TaShawn Thomas Named to Men's Hoops Preseason American Conference Team

Oct. 16, 2013

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - As the league celebrated its first ever Media Day, University of Houston junior forward TaShawn Thomas was named to the Preseason All-American Athletic Conference Second Team.

Thomas, who nearly averaged a double-double during his sophomore season in 2012-13, earned a place on the Second Team, league administrators announced Wednesday morning at FedExForum. He was joined at the league's preseason event by fourth-year head coach James Dickey and 2013 Conference USA Freshman of the Year Danuel House.

A year ago, the Killeen, Texas, native averaged 16.9 point and 9.8 rebounds per game to rank among the Conference USA top-five leaders in both categories. He was one of only two players in the league to accomplish that feat.

Thomas grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in the season-opening win against Florida A&M and became the first player since 2003 to score 20 points and grab 20 rebounds in the same game. Later in the season, he added a career-high 31 points in a triple-overtime loss at Tulsa.

Thomas was joined by UCF guard Isaiah Sykes, UConn guard Ryan Boatright, Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell and USF teammates Anthony Collins and Victor Rudd on the Second Team.

Louisville guard Russ Smith was tabbed as the league's Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the Preseason First Team by teammate Chane Behanan, Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick, UConn's Shabazz Napier and Joe Jackson of Memphis.

As a team, the Cougars collected 28 points to rank seventh in the preseason poll, which was voted on by the league's 10 head coaches. Defending national champion Louisville was picked first with 81 points and nine first-place votes, while UConn was picked second with 69 points and the other first-place vote.

Memphis (68), Cincinnati (58), Temple (40) and SMU (39) stood in front of the Cougars with USF (27), UCF (24) and Rutgers (16) rounding out the poll.


Rank Team (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. Louisville (9) 81
2. UConn (1) 69
3. Memphis 68
4. Cincinnati 58
5. Temple 40
6. SMU 39
7 Houston 28
8. USF 27
9. UCF 24
10. Rutgers 16

Preseason Player of the Year: Russ Smith, G, Sr., Louisville
Preseason Rookie of the Year: Keith Frazier, G, Fr., SMU

First Team

Pos. Player Team
G Sean Kilpatrick Cincinnati
G Shabazz Napier UConn
F Chane Behanan Louisville
G Russ Smith Louisville
G Joe Jackson Memphis

Second Team

Pos. Player Team
F TaShawn Thomas Houston
G Isaiah Sykes UCF
G Ryan Boatright UConn
G Anthony Collins USF
F Victor Russ USF

General Admission season tickets start for as low as $195, while the Memorial Hermann Family Fun Plan of two adult and two youth General Admission tickets can be purchased for only $399.

In addition to the 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion, the Cougars' season-ticket package also includes both games of the Lone Star Showcase inside Toyota Center. Houston meets crosstown rival Rice at 3:30 p.m., Dec. 21, in the first game with Texas A&M facing Oklahoma at 6 p.m., Dec. 21, in the nightcap.

Purchasing Houston Men's Basketball season tickets provides admission to both games of this exciting twinbill.

To purchase season tickets, fans can call 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.

To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email cougarpride@uh.edu. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.

Fans are encouraged to purchase their season tickets early for the best seats in the house.

Nine lettermen and three starters return for the Cougars in 2013-14 after posting a 20-win season and advancing to the College Basketball Invitational Quarterfinals a year ago.

Competing in the new American Athletic Conference for the first time, the Cougars will play 17 home games inside historic Hofheinz Pavilion this season, including games against perennial powers UConn, Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis and defending national champion Louisville.

Houston faces each member of the 10-team conference in home-and-away contests, beginning 8 p.m., Dec. 31 against UConn inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Each of the Cougars' 18 American Athletic Conference regular-season games will be televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports Network.

The season opens at 7 p.m., Nov. 5 with an exhibition contest against St. Thomas. The regular season tips off at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8 against Texas State with both games inside Hofheinz Pavilion.



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