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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Houston Picked as 2022-23 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Favorite

POSTED: October 12, 2022 -- 9:02 a.m. CT

Houston has been selected as the unanimous preseason favorite to win the 2022-23 American Athletic Conference men's basketball title in voting done by the league's head coaches, the conference announced Wednesday, October 12.

Houston was tabbed the favorite for the fourth consecutive year, receiving all 10 possible first-place votes and a total of 100 points. Memphis received one first-place vote and 87 total points to be picked second. Cincinnati is third with 82 points, followed by Tulane (74), Temple (66), UCF (51), SMU (43) Wichita State (43), South Florida (33), Tulsa (21) and East Carolina (13).

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or student-athletes.

Houston senior guard Marcus Sasser has been picked as the Preseason Player of the Year, while Cougar freshman forward Jarace Walker has been unanimously selected as the Preseason Rookie of the Year.

Sasser, who was leading the Cougars with 17.7 points per game through 12 games before being sidelined with a foot injury for the remainder of the season, was one of three unanimous selections on the Preseason All-Conference First Team. Memphis senior guard Kendric Davis (19.4 points per game, 4.4 assists per game), who was the 2022 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year with SMU, and Tulane sophomore guard Jalen Cook (18.0 points per game) were also unanimous picks on the First Team. Memphis senior forward DeAndre Williams (11.1 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game) and Temple redshirt sophomore guard Damian Dunn (14.9 points per game) rounded out the First Team selections.

The Preseason All-Conference Second Team consists of Cincinnati graduate guard David DeJulius (14.6 points per game), Houston junior guard Jamal Shead (10.1 points per game, 5.9 apg), Temple redshirt sophomore guard Khalif Battle (21.4 points per game in seven games in 2021-22) and the Tulane duo of junior forward Kevin Cross (13.9 points per game, 6.8 rpg) and junior guard Jaylen Forbes (16.5 points per game).

Houston advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second year in a row, while Memphis advanced to the NCAA Second Round. The Cougars defeated the Tigers in the 2022 Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Championship game. SMU was selected for the NIT.

The 2023 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship will be held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, March 9-12.

2022-23 American Athletic Conference Preseason Men's Basketball Poll

Team (First-place votes)
1. Houston (10) 100
2. Memphis (1) 87
3. Cincinnati 82
4. Tulane 74
5. Temple 66
6. UCF 51
7. SMU 43
8. Wichita State 35
9. South Florida 33
10. Tulsa 21
11. East Carolina 13

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Preseason Player of the Year -- Marcus Sasser, Sr., G, Houston

Preseason Rookie of the Year -- Jarace Walker, F, Houston*

Preseason All-Conference First Team

Marcus Sasser, Sr., G, Houston*

Kendric Davis, R-Sr., G, Memphis*

DeAndre Williams, R-Sr., F, Memphis

Damian Dunn, R-So., G, Temple

Jalen Cook, So., G, Tulane*

Preseason All-Conference Second Team

David DeJulius, Gr., G, Cincinnati

Jamal Shead, Jr., G, Houston

Khalif Battle, R-So., G, Temple

Kevin Cross, Jr., F, Tulane

Jaylen Forbes, Jr., G, Tulane

* denotes unanimous selection

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