Oct. 4, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss junior guard Neil Watson has been named Preseason All-Conference USA in a vote by the league's 12 coaches and various media, the league office announced Thursday afternoon.
Watson was named to the second team. He becomes just the fourth Golden Eagle to be named Preseason All-CUSA and the first since Gary Flowers in 2010.
Watson led the Golden Eagles last year with 12.3 points and 4.4 assists, good for 15th and second in the league, respectively. He was also second in C-USA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) and third in free throw percentage (.843).
The Kansas City, Kan., native scored in double-figures in 23 games. His 156 free throws rank third on the sophomore list and sixth on the school single-season list. His 84.3 free throw percentage is 10th in a season at USM. His 151 assists set a new sophomore single-season record, and his 39 three-pointers are third among all sophomores.
The first team is comprised of Preseason Player of the Year Keith Clanton of UCF, as well as East Carolina's Miguel Paul, DeAndre Kane of Marshall, Memphis' Tarik Black and Ricky Tarrant of Tulane.
Watson is joined on the second team by Chris Crawford, Joe Jackson and Adonis Thomas of Memphis and Marshall's Dennis Tinnon.
Southern Miss opens the 2012-13 slate with an exhibition game on Nov. 1 against St. Catharine's. The regular season begins Nov. 10 when the Golden Eagles host Western Kentucky.