AAC Basketball will be undergoing some huge roster changes in the off-season. How will that affect the hierarchy of the league?
AAC Basketball is considered the seventh “power conference” of the college basketball world, consistently getting at least three teams in the NCAA Tournament.
That only improved with the addition of Wichita State, who finished tied for second place in their first full season with the league. The Shockers were one of a trio of AAC teams to get in, along with Cincinnati and Houston.
Unfortunately, none of them were able to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, which had to hurt both programs based on the number of seniors each team had.
But now it’s time to look at the 2018-19 campaign, and it’s wide open as to who’ll win the league. The top teams lost plenty of talent, while those in the middle retain a good amount, making them legit threats for the AAC title. Here’s how these teams stack up early on.
*All recruiting rankings listed are courtesy of 247sportsComposite
*All stats listed are courtesy of sportsreference.com/cbb
12. South Florida Bulls 10-22 (3-15)
Hard to imagine a team that finished in last place this season while losing four of their top five scorers will do any better, but David Collins (AAC First-team All-Rookie) is the Bulls building block for the future. Hopefully at least one of the trio of three-star recruits can make an impact early on.
11. Tulane Green Waves 14-17 (5-13)
There were two players that mattered for the Green Wave – Melvin Frazier and Cameron Reynolds. The ladder will be graduating, while Frazier is considered a late-first or early second-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft if he chooses to come back. Even if he does, there’s simply not enough talent around him to make a push up the standings.
10. East Carolina Pirates 10-20 (4-14)
Of the perennial bottom-feeders of the AAC, East Carolina has the best shot to get out of the basement. They will lose leading scorer BJ Tyson to graduation but return several other key pieces. And if Virginia Tech transfer Zach LeDay breaks out, the Pirates could cause trouble for some teams.