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John Scimeca

Freshman guard Ricky Tarrant was named first team All-Conference USA this week, capping a remarkable rookie season with the Green Wave. The 6-foot-1 Alabama native became the first Tulane player to earn first-team C-USA honors since Jerald Honeycutt in 1997.

Unsurprisingly, Tarrant also won C-USA Freshman of the Year the next day, unanimously recognized by conference coaches and media members. In total, Tarrant won a record five C-USA Freshman of the Week awards this season.

Tarrant scored 15.2 points, dished out 3.3 assists, and collected 1.7 steals per game, all team highs. He also picked up the slack during the second half of the season, scoring 18.2 points per game in conference games – second-highest among all C-USA players. Overall, he ranked third in the conference in steals, fifth in scoring and eighth in assists-to-turnovers ratio.

The two most recent freshmen to be named to the C-USA first team are two former Memphis Tigers: reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, in 2008, and 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, in 2009.

Tarrant joined Will Barton of Memphis, Keith Clanton of Central Florida, Jordan Clarkson of Tulsa and Cameron Moore of UAB on the 2011-12 all-conference first team. Tarrant tallied the highest single-game scoring mark for C-USA this season twice, scoring 33 points against both SMU and UAB.

In addition to scoring in double figures in all but one of Tulane’s 16 conference games, Tarrant scored 24 points in a breakout performance during the Green Wave’s victory against Georgia Tech Dec. 5.

Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said that Tarrant’s improvement throughout the year was exciting to watch.

“I’m really happy for him and proud of him. He is deserving of everything he gets because he works so hard,” Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. “You can’t win an award like this by staying the same player because people are gearing up to stop you and developing their game plan around you. He improved each week and had a heck of a conference season.”