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2019-20 Happenings around the AAC

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  • 2019-20 Happenings around the AAC

    "Knee issues force UConn's Diarra to end career" - ESPN

    Posted: 06/12/19, 1:00 PM CT

    "Chronic knee problems have forced UConn forward Mamadou Diarra to end his playing career. The school says the 6-foot-8 junior has been granted a medical disqualification. He'll remain with the program during the upcoming season as a student assistant coach....

    Diarra's decision leaves UConn with one open scholarship for the upcoming season."

  • #2
    "UC's Brannen lands top 50 recruit who had past legal issue" - WKRC

    Thursday, June 27th 2019

    "University of Cincinnati basketball coach John Brannen announced on Thursday that guard Zach Harvey has signed a scholarship agreement and athletic director Mike Bohn acknowledged that the school is aware of a past legal issue and vetted him enough to accept him.

    Harvey pleaded no contest in Sedgwick County, Kansas in 2018 to two misdemeanor crimes related to a March 2017 incident involving an underage teenage girl...."


    • #3
      "Kansas transfer, former five-star recruit Quentin Grimes heading back to home state and transferring to Houston" - CBS Sports

      by Kyle Boone
      Posted: 06/27/19, 6:30pm cst

      The former top-10 recruit will finish his college career with the Cougars

      "Former Kansas guard Quentin Grimes, a top-10 recruit who signed with the Jayhawks in the 2018 recruiting class, announced on Thursday he is transferring to the University of Houston.

      Grimes picked Houston -- led by coach Kelvin Sampson -- over Texas A&M...."


      • Dan
        Dan commented
        Editing a comment
        Have the Addidas payments dried up? Why would anyone leave KU?

    • #4
      Great for Houston!

      The more great players in the American, the better!


      • #5
        AAC will finish Top 5 this year ahead of the PAC 12 and big east


        • Downtown Shocker Brown
          Editing a comment
          Not this year. We still have UCONN dragging us down. Wait til they are in the Big East next year.

      • #6
        "NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Biggest winners and losers from 2019 classes" - Fan Sided Sports

        by Tristan Freeman
        Posted: 07/21/19, 4:30pm cst

        "...No. 3 Loser – UConn Huskies:
        When Dan Hurley arrived at UConn to replace Kevin Ollie, the expectation was that the program would turn around, especially on the recruiting trail. And he did bring in a top-25 recruiting class in his first haul, including a pair of top-100 guards Jalen Gaffney and James Bouknight. The Huskies also got a commitment from transfer RJ Cole, who averaged 25 ppg this past season at Howard. He’ll be eligible to play in 2020-21.

        The perimeter for UConn will be in very good shape next season, despite the absence of leading scorer Jalen Adams. Upperclassmen Alterique Gilbert and Christian Vital will lead the way along with the incoming guards. The problem, which has been this way for several years now, is the frontcourt production.

        Forwards Josh Carlton and Tyler Polley combined to average 17.4 ppg and 8.5 rpg as starters and did improve as sophomores. But they’ll have to improve in a big way to help bring a team who finished under .500 back to contending for the NCAA Tournament in 2020.

        The reason why UConn made the wrong side of this list is that despite Hurley’s efforts, the program failed to upgrade their frontcourt this offseason. They will have top-100 forward Akok Akok in play after sitting out the second half of last season but failed to bring in anyone else. The Huskies tried but couldn’t land recruits such as Kofi Cockburn, Tre Mitchell, Qudus Wahab and others.

        It’s hard to see UConn being good enough to go back dancing and until they can improve their frontcourt, the program will have a low ceiling. Coach Hurley was able to bring in some talent but it was for the backcourt, where the priority really should’ve been in the frontcourt. And they’ll really need to find some big bodies soon, with a pending move to the Big East after next season....

        No. 1 Winner – Memphis Tigers:
        It feels like forever ago since John Calipari was with the Tigers in Conference USA, bringing in the likes of Derrick Rose to the program. But after he left for Kentucky, Memphis couldn’t keep up the high level of recruiting. But around a year ago, the program made the controversial move to fire Tubby Smith and bring in Penny Hardaway, a former NBA great whose AAU ties made him an appealing option.

        It turned out to be a great move, grabbing the commitment of James Wiseman, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 class. He and fellow four-star prospects DJ Jeffries Malcolm Dandridge alone would’ve been enough for a great recruiting class but clearly Coach Hardaway wasn’t done.

        While Virginia was the on the court national champions, Memphis has clearly been the 2019 offseason champs. They benefitted from Boogie Ellis leaving Duke and grabbed his signature, and landed top-60 shooting guard Lester Quinones as well. Then five-star forward Precious Achiuwa picked the Tigers in a surprising move over Kansas and was in the running for RJ Hampton late as well. This doesn’t even include that 20 ppg scorer Rayjon Tucker electing to play for this team before opting to go pro due to academic issues.

