VOL. 129 | NO. 49 | Wednesday, March 12, 2014
American Athletic Conference Honors Three Tigers
By Don Wade
Senior guard Joe Jackson and sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin made the American Athletic Conference All-Conference Second Team and freshman forward Austin Nichols made the All-Rookie Team.
Jackson averaged 14.4 points per game and 4.6 assists as Memphis went 23-8, 12-6 in league play, and stayed ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 all season. Goodwin averaged 11.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Nichols was a unanimous selection for the All-Rookie Team after averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds.
The conference’s major awards – Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award and Sportsmanship Award – will be presented Wednesday, March 12, at an awards luncheon at the Gibson Guitar Factory.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner has been adamant that Nichols should be the Rookie of the Year, saying, “If Austin doesn’t get it, it’s a conspiracy theory.”
Three strong Player of the Year candidates headed the First Team league selections: Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick, UConn guard Shabazz Napier and Louisville guard Russ Smith. All are finalists for the Wooden Award.
Joining them on the First Team were Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell and SMU guard Nic Moore.
The other Second Team selections with Jackson and Goodwin were UCF guard Isaiah Sykes, Cincinnati forward Justin Jackson, Houston forward TaShawn Thomas and SMU forward Markus Kennedy.
Also on the All-Rookie Team with Nichols: UConn center Amida Brimah, Louisville guard Terry Rozier, USF center John Egbunu and USF forward Chris Perry.
The league’s 10 coaches voted on the teams. Asked to make a case for Kilpatrick as Player of the Year, Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said: “I don’t feel I need to. He did it night in, night out.”