By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON, Texas — Sophomore Marcus Evans and junior Egor Koulechov were named First Team All-Conference USA, the conference office announced Monday morning.
The duo become the first pair of Owl teammates to be named First Team All-Conference since Don Lance and Gene Schwinger were named All-Southwest Conference in 1954.
Evans earns First Team honors for the second straight year, becoming the first player in school history to do so as a freshman and sophomore. He is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. Evans is also fifth in three-point field goals made per game (2.4), seventh in assists (3.9) and 14th in three-point field goal percentage (.370).
The Chesapeake, Va., native has led Rice in scoring 14 times and assists 20 times. He has scored in double-figures 28 times and has scored at least 20 points a conference-high 16 times. His 584 points are the most by a sophomore in school history.
The sophomore became the fastest player in school and Conference USA history to reach 1,000 points, doing so in 49 games. He is the first player in school history to record 500 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in a season while becoming the 12th player in school history with 1,000 points, 200 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.
Koulechov is averaging 18.5 points, good for fourth-place in C-USA. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 47.1% from beyond the arc, which would set a new Rice record. The Volgograd, Russia native is also third in the league in rebounding (8.9), sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.3), seventh in minutes played (34.3) and eighth in free throw percentage (.796).
The junior has recorded a team-high 11 double-doubles while leading the team in scoring 15 times, in rebounding 21 times and assists nine times. He has scored in double-figures 29 times and has scored at least 20 points 13 times.
Koulechov recorded his 1,000th career point earlier this year. He became the sixth player in school history with 500 points and 250 rebounds in a season while also becoming the 16th player in school history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Evans and Koulechov lead Rice into this week’s MetroPCS Conference USA Tournament. The fifth-seeded Owls take on 12th-seed Southern Miss at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, in Birmingham, Ala.
2016-17 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM
Marcus Evans, Rice, So., G, 6-2, 195, Chesapeake, Va.
Egor Koulechov, Rice, R-Jr., G/F, 6-5, 210, Volgograd, Russia
Erik McCree, Louisiana Tech, Sr., F, 6-8. 225, Orlando, Fla.
Jon Elmore, Marshall, Jr., G, 6-3, 189, Charleston, W.V.
JaCorey Williams, Middle Tennessee, Sr., F, 6-8, 220, Birmingham, Ala.
2016-17 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM
Jon Davis, Charlotte, So., G, 6-3, 195, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Reggie Upshaw Jr., Middle Tennessee, Sr., G, 6-8, 228, Chattanooga, Tenn.
William Lee, UAB, Jr., F, 6-9, 210, Plantersville, Ala.
Dominic Artis, UTEP, Sr., G, 6-3, 190, San Francisco, Calif.
Justin Johnson, WKU, Jr., F, 6-6, 240, Hazard, Ky.
2016-17 ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM
Jacobi Boykins, Louisiana Tech, Jr., G, 6-6, 175, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ryan Taylor, Marshall, Sr., F, 6-5, 249, Indianapolis, Ind.
Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee, Jr., G, 6-2, 217, Athens, Ala.
Ahmad Caver, Old Dominion, So., G, 6-2, 170, Atlanta, Ga.
Omega Harris, UTEP, Jr., G, 6-3, 165, Bethany, Okla.