        Memphis now has seven recruits ranked in the top-112 overall in this class, going No. 1 overall as a program ahead of both Duke and Kentucky. They’ll have to show that they can mesh on the court before we can be certain that this class becomes a trend. AAC teams outside of Memphis for sure hopes this is a blip. But the offseason is about hope and hype and for now, no fan base has more of that heading into 2019-20 more so than the Memphis Tigers."


        • #7
          "Report: UConn to pay $17 million in exit fee, depart AAC in 2020" - 247 Sports

          By BILLY EMBODY
          Posted: 07/26/19, 9:45am cst

          "The deal for Connecticut to leave the American Athletic Conference has been struck, according to a report from the Hartford Courant on Friday. UConn will reportedly pay a $17 million exit fee to leave the league next summer with entry into the Big East coming July 1, 2020. ..."


          • wheathead
            wheathead commented
            Editing a comment
            I’m actually glad to hear this. It’s weird to say but the American will be stronger without them. I never thought I’d ever say that 2 years ago.

        • #8
          Originally posted by WuShock Reaper View Post
          "Report: UConn to pay $17 million in exit fee, depart AAC in 2020" - 247 Sports

          By BILLY EMBODY
          Posted: 07/26/19, 9:45am cst

          "The deal for Connecticut to leave the American Athletic Conference has been struck, according to a report from the Hartford Courant on Friday. UConn will reportedly pay a $17 million exit fee to leave the league next summer with entry into the Big East coming July 1, 2020. ..."
          The Boneyard is comical on this. Acting like UCONN fleeced the AAC with the 17 million buyout. Because most of that comes from withholding money owed to them, so it doesn't count because they didn't have it already. I sure hope they aren't they ones in charge of the checking account. Your mortgage doesn't count if your paycheck is just withheld to pay for it. Never had the money means you have a free house ....


          • #9
            Am I the only one who thinks UConn's recent 7 year deal with Danny Hurley may end up backfiring?

            I just don't see them being anything close to resembling UConn under Calhoun.

            Good coaches, like Marshall and Sampson, find a way to secure the close games. Hurley's record in games decided by less than 5 points is not great.

            Having a team that had a good reputation previously just flounder like that is something the league would've always had to explain away. Danny shoulda stayed away from that job. They will eventually crucify him like they did Ollie.

            "Coaching records in games decided by less than 5 points. Minimum of 50 close games in kenpom era to qualify:"



            • #10
              They will never be as good as when Calhoun was coaching because Calhoun was very good at cheating


              • #11
                Originally posted by Stickboy46 View Post

                The Boneyard is comical on this. Acting like UCONN fleeced the AAC with the 17 million buyout. Because most of that comes from withholding money owed to them, so it doesn't count because they didn't have it already. I sure hope they aren't they ones in charge of the checking account. Your mortgage doesn't count if your paycheck is just withheld to pay for it. Never had the money means you have a free house ....
                That is great. How do they plan on making up the deficit they incurred in previous years. The least tv deal isn’t bailing them out


                • #12
                  Jim Calhoun: We may have broken rules, . . . but we didn't cheat.



                  • #13
                    "The biggest challenge for every new coach in college basketball" - ESPN

                    Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff Writer
                    Posted: Jul 29, 2019


                    "The coaching carousel usually stops spinning in May, a few weeks after the national championship game ends. Jobs still available in late April, while the recruiting periods are going on, are surprising and uncommon. Yet, here we are in late July, and it has just wrapped up....

                    Cincinnati Bearcats: John Brannen
                    Biggest challenge: Changing the system. The styles of Mick Cronin and Brannen couldn't be more different. Cronin preached grind-it-out, half-court, defensive basketball. Brannen prefers to play with a little more tempo, sharing the ball and shooting from the perimeter. And now Brannen has to change the roster to fit that style. There are only a handful of holdovers from Cronin's tenure still on the roster -- but that group includes three starters. There might be some growing pains, but there's enough talent to figure it out.

                    Early returns: There was a tumultuous stretch during the Bearcats' spring when players were transferring out or leaving their future in limbo -- and it looked like Cincinnati was going to take a massive step back. But Brannen now has the Bearcats back in an NCAA tournament position. The biggest news was Jarron Cumberland returning to school, and his cousin, Oakland graduate transfer Jaevin Cumberland, also entered the fold. He landed a couple other transfers, and then also landed top-100 prospect Zach Harvey, who reclassified into 2019. Cincinnati is also off to a good start in 2020, with four-star point guard Mike Saunders already committed.

                    Temple Owls: Aaron McKie
                    Biggest challenge: The transition. McKie spent 13 seasons as a player in the NBA, and then was on the sidelines of the Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant coach. Once he moved to college, he spent five seasons under Fran Dunphy. In order words, McKie has never been a head coach. Temple isn't used to change. John Chaney was the head coach for 24 seasons, while Dunphy was there for 13 seasons. McKie will now look to carve out his own legacy, but it's unclear what sort of system or style he'll look to implement.

