Conference USA went through some realignment early in the decade. The league lost members to the newly formed AAC. With that went consistently putting more than one team in the NCAA Tournament on a frequent basis. Still, the conference remains competitive, with Middle Tennessee State winning a tournament game in back-to-back seasons a few years ago.
Conference USA 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Kenneth “Speedy” Smith, Louisiana Tech
Kenneth “Speedy” Smith spent two seasons in the league after Louisiana Tech came from the WAC. He was the defensive player of the year in 2014 and player of the year in 2015. He made the conference’s first-team in both seasons. Smith was an exceptional guard, excelling at both passing and defense. He ended his career as the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in assists and steals.
Smith averaged 7.1 points, 7.6 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in two years in CUSA. His 228 assists during the 2013-14 season shattered the school and league single-season record. He has the second-highest assist percentage in conference history and sits 18th all-time on the NCAA’s career assists list. Smith took Louisiana Tech to two NIT quarterfinal appearances.
Guard – BJ Stith, Old Dominion
BJ Stith played at Old Dominion from 2016-19. He was the conference’s player of the year as a senior in 2019. The Virginia transfer improved each year with the Monarchs, culminating in the ultimate league accolade.
Stith averaged 14.2 points and six rebounds per game during his three years in Conference USA. He led the league in defensive win shares as a senior. He also finished in the top ten in eight other categories that year. Stith’s career year helped Old Dominion capture a regular-season title and go to the NCAA Tournament.
Guard – Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech
Alex Hamilton is the second Bulldog to make the team, also playing for the program during their transition from the WAC. He was the league player of the year and an AP All-American honorable mention in 2016. His 106 wins made him the winningest player in school history. Hamilton is also the only player in school history to be in the top five in career points, assists, and steals.
For his career, Hamilton averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in three years in the conference. He is fourth all-time in Conference USA history in made free throws and offensive rating and sixth in points produced. Smith helped Louisiana Tech win two regular-season titles and go to two NIT quarterfinals.
Guard – Jon Elmore, Marshall
Jon Elmore was a star for Marshall from 2015-19. He was a three-time member of the league’s first-team, making him the first Thundering Herd player to ever earn that honor consecutively. He was also the CUSA tournament’s most outstanding player, another school first. Elmore broke four Marshall records as a junior.
Elmore averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game for his career. He was the first player in conference history to lead the league in points and assists for two seasons in a row. He is Conference USA’s all-time leading scorer as well as a historical leader in four other categories. Elmore’s career points produced are third-best in NCAA history. He took Marshall to one NCAA Tournament, tying a single-game tournament record with 27 points in their first-round upset of Wichita State.
Guard – Marcus Evans, Rice
Marcus Evans just finished his career at VCU, but he spent two seasons with Rice before transferring. He was CUSA’s freshman of the year in 2016. Evans also made the league’s first-team in both years with Rice.
He averaged 20.1 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.6 steals per game during his two seasons with the Owls. Evans led Conference USA in steals in 2016 and ranks third conference history in usage percentage. He was a major reason Rice improved by 11 wins from his freshman to his sophomore season, making a CBI appearance.
Guard – Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA
Jhivvan Jackson is the only current player that made the team. He just finished his junior season for UTSA, making the conference’s first-team for the second time. He earned the league’s freshman of the year honor in 2018, breaking the school’s freshman scoring record. Jackson also became CUSA’s third-ever player to be the conference scoring champ.
In his three seasons, he has averaged 22.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He led the league and the NCAA in points scored this past season and pushed Markus Howard for the country’s scoring title. Jackson was a dominant mid-major player this past year and has a chance to rewrite the school and conference’s record books next season.
Guard – Trey Freeman, Old Dominion
Trey Freeman is another transfer player that makes the team. He came to Old Dominion after two seasons at Campbell. He was the conference’s newcomer of the year in 2015 while making the first-team in both seasons as a Monarch. Freeman had a triple-double on his way to the newcomer honor.
He averaged 19.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game at Old Dominion. He led the country in made field goals in 2016 and the conference twice in total points. Freeman is fifth in NCAA history in made two-point field goals and was a key member of the Monarchs’ run to the NIT semifinals in 2015.
Guard – Ahmad Caver, Old Dominion
Ahmad Caver is the third ODU guard to make the team, playing from 2015-19. He was a two-time member of the league’s first-team and led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2018.
Caver averaged 11.3 points and 4.5 assists during his career. He is seventh in CUSA history in career assists as well as top ten in assist percentage and assists per game. He ranks tenth in points produced as well. Caver was part of last year’s title and NCAA Tournament squad.
Guard – Will Barton, Memphis
Will Barton is the only player from the old CUSA to make the team, playing at Memphis from 2010-12. He was the tenth-best high school recruit before coming to the Tigers. He captured the league’s player of the year honor in 2012.
Barton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game for his career. He led Conference USA in four categories during his award-winning season. He helped Memphis win one regular-season title and make two NCAA Tournaments. Barton declared for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season, going on to a successful pro career.
Forward – Nick King, Middle Tennessee State
Nick King only played one season for the Blue Raiders after previous stints at Memphis and Alabama. However, King dominated during his one season in Conference USA. He was named as a third-team All-American, the first in school history. He also was named the league’s newcomer of the year and broke the program’s single-season scoring record.
King averaged 21 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during the 2017-18 season. He finished in the top five in six statistical categories for the season. King helped the Blue Raiders capture the regular-season title but failed to make the NCAA Tournament.