Neil Watson Named Conference USA Co-Player of the Week
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss senior guard Neil Watson garnered selection as the Conference USA men's basketball Player of the Week based on voting from a media panel covering the 16 league schools and released Monday afternoon.
Watson earned the award along with Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Smith. It is also the first time that Southern Miss has earned the award in consecutive weeks, as senior forward Michael Craig earned it last week.
Watson had a record-setting week in leading Southern Miss to a 2-0 record on the road. He averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 steals and 1.5 rebounds. He also connected on 42.1-percent (8-of-19) from the floor, 53.8-percent from three (7-of-13) and a perfect 100.0-percent from the line (15-of-15).
Watson began the week by scoring a career-high 28 points in a 75-60 win at then-Conference USA leader Old Dominion. He was 6-of-10 from the field, including 6-of-7 from behind the arc. He also hit 10-of-10 from the charity stripe while adding four assists and three steals. His three-pointer with 8:32 to play gave Southern Miss the lead for good and sent it on a 24-8 run to end the game. Watson's 28 points gave him 1,000 for his career, becoming the 36th Golden Eagle to reach that plateau. He also became just the second player in school history to record 1,000 points, 400 assists, 250 rebounds and 100 steals.
The senior followed that up by recording 10 points, six assists, a season-high five steals and three rebounds in a 60-46 victory at East Carolina. His defense also helped Southern Miss hold ECU to just four points over the final 12 minutes. The Kansas City, Kan., native also moved into second-place on the school's all-time assist list (410) and ninth on the all-time steals list (136).
With his 15-of-15 mark from the line, Watson increased his consecutive free throws made to 44, setting a new school record in the process. Watson currently leads Conference USA and is second in the country in free throw percentage (.943). The wins also gave Southern Miss the conference lead.
Marshall's Ryan Taylor was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week.