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Conference USA Tournament 2013: Players to Watch in Southern Miss vs. Memphis

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Chris Crawford #3 and Adonis Thomas #4 of the Memphis Tigers react during the game against the Xavier Musketeers at Cintas Center on February 26, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Xavier defeated Memphis 64-62. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2013

The Memphis Tigers have yet to lose a Conference USA game this season. One win away from an undefeated campaign, The Southern Miss Eagles will fight an NCAA tournament berth in the C-USA tournament final.

Several All-Conference players will take the floor in this championship matchup, including four All-C-USA members on the Tigers roster.

Which players will be under the spotlight in the Conference USA’s final act? Find out below.

 

Dwayne Davis

The C-USA Newcomer of the Year has been riding a hot hand, averaging close to 28 points in his last five games. Not to mention he’s shooting over 60 percent in his last four games. 

Those performances were capped with a 27-point encore in the semifinals against UTEP, a 85-67 win.

Considering he had been averaging only 15.6 points per game prior to this hot streak, Memphis will need to know where Davis is on the floor at all times. He’ll pace the Eagles attack and will be the key to an upset on Saturday.

 

Joe Jackson

If history is any indicator, Jackson will have a huge game in the tournament final. Jackson already has two Conference USA championship MVPs, coming up big on the biggest conference stage since he was a freshman.

Despite a nonexistent showing in the semifinals, the junior guard will be the anchor for the Tigers’ C-USA title hopes and beyond. He leads the team in points, assists and steals.

Jackson will need to shoot a high percentage and avoid costly turnovers in order for Memphis to come out on top.

Jonathan Mills

A two-time C-USA All-Defensive Team player, Mills locks down multiple positions with his bulky 6’5” frame. He will be called upon to lock up Joe Jackson and the rest of the Tigers' barrage of athletes.

Mills likes to get scrappy in the paint for a small forward, finishing second in offensive rebounds in C-USA. In order for Southern Miss to spring the upset, he will have to gain second-chance opportunities and put Memphis in panic mode.

 

Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow his sports musings and random life observations on Twitter.

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