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AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COMMISSIONER Mike Aresco SENIOR ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER (MEN’S BASKETBALL) Paul Brazeau ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER (WOMEN’S BASKETBALL) Danielle Donehew ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL OFFICIATING Barbara Jacobs SENIOR DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Mark Hodgkin DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Chuck Sullivan COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT Jordan Ozer

COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT Megan Erbes

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Jamie Corun DIGITAL NETWORK ASSISTANT Allison White PHOTOGRAPHER Ben Solomon CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dick Weiss The American Athletic Conference would like to thank the athletics communications and marketing departments of its member schools for their valuable assistance and cooperation in producing this publication.

CAMPUS INSIDERS, A SILVER CHALICE VENTURES COMPANY CHAIRMAN SILVER CHALICE VENTURES Jerry Reinsdorf CEO/CO-FOUNDER SILVER CHALICE VENTURES Jason Coyle EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL MANAGER CAMPUS INSIDERS Crowley Sullivan

S3i DIGITAL/CIRCLE MEDIA CEO Randy Eccker PRESIDENT Mark Piening CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER/EDITOR Vito Ellison EVP SALES John Libro GENERAL MANAGER Dan Libro ART DIRECTOR William Scheideler

SENIOR DIRECTOR SILVER CHALICE VENTURES Andrew Schnell VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT AND BRAND DEVELOPMENT Bonnie Bernstein EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CAMPUS INSIDERS Dan Schwab MANAGING EDITOR, CAMPUS INSIDERS Pete Fiutak

CONTRIBUTORS Alex Bausch, Darrell Butler, Idriss Crowder, Kaitlyn Cunningham, Allison Fries, Alison Kemp, Sean Leahy, JP McCaffrey, Hannah Scherba

CONTRIBUTORS Ken Bikoff, Jordan Cornette, Ray Crawford, Lachlan McLean, Shae Peppler

CONTRIBUTING FONTS USED: Bebas Neue, Bitter Regular, FatCow, League Gothic, Minion Pro, Ostrich, Rockwell, Univers STD, Sullivan, Steelfish


LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER – NOVEMBER 2013

Mike Aresco Commissioner

Dear Fans: Welcome to the first edition of our new digital magazine – one of many innovative and creative resources we are using to help tell our stories. In just a few short months since we became the American Athletic Conference, we have been able to celebrate a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of our member schools. We have had multiple football teams ranked in the top 25, we have some of our men’s and women’s basketball teams ranked in the top 25 of both polls and we have several teams that will compete for the national championship. Beyond the playing fields and courts, however, we have achieved so much in just a short time. • We have signed television contracts with ESPN and CBS, which give the conference unprecedented national exposure on the two industry leaders in sports television. • We have created a name – the American Athletic Conference – that has resonated well with fans, and introduced a logo and graphic identity that have been universally admired and that are easily identified.


LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER (CONTINUED)

• We have arrived at an equitable plan for the distribution of revenue to our member schools. • We have brokered a marketing rights agreement with IMG College, the leading collegiate sports marketing firm in the nation. • We have joined an officiating consortium in men’s basketball that will ensure that the nation’s best-trained officials are officiating our games. • In football, we have helped shape the makeup of the College Football Playoff selection committee and ensured that our conference champion will have a path to participate in the most prestigious bowl games. • We have assembled a lineup of bowl games that will annually challenge our teams against strong opponents in desirable destinations. • We have taken the initiative to create our own bowl game – the Miami Beach Bowl – which will be played in the state-of-the-art Marlins Park. The last year has been challenging on a number of fronts, but we have met the challenges and we have a bright future. Our conference has never been as cohesive and united as it is today, with like-minded institutions that are committed to broad-based success. We look forward to providing our schools with the platforms and means to achieve their goals and we are extremely pleased that you will be joining us for this exciting journey.

Mike Aresco Commissioner

cover illustration william scheideler


TABLE OF CONTENTS

42

TEAM PREVIEW INDEX

Your first look at every men’s and women’s team in the American Conference.

FEATURES

10

22

BY THE NUMBERS

AMERICAN DREAMS

A look at the American through cold hard numbers.

12

AMERICAN EATS

Your stomach’s guide to the American.

Dick Weiss on the missions facing Rick Pitino and Larry Brown this season.

31

CONFERENCE PREVIEWS

Campus Insiders’ Bonnie Bernstein, Jordan Cornette, Ray Crawford and Shae Peppler break down the conference.

14

124

If the American always existed, this would be its record book.

Insider access to the UConn, Memphis and Louisville men via Campus Insiders’ Lachlan Maclean, Jordan Cornette & Ken Bikoff.

“AMERICAN HISTORY”

CAMPUS INSIDERS INSIDE


TABLE OF CONTENTS

8

WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN

Allow us to introduce ourselves.

14

ONES TO WATCH

Campus Insiders’ Jordan Cornette and Ken Bikoff on six players to keep an eye on this season.

17

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

The American Conference and Campus Insiders’ Jordan Cornette predict the best of the best for the upcoming season.

26

COACHES SPOTLIGHT

Every great team has a great coach. Turning the spotlight on the American’s head coaches.

34

BLUES & BASKETBALL

The men’s American Conference Championship will be held at Memphis’ FedEx Forum, here’s what to expect when you get there.

38

CENTER OF IT ALL

The women’s American Conference Championships will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena, here’s why it’s the center of it all.

41

THE FAN

We’ve all been there; it’s what makes us all fans.


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WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN

the

American Athletic CON F E R E NC E

N

OT ENTIRELY UNLIKE THE NATION THAT provides its namesake, the American Athletic

University, Southern Methodist University, the

Conference was born from an ideal in

University of South Florida and Temple University.

which members with ambitious goals are provided with the means to succeed in their tquests for excellence. With roots that extend to three conferences, the American Athletic Conference membership in 2013 – its debut season – consists of 10 institutions: the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of UConn, the University of Houston, the University of Louisville, the University of Memphis, Rutgers

8

the american basketball preview

In 2014-15, East Carolina University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa come aboard. The 2015-16 season sees the U.S. Naval Academy join the ranks in football only. The American, which operated as the Big East Conference from 1979 to 2013, will immediately take a place at the forefront of Division I athletics, with schools that have played in a combined five Bowl Championship Series games, won four NCAA men’s basketball titles since 1999, and won ISSUE 01


WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN eight NCAA women’s basketball championships

basketball (Louisville) and women’s basketball

since 1995.

(UConn) champions.

Among the league’s 2013-14 members, seven

Three American Athletic Conference teams are

of The American’s 10 football teams have been

ranked in the 2013-14 preseason top-25 polls in

ranked in the top 13 in the BCS since 2006. Eight

men’s basketball. Two teams in The American are

of the 10 teams have been in the BCS top 25

among the top-five in women’s basketball. The

in that span. The 2013-14 membership will

men’s and women’s basketball coaching ledgers

also include the most recent NCAA men’s

include four inductees to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – two men’s coaches and two women’s coaches. The rosters of NFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer teams are plentiful with alumni of American Athletic Conference schools. Beyond football and basketball, the American Athletic Conference includes schools that compete for national championships in virtually every sport. Recent years have seen current members of the American participate in the College World Series in both baseball and softball as well as the national championship game in men’s soccer and register top-five national finishes in track and field. The American Athletic Conference administers to its membership from a state-of-the-art office located in Providence, R.I.

