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American Athletic Conference Preview: 2019-2020 Season

American Preview: 2019-2020 Season

1. Memphis

Key Returners- Alex Lomax, Tyler Harris
Key Additions- James Wiseman, Boogie Ellis, Precious Achiuwa, D.J. Jeffries, Lester Quinones

Expectations

Penny Hardaway in year two is now bringing in the top recruiting class in the country. In addition, this is headlined by James Wiseman a dominant do it all center and with Precious Achiuwa an extremely active forward and brings also great athleticism and power. Also, the backcourt for Memphis will be very solid with Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax returning for their sophomore seasons along with Boogie Ellis and Lester Quinones. Furthermore, the X factor for this team could be D.J. Jeffries who will bring really good consistency and versatility to the frontcourt. Memphis is loaded with talent with aspirations to advance in the NCAA tournament.

2. Houston

Key Returners- Chris Harris Jr., Dejon Jarreau, Nate Hinton, Cedrick Alley Jr., Fabian White Jr., Brison Gresham
Key Additions- J’Wan Roberts, Caleb Mills

Expectations

This will be year six for Kelvin Sampson and all he has done is had major success. In addition, the backcourt will be very dynamic with Dejon Jarreau who brings really good versatility along with Nate Hinton and Chris Harris Jr. Furthermore, Cedrick Alley Jr. will be a toughness to the wings and give really good energy and effort on both ends. Next, the frontcourt will be very solid with Fabian White Jr. and Brison Gresham. Also, the culture and toughness that has been built at Houston will continue with a changed team. Houston will have an opportunity again to be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.

3. Cincinnati

Key Returners- Jarron Cumberland, Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, Tre Scott,
Key Additions- Zach Harvey, Jeremiah Davenport, Jaevin Cumberland

Expectations

John Brannen enters year one replacing Mick Cronin, therefore expectations are high. First off, he returns one of the best players in the country in Jarron Cumberland who is an elite scorer who brings major toughness and consistency. Also, Keith Williams has the ability to take the next step to add to the perimeter. In addition, Trevor Moore and Tre Scott will be extremely consistent in the frontcourt. Furthermore, the additions of Zach Harvey and Jaevin Cumberland will be a major boost to add scoring to the perimeter. Cincinnati has a very well rounded team ready to make the NCAA tournament.

4. South Florida

Key Returners- David Collins, Alexis Yetna, Justin Brown, LaQuincy Rideau, Xavier Castaneda, Michael Durr, Antun Maricevic
Key Additions- Ezacuras Dawson, B.J. Mack

Expectations

Brian Gregory has a team that is capable of reaching the NCAA tournament this season. Also, this team will be led by David Collins in the backcourt who is a very good scorer and brings a savviness. In addition, Alexis Yetna is a very good frontcourt player who could be one of the most improved bigs in the country. Further, LaQuincy Rideau brings toughness and ability to score at a high level as well. The depth of South Florida is going to make them very good with a player such as Justin Brown, Michael Durr and Ezacuras Dawson. South Florida has great opportunity to make the NCAA tournament.

5. Temple

Key Returners- Nate Pierre-Louis, Quinton Rose, Justyn Hamilton, De’Vondre Perry, Alani Moore, J.P Moorman, Damion Moore
Key Additions- Joshua Pierre-Louis, Jake Forrester, Tai Strickland

Expectations

Image result for nate pierre louisNow, this is year one for Aaron McKie who has a talented roster returning. In addition, the backcourt will be led by Nate Pierre-Louis who plays with really good feel and can distribute at a high level. Also, Quinton Rose is a very good wing who has the ability to score at a high level and handle the basketball. Furthermore, J.P. Moorman has the ability to stretch the floor but needs to become a more well-rounded player to take the next step. Justyn Hamilton and De’Vondre Perry are very solid players for the frontcourt. Temple has a very solid roster returning for the start of Aaron McKie’s tenure.

6. UConn

Key Returners- Christian Vital, Alterique Gilbert, Tyler Polley, Josh Carlton, Sidney Wilson
Key Additions- Jalen Gaffney, Akok Akok, James Bouknight

Expectations

Dan Hurley is going into year two with a team capable of taking the next step. The backcourt will be very dynamic with James Bouknight and Alterique Gilbert who is brining veteran experience. Also, the addition of Jalen Gaffney will have an opportunity to make an impact immediately. Next, Josh Carlton will bring really good production upfront and Akok Akok will infuse size and athleticism. In addition, Tyler Polley has the ability to be the x-factor with very good size and versatility he can bring consistently. UConn has the opportunity to show real progress in year two as they are a year away from reaching the NCAA tournament.

