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UConn Men’s Basketball AAC Tournament Preview

Two Huskies earned annual honors as the conference Tournament gets started.

Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog

While UConn Men’s Basketball ended its regular season on Sunday, it has still been an eventful week.

On Wednesday, the American Conference announced its yearly honors and a pair of Huskies received recognition.

Jalen Adams was named to the All-Conference First Team after a breakout sophomore campaign. He finished conference play with 12.1 points-per-game and 6.7 assists-per-game, tops in the conference. Against Temple, Adams hit a game-winner with 2.9 seconds after the Huskies trailed for most of the game.

Despite dealing with a concussion and ankle injury, the Roxbury, Mass. native became the third UConn player in the last four years to make the All-Conference First Team.

Additionally, Vance Jackson’s strong freshman campaign earned him a spot on the conference’s All-Rookie team. Jackson was unstoppable from behind the arc, hitting 48% from three during conference play while contributing 12.1 ppg.

It was a bit surprising that Christian Vital did not make the All-Rookie team. After coming in without much fanfare, the injury to Alterique Gilbert forced the New Yorker into a larger role and the freshman answered the call, scoring 9.7 points-per-game and hitting 39% from three. The final addition to the class of 2016 will be a factor heading into the American Conference Tournament and beyond.

On Tuesday, Kevin Ollie added another player to the class of 2017 in junior college prospect Eric Cobb. The 6-foot-9 power forward started his career at South Carolina but was dismissed from the team after being arrested for issues stemming from a BB gun incident.

Cobb ended up at Chiopola College, the same school Sam Cassell Jr. attended before UConn. He is listed as 6-foot-9, 276-pounds and was rated a 3-star recruit out of high school. He will add depth and experience to a front court that will include Steven Enoch, Juwan Durham, Mamadou Diarra, Tyler Poley and Josh Carlton.

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On Thursday, the Huskies face-off against the USF Bulls in the first round of the AAC Tournament in Hartford. UConn swept the Bulls in the regular season, including a 97-51 drubbing in early-February.

There’s no question the Huskies need to win the conference tournament in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the path to the auto-bid is not going to be easy.

UConn will likely have to go through Houston, Cincinnati and SMU, teams the Huskies went 0-6 against this season, losing by an average margin of 14 points. It’s going to take a Herculean effort from this team to win four games in four day against those teams.

But then again, it is March and UConn has a propensity for exceeding expectations this time of year. That’s why they play the game.