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10

the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


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the american campus insiders

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„ They might look like chicken poppers, but the texture and taste are unique, a little different.

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Ones To Watch - Men’s ISAIAH SYKES, 6’6,” G, UCF Sykes has toiled in relative obscurity at UCF, but he helped push the Knights to a 20-win season a year ago and is hungry for more. He declared for the NBA Draft last spring, but he returned to school with a chip on his shoulder and a desire to prove he’s a special player instead of just another 6-6 swingman. He can play any of the guard or forward spots, and he’s tenacious on defense. His long arms make him disruptive when the Knights shift to a zone, and Sykes is a man on the boards. When he gets out in transition, he’s DVR-ready material.

NIC MOORE, 5’9,” G , SMU If you haven’t seen Moore, don’t worry. You’re not alone. He’s just 5-9, 170 pounds, and he has been on the sideline for a year after transferring to SMU to play for Larry Brown. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.9 assists for Illinois State during the 2011-12 season, but the redshirt sophomore is ready to take a step up. He’s one of those lightning-quick point guards that drive opponents crazy, and his toughness will set the tone for the Mustangs. Moore also will have a running partner in freshman Keith Frazier, when that duo gets out on the break, SMU will be electric. If Moore can find consistency from the perimeter, it will make him that much more dangerous.

AUSTIN NICHOLS, 6’8” F, MEMPHIS Nichols needs to add strength to his upper body, but he’s a scorer inside who also has the desire to run the floor. He’s versatile in the paint, he boasts a bit of range and Nichols has the vision to find cutters going to the basket. He’s a rare big man who can play both with his back to the basket and while facing it, and his high basketball IQ will serve him well his first time through the league. He won’t blow you away with this athleticism, but Nichols is a fundamentally sound kid who will wear you down. He has all the potential to be one of those players who quietly puts up a double-double when the dust settles. By Ken Bikoff for Campus Insiders.

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the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Ones To Watch - Women’s TYLER SCAIFE, 5’9” G, RUTGERS Who says youth is wasted on the young? C. Vivian Stringer has a special star-in-the-making this year in Scaife, who’s destined to be a true difference-maker, even as a true freshman. The 5-9 guard is as talented as any in the land, but what makes her truly special is a tireless work ethic, establishing herself already as a gym rat and a leader despite her age. Finding leadership is critical for the Scarlet Knights this year, as they brace themselves for a season without a senior on the roster - they’ll have to rely on talent, and they’ll have to rely on Scaife. Stringer is known for molding talented guards - see Cappie Pondexter – and Scaife is next in line with the ability to score from anywhere and take games over by herself as a “put the team on her back” type of player. First-Team All-American accolades in her freshman season aren’t out of reach.

INGA OREKHOVA, 6’2” G, USF A transfer from two seasons ago, the Ukraine native now finds herself as the most critical piece of the Bulls’ puzzle going into the 2013-14 season. One of the best shooters in the land will be the go-to player with a 12.8 point per game average with excellent range. Known for her pure and accurate stroke, Orekhova also displays a high basketball IQ, with great court vision and decent passing skills. Can Orekhova improve her ball handling and defense? More of a scorer than a playmaker and defender, she’s still working on her all-around game, but those aren’t major question marks in an otherwise polished arsenal of talent. With six new freshmen to the team, it’ll be on her to take over games and carry the scoring load while also welcoming in the new talents who’ll play significant roles right away. If and when she’s on, expect Orekhova to shoot the Bulls to double-digit conference wins.

SHONI SCHIMMEL, 5’9” G LOUISVILLE Remember that Louisville team that made an improbable post-season push last year that went to the national championship game? It was Schimmel, a first-team All-Big East selection, who took over in the tournament and carries the Cardinals at time. Expect even more from the rising guard in her senior campaign, especially as a distributor and with

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Women’s (continued) more scoring pop. An explosive scorer, she can fill it up quickly – showing what she could do with 38 points against USF - but she’s at her most special as a passer who can get everyone involved. Not your typical shoot first scoring guard, she’s incredibly unselfish and makes everyone around her instantly better, but her ability to score calls for the defense to double her at times. With her superior vision, she’s able to locate her teammates for clean, high-percentage looks. With her return, the winner is fellow backcourt mate, Antonita Slaughter. Expect these two to be the best 1-2 punch in the American this season. A repeat National Title appearance? Schimmel is good enough to make it happen. By Jordan Cornette for Campus Insiders.

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the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


AMERICAN CONFERENCE MEN’S PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS FIRST TEAM

JORDAN CORNETTE CAMPUS INSIDERS PRESEASON ALL CONFERENCE TEAM

Sean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati

Ryan Boatright, G, UConn

Shabazz Napier, G, UConn *

Shabazz Napier, G, UConn

Chane Behanan, F, Louisville

Sean Kilpatrick, F, Cincinnati

Russ Smith, G, Louisville *

Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Russ Smith, G, Louisville

Joe Jackson, G, Memphis *

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION Isaiah Sykes, G, UCF Ryan Boatright, G, UConn TaShawn Thomas, F, Houston Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville Anthony Collins, G, USF Victor Rudd, F, USF * Unanimous selection

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AMERICAN CONFERENCE WOMEN’S PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

JORDAN CORNETTE CAMPUS INSIDERS PRESEASON ALL CONFERENCE TEAM

Briahanna Jackson, G, UCF

Stefanie Dolson, UConn, C

Dayeesha Hollins, G, Cincinnati

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn, F

Stefanie Dolson, C, UConn*

Breanna Stewart, UConn, F

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, F, UConn

Sara Hammond, Louisville, F

Breanna Stewart, F, UConn*

Shoni Schimmel, Louisville, G

Keena Mays, G, SMU Sara Hammond, F, Louisville Shoni Schimmel, G, Louisville* Antonita Slaughter, G, Louisville Inga Orekhova, G, USF

HONORABLE MENTION Betnijah Laney, G/F, Rutgers Bria Hartley, G, UConn

* Unanimous selection

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the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


www.dickscottons.com

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“AMERICAN HISTORY” If you would’ve otherwise spent the season around the idly wondering: “Who would have led the American Conference record books?” Well, don’t. We’ve done the work for you. FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY, we present the answers in our revisionist record book: American “History.”

