March 11, 2014
Rice University men’s basketball’s Sean Obi was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, the league office announced on Tuesday morning before the Owls’ tournament opener.
Rice’s rookie stands tied for the team lead with 11.4 points per game and paces C-USA with a 9.3 rebounding average. Obi also ranks third in the league with a 59.6 field goal percentage and second in C-USA with 11 double-doubles.
The Kaduna, Nigeria native ranks among the national freshman leaders in numerous categories as well. He stands second in both rebounds and double-doubles, trailing only Kentucky’s Julius Randle.
Obi was named C-USA Freshman of the Week on Nov. 25 for his first double-double in the win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and strong outing against Princeton, as he averaged 12.5 points and 10.0 rebounds on the week.
He posted career highs with 25 points and 19 rebounds in the triple-overtime win over South Alabama. He’s already etched his name into the Rice record book, standing ninth in single-season double-doubles and 10th in career 20-point/10-rebound games, with two. His second such performance came against Marshall as he tallied 22 points and 17 boards.
The Thundering Herd placed both Kareem Canty and Ryan Taylor on the squad, while Florida Atlantic added Marquan Botley, Tulane was represented by Jonathan Stark and UTEP’s Vince Hunter rounded out the group and claimed Freshman of the Year honors.
Obi is the second Owl to earn postseason honors this year, as Austin Ramljak was named to the C-USA All-Academic team for a second-straight season.
In other Conference USA awards doled out on Tuesday, Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Smith was named Defensive Player of the Year, UAB’s Chad Frazier earned Newcomer of the Year Honors and LA Tech’s Kenyon McNeail claimed the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Obi and the Owls open the Conference USA Championship on Tuesday afternoon against North Texas at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. CT.
2013-14 Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Marquan Botley, Florida Atlantic, G, 5-9, 160, Plano, Texas
Kareem Canty, Marshall, G, 6-1, 180, Harlem, N.Y.
Ryan Taylor, Marshall, F, 6-5, 227, Indianapolis, Ind.
Sean Obi, Rice, F, 6-9, 265, Kaduna, Nigeria
Jonathan Stark, Tulane, G, 6-0, 160, Munford, Tenn.
Vince Hunter, UTEP, F, 6-8, 200, Detroit, Mich.