AAC Basketball Predictions 2013-14
#1 Louisville: The defending champs bring back a slew of talent to go with a solid incoming class. Russ Smith coming back keeps this team in title contention with his high scoring prowess. Juco transfer Chris Jones will fill the void at point guard. Look for Terry Rozier and Kevin Ware to make an impact in the backcourt. Gorgui Dieng's defensive presence will be tough to replace, but Montrezl Harrell could emerge as go to scoring threat down low. Chane Behanan is currently suspended indefinitely until further notice. Luke Hancock made a major impact for the Cardinals after transferring from George Mason with his three point shooting ability.
#2 Memphis: Joe Jackson returns to be the floor general for the Tigers. The loss of Antonio Barton won't hurt the the Tigers with Michael Dixon being cleared to play this season. Dixon makes an impact on both sides of the floor. Geron Johnson scored over fifteen points nine times last season. Chris Crawford is a versatile player who can distribute the ball as well as knock down threes. The backcourt is loaded, the frontcourt has it's questions. With Thomas and Black both gone, Memphis will need Shaq Goodwin to play a bigger role. Two newcomers that will make an impact are freshman Austin Nichols and senior transfer David Pellom (recently injured).
#3 Connecticut: The backcourt is deadly with Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier. The two combined for 32.5 ppg last season. Omar Calhoun exploded on to the scene averaging 11.1 ppg in his freshman season. The frontcourt will take this team to another level if they take another step forward. Big man DeAndre Daniels should average 15 ppg and eight rpg this season. Tyler Orlander will need to have more presence on the glass this season.
#4 Houston: The Cougars would be in contention for the top spot had guard Joseph Young not transferred. Houston is still in good hands with Danuel House and TaShawn Thomas. They form the best frontcourt in the AAC.
#5 SMU: Larry Brown is ready to take SMU to another level. Brown brought in a solid 2013 class which features five star prospect Keith Frazier. Frazier brings a scoring touch and could develop into the go to guy for the Mustangs. Nick Russell and Jalen Jones combined for 28 points last season. Two transfers will add depth to a team that was thin last season. One thing SMU will have to improve on from last season is the assist to turnover ratio which is in the negatives.
#7 UCF :