College Basketball analytics site KenPom.com released its rankings Sunday night, with UConn ranked 41st, good for second in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies are ranked 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency while the offense is ranked 57th.
For those who may be unfamiliar, a simple overview of which stats influence the KenPom rankings can be found here.
Preseason rankings, even stat-based ones, must always be taken with a grain of salt as they lean heavily on the previous year’s performance and struggle to accurately account for the contributions of new players. With the Huskies looking to replace the production of Daniel Hamilton, Shonn Miller, and Sterling Gibbs, along with bench players Omar Calhoun and Phil Nolan, it’s understandable for UConn to be ranked where it is.
Cincinnati is the AAC team ahead of the Huskies, coming in at 28th. SMU is ranked 49th, giving the conference a third top-50 team, a trait which the AAC shares with six other conferences.
It goes south from there, however. Houston (85th) and Memphis (93rd) made the top-100 while Tulsa (104th) and Temple (117th) are the only other schools in the top-150, basically the top half, of Division 1.
East Carolina (155th), UCF (185th), South Florida (223rd), and Tulane (228th) round out the conference.
In the non-conference slate, the Huskies’ first opponent at the Maui Invitational, Oklahoma State, checks in at 60th. If they can advance to meet North Carolina in the next round, they will have the opportunity to play the No. 5 team in the preseason rankings. The other side of the bracket includes Oregon (6th), Wisconsin (8th), Georgetown (29th) and Tennessee (99th).
The most-anticipated regular season game of the year will come at Madison Square Garden against Syracuse, currently ranked 12th.
UConn will also have road games against Ohio State (13th) and Georgetown (29th) on the schedule this year. The next highest-ranked non-conference opponent is Auburn, at 153rd, followed by Boston University (162nd) and North Florida (192nd) before three sub-200 teams, who happen to start off the schedule in Wagner (219th), Northeastern (201nd), and Loyola Marymount (208th).
The season starts with Wagner on Friday, November 11.