Elmore, Burks on C-USA preseason basketball team
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Conference USA announced its annual preseason team Thursday afternoon, with Marshall senior guards Jon Elmore and CJ Burks both named to the team.
“It’s a deserved honor,” head coach Dan D’Antoni said.
“Jon is an MVP candidate, and both should be candidates for Most Outstanding Player. They’ve both proven they belong, too. We’re looking forward to the season and hopefully, they can perform at that high level again. But they’ve earned it.”
Both Burks and Elmore withdrew their names from NBA Draft consideration earlier this offseason, and both represent a large portion of the Herd’s 87.7 points per game average from last season.
Burks was one of 26 players in Division I basketball since 1992-93 to eclipse 700 points, make 80 3s and shoot at least 88 percent from the line in the same season.
He was also one half of the first Marshall scoring duo to average at least 20 points per game since Hal Greer and Leo Byrd accomplished it in the 1957-58 season.
As for Elmore, the Charleston, W.Va., native broke the school single-season records for points (816), assists (244), free throws (232) and free throw attempts (281).
During the 2017-18 season, Elmore led the team in three-pointers (98), three-point field goal attempts (275) and field goals (554), while he also led the nation in triple-doubles (two).
Of all of the players returning to college basketball for the 2018-19 season, Elmore ranked second last season in points and first in total assists.
Burks led the Herd in field goals (260) and free throw percentage (88.9 percent), while also being one of the leaders in points per game (20.1), made three-pointers (86), three-point field goal percentage (36.4 percent) and made free throws (96).
The Herd tip-off the 2018-19 season on the road, taking on Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 7. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Elsewhere in C-USA, the league also announced their preseason poll Thursday afternoon.
After winning its first-ever Conference USA title, and returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years, the Thundering Herd was projected to finish second this coming season.
Marshall also received five first place votes. The full preseason poll is as follows:
1. WKU (9)
2. Marshall (5)
3. Old Dominion
4. North Texas
6. LA Tech
7. Southern Miss
8. Middle Tennessee
12. Florida Atlantic