After covering the Big South Tournament, my next stop took me to Birmingham, Al to watch the highly competitive Conference USA Tournament. Most college basketball experts have agreed that the C-USA would be a 1 bid league so a lot was on the line for these games. I was really impressed with Western Kentucky, who came in with a record barely over 500. This team was way better than their record indicated however, and ended up getting 2 of their players on my All-Tournament team. Old Dominion made a great run (including knocking off #1 seed UAB) before eventually falling to the number 2 seed Middle Tenn in a close championship game. Below I have given my All-Tournament team, honorable mentions, and my defensive player of the tournament. As before, this is based solely on tournament play and not their play during the year.
Basketball Elite All- Tournament Team
Justin Johnson, F, SO, 6-7 (WKU)
Nigel Snipes, F, SR, 6-6 (WKU)
Trey Freeman, G, SR, 6-2 (ODU)
Robert Brown, G, SR, 6-5 (UAB)
Reggie Upshaw, F, JR, 6-7 (MTSU)
Justin Johnson (WKU)
Strong player who plays hard and is highly efficient around the basket. Big time rebounder on both ends. Not afraid to get physical.
Nigel Snipes (WKU)
Best pure shooter I saw in Alabama. Good size for the 2 or the 3 spot. Puts in effort on both ends of the floor.
Trey Freeman (ODU)
Best player in the tournament in my opinion. One of the top midrange shooters in the country. Scorers in bunches.
Robert Brown (UAB)
Versatile scorer who can score off the dribble and with the pull-up shot. Smart player who plays with in the system.
Reggie Upshaw (MTSU)
Was consistent every game scoring inside and rebounding the ball. Helped lead team to win the championship. Solid is the word for him.
Eric Katenda, F, GR, 6-9 (North Texas)- Skilled big who can score and score 15’ and in
Marcus Evans, G, FR, 6-2 (Rice)- Athletic guard who can break down the defense.
Aaron Bacote, G, SR, 6-4 (ODU)- True combo guard who can score from outside/inside
Denzell Taylor, F, JR, 6-7 (ODU)- Big time rebounder w/ a high motor
Earvin Mooris, G, 6’4″, SR (UTEP)- Versatile scorer who can shoot it- solid defender
Brandan Stith, F, SO, 6-7 (ODU)- Best rim protector I saw in the tournament. Great rebounder as well.