ESPN Insider: 2014-15 AAC coaches poll | The Boneyard

ESPN Insider: 2014-15 AAC coaches poll

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For those of you that don't have insider. From everyone's favorite Jeff Goodman:

Last season, UConn finished in a three-way tie in the AAC regular season with SMU and Memphis before embarking on a magical NCAA tournament run that culminated in a national championship.

This season, are the Huskies -- after losing star point guard Shabazz Napier -- the favorites to win the conference? Check out our conference preview here as well as previews on AAC teams that made our top 25 to watch list.

To go even deeper on which team is the preseason favorite, we polled a number of coaches in the American Athletic to get their take on the league this season:

AAC preseason coaches poll

Total votes next to teams; number of first-place votes in parentheses

1. SMU Mustangs: 170 total points (10)

2. Connecticut Huskies: 166 (8)

3. Memphis Tigers: 142

4. Cincinnati Bearcats: 126

5. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 110

6. Temple Owls: 98

7. UCF Knights: 70

8. Houston Cougars: 62

9. South Florida Bulls: 54

10. East Carolina Pirates: 40

11. Tulane Green Wave: 18

In addition to casting their votes on the league order, a number of AAC coaches weighed in on key topics heading into the season, including player of the year, top team and more. Here's a roundup of their thoughts:

On the league: "I think it's fairly wide-open, but SMU is the team to beat. They have their entire team back, they added some good pieces and have experience."

On SMU to win the league: "They return just about everyone and I think they're ready to take the next step. UConn and Memphis should be right there, but I think SMU has grown and they have so many options. They have a point guard who runs the team, scoring on the wings and an interior presence. They can score in a lot of different ways."

On UConn: "They lost a lot more than people realize. It's almost as if they have a completely new team. The key will be how they mesh together and also whether [Ryan] Boatright wants to lead the team or just score."

On Memphis: "No one knows how they'll be because their entire perimeter is brand-new. It depends whether they get (Vanderbilt transfer) Kedren Johnson eligible. They have two quality big men, but guards are what ultimately wins -- and that's why they need Johnson so bad."

On Cincinnati potentially falling out of the top four: "I'm not sure they are going to finish in the top four this season. They lost a lot -- not just [Sean] Kilpatrick. Everyone just assumes that because they are a Big East team, they are going to finish towards the top, but I think they could finish sixth or seventh. They need to find someone who can shoot it."

The surprise of the league: "Temple or Tulane. I think Tulsa will be good, even going into a new league. They have most of their guys back from a team that went to the NCAA tourney."
 

UConnSwag11

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For those of you that don't have insider. From everyone's favorite Jeff Goodman:

Last season, UConn finished in a three-way tie in the AAC regular season with SMU and Memphis before embarking on a magical NCAA tournament run that culminated in a national championship.

This season, are the Huskies -- after losing star point guard Shabazz Napier -- the favorites to win the conference? Check out our conference preview here as well as previews on AAC teams that made our top 25 to watch list.

To go even deeper on which team is the preseason favorite, we polled a number of coaches in the American Athletic to get their take on the league this season:

AAC preseason coaches poll

Total votes next to teams; number of first-place votes in parentheses

1. SMU Mustangs: 170 total points (10)

2. Connecticut Huskies: 166 (8)

3. Memphis Tigers: 142

4. Cincinnati Bearcats: 126

5. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 110

6. Temple Owls: 98

7. UCF Knights: 70

8. Houston Cougars: 62

9. South Florida Bulls: 54

10. East Carolina Pirates: 40

11. Tulane Green Wave: 18

In addition to casting their votes on the league order, a number of AAC coaches weighed in on key topics heading into the season, including player of the year, top team and more. Here's a roundup of their thoughts:

On the league: "I think it's fairly wide-open, but SMU is the team to beat. They have their entire team back, they added some good pieces and have experience."

On SMU to win the league: "They return just about everyone and I think they're ready to take the next step. UConn and Memphis should be right there, but I think SMU has grown and they have so many options. They have a point guard who runs the team, scoring on the wings and an interior presence. They can score in a lot of different ways."

On UConn: "They lost a lot more than people realize. It's almost as if they have a completely new team. The key will be how they mesh together and also whether [Ryan] Boatright wants to lead the team or just score."

On Memphis: "No one knows how they'll be because their entire perimeter is brand-new. It depends whether they get (Vanderbilt transfer) Kedren Johnson eligible. They have two quality big men, but guards are what ultimately wins -- and that's why they need Johnson so bad."

On Cincinnati potentially falling out of the top four: "I'm not sure they are going to finish in the top four this season. They lost a lot -- not just [Sean] Kilpatrick. Everyone just assumes that because they are a Big East team, they are going to finish towards the top, but I think they could finish sixth or seventh. They need to find someone who can shoot it."

