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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Surprise, surprise, surprise: UConn picked to win AAC

I know it will come as a shock to hear that the other American Athletic Conference teams picked three-time defending national champion UConn to win the AAC title.

It had to be equally as stunning to hear that Breanna Stewart was picked at the preseason player of the year. The only real curveball came when the AAC did not name a freshman or newcomer of the year.

UConn's Geno Auriemma couldn't vote for his own team so he cast his ballot for South Florida, the team to give UConn the toughest tests in conference play a season ago.
USF, Temple, East Carolina and Tulane round out the top five.

Stewart, UConn's Moriah Jefferson and South Florida's Courtney Williams were unanimous first-team picks. Morgan Tuck was also named to the first team while Kia Nurse was a second-team pick.
UConn won the 18 regular-season games by an average of 48.7 points per game and in conference play led all AAC squads in field goal percentage offense and defense, 3-point percentage offense and defense, rebounding margin, points scored and fewest points allowed, assists, steals, blocked shots, turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio.
Although the Huskies lost Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, the NCAA's record holder for career 3-pointers, and blocked shot dynamo Kiah Stokes to graduation, UConn returns five of the top 25 scorers in the AAC in Stewart, Tuck, Jefferson, Gabby Williams and Nurse.
UConn, coming off a 38-1 season, kicks off the exhibition portion of the schedule on Nov. 2 against Lubbock Christian at the XL Center. The preseason finale will be on Nov. 8 against Vanguard at Gampel Pavilion. UConn coach Geno Auriemma and his Vanguard counterpart Russ Davis, the former AAU coach of Samuelson, have agreed to experiment with new rules including a wider lane, an eight-second half-court count, a 24-second shot clock, a 3-point line 16 inches deeper than the one used during NCAA games and utilizing a men's basketball rather than the small one used during women's game.

The Huskies kick off the regular season on Nov. 16 at Ohio State and the AAC opener is Dec. 30 at Cincinnati marking the first time since the 1999-2000 season that the UConn begin regular season and conference play with true road games.


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