Conference USA Tournament 2013: Stars to Watch For in Tulsa

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIMarch 12, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 16: Joe Jackson #1 of the Memphis Tigers reacts after a play against the Saint Louis Billikens in the second half during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 16, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Conference USA was dominated by the Memphis Tigers (27-4, 16-0) this season, but the conference tournament could be a different story.

While the Tigers have some talented players, there are other stars in the tourney who will be tough to stop as they try to carry their teams to a title, as well as an NCAA tournament berth.

The Tigers are currently the only Conference USA team in Joe Lunardi's latest bracket, but these stars will look to dominate the conference tournament and clinch an automatic bid.


Maurice Kemp, East Carolina Pirates

There might not be a hotter player in Conference USA than Kemp. He has scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games and four of his last five.

Kemp averages 18.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game on the year, but he has turned it on as of late, averaging 24.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his last three contests, all while shooting 56.1 percent from the floor.

Kemp has played well all year, but he is on fire right now and could carry the Pirates deep into conference tourney play.


Joseph Young, Houston Cougars

Young has been red-hot in his last six games, and he could rival Kemp for the title of hottest player in the conference.

After scoring at least 20 points in each of his last six games, Young will enter the tournament coming off his best performance of the season, going for 32 points and nine assists against Tulane.

Averaging 24.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in his last six contests, Young comes in on a tear, and he'll look to stay hot on Wednesday against Marshall.


Josh Davis, Tulane Green Wave

There isn't a single player in Conference USA who averages a double-double besides Davis.

The star from Tulane averages 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, leading the conference in rebounding. He has the ability to dominate inside despite standing at just 6'8", and that is going to be huge this week.

Look for Davis to own teams in the paint in Tulsa.


Joe Jackson, Memphis Tigers

You knew that there would have to be one Memphis star on this list, right?

Jackson has been unstoppable in the conference tournament during his career. While he is only averaging 13.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season, he has won conference tournament MVP in each of the last two years.

Jackson always seems to step up during the C-USA tourney, and I wouldn't put a third straight MVP award past him.