A

B

C

F

D E

THE

BEST OF THE BEST

G

H I J

M

20

Points

B

Rebounds

C

Assists

D

Steals

E

Blocks

the american basketball preview

L

F

Points

K

Points

G

Rebounds

L

Rebounds

H

Assists

M

Assists

I

Steals

N

Steals

J

Blocks

O

Blocks

CAREER

A

N

SINGLE SEASON

SINGLE GAME

K

O

illustration william scheideler


MEN

SINGLE GAME RECORD WOMEN MEN

SINGLE SEASON RECORD WOMEN MEN

CAREER RECORD WOMEN

POINTS

REBOUNDS

ASSISTS

STEALS

BLOCKS

73 Bill Mlkvy TEMPLE ‘51 70 Bo Clark UCF ‘77 62 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 62 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘60 56 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘58* 55 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘66 52 Robert McKiver HOUSTON ‘08 51 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 51 Bill Corley UCONN ‘68 51 Gene Phillips SMU ’71

40 Art Quimby UCONN ‘55 38 Charlie Tyra LOUISVILLE ‘55 37 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 34 Fred Cohen TEMPLE ‘56 34 Toby Kimball UCONN ‘65 33 Connie Dierkling CIN ‘57 31 Connie Dierkling CIN ‘58 30 Jack Twyman CIN ‘55 30 Connie Dierkling CIN ‘56 30 S. Sundstrom RUTGERS ‘54

20 Howard Evans TEMPLE ‘88 18 Joe Coffrey USF ‘78 17 Reid Gettys HOUSTON ‘85 17 Rick Reed TEMPLE ‘78 17 Gerald Lewis SMU ‘93 16 Derrick Daniels HOUSTON ‘90 16 Marcus Williams UCONN ‘05 16 Marcus Williams UCONN ‘04 16 Steve Logan CIN ‘02 16 Brian Ellerbe RUTGERS ‘84

11 Marc Macon TEMPLE ‘88 11 Ruben Cotton UCF ‘79 11 Jerry Prather UCF ‘77 11 Clyde Drexler HOUSTON ‘82 10 Altron Jackson USF ‘02 10 Tick Rogers LOUISVILLE ‘94 9 Alvin Sims LOUISVILLE ‘95 9 Mike Dabney RUTGERS ‘76* 9 Eddie Jordan RUTGERS ‘76 9 Mardy Collins TEMPLE ‘04

16 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘83 14 Dwight Jones HOUSTON ‘73 11 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘83** 11 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘84 11 Roy Hinson RUTGERS ‘82 11 Gerrick Morris USF ‘00 11 Samaki Walker LOUISVILLE ‘95 10 Carles Jones LOUISVILLE ‘83 10 Curtis Kitchen USF ‘86 10 Gerrick Morris USF ‘03

49 Brittany Carter MEMPHIS ‘09 46 Nykesha Sales UCONN ‘97 46 Valerie King CIN ‘03 45 T. Whitmore MEMPHIS ‘99 45 Tari Phillips UCF ‘91 44 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘87 44 Shantia Grace USF ‘08 44 Wanda Dillard MEMPHIS ‘87 43 Tye Jackson HOUSTON ‘07 43 Pat Luckey HOUSTON ’96

29 Linda Norwell CIN ‘76 26 S. Tupurins RUTGERS ‘77 25 Peggy Walsh UCONN ‘86 25 Chris Gedney UCONN ‘77 25 Rosemary Borsuk UCONN ‘76 25 Wanda Guyton USF ‘87 25 Regina Street MEMPHIS ‘85 24 Bev Ventura CIN ‘77 24 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘93 24 Erica Jones UCF ‘11

18 Tasha Pointer RUTGERS ‘01 17 Kip Anderson HOUSTON ‘80 16 P. Barlow LOUISVILLE ‘07 16 J. Spencer LOUISVILLE ‘85 16 Karen Harvey UCF ‘84 15 Julie Cardinale UCF ‘86 15 Dallese Jackson TEMPLE ‘92 15 C. Reescano HOUSTON ‘85* 15 Diane Jones MEMPHIS ‘82* 15 R. Forstyhe MEMPHIS ‘84

13 Betty Darthard HOUSTON ‘82 12 Andrell Smith USF ‘12 11 R. Montgomery UCONN ‘09 11 L. Garner MEMPHIS ‘91 10 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘08 10 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘07* 10 J. Spencer LOUISVILLE ‘85 10 S. Edwards LOUISVILLE ‘84 10 J. Spencer LOUISVILLE ‘84 10 Stacey Dean TEMPLE ‘07

11 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘87 11 Meg Schuler UCF ‘82 11 Merida Grant TEMPLE ‘87 10 Monica Lamb HOUSTON ‘85 10 Regina Street MEMPHIS ‘84 9 Tina Charles UCONN ‘07 9 Kelly Schumacher UCONN ‘00 9 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘95 9 Nalini Miller USF ‘07 8 Keira Rozier USF ‘93

1,214 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 1,090 O. Birdsong HOUSTON ‘77 1,011 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘60 984 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘58 978 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘59 965 Kemba Walker UCONN ‘11 901 Charlie Bradley USF ‘83 895 A. Coleman HOUSTON ‘10 881 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘67 855 D. Marshall UCONN ‘94

645 Charlie Tyra LOUISVILLE ‘56 624 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 611 Art Quimby UCONN ‘55 588 Art Quimby UCONN ‘54 533 Wes Unseid LOUISVILLE ‘67 520 Charlie Tyra LOUISVILLE ‘57 513 Wes Unseid LOUISVILLE ‘68 505 Wes Unseid LOUISVILLE ‘66 501 Larry Kenon MEMPHIS ‘73 500 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘84

309 Reid Gettys HOUSTON ‘84 294 Howard Evans TEMPLE ‘88 262 Andre Turner MEMPHIS ‘86 255 Billy Allen SMU ‘80 253 Taliek Brown UCONN ‘04 247 Butch Moore LOUISVILLE ‘85 243 Marcus Williams UCONN ‘05 226 L. Smith LOUISVILLE ‘90 224 Andre Turner MEMPHIS ‘85 222 Butch Moore SMU ‘86

138 Nadav Henefeld UCONN ‘90 113 Clyde Drexler HOUSTON ‘83 112 Scott Burrell UCONN ‘91 111 Mike Dabney RUTGERS ‘76 110 Jerry Prather UCF ‘78 105 O. Lafayette HOUSTON ‘06 104 Eddie Jordan RUTGERS ‘76 101 Pepe Sanchez TEMPLE ‘99 97 Ruben Cotton UCF ‘80 97 Clyde Drexler HOUSTON ‘82

207 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘84 175 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘83 156 Emeka Okafor UCONN ‘03 152 H. Thabeet UCONN ‘09 147 H. Thabeet UCONN ‘08 147 Emeka Okafor UCONN ‘04 145 H. Ndiaye RUTGERS ‘10 144 Roy Hinson RUTGERS ‘83 138 Emeka Okafor UCONN ‘02 128 G. Dieng LOUISVILLE ‘12

901 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘09 868 Maya Moore UCONN ‘11 858 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘08 843 T. Whitmore MEMPHIS ‘99 793 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘88 771 Cheryle Cook CIN ‘85 770 C. Jones HOUSTON ‘03 754 Maya Moore UCONN ‘09 754 T. Whitmore MEMPHIS ‘98 754 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘07

760 Linda Norwell CIN ‘76 738 L. Enzweiler MEMPHIS ‘75 407 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘81 404 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘83 404 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘87 393 Emma Cannon UCF ‘09 390 Linda Street MEMPHIS ‘78 388 Linda Street MEMPHIS ‘77 377 Wanda Guyton USF ‘89 376 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘88

