AAC professional picks, 2020-21 preview: Houston is unanimous decide to carry off Memphis, SMU for convention title


CBS Sports activities graphic

The departure of UConn casts a slight pall over the American Athletic Convention’s eighth yr because the league is down to only 11 members. However there may be cause to consider the American will rebound within the season forward after  it was projected to land simply two groups within the 2020 NCAA Match subject, in keeping with CBS Sports activities Bracketology Professional Jerry Palm.

5 coaches within the convention have been of their first or second season final yr, and it confirmed because the league collectively struggled with offensive execution. AAC groups hit simply 32.1% of their 3-pointers, rating thirtieth of the 32 Division I conferences in that regard.

The league was additionally hindered by James Wiseman’s NCAA suspension and subsequent departure from Memphis, in addition to a season-ending damage to its 2019 Freshman of the Yr in South Florida’s Alexis Yetna. Each the Tigers and Bulls harbored NCAA Match hopes that have been dashed by the lack of these key gamers. Wichita State’s sudden lull additionally continued final season because the Shockers failed to search out group chemistry throughout a disappointing season.

Finally, Houston was projected to be a No. 8 seed within the NCAA Match and Cincinnati to be a No. 11 seed by Palm earlier than the occasion’s cancelation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However the substances are there for the AAC to have a greater displaying in each complete groups and seeding standing when the NCAA Match comes round on the conclusion of the season forward.

Itching for extra school hoops evaluation? Pay attention under and subscribe to the Eye on School Basketball podcast the place we take you past the hardwood with insider data and instantaneous reactions.

AAC Preseason Participant of the Yr

Caleb Mills, Houston

The 6-foot-3 Mills returns because the main scorer for the preseason favourite to win the league. So his choice because the Preseason Participant of the Yr shouldn’t be stunning. However in case you have a look at his statistics from final season, it is enthralling to think about what might be this yr. Mills averaged 13.2 factors per recreation in simply 22.5 minutes per recreation as a redshirt freshman whereas taking part in principally off the bench. He’ll be a starter this season and is prone to play nearer to half-hour a recreation. Do not be stunned if he elevates his scoring to 16 or 17 factors a recreation whereas growing as a defender and passer.

AAC Preseason Coach of the Yr

Kelvin Sampson, Houston

The truth that Mills is the Preseason Participant of the Yr helps clarify why Sampson is the Preseason Coach of the Yr. From 2015 to 2019, Houston’s recruiting lessons completed at a median of 89th nationally within the 247Sports group rankings. That is the expertise basis on which Sampson has constructed the perfect group within the AAC. He takes gamers like Mills and fellow sophomore guard Marcus Sasser, who have been each three-star prospects, and turns them into nice school basketball gamers. Houston completed the 2019-20 season ranked within the top-25 for a 3rd straight yr. That streak seems destined to proceed in Sampson’s seventh yr on the helm.

AAC Preseason Freshman of the Yr

Moussa Cisse, Memphis

Search for Cisse to surpass the 1.9 blocks per recreation that Memphis ahead Treasured Achiuwa averaged whereas profitable AAC Freshman of the Yr and Participant of the Yr honors final season. The rangy and athletic 6-10 middle is a critical rim protector. He’ll even be a gradual lob menace. The range of his offensive repertoire is unclear, however his protection alone ought to make him an influence participant on a group anticipated to compete for the league title. 

AAC predicted order of end

AAC professional picks



Leave a Reply