College basketball conference previews: AAC

Tuesday October 13th, 2015

With the start of college basketball season less than a month away, we're previewing each team in nine conferences. Using a statistical projection system developed by economist Dan Hanner and SI's Luke Winn, which is now in its second season, we've forecast the conference standings and the top seven scorers from each team. First up is the American Athletic Conference.

Coach of the year: Kevin Ollie, Connecticut

In Ollie’s three years as UConn’s head coach, the Huskies have served a postseason ban (2012-13), won the national championship ('13-14) and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament ('14-15). None of those outcomes is likely in 2015-16. UConn is too good to miss the tournament, but probably not good enough to make a run at another title. Still, the Huskies have the talent to compete for the AAC championship, which would putt Ollie on the short list for an award honoring the conference’s best coach. It also would not help stem speculation over the possibility of Ollie leaving Storrs, Conn., for an NBA job.

Player of the year: Nic Moore, Southern Methodist

Perhaps the most frustrating part about the penalties the NCAA assessed to SMU last month—including a postseason ban—is their effect on players who are believed to have done nothing wrong. Among them is Moore, a point guard who led the Mustangs in minutes played (1,179), assist rate (31.1) and Win Shares (5.2) in 2014-15, according to sports-reference.com. Though he won’t be able to play in the NCAA tournament again one year after he and the Mustangs suffered a brutal loss to UCLA in the round of 64, Moore is the best backcourt player on the AAC’s best team. He’ll shine during his final year of college hoops.

Freshman of the year: Dedric Lawson, Memphis

It turns out Lawson’s reclassification 2016 to 2015 is exactly what Memphis needed. When his decision was reported last September, the Tigers expected to add him to a rotation featuring all-AAC first-team member Austin Nichols. But Nichols transferred to Virginia this summer, leaving a void in the frontcourt. Lawson, who’s highly regarded for his offensive versatility, could play significant minutes in his first year on campus. Replacing Nichols won’t be easy; he led the Tigers with 18.0 points per 40 minutes and ranked second in the AAC in block rate in 2014-15, according to sports-reference.com. Yet Memphis will count on Lawson to produce right away.