                    Early returns: Dunphy didn't leave the cupboard bare for McKie, and because McKie was there for five years -- and knew he would be taking over the head job for a year -- there wasn't a need to revamp the roster in the spring. McKie landed a commitment from Josh Pierre-Louis, the younger brother of Temple junior Nate Pierre-Louis, and also picked up a pair of Big Ten sit-out transfers in Jake Forrester (Indiana) and Tai Strickland (Wisconsin). Moving forward, McKie hit 2020 with a pledge from South Jersey wing Jahlil White.

                    Tulane Green Wave: Ron Hunter
                    Biggest challenge: Balancing short-term and long-term goals. Hunter faces one of the tougher rebuilds of any new coach. The Green Wave didn't win a single AAC game last season and have won exactly one AAC game since January 2018. So short-term, Hunter needs to simply make Tulane more competitive in the league. But it's going to take time. Hunter did a great job at Georgia State at getting heralded recruits before they burst onto the scene and was solid in the transfer market. Expect him to try to do the same at Tulane.

                    Early returns: While Tulane still might be picked at the bottom of the league, Hunter did upgrade the talent in the spring. He hit the graduate-transfer route quickly, bringing in Nic Thomas (Norfolk State), Christion Thompson (Rhode Island) and K.J. Lawson (Kansas). Thomas was a prolific scorer at the low-major level; Thompson was a solid role player; and Lawson failed to make an impact in the Big 12. He also went out and got Georgia transfer Teshaun Hightower and Arkansas transfer Ibby Ali, both of whom will sit out, and several freshmen. So far, the balancing act looks promising."


                    • #14
                      im excited for hunter and tulane. for a catholic schools that doesn't seem to put athletics in high priority, they picked up a winner. if they support him, they could be pretty good quickly.


                    • #15
                      "AAC Basketball: 5 biggest questions heading into 2019-20 season" - FanSided Sports

                      by Ben Andreatta
                      Posted: 08/13/19, 9:ooam cst


                      "With a lot of changes, expect the unexpected with AAC Basketball next season. What are some big questions to consider?....

                      It’s an exciting time for AAC hoops. In 2019, the conference was able to respectfully send four teams to the NCAA tournament without UConn. That’s as many as the Big East and the PAC 12, both power conferences, again all without UConn. With the rise of Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers, a new era of Cincinnati Basketball, and we can’t forget about Kelvin Sampson’s Houston Cougars, there is certainly hope. Temple and UCF made tournament appearances last year and Wichita State made it to the NIT semi-finals. SMU has had a few down years but with their past success, it’s only a matter of time before the rejoin the front pack in the AAC.

                      UConn doesn’t need an immediate replacement, but I think starting to examine options for a long-term replacement would be a good idea. My pick to replace them? I want to see Buffalo.

                      Can the Memphis freshmen live up to the hype?
                      Almost all of the talk in the AAC has been about Memphis this offseason and their No. 1 recruiting class in the country and the huge expectations that have been put on them. With the addition of two five-star recruits and five four-stars, the Tigers are going to be young. Penny Hardaway will be starting just his second season coaching and the Tigers just missed out on an NCAA tournament birth after a loss in the conference tournament semifinals to Houston last season. Everyone should expect there to be a learning curve this season for both the players and the coaching staff, but people are going to want to know if they are legit and any early slip-ups will raise a lot of questions. Let’s take a look at who we know they’ll be playing....

                      Can UCF recover from the roster departures?
                      Not a lot of good news for UCF this offseason. BJ Taylor, Tacko Fall, Aubrey Dawkins, and Terrell Allen are all out the door. Collin Smith is the top returner for the Knights this year as he’ll look to improve over the summer and play a big role for head coach Johnny Dawkins squad next year. He’s the only starter that’s back this year and one of only two guys returning from their top eight leading scorers. So where are all of those minutes and points going to come from this year?...

                      Can Jarron Cumberland establish himself as a POY candidate?
                      Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the American Championship Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a unanimous first-team all-conference selection ( Jarron Cumberland’s accolades certainly speak for themselves. He’s legit. Cumberland elected to test the draft waters after a stellar junior season as he should have but made the decision to withdraw his name for consideration and return for his senior season. A win-win for Cumberland and John Brannen’s Bearcats....

                      Does Houston have enough weapons to make another deep run?
                      Similar to UCF, there’s no Corey Davis, Armani Brooks, or Galen Robinson returning for Houston. So…now what? That’s a question I’m sure Kelvin Sampson is probably still trying to figure out himself. Nate Hinton will likely take over one of the guard spots after opening up his college career with a successful freshman campaign. The sophomore played behind Brooks and Davis, so expect his production and his minutes to skyrocket this year. Sampson has to be excited about him....

                      Will Temple be able to sneak their way back Into field of 68?
                      It was a disappointing end to the Owls 2018-19 season after falling to Belmont in Dayton for the First Four. There’s never a ton of talk surrounding Temple in the national media before or even during the season. The Owls quietly fly under the radar, occasionally knocking off a Power 5 team and taking care of business. They are a team that always seems to find themselves on the bubble and will look to make it back for the second year in a row under new head coach Aaron McKie...."