UCF junior forward Brittney Smith earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors and the Knights were picked to finish No. 2 in the league in the AAC preseason coaches’ poll released Wednesday.
Smith was second in scoring last season with 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on a UCF team that finished 20-10 overall, including an 11-5 record in conference.
USF was tabbed as the preseason favorite, with the Bulls earning 98 points and eight first-place votes after finishing in fourth place last season.
The Knights received one first-place vote and 79 points ahead of Tulane (78) and Cincinnati (73), who received two first-place votes.
UConn, which had won the conference title during each of the past six seasons, left the AAC in July to return to the Big East.
The preseason players of the year were Cincinnati forward IImar’I Thomas and Temple forward Mia Davis.
The UCF’s men’s basketball team was picked eighth in the AAC preseason coaches' poll.
The Knights are coming off a 16-14 season, two years removed from an NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2018-19 season.
The roster has been through a massive makeover with the departures of guards Ceasar DeJesus, Matt Milon, Dazon Ingram and Frank Bertz as well as center Collin Smith.
Darin Green Jr., who shot 41.7% from 3-point range and averaged 10.1 points per game as a freshman, returns to lead the team.
The Knights also picked up a pair of high-profile transfers in senior guard Darius Perry (Louisville) and sophomore forward C.J. Walker (Oregon).
Houston was picked No. 1 with 99 total points and nine first-place votes ahead of Memphis, which earned 90 points and two first-place votes.
Houston’s Caleb Mills was tabbed preseason player of the year.
AAC women’s basketball preseason poll
1. USF (8) 98
2. UCF (1) 79
3. Tulane 78
4. Cincinnati (2) 73
5. Temple 57
6. Wichita State 54
7. Houston 49
8. Memphis 40
9. East Carolina 36
10. SMU 31
11. Tulsa 10
AAC men’s basketball preseason poll
1. Houston (9) 99
2. Memphis (2) 90
3. SMU 80
4. Cincinnati 77
5. USF 61
6. Tulsa 50
7. Wichita State 44
8. UCF 37
9. East Carolina 34
10. Temple 18
11. Tulane 15
First-place votes in parentheses
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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