POSTED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 7:59pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 9:56pm
EL PASO, TEXAS -- UTEP senior guard Randy Culpepper has been named the preseason Conference USA Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Culpepper also joined Southern Miss senior forward Gary Flowers, Tulsa senior guard Justin Hurtt, Memphis junior forward/guard Wesley Witherspoon and East Carolina senior guard Brock Young as preseason first team All-Conference USA selections.
The second team includes UTEP senior forward Jeremy Williams, as well as Memphis freshman guard Will Barton, SMU senior forward Papa Dia, UAB senior guard Aaron Johnson and Rice sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi.
Culpepper is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year. He ranks fourth in UTEP history and 15th in C-USA annals with 1,664 points. He is UTEP's all-time leader with 252 three-point field goals, and rates second in school history with 180 steals.
The Memphis native has led UTEP in scoring 31 times over the last three seasons. He has scored 20+ points 28 times in his career and ranks sixth in school history with five 30-point games.
Last season Culpepper was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press after averaging a team-leading 17.9 points and 1.8 steals. He ranked second in Conference USA in three-pointers per game (2.5), third in scoring, fourth in steals, eighth in field goal percentage (.472), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.368) and ninth in minutes (33.3 avg.). He had the top two scoring games in C-USA last season (45 points versus East Carolina, 39 at UCF), making a school-record nine three pointers in each contest.
Williams averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, shooting 49.3 percent from the field. He started the final 18 games of the season, with the Miners posting a 16-2 record in those games.