Memphis guard Will Barton was named the 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year today. The sophomore from Baltimore becomes the fourth Tiger player to earn the honor, following Antonio Burks (2004), Rodney Carney (2006), and Chris Douglas-Roberts (2008).
Barton won the C-USA scoring title, averaging 18.7 points per game (more than two points better than the runner-up, Tulsa’s Jordan Clarkson). He finished sixth in C-USA with 8.1 rebounds per game and is the first player to lead Memphis in both scoring and rebounding since Sean Banks in 2003-04. Barton has ten double-doubles this season (10 points and 10 rebounds), the most by a Tiger since Chris Massie had 16 in 2002-03. He also finished among C-USA leaders in field-goal percentage (52.5 percent) and steals (1.5). Barton became only the ninth Memphis player to score 1,000 points in his first two seasons.
Here are the Tigers who earned league Player of the Year honors before Conference USA was formed in 1995.
1972: Larry Finch
1973: Larry Kenon
1982: Keith Lee
1985: Keith Lee
1992: Penny Hardaway
1993: Penny Hardaway