275 Cindy Scott MEMPHIS ‘75 263 Diane Jones MEMPHIS ‘82 257 Tasha Pointer RUTGERS ‘01 254 Julie Cardinale UCF ‘86 251 P. Barlow LOUISVILLE ‘08 235 Sara Nord LOUISVILLE ‘02 231 Sue Bird UCONN ‘02 226 Tasha Pointer RUTGERS ‘99 222 Sara Nord LOUISVILLE ‘01 222 Jennifer Rizzotti UCONN ‘96

164 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘09 148 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘08 143 Nykesha Sales UCONN ‘97 125 Kip Anderson HOUSTON ‘81 117 Liz Hanson RUTGERS ‘94 114 B. Darthard HOUSTON ‘82 112 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘07 112 Jennifer Rizzotti UCONN ‘96 108 Rita Williams UCONN ‘98 108 G.Doyle LOUISVILLE ‘91

131 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘94 127 Monica Lamb HOUSTON ‘85 122 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘95 105 Kara Wolters UCONN ‘96 102 Regina Smith MEMPHIS ‘85 100 Brittany Denson USF ‘09 97 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘82 97 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘81 97 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘87 97 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘93

2,973 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘60 2,884 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 2,866 Bo Clark UCF ‘80 2,832 O. Birdsong HOUSTON ‘77 2,609 Mark Macon TEMPLE ‘91 2,408 Keith Lee MEMPHIS ‘85 2,399 Phil Sellers RUTGERS ‘76 2,333 D. Griffith LOUISVILLE ‘80 2,319 Charlie Bradley USF ‘85 2,209 Elliot Perry MEMPHIS ‘91

1,716 Art Quimby UCONN ‘55 1,617 Charlie Tyra LOUISVILLE ‘57 1,602 Elvin Hayes HOUSTON ‘68 1,551 W. Unseld LOUISVILLE ‘68 1,338 Oscar Robertson CIN ‘60 1,336 Keith Lee MEMPHIS ‘85 1,324 Toby Kimball UCONN ‘65 1,242 Jack Twyman CIN ‘55 1,209 Joey Dorsey MEMPHIS ‘08 1,169 Jon Koncak SMU ‘85

828 Butch Moore SMU ‘86 763 Andre Turner MEMPHIS ‘86 748 Howard Evans TEMPLE ‘88 740 Reid Gettys HOUSTON ‘85 722 Taliek Brown UCONN ‘04 713 L. Smith LOUISVILLE ‘91 711 D. Daniels HOUSTON ‘92 689 Pepe Sanchez TEMPLE ‘00 677 Tate George UCONN ‘90 639 Chris Garner MEMPHIS ‘97

365 Pepe Sanchez TEMPLE ‘00 321 Chris Garner MEMPHIS ‘97 310 Scott Burrell UCONN ‘93 304 Elliot Perry MEMPHIS ‘91 290 Mardy Collins TEMPLE ‘06 290 Jerry Prather UCF ‘78 281 Mark Macon TEMPLE ‘91 272 Andre Turner MEMPHIS ‘86 268 Clyde Drexler HOUSTON ‘83 237 Ken Ciolli HOUSTON ‘79

454 H. Olajuwon HOUSTON ‘84 441 Emeka Okafor UCONN ‘04 417 H. Thabeet UCONN ‘09 392 Tim Perry TEMPLE ‘88 374 P. Ellison LOUISVILLE ‘89 358 H. Ndiaye RUTGERS ‘10 355 Roy Hinson RUTGERS ‘83 320 Keith Lee MEMPHIS ‘85 304 James Bailey RUTGERS ‘79 292 Kenyon Martin CIN ‘00

3,036 Maya Moore UCONN ‘11 2,835 Betty Booker MEMPHIS ‘80 2,692 C.Jones HOUSTON ‘04 2,655 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘88 2,488 T. Whitmore MEMPHIS ‘99 2,402 Jessica Dickerson USF ‘07 2,367 Cheryl Cook CIN ‘85 2,232 L. Johnson MEMPHIS ‘98 2,211 C. Pondexter RUTGERS ‘06 2,194 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘84

1,519 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘84 1,452 Linda Street MEMPHIS ‘79 1,367 Tina Charles UCONN ‘10 1,357 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘88 1,309 Linda Norwell CIN ‘77 1,277 Regina Street MEMPHIS ‘85 1,276 Maya Moore UCONN ‘11 1,268 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘95 1,211 Tamika Coley UCF ‘96 1,163 K. Duppins MEMPHIS ‘82

852 Sara Nord LOUISVILLE ‘04 839 Tasha Pointer RUTGERS ‘01 718 Janet Malouf RUTGERS ‘89 648 Diana Taurasi UCONN ‘04 640 Mary Coyle RUTGERS ‘82 637 Jennifer Rizzotti UCONN ‘96 632 R. Montgomery UCONN ‘09 623 K.B. Sharp CIN ‘03 610 Shantia Grace USF ‘09 608 Nicole Murry MEMPHIS ‘97

481 A. McCoughtry LOUISVILLE ‘09 447 Nykesha Sales UCONN ‘98 360 Dione Smith USF ‘02 360 Betty Booker MEMPHIS ‘70 349 Jennifer Rizzotti UCONN ‘96 348 B. Darthard HOUSTON ‘84 337 L. McKinnie MEMPHIS ‘82 330 C. Jones HOUSTON ‘04 322 N. Oliver HOUSTON ‘04 310 Maya Moore UCONN ‘11

396 Rebecca Lobo UCONN ‘95 370 Kara Wolters UCONN ‘97 342 M. Stephens TEMPLE ‘84 313 Regina Street MEMPHIS ‘85 304 Tina Charles UCONN ‘10 293 Sue Wicks RUTGERS ‘88 279 Kia Vaughn RUTGERS ‘09 249 Darla Simpson HOUSTON ‘92 248 L. Johnson RUTGERS ‘92 245 Tanya Hanson RUTGERS ‘92

* Denotes that the player had the same record in the same year

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AMERICAN DREAMS

by DICK WEISS

Two Hall of Fame coaches have taken different paths to make The American a power conference out of the gate

T

HE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE was

rich traditions, hall-of-fame coaches and success

born out of realignment, with the Football

stories of the programs involved.

Bowl Series (FBS) schools from the old Big

East joining former members of Conference USA and the Atlantic-10 to form an all-sports league that has aspirations of joining other BCS royalty on the mantle of power conferences.

The American has one team — Louisville — that is on the short list of legitimate NCAA championship contenders and two others - Memphis and UConn — which should be top-15 caliber and could be difficult outs in the second weekend of the NCAA

Interestingly, as an unpredicted benefit of this

tournament. It also has postseason regulars

merger, the American men’s basketball league

Cincinnati and Temple along with SMU, which

this year will be as competitive as any of its other

could be the most improved team in the country.

BCS counterparts.

Seven of the league’s 10 teams — including

Although not constructed as a made-for-

Houston and UCF — won 20 or more games last

TV conference, this is a league that college

year, ensuring a great deal of parity. There is star

basketball fans will watch because of the many

power everywhere, even if some of the players

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illustration william scheideler


AMERICAN DREAMS like Isaiah Sykes of UCF and TaShawn Thomas of

through the final nine days of the tournament. Ware

Houston aren’t household names yet. Half of the

is back after suffering a gruesome broken right leg

conference looks good enough to secure spots in

in the Cards’ Elite Eight victory over Duke.

the NCAA bracket, provided they don’t get beaten up too badly in conference play.

