Expectations are low for UConn men’s basketball for its final season in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies were picked to finish sixth in the conference’s preseason poll, the lowest they’ve been projected in the AAC’s seven-year history. The last two years, UConn was tabbed for fifth, the previous low.
However, head coach Dan Hurley doesn’t seem to have much of an issue with where his team was picked:
Hurley saw the logic in UConn being picked sixth. “We were 6-12 in the conference last year and we lost our best player (Jalen Adams).”— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) October 14, 2019
Alterique Gilbert and Christian Vital were both voted to the preseason all-conference second team. A surprising omission is Josh Carlton, who won the conference’s Most Improved Player away last season.
The Huskies have never finished higher than their preseason projection. Their highest finish was fourth place during the conference’s first season while last year’s ninth-place finish was its lowest.
Some other notes from media day:
- The AAC appears to ready for its post-UConn age. While getting ready to take a photo with players from all the teams in the conference, the Huskies were curiously missing at first before eventually arriving.
Seems to be missing a team. Hmmm...: pic.twitter.com/MxCXPBGTOc— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) October 14, 2019
- Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway is open to adding UConn to its non-conference schedule in the future:
Penny Hardaway said he'd like to play UConn in a non-conference game in the future. "Danny and I will talk, and I'm sure there's something we'd like to do in the future."— David Borges (@DaveBorges) October 14, 2019
And Hurley certainly isn’t opposed to the idea either.
Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said he has talked to Dan Hurley about continuing series. “I would love to give the Memphis game another crack at me,” Hurley said. “I had fun with them last year.”— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) October 14, 2019
- UConn’s contingent in Philly is on board with California bill that would allows NCAA athletes to make money off their likenesses and endorsements:
UConn players Alterique Gilbert and Christian Vital, plus coach Dan Hurley say they would like to see CT college athletes be able to sign endorsement deals.— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) October 14, 2019
Vital: “A lot of people call us amateurs, but I don’t believe we have an amateur schedule.”
- Elsewhere around the conference, Houston and Memphis were both picked to finish first in the conference, though the Cougars received more first-place votes. Cincinnati’s Jarren Cumberland was named Preseason Player of the Year while Memphis’ James Wiseman was tapped as Preseason Rookie of the Year.