American: UConn picked 1st, Boatright preseason POY

By Neill Ostrout

Journal Inquirer

NEW YORK _ Now that it’s king of the mountain again, the UConn men’s basketball team is expected to conquer a local hill for an encore.

The defending national champion Huskies were picked to win the 11-team American Athletic Conference in a vote of the coaches released today, and two of their players were also honored by the league.

UConn guard Ryan Boatright was tabbed as the preseason player of the year while swingman Daniel Hamilton earned the preseason rookie of the year nod.

UConn received six first-place votes and had 96 points in the poll. That put the Huskies just ahead of SMU, which was awarded the remaining five first-place votes and a total of 94 points. Memphis was the third choice in the poll followed by Cincinnati in fourth.

The poll and the teams were announced during the league’s media day this morning at the New York Athletic Club.

Year two of play in the American will see a significant shift in the league’s makeup. Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers (Big Ten) have moved on, while Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina have joined.

Boatright was the only Husky on the preseason All-Conference first team as well as the only unanimous choice. He was joined by Memphis teammates Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols, the SMU duo of Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy, as well as Tulsa’s James Woodard.

UConn sophomore center Amida Brimah was named to the league’s second team, along with two players from South Florida (Anthony Collins and Chris Perry) as well as two from Temple (Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey).

UConn went 12-6 in league play last season, tying for third place. The Huskies also managed to win the program’s fourth national championship after that regular season campaign.

The Huskies’ first contest will come Tuesday when they play Southern Connecticut in an exhibition at Gampel Pavilion.

UConn’s regular season opener is Nov. 14 against Bryant. It begins AAC play Dec. 31 against Temple.

PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Rk Team Pts

1. UConn (6) 96

2. SMU (5) 94

3. Memphis 82

4. Cincinnati 71

5. Tulsa 62

6. Temple 59

7. Houston 39

8. South Florida 32

9. Central Florida 26

10. East Carolina 24

11. Tulane 20

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ryan Boatright, UConn

PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Daniel Hamilton, UConn

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

Ryan Boatright, UConn*

Shaq Goodwin, Memphis

Austin Nichols, Memphis

Nic Moore, SMU

Markus Kennedy, SMU

James Woodard, Tulsa

SECOND TEAM

Amida Brimah, UConn

Anthony Collins, South Florida

Chris Perry, South Florida

Will Cummings, Temple

Quenton DeCosey, Temple

*unanimous selection

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About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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