March 9, 2010
IRVING - Rice University's Arsalan Kazemi has been named to the 2010 Conference USA All-Freshman Team the league office announced on Tuesday.
Kazemi joins 2009-10 Freshman of the Year Hassan Whiteside of Marshall along with UCF's Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan as well as Tulane's Kendall Timmons.
Kazemi enters this week's GMC Sierra Conference USA Championship averaging 10.4 points and 9.0 rebounds for the season. With 26 blocks, Kazemi moves onto the all-time season list and is tied for 10th with Tony Barnett who also had 26 blocks during the 1983-84 season.
His 260 total rebounds is already a Rice freshman record and with two boards in the Owls' first-round game against Tulsa, would move onto to the Top 10 for single season rebounds at Rice.
The last time a freshman led Rice in either scoring or rebounding was the 2001-02 season when Michael Harris led the Owls in both categories - 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
With nine double-doubles, Kazemi can move onto the Top 10 list with one more similar performance.
The native of Esfahan, Iran, also had 45 steals this season. Last week against UCF he had seven steals. The Rice single-game record for steals is eight.
Kazemi and the Owls open play at the Conference USA Championship against tournament host Tulsa Wednesday at 6 p.m. The tournament is being played at Tulsa's new downtown arena, the BOK Center.