Pitino will miss Dieng, but small forward Luke Hancock, a transfer from George Mason who was

Having Louisville at the top of the marquee will

the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four and

be a huge plus for a league that is just starting to

continued to blossom with Team USA in the World

spread its wings. But perhaps just as importantly,

University Games returns; as do starting wing

the fact the American is one of just two conferences

Wayne Blackshear and a pair of power forwards.

— along with the ACC — that has at least two active

Junior Chane Behanan is capable of a double-

Naismith Hall of Fame coaches— Rick Pitino of

double on any night, and 6-8 sophomore

Louisville and Larry Brown of SMU — should raise

Montrezl Harrell offer a wealth of quality

the bar for all other coaches in the league.

experience. Harrell, who led the Cardinals to an

Pitino and Brown are approaching this season from different directions. Louisville will be the preseason favorite. SMU will challenge the upper echelon for seeding in the conference tournament. Pitino, who is coming off his second national championship, may have to replace the character point guard Peyton Siva and shot-blocking center Gorgui Dieng, but the Cardinals actually may be

unexpected comeback against Syracuse in last year’s Big East final, opened the eyes of a lot of NBA scouts with his defensive performance, particularly when he played at the point of the press during Team USA’s gold medal run at the U19 World Championships in Prague last summer. The thought of all that talent has Pitino envisioning something more than just another Final Four run.

more prepared to defend their title with the most

This summer, while speaking to the Louisville

talented group of players Pitino has had since

Advertising Federation, he actually dropped

his return to the college game. The backcourt is

the “D” word.

definitely deeper and stronger now that senior guard Russ Smith, who has been selected to several preseason All-America teams — decided against declaring for the NBA Draft.

“It’s been two unbelievable years,” Pitino said. “Back-to-back Final Fours, which is extremely difficult, and in arguably one of the toughest conferences in all of basketball — the Big East

Pitino has signed Chris Jones, the best junior

— winning two championships, the last of which

college point guard in the American, to fill the void

was won at Madison Square Garden in the last

at the point. He has also added two other impact

one of its kind to be played there with all these

guards, Terry Rozier and Anton Gill, to go with Kevin

tremendous teams. One more, and you’ve now

Ware, the inspirational spark for this team’s journey

created a dynasty. Anytime you have three years at

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23


AMERICAN DREAMS the championship level, you’ve created a dynasty.

from Villanova, Nic Moore, a 5-9 point guard who

And that’s going to be our goal.”

followed coach in waiting Tim Jankovich from

The great ones never think negatively, especially Brown, who won an NCAA title with Kansas in 1988 and an NBA title with Detroit in 2004. “We are going to be relevant,’’ said Brown. SMU struggled through a 12-17 season last year in Brown’s first year on campus, presenting new

Illinois State and seems perfect to run Brown’s offense; and Crandall Head, a 6-4 guard who left Illinois to escape the giant shadow of older brother Luther, a star on the Illini’s 2005 Final Four team. “I don’t know if any of the starters will play, ‘’ Brown said. “We have competition at every position.’’

challenges for the veteran coach. His efforts

We know Brown can teach and coach. He has won

have the Mustang faithful shifting attention from

1,285 games during his storied career and his

football to banners hanging in Moody Colesium,

energy level is still high. And, after getting some

celebrating SMU’s 1956 Final Four appearance. The

terrific news on the recruiting trail in recent weeks,

Mustangs return all five starters, including forward

the best could be yet to come.

Jalen Jones, who led the team in scoring and rebounding.

Brown will be forced to create chemistry for his talented, young team when they face the league’s

But it is hard to tell how much impact any of

elite teams. But Moody should be rocking again,

them will have.

mirroring similar excitement that that has come to

Brown, who says he will be at SMU until his son L.J., a freshman walk-on, graduates, is a man in a hurry. The turnaround at SMU started last April when Brown signed guard Keith Frazier, the program’s first McDonald’s All America and

be the standard in other conference home courts like FedEx Forum in Memphis, Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville and the XL Center in Hartford as the Mustangs take aim on an NCAA bid.

a much needed deep shooter from Dallas. When

Louisville may be special, but the American is

Brown spent time as an assistant to Dean Smith

hardly a one team league and has the credentials

at Carolina and a head coach at UCLA and Kansas,

to be a multi-bid conference.

he could select elite players. He has been forced to become much more resourceful in recruiting at in the Metroplex at a school that has not been to an NCAA tournament in over 20 years.

Dick Weiss, a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame, has covered college basketball in Philadelphia and New York for more than 40 years and is one of the foremost authorities on the sport. He will be providing regular commentary for the American Athletic Conference during the 2013-14 season.

Brown also signed 6-11 Yanick Moreira, the second rated junior college center in the country, freshman forwards Ben Moore and Sterling Brown and three transfers — Markus Kennedy, a 6-9 export

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COACHES SPOTLIGHT JOI WILLIAMS UCF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Joi Williams arrived at Central Florida in 2007 after a stint at Murray State where she won 54 games in four years. Since arriving in Orlando, Williams coached the Knights to a 2011 Conference USA Tournament Championship and two NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2011. Most recently, Williams has added assistant coaching duties for the USA Basketball Women’s U-18 and U-19 teams.

DONNIE JONES UCF MEN’S BASKETBALL Donnie Jones spent three years at Marshall, winning 55 games over three years before joining UCF as Head Coach in 2010. Before becoming a head coach, Jones, served as assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan and helped guide the Gators to back-to-back National Championships in 2006-2007.

JAMELLE ELLIOTT UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Now in her fourth season as Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Jamelle Elliott brought a history of success to the position. An assistant to Naismith Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma for nearly two decades, she has been a part of six national championship teams; her first, as a player on the UConn’s first National Championship squad in 1995; her most recent serving as an assistant coach during their undefeated 2009 campaign.

MICK CRONIN UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI MEN’S BASKETBALL In 2003, Mick Cronin launched his head-coaching career at Murray State. During his first year, he led the team to a school-best regular season record of 28-6; plus an Ohio Valley tournament championship and an NCAA tournament appearance. After three seasons with Murray State, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati. Cronin currently ranks third for most victories with the Bearcats at 135 behind only Bob Huggins (399) and George Smith (154).

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COACHES SPOTLIGHT

GENO AURIEMMA UCONN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Geno Auriemma, a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, has completely changed the course of UConn women’s basketball. Before he arrived at UConn, in 1985, the Huskies had just one winning season. Under Auriemma, UConn has won four National Championships and logged four perfect seasons. Auriemma served as Head Coach of the gold medal winning 2012 US Olympic team, he will also coach the women in Rio in 2016.

KEVIN OLLIE UCONN MEN’S BASKETBALL Kevin Ollie was named successor to UConn legend and Naismith Hall of Famer, Jim Calhoun in September of 2012. Upon taking on the post, he also took on the UConn legacy of winning, becoming the first head coach in school history to win 20 or more games in his first season, including his debut as Head Coach, an upset win over Michigan State. At season’s end, UConn rewarded Ollie with a five-year extension.

