The 2015-16 college basketball season is almost here, and with it comes the hopes and expectations that come around this time of year.
It’s no different in the American Athletic Conference. The University of Memphis men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the AAC preseason men’s basketball coaches poll released at AAC Media Day Tuesday.
Memphis, which finished 18-14 and missed postseason play altogether last season, is coming off its worst season since 2000. The Tigers were picked to finish third in the AAC at last season’s media day.
One player whom will be counted on help lead the turnaround this season is senior forward Shaq Goodwin. The senior, for the second year in a row, was named to AAC’s preseason all-conference team. Though unlike last season, he was named to the second team. Goodwin is Memphis’ lone representative on the two-preseason all-conference teams. He averaged 9.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 2015.
The team picked to finish first in the AAC regular season standings, SMU, is ineligible to play in the postseason due to violating multiple NCAA rules. UConn, which missed the NCAA tournament last season after winning the NCAA Championship in 2014, was picked to finish third.
The Huskies were followed by Cincinnati and Tulsa. The Temple Owls finished behind the Tigers in sixth, and Houston, East Carolina, UCF, South Florida and Tulane rounded out the rest of the AAC preseason poll.
Listed below are the AAC All-Conference First and Second Teams, the AAC Preseason Player of the Year and AAC Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Preseason All-Conference First Team
Octavius Ellis, F, Cincinnati
Daniel Hamilton, G/F, UConn
Markus Kennedy, F, SMU
Nic Moore, G, SMU
James Woodard, G, Tulsa
Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Troy Caupain, G, Cincinnati
Amida Brimah, C, UConn
Sterling Gibbs, G, UConn
Shaq Goodwin, F, Memphis
Shaquille Harrison, G, Tulsa
Preseason Player of the Year
Nic Moore, G, SMU
Preseason Rookie of the Year
Jalen Adams, G, UConn
University of Memphis senior forward Shaq Goodwin