7. Wichita State

Key Returners- Dexter Dennis, Jamarius Burton, Jaime Echenique, Morris Udeze, Asbjorn Midtggard,
Key Additions- Trey Wade, Tyson Etienne, Grant Sherfield, Noah Fernandes

Expectations

Gregg Marshall needs to be able to maximize his roster with a lack of experience. Dexter Dennis will need to develop further into a more consistent threat to score on the perimeter. Also, Jaime Echenique and Asbjorn Midtgaard have an opportunity to be a frontcourt that has solid potential. Jamarius Burton will be a major factor in the backcourt with his ability to score and distribute. The youth on this team must develop quickly in order for Wichita State to maximize their potential. Further, they will be a borderline NCAA tournament team or more likely NIT team.

8. UCF

Key Returners- Collin Smith, Frank Bertz, Caesar Dejesus
Key Additions- Dazon Ingram, Yuat Akok, Matt Milon, Moses Bol, Avery Diggs, Ibrahim Famoui Doumbia

Expectations

Johnny Dawkins is replacing a large part of his roster that made the Round of 32 to the NCAA tournament. The return of Collin Smith will have the biggest impact in the frontcourt as he fills the void of Tacko Fall. Also, Frank Bertz and Caesar Dejesus will give a veteran presence and experience in the backcourt. Next, the addition of Dazon Ingram will be a very good player to the backcourt who can score at a high level. UCF will have a rebuilding season and will need to develop the young talent to regain last year’s success.

9. SMU

Key Returners- William Douglas, Feron Hunt, Darius McNeil, CJ White, Isiah Mike, Ethan Chargois
Key Additions- Tyson Jolly, Emmanuel Bandoumel, Charles Smith

Expectations

Tim Jankovich is starting year three looking to find consistency with his roster. Darius McNeil has the potential to be the lead guard in the backcourt. Also, CJ White and William Douglas will need to evaluate their games to give consistency to the backcourt. In addition, Ethan Chargios will need to be a productive continue to be the go-to big in the frontcourt being a consistent threat on the boards. Feron Hunt has the potential to really take the next step in the frontcourt being a good threat. SMU must find continuity to elevate back into a contender in the American.

10. East Carolina

Key Returners- Jayden Gardner, Seth LeDay
Key Additions- Tyrie Jackson, J.J. Miles, Ludgy Debaut, Tremont Robinson-White, Logan Curtis, Charles Coleman

Expectations

Image result for jayden gardner east carolinaJoe Dooley is heading into year two and is looking to take his team to the next step with many newcomers. Seth LeDay and Jayden Gardner are two Returners who can have an impact in the frontcourt. Tyrie Jackson and J.J. Miles will be two impact transfers who will bring quality minutes to the backcourt. Joe Dooley must hit on his JUCO transfers to take the next step at East Carolina. East Carolina’s ability to develop chemistry with all the new players will determine their growth as a team.

11. Tulsa

Key Returners- Martins Igbanu, Elijah Joyner, Lawson Korita, Darien Jackson, Jeriah Horne
Key Additions- Reggie Jones, Emmanuel Ugboh, Brandon Rachal

Expectations

Frank Haith will look to get back to his early success at Tulsa. Elijah Joyner and Lawson Korita will bring good consistency and veteran experience to the backcourt. Also, Martins Igbanu will be a very good option in the frontcourt who plays with good activity. Jeriah Horne has the ability to be a factor in the backcourt with his ability to attack and shoot. Tulsa needs to find consistency in the American to sustain success.

12. Tulane

Key Returners- Kevin Zhang, Buay Koka, Ray Ona Embo,
Key Additions- K.J. Lawson, Jordan Walker, Christion Thompson, Nobal Days, Tylan Pope

Expectations

Ron Hunter is entering year one trying to build consistency at Tulane. Next, Ray Ona Embo has the ability to be a major contributor in the backcourt coming off an injury-plagued season. Also, Kevin Zhang brings really good versatility being able to contribute to the frontcourt and the perimeter. In addition, K.J. Lawson is the biggest impact transfer for these teams he can add a scoring option on the wings. Continued Jordan Walker has the ability to be an impact transfer to the backcourt as well. Tulane will have to build from the ground up to find success in the American.

 

Images Courtesy of, Est Carolina Athletics, Temple University Athletics, USA Today

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