Insider: Clanton Earns CUSA 1st Team Honors
On Monday, Conference USA revealed its' all-conference teams for the 2011-2012 season and UCF junior forward Keith Clanton garnered 1st team recognition. Clanton finished eighth in the league in scoring at 15.0 points a game and fifth in rebounding with 8.4 boards a game.
During the conference season, Clanton shined in the Knights' biggest games. He was 9-12 from the field for 23 points when UCF upset Memphis at home back in January. The other two CUSA contests he eclipsed 20 points in were big home games against Southern Miss and Marshall. Overall, the Orlando native had seven 20 point games and led UCF in scoring 13 times.
He is the first Knight to be an All-CUSA first team member since Jermaine Taylor in 2008-09. Last season, Clanton only made the conference's third team, but was on the preseason first team entering this campaign.
It has been a season of milestones for Clanton who passed Ken Leeks to become the school's all-time leader in blocked shots earlier this season. He also stands alone at 12th on the all-time scoring charts with 1,129 points as a Knight.
While Clanton's selection was greatly deserved, it might surprise some that a few other UCF players did not get recognition on any of the three teams. Sophomore Isaiah Sykes improved leaps and bounds as the season went on and led the Knights in scoring five different occasions in CUSA games.
Sykes ranked 14th in the league at 12.6 points a game and the versatile swingman also was a top ten rebounder in Conference USA with 6.6 boards a game. Another omission worth mention was Marcus Jordan.
Jordan's play tailed off at times in conference, but he still finished as UCF's second leading scorer with 14.2 points a game. That put the preseason second team choice 11th on the CUSA scoring list.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Will Barton, Memphis, G, 6-6, 175, So., Baltimore, Md.
Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-8, 245, Jr., Orlando, Fla.
Jordan Clarkson, Tulsa, G, 6-4, 195, So., San Antonio, Texas
Cameron Moore, UAB, F, 6-10, 230, Sr., San Antonio, Texas
Ricky Tarrant, Tulane, G, 6-0, 170, Fr., Pleasant Grove, Ala.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Tarik Black, Memphis, F, 6-8, 243, So., Memphis, Tenn.
DeAndre Kane, Marshall, G, 6-4, 200, So., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Arsalan Kazemi, Rice, F, 6-7, 220, Jr., Esfahan, Iran
Miguel Paul, East Carolina, G, 6-1, 180, Jr., Winter Haven, Fla.
Neil Watson, Southern Miss, G, 5-11, 170, So., Kansas City, Kan.
2011-12 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Chris Crawford, Memphis, G, 6-4, 212, So., Memphis, Tenn.
Jonathan Mills, Southern Miss, F, 6-6, 230, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
Darrius Morrow, East Carolina, F, 6-8, 245, Sr., Atlanta, Ga.
Robert Nyakundi, SMU, F, 6-8, 220, Sr., Arlington, Texas
Damier Pitts, Marshall, G, 5-10, 165, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.