The surprise of the league: "Temple or Tulane. I think Tulsa will be good, even going into a new league. They have most of their guys back from a team that went to the NCAA tourney."
i dont see us losing to smu twice maybe once... i think uconn is going to remember last year and hold nothing back... if we can have 1 spot up 3pt shooter and one who can shoot off the bounce we will be set imo... if purvis can attack the basket like i believe he can our team will cause mayhem for other teams
 

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"They lost a lot more than people realize."
What people?
"... whether [Ryan] Boatright wants to lead the team or just score."
I refuse to believe Goodman didn't write that himself.
 

UconnU

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"They lost a lot more than people realize."
What people?
"... whether [Ryan] Boatright wants to lead the team or just score."
I refuse to believe Goodman didn't write that himself.
Well to be fair we lost 3 starters.. our top 2 scorers and our 3 best perimeter shooters. But to question our leadership is ridiculous. We have proven time and time again we breed leadership. Leadership will not be an issue.
 

Inyatkin

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Well to be fair we lost 3 starters.. our top 2 scorers and our 3 best perimeter shooters. But to question our leadership is ridiculous. We have proven time and time again we breed leadership. Leadership will not be an issue.
I should've said "What people don't know that UConn lost a lot?"
 

kobe

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Sounds like some former C-USA coach is mad that Cincinnati is going to be good again and finish in the top 4.
 

UofMemphis

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All we've heard from Ollie and Boatright is how much they've worked on his leadership, and how much he's matured, and how he understands he has to make those around him better.

It's between us and SMU and could come down to the last week of conference play.
 
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Johnson's eligible? lol

Memphis is very talented, just a matter of how well he can coach them!
 
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UcannUconn said:
Well to be fair we lost 3 starters.. our top 2 scorers and our 3 best perimeter shooters. But to question our leadership is ridiculous. We have proven time and time again we breed leadership. Leadership will not be an issue.

Assuming this actually is a quote from an opposing coach I don't see it as questioning our leadership. He basically said boat is the key to our success. We're gonna sink or float with him. Which is true. Of course all of us are confident that we're gonna float because we do breed leadership.
 
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Well to be fair we lost 3 starters.. our top 2 scorers and our 3 best perimeter shooters. But to question our leadership is ridiculous. We have proven time and time again we breed leadership. Leadership will not be an issue.

I agree with this. I think how Boat takes over the leadership role is absolutely a fair question. Will he work as hard on D as he did in the tourney, or will he be saving more energy for making his own shots on offense? I absolutely think how he deals with being the big dog is one of the huge keys to the season.
 

ctchamps

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On Memphis: "No one knows how they'll be because their entire perimeter is brand-new. It depends whether they get (Vanderbilt transfer) Kedren Johnson eligible. They have two quality big men, but guards are what ultimately wins -- and that's why they need Johnson so bad."

He was declared eligible today...

http://www.commercialappeal.com/spo...gible-to-play-for-tigers-this-season_06596858
You can thank us now. You got the UConn bump! Emmert will do anything in his power to impact UConn negatively.:cool:
 

Dogbreath2U

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I agree with this. I think how Boat takes over the leadership role is absolutely a fair question. Will he work as hard on D as he did in the tourney, or will he be saving more energy for making his own shots on offense? I absolutely think how he deals with being the big dog is one of the huge keys to the season.

Another question: Will Boat work harder at distributing the ball vs. finding his own shot? I can see him needing to conserve energy and not playing such intense defense throughout games. What might be harder for Boat would be to stay in the "quarterback" role rather than trying to be the "go to" scorer. He needs to do both, but I think he has to overcome a tendency during tense times in games to want to score the points himself. He may end up being our "go to" guy, or one of them, but I hope that he starts the year off valuing the assist more than points.
 

ctchamps

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I agree with this. I think how Boat takes over the leadership role is absolutely a fair question. Will he work as hard on D as he did in the tourney, or will he be saving more energy for making his own shots on offense? I absolutely think how he deals with being the big dog is one of the huge keys to the season.
Mostly agree. I would say this is contingent on the rest of the team. If he's aggressive on defense and a facilitator and distributor on offense to start the season, but other players don't step up on offense it may necessitate KO to change the role Boat has to take.
 

ctchamps

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Another question: Will Boat work harder at distributing the ball vs. finding his own shot? I can see him needing to conserve energy and not playing such intense defense throughout games. What might be harder for Boat would be to stay in the "quarterback" role rather than trying to be the "go to" scorer. He needs to do both, but I think he has to overcome a tendency during tense times in games to want to score the points himself. He may end up being our "go to" guy, or one of them, but I hope that he starts the year off valuing the assist more than points.
Beat me by one minute.:mad:
 
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I think that Purvis is a big X-factor in a lot of this. If he's really able to handle the ball and create with it, Boat won't be forced to do everything all the time on offense. Now, it also remains to be seen if Boat, who has been waiting to feature on this team for three years, would be willing to cede enough control of the offense to Purvis to make a difference.
 
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