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USF men 5th in AAC coaches preseason poll, women 2nd

Bulls point guard Laquincy Rideau is a first-team pick on the preseason all-conference squad
USF point guard LaQuincy Rideau (3) was named to the coaches preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team on Monday. [JONES | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 14
Updated Oct. 14

A preseason rife with optimistic forecasts continued for the USF men’s basketball team Monday morning when the Bulls were picked to finish fifth in the American Athletic Conference by league coaches.

The USF women, coming off arguably the most injury-beleaguered season in program history, were picked to finish second behind Connecticut.

The coaches polls were released at the outset of the AAC men’s and women’s media day in Philadelphia. The No. 5 ranking is the USF men’s highest ever in the seven-year history of the league coaches poll, and marks the first time in five years the Bulls ― coming off a breakthrough 24-14 season ― haven’t been picked last or next to last.

The complete poll can be seen here. Reigning league champ Houston and Memphis ― which brought in the nation’s top recruiting class ― finished tied for first in the poll.

MORE BULLS: Magazines, Andy Katz give USF men preseason props

Bulls senior point guard Laquincy Rideau (13.4 ppg, 2.9 steals), reigning AAC Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the preseason All-AAC first team. Junior David Collins (15.9 ppg) and sophomore Alexis Yetna (12.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) were second-team picks. USF was the lone school with three preseason All-AAC picks.

MORE BULLS: USF men enter preseason with one of nation’s most experienced rosters

The Bulls, who capped the 2018-19 season with a College Basketball Invitational (CBI) title, return all five starters from that club. Statistically, they return 92.4 percent of their scoring, 90.3 percent of their minutes, and 94.6 percent of their rebounding and assists.

The women’s preseason all-conference team can be found here. USF finished 19-16 last season, losing four of its five opening-night starters to season-ending injury by early January.

But every rookie thrust into significant action returns, joined by a heralded five-player freshman class. One of those returners, redshirt junior guard Enna Pehadzic (12.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg), made the coaches preseason All-AAC second team.


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. USF senior tight end Mitch Wilcox has 97 career receptions and 11 touchdown catches. MIKE CARLSON  |  AP
    The Tarpon Springs High alumnus is a prominent 2020 NFL draft prospect.
  2. USF placekicker Spencer Shrader (32) watches his missed field goal against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls have expressed support for the Newsome High alumnus since his four missed field goals Saturday.
  3. USF Bulls guard Elisa Pinzan (4) drive to the basket past Jacksonville Dolphins guard Mariah Batz (13) during the first half at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The contest in Waco highlights yet another daunting non-conference Bulls schedule.
  4. Cincinnati running back Michael Warren II (3) barrels through USF's defense for a first down during the fourth quarter of the Bearcats' 20-17 win Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls and Bearcats will continue meeting on a home-and-home basis through at least 2021. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    For now, USF retains home-and-home matchups with four East Division foes
  5. USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) leaps to avoid UCF defensive back Mike Hughes (19) and during the second half of the Knights' 49-42 triumph in Orlando in 2017. This year's game, also at Orlando's Spectrum Stadium, kicks off at 8 p.m. on Nov. 29. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
    The game hasn’t kicked off in the evening since 2015
  6. USF Bulls place kicker Spencer Shrader (32) misses the field goal to take the lead over the Cincinnati Bearcats during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls miss four field goals of their own in a 20-17 loss.
  7. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite, center, is tackled by Cincinnati linebacker Joel Dublanko during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday night. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Journal: The University of Florida transfer now is among USF’s top 10 rushers of all time.
  8. Connecticut's Evina Westbrook, left, sits with her new teammates, unable to play as a transfer student because the NCAA denied her immediate eligibility. STEPHEN DUNN  |  AP
    Geno Auriemma hints that Evina Westbrook’s situation with the Vols was unhealthy.
  9. USF senior Evelyne Viens, seen here during a match against Florida in August, had a hat trick in Friday's rematch, a 4-2 Bulls triumph in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. [USF Athletics] TRAVIS PENDERGRASS  |  UF_TP
    The senior from Canada sets an AAC single-season goals record in the Bulls’ 4-2 triumph
  10. USF players celebrate with students after their 27-23 victory against BYU at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 12. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Students now can earn points for each Bulls sporting event they attend.
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