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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UConn picked to win AAC; Stewart and Nurse earn individual honors

Those partial to the pure suspense of preseason poll likely stayed clear of the New York Athletic Club this morning.

With the departure of Louisville and Rutgers, the closest thing the UConn women's basketball program had to rivals in the inaugural American Athletic Conference season, the real question was whether the Huskies would have a conference game decided by fewer than 20 points this season.

Predictably, UConn was picked by the other 10 conference coaches to win the title, reigning national player of the year Breanna Stewart was the unanimous pick to be the AAC Player of the Year while UConn's Kia Nurse was selected as the preseason Freshman of the Year.
Since coaches can't vote for their own team, UConn coach Geno Auriemma cast his first-place ballot for South Florida which was picked to finish second in the league. Newcomer East Carolina was picked to finish third while Temple and Tulane tied for fourth

The seven other American Athletic Conference teams lost to UConn by an average of 38.1 points per game last season with the closest game being a 63-38 win over South Florida on Feb. 16.
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Stewart was joined on the first team by teammates Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Moriah Jefferson, Memphis guard Ariel Hearn and South Florida's Courtney Williams, the only other unanimous seletion. UConn senior forward/center Kiah Stokes was a second-team All-AAC selection.

UConn kicks off the conference portion of its schedule on Dec. 27 when the Huskies play Southern Methodist at the XL Center.

Although UConn lost All-Americans Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley off a team which went 40-0 and won a second straight national title, the Huskies return six of their top eight scorers including top point producer Stewart, prolific 3-point shooter Mosqueda-Lewis and assists leader Jefferson.

Here is the preseason poll
Team Points 1. UConn (10) 100
2. USF (1) 91
3. East Carolina 72
T-4. Temple 67
T-4. Tulane 67
6. Memphis 54
7. SMU 52
8. Cincinnati 37
9. Tulsa 28
10. UCF 24
11. Houston 13
First place votes in parenthesis

AAC Preseason Player of the YearBreanna Stewart, UConn
AAC Preseason Freshman of the YearKia Nurse, UConn

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