TODD BUCHANAN UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Todd Buchanan arrived at the University of Houston in 2010 from Houston Baptist where he served as Head Coach for five years, helping transition the program from the NAIA to Division I in the NCAA. In his first season as the Cougars’ head coach, Buchanan achieved the second best season record in the program’s history, going undefeated in Conference USA en route to a berth in the NCAA tournament.

JAMES DICKEY UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON MEN’S BASKETBALL Before arriving at Houston for the 2010-11 season to replace the retiring Tom Penders, James Dickey was Head Coach at Texas Tech from 1991 to 2001, leading the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament twice (1993, 1996). Dickey also has 18 years of being an assistant coach on his resume. Under his tutelage, the Cougars have steadily improved. Last year, Houston registered their first season with 20 wins since 2008-09.

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COACHES SPOTLIGHT JEFF WALZ UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL In just his second season as an NCAA Division I head coach, Jeff Walz steered his Lady Cardinals to a 34-5 record and the National Championship game. He repeated that success last season again reaching the Championship game, before falling at the final hurdle to conference rival UConn. Before arriving at Louisville, Walz served as an assistant coach for 11 years at four different schools including Western Kentucky, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Maryland.

RICK PITINO UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL Rick Pitino compiled a 629-234 career record as Head Coach, ranking 11th among active men’s Division I coaches. The only coach to take three different teams to the Final Four, Pitino is the third winningest coach at Louisville with 275 wins. A member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Pitino restored Louisville to national prominence, with seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, culminating in a 2013 National Championship.

MELISSA MCFERRIN UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Melissa McFerrin, a former four-year point guard at the University of Missouri, enters her sixth season at the helm of the Tigers. McFerrin joined Memphis after four years as Head Coach at American University. Since arriving, the Tigers have made four consecutive postseason tournament appearances. Just six shy of 100 victories as Memphis head coach, McFerrin was rewarded a contract extension to keep her in place until at least the 2016-17 season.

JOSH PASTNER UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS MEN’S BASKETBALL Josh Pastner is the youngest Head Coach in Division I Men’s basketball, but don’t let his youth fool you; he’s building quite a resume. He’s accumulated 106 victories in his first four seasons at Memphis, a school record. Not to mention, Pastner has already coached nine NBA lottery picks between at Memphis and Arizona where he was an assistant under Naismith Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olsen from 2002-2008.

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COACHES SPOTLIGHT C. VIVIAN STRINGER RUTGERS UNIVERSITY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL C. Vivian Stringer, enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, has coached her teams to 901 career wins, second among active women’s coaches. Her success started early, leading Cheyney to the finals of the first ever NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament in 1982. Stringer would return to the Final Four with Iowa (1993) and Rutgers (2000 and 2007), becoming the first women’s coach to reach the Final Four with three different teams.

EDDIE JORDAN RUTGERS UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL Eddie Jordan played on Rutgers’ 1976 NCAA Final Four team, now he’s back as the Scarlet Knights’ Head Coach. With 28 seasons of total coaching experience, including a championship as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, Jordan returns to Piscataway following successful runs as an NBA Head Coach in Sacramento, Washington and Philadelphia.

JOSE FERNANDEZ USF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Jose Fernandez, who was hired at USF in 2000, has now become the all-time winningest basketball coach (men’s or women’s) in school history with 211 wins. With four seasons of 20 or more wins under his belt, Fernandez has led the Bulls to nine postseason appearances in the past 10 years including a WNIT championship in 2009 and celebrated the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win last season.

STAN HEATH USF MEN’S BASKETBALL Stan Heath joined the head coaching ranks at Kent State in 2002. He finished his lone season with the Golden Flashes with a 30–6 record, won the Mid-American Conference regular-season and secured a berth in the NCAA Men’s BasketballTournament’s Elite Eight. Following that breakout first season, Heath coached Arkansas to two 20-win seasons, both culminating in NCAA tournament appearances. During his time at USF, Heath helmed two 20+ win seasons and in 2011-12, led the Bulls to their first ever trip to the Big Dance.

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COACHES SPOTLIGHT RHONDA ROMPOLA SMU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Rhonda Rompola enters her 23rd year at the helm of the SMU Mustangs. Having crossed the 400 wins plateau a season ago, Rompola’s legacy is ingrained in the history of SMU athletics. She is not only the winningest coach of all time in any sport at the school, she also still holds several school records set three decades ago as a player including career field goal percentage (.863)

LARRY BROWN SMU MEN’S BASKETBALL Larry Brown, a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer in his second year of coaching at SMU, has succeeded at every level of the sport. During his playing career, Brown was an Olympic gold medalist (1964 – Tokyo) and an ABA champion (1969 – Oakland). After transitioning to coaching, his winning ways continued, Brown is the only Head Coach in basketball history to have won both an NCAA Championship (1988 – Kansas) and an NBA title (2004 – Detroit).

TONYA CARDOZA TEMPLE UNIVERSITY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL This marks Tonya Cardoza’s sixth season leading the Temple Owls. Cardoza played at UConn and then professionally in Spain before embarking on a 14year stint at UConn as an assistant coach. After landing the head job at Temple, Cardoza quickly began burnishing her coaching credentials. The 2011 Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year led the Owls to four consecutive 20-win seasons and three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

FRAN DUNPHY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL Fran Dunphy is a name synonymous with Philadelphia basketball. His head coaching career began in 1989 at Penn, where he compiled an impressive record encompassing 310 victories and ten Ivy League titles. In 2006, Dunphy was named successor to John Chaney at fellow Philly powerhouse, Temple. Since taking over the Owls, Dunphy and his teams have reeled off six consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and three Atlantic 10 Tournament Championships.

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MEN’S CONFERENCE PREVIEW, TEAM-BY-TEAM

UCONN

averaged 19 points per outing. Unfortunately for

Kevin Ollie’s crew boasts one of the best backcourts

the program, Young transferred to Oregon after

in the land in Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright.

his father’s dismissal as Director of Basketball

But what other weapons do they have offensively?

Operations. Without him, Houston will be

If forward DeAndre Daniels can become a star he

competitive, but it’s going to take a slight

has the potential to become, this can potentially

surprise to get into the NCAA tournament.

become a Sweet 16 team. If it all comes together – which it looks like it should - the Huskies are right there with Louisville and Memphis in the pursuit of the inaugural American Athletic conference crown. Very quickly in the transition under Ollie, they’ve become that good again.

CINCINNATI Guard Sean Kilpatrick surprised many with his decision to forego the NBA draft and return for his senior season. With that decision, Cincinnati immediately became a team on the NCAA tournament radar. With Cashmere Wright gone, the

HOUSTON

offensive gameplan focuses solely on Kilpatrick,

It’s a case of the season that almost was for

and expect him to flourish under the pressure.

the Cougars. Coming into 2013, they may have

Also expect Cincinnati’s calling card for success –

boasted the best 1-2 punch in the conference with

defense and rebounding - to remain the same.

