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Future Picks: American Athletic Conference

With Men’s College Basketball being back in less than three weeks; now is the perfect time to discuss my predictions for each major conference. We are going to start of with the AAC also known as the American Athletic Conference. With that being said here are the odds for the winner of the AAC.

 

Houston +125

SMU +375

Memphis +400

Cincinnati +900

Wichita State +1100

South Florida +1500

Tulsa +1500

UCF +3000

East Carolina +4000

Temple +5000

Tulane +10000

 

Now that we have the odds for the AAC title winner; here are my predictions on the AAC for the 2020-2021 season.

 

Winner: 

Houston +125

The Houston Cougars were poised to make a deep run last year in the NCAA tournament before Covid-19 hit. This team has what I believe to be the best back court in the conference with the experienced combination of Quentin Grimes, Caleb Mills, Dejon Jarreau, and Marcus Sasser. The only issue with this team is how are they going to play all four of these guards at the same time. I expect Houston to run with a small lineup, with these four guards being six foot five or shorter. Then you have the Arkansas transfer Reggie Chaney to add to your thin depth in your front court.

I think their starting five is going to look like Caleb Mills, Marcus Sasser, Quentin Grimes, Dejon Jarreau, and Brison Gresham/Reggie Chaney. Houston is going to be a tough team to score on as they have very tenacious guards that are very in your face on the defensive end of the floor. I expect a big year from sophomore Caleb mills and junior Quentin Grimes. Grimes is still on a mission to prove how good he is and show that Kansas wasn’t the place for him. Look for Houston to win the conference and to make some serious noise in the NCAA tournament this season.

 

Best Value:

Memphis +400

Memphis disappointed last year, but to be fair they had some bad luck. You lose James Wiseman due to ineligibility which didn’t help the Tigers. That team last season never got to reach their full potential and this year they should be very good. Even with losing the American Player of the year in Precious Achiuwa to the NBA Draft, Penny Hardaway made some moves to help make this team very competitive this season. Penny Hardaway adds five star recruit Mousa Cisse (24th overall in 2020 class), then they added Landers Nolley from Virginia Tech and Deandre Williams from Evansville. Those are three big time players to add with D.J. Jeffries, Boogie Ellis, Damion Baugh who were three big time players from last season.

I think their starting five is going to look like Boogie Ellis, Landers Nolley, D.J. Jeffries, Deandre Williams, and Mousa Cisse. This team is going to be very good and will have a legitimate chance at winning the American title this season. If Memphis is healthy this is another team from this conference that you will want to not see in March in the NCAA tournament.

 

Long Shot: 

Tulsa +1500

Tulsa was a surprise in the American Athletic Conference last season. Look down below to see where I think the Golden Hurricanes finish in the conference this season, but I think this is a tournament team. This team is returning everybody that played significant minutes last season besides one season which just happens to be their leading scorer. They do have two seniors in their back court of Elijah Joiner and Darien Jackson that are going to take more of the load offensively. If this team can keep up their defensive intensity like they had a season ago, I like Tulsa’s odds as a long shot.

 

Predictions

1.) Houston Cougars

2.) Memphis Tigers

3.) SMU Mustangs

4.) Tulsa Golden Hurricanes

5.) Wichita State Shockers

6.) USF Bulls

7.) Cincinnati Bearcats

8.) East Carolina Pirates

9.) UCF Knights

10.) Temple Owls

11.) Tulane Green Wave

 

-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)

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