Projected Conference Race

conference rank

team

projected Conf. record

last year's Conf. record

1

SMU

14-4

15-3

2

Connecticut

14-4

10-8

3

Cincinnati

13-5

13-5

4

Tulsa

11-7

14-4

5

Temple

10-8

13-5

6

Memphis

10-8

10-8

7

Houston

8-10

4-14

8

East Carolina

5-13

6-12

9

Tulane

5-13

6-12

10

UCF

5-13

5-13

11

South Florida

4-14

3-15

Each team's outlook in about 68 words

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Nic Moore

PG

14.3

1.8

5.0

116.1

23%

84%

Markus Kennedy

PF

12.1

7.1

1.3

111.5

26%

60%

Keith Frazier

SG

11.7

4.2

1.6

116.8

19%

70%

Jordan Tolbert

PF

8.6

5.3

0.6

109.7

21%

53%

Ben Moore

PF

8.4

5.6

1.8

108.5

21%

61%

Sterling Brown

SF

6.6

5.2

2.1

122.5

14%

66%

Semi Ojeleye

PF

5.9

4.1

0.5

105.2

19%

25%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Daniel Hamilton

SF

12.7

7.1

3.0

103.7

26%

80%

Rodney Purvis

SG

12.4

2.8

1.4

105.1

24%

67%

Sterling Gibbs

PG

11.6

2.2

3.5

110.2

22%

71%

Amida Brimah

C

8.9

5.0

0.4

122.1

16%

65%

Jalen Adams

PG

8.5

3.1

3.3

108.4

21%

60%

Shonn Miller

PF

8.2

5.2

0.8

106.6

19%

55%

Kentan Facey

PF

3.6

3.9

0.4

122.2

13%

40%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Octavius Ellis

PF

10.6

7.4

1.2

108.4

22%

70%

Troy Caupain

PG

10.4

4.1

3.6

111.0

20%

75%

Gary Clark

PF

9.0

7.5

1.5

114.9

19%

70%

Farad Cobb

SG

8.5

2.5

1.5

109.2

20%

55%

Shaquille Thomas

SF

7.7

3.5

0.8

100.9

20%

55%

Kevin Johnson

PG

7.7

1.9

1.5

103.6

20%

53%

Coreontae DeBerry

C

6.8

3.8

0.3

102.0

22%

41%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

James Woodard

SG

14.3

5.0

1.5

114.0

20%

80%

Shaquille Harrison

PG

13.4

5.0

3.7

100.5

27%

78%

Rashad Smith

SF

9.7

6.0

1.0

106.4

19%

69%

D'Andre Wright

PF

9.1

6.2

1.0

102.4

22%

64%

Rashad Ray

PG

7.5

2.2

2.8

109.4

17%

62%

Pat Birt

SG

5.5

2.2

0.9

106.0

18%

40%

Brandon Swannegan

PF

4.9

4.8

0.3

103.1

16%

48%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Quenton DeCosey

SG

12.9

4.4

2.2

104.2

25%

72%

Obi Enechionyia

PF

12.2

6.6

0.8

111.5

21%

76%

Josh Brown

PG

9.8

4.0

2.5

106.5

18%

78%

Jaylen Bond

PF

7.5

7.2

0.8

106.9

19%

60%

Devin Coleman

SG

6.2

2.8

1.1

98.4

22%

42%

Daniel Dingle

SF

6.2

3.6

1.7

101.0

19%

54%

Levan Alston

PG

5.2

2.1

1.7

103.5

19%

40%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Ricky Tarrant

PG

12.7

3.0

2.5

107.0

23%

72%

Shaq Goodwin

PF

12.1

8.2

2.0

108.7

22%

75%

Trahson Burrell

SF

9.4

5.1

1.6

107.4

23%

58%

Dedric Lawson

PF

8.7

6.3

0.8

102.3

20%

61%

Avery Woodson

SG

7.9

2.4

1.2

105.1

16%

60%

Keelon 'K.J.' Lawson

SF

7.4

4.1

1.1

102.3

20%

52%

Markel Crawford

SG

6.9

2.7

1.7

105.3

18%

55%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Chicken Knowles

PF

11.7

6.6

1.1

111.4

21%

72%

Ronnie Johnson

PG

11.1

2.9

3.0

107.7

23%

70%

Devonta Pollard

PF

10.7

6.0

1.1

103.9

23%

67%

Damyean Dotson

SF

9.2

3.9

1.0

110.7

21%

57%

LeRon Barnes

SG

7.5

5.7

1.2

108.3

14%

75%

L.J. Rose

PG

7.2

2.0

3.9

104.9

21%

56%

Eric Weary

SG

5.9

3.0

0.8

100.2

20%

43%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Caleb White

SF

14.5

4.0

1.6

112.9

20%

84%

B.J. Tyson

SG

14.0

3.9

1.7

102.0

28%

67%

Charles Foster

PG

9.0

3.3

2.9

103.5

18%

75%

Michel-Ofik Nzege

PF

7.2

5.4

0.8

110.2

17%

55%

Marshall Guilmette

PF

6.7

3.7

1.0

100.7

20%

50%

Clarence Williams

PF

6.5

4.7

0.6

106.8

18%

50%

Lance Tejada, Jr.

PG

6.4

1.9

2.3

98.4

22%

49%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Louis Dabney

PG

15.3

3.7

1.8

107.2

24%

81%

Malik Morgan

SG

9.4

4.3

1.9

108.9

20%

73%

Dylan Osetkowski

C

7.9

5.7

1.0

103.2

19%

63%

Jernard Jarreau

PF

6.8

5.1

1.0

98.3

19%

60%

Blake Paul

PF

6.8

4.6

0.6

100.7

18%

54%

Cameron Reynolds

SG

6.6

2.3

0.9

97.3

24%

43%

Melvin Frazier

SG

6.2

2.5

1.1

103.8

19%

47%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Adonys Henriquez

SG

12.9

4.2

2.2

116.4

18%

85%

B.J. Taylor

SG

12.3

2.8

2.1

109.4

23%

70%

Justin McBride

C

9.5

5.7

0.2

100.9

27%

47%

Daiquan Walker

PG

9.4

2.2

2.3

101.4

21%

64%

Staphon Blair

PF

8.8

4.9

0.2

114.0

18%

60%

Matt Williams

SG

7.5

2.7

1.1

118.3

16%

53%

Tacko Fall

C

6.6

4.5

0.5

104.8

19%

48%

Name

Pos.

PPG

RPG

APG

ORtg

POSS

MINS

Troy Holston, Jr.

SG

12.4

3.9

1.5

101.8

20%

85%

Chris Perry

C

10.1

5.9

0.7

103.0

24%

57%

Nehemias Morillo

SF

9.9

4.0

1.3

96.0

22%

65%

Roddy Peters

PG

9.7

3.8

3.4

99.7

22%

80%

Bo Zeigler

PF

7.1

4.5

0.6

98.7

18%

59%

Angel Nunez

SF

6.5

5.5

1.2

101.1

20%

49%

Luis Santos

PF

4.9

3.7

0.4

101.7

17%

40%

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