(Courtesy: Jeff Darby/UTEP Media Relations)

For the second straight year, Vince Hunter garnered All-Conference USA honors when he was appointed a first team selection on Monday.

Joining Hunter on the first team are Old Dominion’s Trey Freeman, UTSA’s Jeromie Hill, Western Kentucky’s T.J. Price and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Smith.

Hunter is UTEP’s fourth first team All-Conference USA player and the first since Randy Culpepper in 2011 (Culpepper was also first team in 2010).  The Miners’ other first team selections were John Tofi in 2006 and Stefon Jackson in 2008 and 2009.

Hunter was a second team All-League honoree in 2014, as well as C-USA’s Freshman of the Year.

Steve Kaplowitz.

A four-time C-USA Player of the Week this season, Hunter is UTEP’s leader in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg).  Hunter leads the Miners in points (456), rebounds (278), blocks (31) and steals (37).  The only other UTEP player to achieve that feat in a season was David Van Dyke in 1991-92 (460 points, 206 rebounds, 116 blocks, 52 steals).

Hunter has 12 double-doubles, the most by a Miner since Olympian Jim Forbes had 14 in 1971-72.

Hunter could join Jim Barnes, Harry Flournoy and Arnett Moultrie as the only players in school history to collect 300 rebounds in a season.  He has 278 through 30 games.

The 278 rebounds are already the eighth-most in a season at UTEP and the second-most by a sophomore.  Forbes had 290 boards his sophomore year of 1971-72.  Hunter’s 456 points are the third-most by a sophomore in school history.

The Conference USA All-Freshman and All-Defensive Teams, as well as superlative awards for Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year will be announced Tuesday. The C-USA Player of the Year and the C-USA Gene Bartow Coach of the Year will be unveiled on Wednesday.

The #2 seed Miners will face either #7 seed UTSA or #10 seed FIU in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championships on Thursday at 11 a.m. MT in Birmingham. The game will be televised on the American Sports Network.

Duke Keith