March 2, 2012
IRVING, Texas - East Carolina junior Maurice Kemp was the lone underclassman named to the 2011-12 Conference USA Men's Basketball All-Academic Team for his achievements in the classroom and on the court. Four seniors from Rice, Tulsa and UCF joined Kemp on the honorary list, where nominees must hold a minimum 3.2 GPA and be a starter or key reserve for their team.
Selected by unanimous decision,Kemp holds a 3.33 GPA as a psychology major. Kemp has registered six double-doubles this season, and ranks among the conference leaders in rebounding (6.2 rpg), free throw percentage (.774) and steals (1.2 spg). He had a career game against Virginia-Wise with 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Rice seniors Connor Frizzelle and Lucas Kuipers both earned their third consecutive honors on the All-Academic squad. Frizzelle owns a 3.64 GPA as a kinesiology-health science major and was named the 2011 C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's basketball. He is also a two-time selection to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Frizzelle is one of three 1,000-point scorers on the Owls' roster, and averages 9.7 ppg this season. He hit the game-winning three-pointer in a 50-49 road win over Tulane. Last summer, Frizzelle completed an administrative internship at Texas Woman's Hospital and plans on pursuing a career in hospital administration.
Kuipers has started 76 games during his Rice playing career and is averaging 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds for the season. The 2010 Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Kuipers holds a 3.463 GPA as a kinesiology-sports medicine major. He is a four-time selection to the C-USA Academic Honor Roll, and also earned a spot on the NABC Academic Honor Roll and the Rice President's Honor Roll. Kuipers participated in the NCAA Men's Final Four initiative "68 Courts in 68 Days," renovating Houston-area basketball prior to the 2011 NCAA Championship.
Tulsa senior Steven Idlet also earned his second nod on the All-Academic Team as he maintains a 3.24 GPA as a history major. Idlet recently scored his 1,000th career point and scored a career-best 23 points against Southeastern Louisiana with a perfect 9-of-9 performance from the field. He is averaging 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds to help his team to a first-round bye in the upcoming C-USA Championship. Idlet also ranks fifth on the school's career blocked shots chart with 116 swats.
Below is a complete list of the honorees, with all competing in the 2012 C-USA Men's Basketball Championship March 7-10 in Memphis, Tenn.:
2012 C-USA Men's Basketball All-Academic Team (*Repeat Selection)
NAME - SCHOOL - YEAR - GPA - MAJOR
Maurice Kemp - East Carolina - Junior - 3.33 - Psychology
**Connor Frizzelle - Rice - Senior - 3.64 - Kinesiology - Health Science
**Lucas Kuipers - Rice - Senior - 3.46 - Kinesiology - Sports Medicine
*Steven Idlet - Tulsa - Senior - 3.24 - History
A.J. Rompza - UCF - Senior - 3.20 - Interdisciplinary Studies (Minor: Criminal Justice)