American Athletic Conference Preview
Let’s take a look at how this upcoming season will shake out in the AAC. Before we look ahead, let’s look a bit at last season.
American Athletic Conference 2020-21 Standings
- Wichita State 11-2 16-6
- Houston 14-3 28-4
- Memphis 11-4 20-8
- SMU 7-4 11-6
- Cincinnati 8-6 12-11
- UCF 8-10 11-12
- Tulsa 7-9 11-12
- South Florida 4-10 9-13
- Temple 4-10 5-11
- Tulane 6-12 10-13
- East Carolina 2-10 8-11
American Athletic Conference Projected Finish 2021-2022
- Houston- Fabian White, Jr. returns for his third season in the frontcourt with tons of experience . He has started 52 games for head coach Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars. The 6’8″ fifth year senior has a corner shot that is many times deadly.Also another 6’8″ guard that is tough, big and strong and fits the coaches style is Reggie Chaney. Added via the portal is 6’11” is Josh Carlton, a three year starter out of UConn. Also added in the backcourt will be Kyler Edwards from Texas Tech and Taze Moore from Cal State Bakersfield. Moore led his team in scoring the previous two seasons. The top scorer, Marcus Sasser. returns after putting up 13-7 ppg and had 78 3-pointers to his credit. The team scheduled tougher with Virginia added and the Maui Invitational.
- Memphis– This could very likely be the year for the Tigers But in the previous three season coach Penny Hardaway has failed to get them over the hump. Fans are hoping th addition of Larry Brown as assistant coach can get them to a Final Four. The Tigers are that kind of material, on paper. The top three in minutes played return along with a top 10 recruiting class and some transfers including Earl Timberlake via Miami. Returnees Lander Nolley II and Lester Quinones. EDIT: This was written before Emoni Bates, top recruit in the nation decided to attend Memphis. Until Hardaway wins something more than the NIT, Houston still stands on top.
- Wichita State– Isaac Brown took over for the embattled former coach Gregg Marshall. Brown did an excellent job last year. Most of his key pieces are returning in Tyson Etienne and his over 17 ppg. Morris Udeze comes back after a 10.3 ppg and Dexter Dennis added six points per game. Joe Pleasant for Abilene Christian joins the team after hitting the game winning charity tosses to beat Texas in the NCAA Tourney.
- SMU– Coach Tim Jankovich has enough talent returning to see another NCAA tourney appearance. Kendric Davis average over 19 points per game and was a solid play maker. Davis can do it all. Returning is Emmanuel Bandoumel another solid player. Four transfers include Zach Nutall who was the Southland Player of the Year. Marcus Weathers who was second team Atlantic 10 conference. Michael Weathers a big scorer from Texas Southern and brother to Marcus and Tristan Clark, post player x from Baylor.
- UCF– The top nine scorers return for head coach Johnny Dawkins and the Knights. Darius Perry, all conferenceguard and 14 ppg is back along with Brandon Mahan makes for this to be a solid team and could sneak up a bit in the conference. The portal produced CJ Walker from Oregon.
- Cincinnati– New coach Wes Miller, formerly at UNC-Greensboro, takes over a team with experience including Jeremiah Dacenport, David DeJulius and Mike Adams-Woods. Transfers include John Newman from Clemson, Ody Oguama , out of Wake Forest, Abdul Ado from Mississippi State. Two players from his UNCG squad include Hayden Koval and Jarrett Hensley.
- Tulsa– Coach Frank Haith has Keyshawn Embery-Simpson bringing his 7.3ppg back to the court along with Curtis Haywood and his five points per game. Transfer Jeriah Horne could be an all conference selection this year. This team is middle of the pack.
- Temple– The Owls struggled last year. Khalif Battle is likely their bet player as he was a third team all conference selection. Head coach Aaron McKie has his hands full trying to win game is a top loaded conference.
- South Florida- The top players transferred out of the program now coach Brian Gregory has to start almost over for this season. Caleb Murphy and his 8.3 ppg returns.Many very good transfers were ready to head to South Florida and they will be the only savior which include Corey Walker from Tennessee.
- Tulane– The defense was excellent last year but scoring is a concern. Jaylen Forbes (16.4 ppg) will get some transfer help but not enough to make this team respectable each and every night.
- East Carolina- Coach Joe Dooley has a barren cupboard on the offensive side of the court. He has four players that averaged under eight point per game returning.
American Athletic Conference Projected First Team
SMU G Kendric Davis
Memphis G Landers Nolley II
Houston G Marcus Sasser
Memphis G Earl Timberlake
Wichita State G Tyson Etienne
NOTE: Again this was written before Emoni Bates signed with Memphis
About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup. Feel free to contact Tom at [email protected]