UCF picked to win American; Taylor preseason player of year
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Central Florida has been picked by coaches to win the American Athletic Conference, and Knights point guard B.J. Taylor has been named the conference’s preseason player of the year.
UCF earned six of a possible 11 first-place votes and 114 points to edge Cincinnati for the No. 1 spot. Taylor was UCF’s leading scorer last season, averaging 15.9 points over an injury-shortened 16 games.
Cincinnati, the 2018 American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion, was just seven points behind UCF in the poll and received three first-place votes. Houston, which reached the AAC final last season, earned two first-place votes. The Cougars also had the preseason rookie of the year in freshman guard Nate Hinton.
In his first season as coach, Penny Hardaway and Memphis were picked to finish fourth. In his last season as coach, Fran Dunphy and Temple were predicted to finish sixth.
UConn, led by first-year coach Dan Hurley, was picked fifth.
Joining Taylor on the AAC All-Conference first team are UConn guard Jalen Adams, Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland, Memphis guard Jeremiah Martin and Temple guard Quinton Rose.