Tuesday, July 29, 2014

UConn picked ninth in American Athletic Conference

The Bob Diaco era at UConn is going to begin with less than lofty expectations

UConn was picked to finish in a tie for ninth in the 11-team American Athletic Conference in a vote of media members.

Cincinnati, whivh received 17 of the 35 first-place votes, was picked to win the title followed by defending champion Central Florida and Houston. East Carolina came in at No. 4, the highest of the new additions to the league.

UConn is coming off a 3-9 season but ended the year with three straight wins including victories over Temple and Memphis, teams picked to finish ahead of the Huskies.

The Huskies return five players on offense who started at least six games last season  in receivers Geremy Davis and Deshon Foxx, center Alex Mateas, tight end Sean McQuillan and tackle Dalton Gifford.

On defense the Huskies lose its top two players as linebacker Yawin Smallwood and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen are now vying for spots with the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings respectively. Defensive linemen Angelo Pruitt and Julian Campenni, linebackers Marquise Vann, Graham Stewart and Jefferson Ashiru, cornerbacks Byron Jones and Jhavon Williams and safeties Obi Melifonwu and Andrew Adams are the experienced returnees on defense.

1. Cincinnati (17 first-place votes)   311
2. Central Florida (7)                      298
3. Houston (8)                               286
4. East Carolina                              262
5. SMU                                          158
6. South Florida                              157
7. Memphis                                    133
8. Temple                                       105
9. UConn and Tulane                       98
11. Tulsa                                         94


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