Busting Brackets

AAC Basketball: 5 answers to preseason questions


There’s been a lot going on in the non-conference for the AAC basketball. Here’s some observations based on some preseason questions.

1. Is Kevin Ollie on the hot seat?

The Connecticut Husk s are 7-4, and haven’t been impressive in doing so. Out of the five games that will have an impact on the resume, UConn is 1-4, and the Oregon win won’t do too much in March. Even if the team beats Auburn, a win over Cincinnati/Wichita State is needed for an invite. On the other hand, losses to East Carolina or South Florida will make Ollie sweat big-time.

2. Will Wichita State come in and win the league right away?

There’s still some concern about how this team will do playing in a brand new league, plus the traveling concerns are very real. However, there’s no question that from a talent perspective, the Shockers are head and shoulders above everyone else. Wichita State is a top-10 team even without Markus McDuffie, who is just now returning. Cincinnati is the only other option to finish No.1, and even that’s unlikely.

3. Is Cincinnati’s offense better than it’s defense?

This turned out to be a stupid question, as Mick Cronin’s teams will always be elite defensively , regardless of how well the offense performs. Right now, the Bearcats are top-10 in scoring defense at 60.0 ppg, and that end of the floor is still the backbone of the team.

4. Is Robert Gray Jr. the best player in the league?

Right now, Gray is the top scorer in the league, averaging 20.7 ppg, including 24 just the other night against Providence. As far as the best overall player, Landry Shamet of Wichita State might take that crown, but Houston Cougar guard certainly has a claim to make.

5.Can Tacko Fall lead the Knights to the NCAA tournament?

He’s done the best he could, averaging 13.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg per game for the depleted Knights. Central Florida is missing two starters, with Aubrey Dawkins out for the season while last year’s leading scorer B.J. Taylor has only played just one game.

Next: 5 Pac-12 answers to preseason questions

None of the losses are bad, and the win over Alabama could pay dividends later on. With Taylor coming back soon, Central Florida is still in play for an NCAA tournament bid, and it’s been the stifling defense, led by Fall, that’s made it all possible.