By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer
University of Cincinnati forward Jason Maxiell was named second-team all-Conference USA on Monday. Maxiell, a 6-7 junior from Carrollton, Tex., is UC's leading scorer at 14.2 points per game and leading rebounder at 7.0 per game.
He has improved his scoring average over last year by 2.3 points, even though he continues to get double-teamed by almost every UC opponent. He also leads the Bearcats with 55 blocked shots.
UC's Jason Maxiell was named second-team all-Conference USA Monday.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
"He's a tremendous competitor, an extremely hard worker," said UC assistant coach Andy Kennedy, who works with the big men. "Defensively, he's always been our best interior guy. He's very quick off his feet and blocks shots, but his bread and butter is getting the ball off the glass and making plays for us."
Senior guard Tony Bobbitt, who averages 13.3 points off the bench, was named to the third team.
He's only the third player in the league's nine-year history to receive all-conference recognition as a reserve player. UC's Darnell Burton and South Florida's Altron Jackson are the other two.
This is the second straight year UC has failed to land a player on the first team after having at least one first-team selection in each of the league's first seven years.
KENNEDY A CANDIDATE: UC's Kennedy, who also serves as the Bearcats' recruiting coordinator, has been mentioned as a candidate for the Southern Miss head coaching job as a replacement for James Green, who resigned last week.
"To this point, it's very preliminary," Kennedy said. "I'm like every assistant in the country. I got into this business to become a head coach. It's my home state, but it's very preliminary at this point."
TOURNAMENT SITES: The league announced Monday that next year's C-USA men's basketball tournament - the last one for eight of the current members - will be held at the new FedEx Forum in Memphis.
It will be the third time that Memphis has hosted the event.
The women's tournament will be held at Charlotte's Halton Arena.
SELECTION SUNDAY: UC will combine the announcement about where it will go in the NCAA Tournament with an awards ceremony this Sunday at Fifth Third Arena.
Doors open at 3 p.m. with photo opportunities, but no autographs, with the players from 3:45 to 4:45.
The awards ceremony will run from 5 to 5:45, with the NCAA selection show scheduled to begin at 6.
Admission is free and concession stands will serve $1 soft drinks and hot dogs. "This takes the place of the banquet," said associate athletic director Brian Teter. "It's a different idea the coaching staff came up with."
First team: Sean Banks and Antonio Burks (Memphis); Travis Diener (Marquette), Francisco Garcia (Louisville) and Curtis Withers (Charlotte).
Second team: Jason Maxiell (UC); Andre Brown and Delonte Holland (DePaul), Reggie Bryant (Saint Louis), and Charles Gaines (Southern Miss).
Third team: Tony Bobbitt (UC); Mo Finley (Alabama-Birmingham), Terrence Leather (South Florida), Corey Santee (Texas Christian) and Luke Whitehead (Louisville).
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