TaShawn Thomas, who averaged 16.9 points per game and 9.8 rebounds, and Joseph Young, who powered by

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MEN’S CONFERENCE PREVIEW, TEAM-BY-TEAM LOUISVILLE

needs to become a difference-maker who can

It’s no surprise that the defending national

carry the team. His 50% shooting percentage in

champion is the team to beat in the American

his sophomore season dipped to 39% last year,

Athletic race. Regardless of power forward Chane

and his decision making at times was questionable.

Behanan’s status after being suspended for

Now, with three of their top five scorers gone,

“violation of university policy,” the Cardinals have

Collins will be expected to elevate his play in 2013-

so much talent on the roster that they’ll still remain

14. If he shines, USF could quickly be dangerous.

the conference gold standard. Expect forwards Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell to play significantly larger roles this year, while Luke Hancock provides experience and strong perimeter shooting from the wing. Of course, the glue is Russdiculous, with Russ Smith at the helm calling the shots and running the team. While

RUTGERS With the departure of Rutgers leading scorer Eli Carter to Florida, Myles Mack will be expected to shoulder most of the scoring. After all the drama and all the issues, consider this a true rebuilding year in Piscataway as the Eddie Jordan era begins.

it’ll be a challenge to win the conference title,

TEMPLE

there’s no reason to set the expectations lower

Who will step up as the go-to guy? Four of the top

than another national title.

five scorers are gone, and with plenty of youth on

MEMPHIS The backcourt will be the strength of a dangerous enough team to threaten for the conference title. Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford give UConn’s backcourt a run for their money, but overall, the

the roster, expect an inconsistent year. Anthony Lee has the potential to be special, but he doesn’t have the weapons around him for the Owls to make any real noise in the conference race unless the young prospects shine right away.

big question is how the young talent will blend

SMU

with the experience. Freshman Austin Nichols and

Larry Brown’s team, if nothing else, is going to

Kuran Iverson are special, but how quickly can

be really, really fun. Forward Jalen Jones is a star

they get acclimated to the system and the college

among a dangerous, veteran team that returns all

game? Coach Josh Pastner again has one of the

five starters. With all the experience, nothing will

most athletic teams in all the land, but they have

bother the Mustangs in hostile environments –

to do a better job of taking care of the ball after

call them the American Athletic X factor. In

ranking 246th in turnovers per game.

addition, Brown has SMU’s first McDonald’s All-American in school history in shooting guard

USF The Bulls underwhelmed at times last year, and to turn around, it all starts with point guard Anthony Collins, who needs to be more consistent and

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Keith Frazier, who’s ready to contribute right away and shoehorn his way into the mix. Fortunately, for Frazier much won’t be asked of him early on, given all the experience already on the roster, but ISSUE 01


MEN’S CONFERENCE PREVIEW, TEAM-BY-TEAM there’s going to be a place for him on a team with the potential to get to the tournament for the first time in 20 years.

UCF The Knights have college basketball’s hidden gem on their roster in Isiah Sykes - think a poor man’s Victor Oladipo - who may be the best twoway player in college basketball. Even though his outside shooting can improve, he can score in a variety of ways and can turn defense into offense, averaging 2.3 steals per game. With Keith Clanton gone - and his 14.8 points and 8.5 rebound productivity with it - expect Sykes to push to become one of the league’s best statistical stars. By Jordan Cornette for Campus Insiders.

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BLUES & BASKETBALL: ROAD TO THE FEDEX FORUM

T

HE 18,119 SEAT FEDEXFORUM, IS ONE OF

When the city of Memphis (the arena’s owners)

the top venues in all of basketball. Already

made their $250 million investment in 2004, they

home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and

committed to showcasing not only the teams that

the University of Memphis Tigers, FedEx Forum,

play there and the events that grace their stage,

located on world famous Beale Street, will serve

but their city and its history. Walking through the

as the home of the inaugural American Athletic

arena, you’ll see the work of Memphis artists, and

Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.

art about Memphis. You might stop for a bite at

When the American Conference Men’s Basketball Championships descends on the FedEx Forum from March 12th – 15th, attendees will have zero

the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 grill or the Blue Note Lounge, but no matter what, you’ll certainly get a taste of what the city is famous for: music.

doubt as to where they are. Whereas a number of

Beale Street, recently named by USA Today as

arenas have so few distinguishing characteristics

America’s most iconic street, is widely considered

they could be dropped into any city without raising

both the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of

an eyebrow, the FedExForum is unique; it is

Rock and Roll. Music permeates Memphis’ core,

Memphis through and through.

from Graceland to the blues clubs lining Beale

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ROAD TO THE FEDEX FORUM Street to the FedEx Forum itself which shares a plaza with the Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum. Music isn’t just Beale Street’s history, though. There are large music festivals and outdoor concerts drawing large crowds to Beale Street and Memphis as a whole every year. The FedExForum, which opened in 2004, is no stranger to rocking crowds either. Beyond basketball, the arena has hosted everything from an IBF light heavyweight championship bout to motocross to Disney on Ice. Rock royalty like Paul McCartney and Roger Daltrey graced the stage; and pop stars like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce did the same. In perhaps the best endorsement of the American Conference’s choice of Memphis and the FedEx Forum as its championship venue, the NCAA will stage the South Regional of their Big Dance in the very same venue at the end of March.

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AMERICAN WOMEN’S PREVIEW

T

O THE SURPRISE OF ABSOLUTELY NO ONE,

nemesis, Notre Dame, now taking up residence in

defending national champion UConn is not

the Atlantic Coast Conference.

only projected to finish No. 1 in the American

Athletic Conference, but No. 1 in America.

That said, don’t discount Louisville, last year’s NCAA tournament upstart and national runner-

The Huskies return eight players from a squad

up. Returning senior guards Shoni Schimmel

that crushed NCAA tourney opponents by an

and Antonita Slaughter were instrumental in the

average of nearly 35 points per game, and as scary

Cardinals’ epic Sweet 16 takedown of Britney

as it might seem, now it’s expected to be even

Griner’s Baylor Bears. They are joined by junior

stronger with a veteran squad led by senior center

forward Sarah Hammond who, along with

Stefanie Dolson and guard Bria Hartley and junior

Schimmel, makes the American’s preseason all-

sharpshooting forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

conference list.

The offense and firepower will also benefit from last year’s freshman sensation, forward Breanna Stewart, with a season’s worth of experience. If having a loaded team full of veterans wasn’t enough, UConn’s in-league dominance will undoubtedly be bolstered by its former Big East

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TEAM TO KEEP AN EYE ON: UCF Despite going 7-9 in their final season in Conference USA, the Knights were just one win shy of claiming the league title, knocking off topseed SMU before falling to Tulsa in the C-USA championship game. Most notable among the ISSUE 01


AMERICAN WOMEN’S PREVIEW returning starters, sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson, C-USA’s Freshman of the Year, who averaged 18.5 points per game, broke the league’s 15 year-old freshman single season steals record (108) and drained free throws at a rate Dwight Howard would sell his house for (92.9%).

