steals and blocks, and Mark has done a very good job. Markel got the all-league honor, but Mark could have been there just as well."


Mark Dorris, shown on Senior Night against Southern Miss, was named to the Conference USA All-Defensive team after leading league with two steals per game. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

UAB junior guard Robert Vaden was named the Newcomer of the Year and UTEP freshman guard Randy Culpepper was recognized as the Sixth Player of the Year. Rose is joined on the All-Freshman team by Baines, Papa Dia of SMU, R.L. Horton of Southern Miss and Randy Culpepper of UTEP. Rose became the first freshman to earn first-team all-conference honors since former Tiger Sean Banks in 2004 and is the top freshman scorer in the league, averaging 14.1 points per game. In fact, all five all-freshman team members are averaging in double figures and Dia is the top freshman rebounder with 6.7 rpg.

A frosh guard for the Herd who might have made the all-freshman team was Matt Walls, who broke his hand against East Carolina and missed the last weeks of the season. Walls was cleared to play by Herd team doctors on Monday, and Jones expects the Bluegrass freshman to get on the court in the game with Tulane. "We are going to have him in shoot-around (on Tuesday in Memphis) and see how he does. He's cleared and he's healed, but a little sore from not using the hand (until Monday's practice in Huntington). It will be good to have him out there and that extends our bench," said Jones. Walls, who played at Scott County H.S. in Kentucky, was averaging 7.2 points and nearly three rebounds per game. He has spent these weeks conditioning, so he will bring fresh legs to the Herd attack, and that is important during a tournament run.


Memphis' Derrick Rose, driving on MU's Jean Francois Bro Grebe (21) and Darryl Merthie (0) in the Henderson Center back in January, was named Freshman of the Year in Conference USA, and will face the Herd again on Thursday if Marshall wins its game versus Tulane on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (EDT). photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

Besides his all-freshman team honor, Culpepper was named Sixth Man of the Year. The 5-10 guard has played in all 29 games for the Miners, with just seven starts. In less than 24 minutes per game, Culpepper is averaging 12.4 ppg (ranked 15th in the conference). Culpepper also ranks third in the league with 1.69 steals per game.

Vaden, a transfer from Indiana University, has set nearly every offensive school record in his first season with the Blazers. Averaging a league- and nation's-best 4.6 three-point field goals per game, Vaden broke the Conference USA single-season record for treys (138) in UAB's regular season finale against Memphis. He ranks third in the conference in scoring with 21.8 ppg.


Marshall's Markel Humphrey put up a basket over Memphis' Joey Dorsey (No. 3) during the second half of the Marshall-Memphis game back on January 12. Humphrey and Dorsey were both All-C-USA and Dorsey is the Defensive Player of the year. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

For the second season in a row, Dorsey highlights the All-Defensive Team, along with teammate Antonio Anderson, as the Tigers have posted a 30-1 record behind the defensive tandem. Dorsey is the conference's top rebounder, with 10.0 boards per game, and ranks third in the conference in blocks (2.03 bpg). Anderson has a 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratio to lead the conference.

The league's top shot blocker, 7-foot Tulsa sophomore center Jerome Jordan is also on the 2007-08 all-defensive team. Dorris of Marshall and Dave Noel of UCF round out the All-Defensive squad.

2007-08 CONFERENCE USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Tirrell Baines, Marshall, F, 6-6, 210, Fr., Laurens, S.C.

Randy Culpepper, UTEP, G, 5-10, 160, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.
Papa Dia, SMU, F, 6-9, 250, Fr., St. Louis, Senegal
R. L. Horton, Southern Miss, G, 6-0, 175, Fr., Jackson, Miss.
Derrick Rose, Memphis, G, 6-3, 190, Fr., Chicago, Ill.

2007-08 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Derrick Rose, Memphis, G, 6-3, 190, Fr., Chicago, Ill.

2007-08 CONFERENCE USA ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Mark Dorris, Marshall, G, 6-2, 180, Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio

Antonio Anderson, Memphis, G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Lynn, Mass.
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-9, 265, Sr., Baltimore, Md.
Jerome Jordan, Tulsa, C, 7-0, 235, So., Kingston, Jamaica
Dave Noel, UCF, G, 6-3, 205, Sr., Boynton Beach, Fla.

2007-08 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-9, 265, Sr., Baltimore, Md.

2007-08 NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Robert Vaden, UAB, G/F, 6-5, 225, Jr., Indianapolis, Ind.

2007-08 SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Randy Culpepper, UTEP, G, 5-10, 160, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.


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