VOL. 7 | NO. 47 | Saturday, November 15, 2014
The American Athletic Conference
By Don Wade
Coming in the Door: East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa. Going out the Door: Louisville and Rutgers.
New faces on the sideline: Orlando Antigua (South Florida), Frank Haith (Tulsa), Kelvin Sampson (Houston)
Coaches’ preseason predictions
1. Connecticut: The Huskies won the NCAA title in Kevin Ollie’s second year as coach. They finished 32-8 overall, 12-6 in The American. Senior guard Ryan Boatright was voted Preseason Player of the Year.
2. SMU: Larry Brown’s team went 27-10 but was snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee and instead made a run to the NIT Finals. Among their returnees: Guard Nic Moore (13.6 points per game, 4.9 assists per game) and forward Markus Kennedy (12.4 ppg, 7.1 rebounds per game). Both were Preseason All-Conference selections.
3. Memphis: The Tigers advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAAs, finishing 24-10 overall and 12-6 in the league. Memphis returns starters and Preseason All-Conference selections at forward in junior Shaq Goodwin (11.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and sophomore Austin Nichols (9.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
4. Cincinnati: The Bearcats are seeking a fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth. Last year, they tied for the regular-season title in The American. Forward Shaquille Thomas (6.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) is the leading returning scorer.
5. Tulsa: Shared the regular-season league title in Conference USA last season and lost to UCLA in the NCAAs in the Round of 64. Guard James Woodard (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) was a Preseason First-Team pick in The American.
The Rest: 6. Temple. 7. Houston. 8. South Florida. 9. Central Florida. 10. East Carolina. 11. Tulane
The Tigers in the American Athletic Conference in the 2013-14 season
Standings: Tied for third with UConn and SMU at 12-6; Cincinnati and Louisville each finished 15-3.
Scoring offense: Second, 76.9 points per game.
Scoring defense: Fifth, 70.5 ppg.
Free-throw percentage: Ninth, 64.4.
Field-goal percentage: Second, 47.7.
Defensive field-goal percentage: Fifth, 43.8.
3-point field-goal percentage: Ninth, 33.0.
Defensive 3-point field-goal percentage: Second, 30.8
Rebound margin: Fifth, +2.2.
Blocks: Fourth, 4.7 ppg.
Assists: First, 17.4 ppg.
Steals: Second, 8.6 ppg.
Turnover margin: Fourth, +1.21.
Average home attendance: Second, 16,121.
Postseason Tournament: The 2015 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played March 12-15 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.