AMERICAN SUPER STUD: UConn F Breanna Stewart No brainer here. Stewart, last seen accepting the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award - just the fourth freshman ever to do so - was voted American Preseason Player of the Year. In 201213, Stewart raised her regular season scoring average (13.8) seven points per game in the NCAA tournament to lead Geno Auriemma’s Huskies to their eighth national title. Along with her offensive prowess, she’s a deft two-way player, leading UConn in blocked shots. Her low-post presence changes the way opponents run their offenses.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Rutgers PG Tyler Scaife What a coup for coach, Vivan Stringer. Scaife, the two-time Arkansas Player of the Year, was rated the top overall point guard in the nation. She averaged nearly 24 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.1 steals per game in her senior year en route to her team claiming the Class 6A state championship. She was one of just 34 players invited to this year’s USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team trial. Translation: jackpot for Rutgers. By Bonnie Bernstein for Campus Insiders.

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THE CENTER OF IT ALL: ROAD TO MOHEGAN SUN ARENA

F

ROM MARCH 7-10, THE AMERICAN

the building is no stranger to hosting the best in

Conference will host their first-ever Women’s

the sport. Mohegan Sun Arena is home court for

Basketball Championship at the world-

the WNBA’s UConn Sun, now coached by Olympic

renowned Mohegan Sun Arena. Mohegan Sun

Gold Medalist and Naismith Hall of

has earned a stellar reputation for its first-class

Famer, Anne Donovan. The arena’s intimate, but

entertainment venues in the heart of New England.

electric atmosphere has also been a major factor

Located in Uncasville, UConn, the 10,000-seat

in its hosting three WNBA All-Star Game in the

arena, part of the larger Mohegan Sun complex

past six seasons.

sits approximately 45 minutes from Providence, Hartford and New Haven, 90 minutes from Boston and just over two hours from New York City, putting the complex within close reach of over 40 million Americans.

While Mohegan Sun Arena has strong ties to women’s basketball, this multi-purpose facility has also hosted a variety of other sporting events such as: Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) bouts,

While this will be the inaugural American Athletic

plus concerts by multiplatinum acts such as Tim

Conference Women’s Basketball Championships,

McGraw, Jay Z, Kings of Leon and Jimmy Buffett.

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ROAD TO MOHEGAN SUN ARENA The best of women’s basketball is only a fraction of what Mohegan Sun has to offer attendees of this season’s championships. Apart from their impressive 300,000 square foot gaming experience, spanning three casinos, Mohegan Sun offers more than 20 dining options to suit any taste. There’s an outpost of renowned chef Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, as well as one of the most beloved and unique pizzerias in the United States—Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. However, if you want to keep to a basketball themed weekend—Michael Jordan’s award-winning steakhouse is sure to satisfy your appetite. Between games, you can also take a stroll through the shopping outlets located within the casino itself. You can find anything from fashion to jewelry to electronics in this 130,000 square foot shopping mecca home to brands like Coach, Tiffany, Puma and Godiva. There’s also Elemis, a 22,000 square foot day spa with fifteen therapy rooms. If your idea of therapy is hitting the links, you can start to shake the winter rust off your game taking indoor lessons at the Mohegan Sun Country Club with their PGA-certified golf pro. Mohegan Sun is a multi-faceted venue, but most importantly, it’s a venue where women’s basketball is revered. The first American Conference Championship will be an epic ending to the conference’s inaugural season, featuring some of the very best that women’s basketball has to offer. Mohegan Sun knows how to play hard and how to entertain, that’s why the venue is a perfect match for these American Conference Women’s Basketball Championships. powered by

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39


AMERICAN

CONNECTS

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ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

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the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


THE FAN

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the american campus insiders

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the american basketball preview

ISSUE 01


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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 20-11 (9-7) Final Result: 5th Place, Conference USA (Regular Season) Top Scorer: Isaiah Sykes, 16.0 ppg Top Rebounder: Keith Clanton, 8.5 rpg

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Pictured: Isaiah Sykes

ISSUE 01


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CF BASKETBALL FANS WILL HAVE PLENTY

UCF MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

to keep their eyes on this season. For starters, the Knights’ home court will have

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a totally new look for 2013-14. UCF basketball will

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debut a unique “blacktop” inspired court at CFE

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Arena evoking both the university’s colors (black

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Isaac Lang

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slated to be on display when UCF kicks off its

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season against cross-state foe Tampa on November

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8th, Head Coach Donnie Jones is making sure his

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team backs it up with substance.

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and old gold) and the sport’s spiritual home, the neighborhood blacktop. UCF will take to the “blacktop” in pinstriped jerseys which are also making their bow for the Knights’ inaugural season in The American. For all the fresh style

Jones arrived at UCF in 2010 to steer the team’s

*Denotes player was a red shirt

elevation onto the national stage. With a contract extension keeping him in Orlando until at least 2018, he and his squad will get an opportunity

Also back for the Knights is senior forward Tristan

to build on their 20-win 2012-13 season in front

Spurlock. After a severe throat injury that cost him

of an even wider audience, courtesy a full slate

the final three games of last season, Spurlock is

of nationally televised games in The American.

fully recovered coming into his final campaign and

Coming off one of the most challenging schedules

looking to make his presence felt once more.

in program history, the Knights will be pressured

To wit, he competed in DC’s famed Kenner

early and often again this year, with 12 games

Summer League against and alongside some of

scheduled against 2013 NCAA Tournament teams.

the best players in the country, setting

KEY RETURNEES: UCF returns significant talent in the 2013-14 season, including their star 6’6” guard, Isaiah Sykes. Sykes enters his senior campaign on the back of a career season with the Knights. Averaging a team-high 16.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game—plus 7.5 rebounds per game for good measure—it’s no wonder the Detroit native was selected both All-Conference USA First Team and All-Defensive Team.

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the stage for a strong finish to his collegiate career. During the 2012-13 season, Spurlock’s athleticism made him a contributor from every position on the court. Listed at 6’8,” he finished the year with 23 blocks, ranked third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.4 points per game, sank 39 three pointers and gave the team a lot of good minutes—an average of 32.8 per game to be exact, across 28 contests.

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KEY LOSSES: Star forward Keith Clanton will certainly be missed on this year’s edition of the Knights. Clanton began making a name for himself early. After scoring in double figures 14 times, he was named to Conference USA’s All-Freshman Team. At the end of his senior season he was selected to the NABC All-District 11 First Team, after shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and starting all 31 games. Clanton finished his career as UCF’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,000), blocks (227), games played (129), and starts (121). Although he was not chosen in the 2013 NBA Draft, Clanton earned a valuable opportunity to play with the Orlando Magic summer league team before landing in the Polish Basketball League where he will play professionally.

NEW ADDITIONS: Brandon Goodwin had an absolutely stellar high school career and looks poised to contribute to the Knights’ success as early as this season. During his senior year of high school, Goodwin led his team to a 27-6 record, culminating in a Georgia state title. In addition, he was named Player of the Year by multiple publications including the Gwinnett Daily Post and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. UCF recruit Justin McBride is, for lack of a better word, large. Standing at 6’10,” this 340-pound center delivers a rare combination of strength, skill and knowledge that have marked him as a significant talent. In his senior year of high school,

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McBride was named to the Gainesville Sun All-Area First Team after averaging 20.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks. His presence is obviously undeniable, with the proper seasoning he could emerge into one of UCF’s top players. With Goodwin and McBride, UCF’s incoming talent looks poised to keep up the momentum Coach Jones has built in Orlando.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 5, 2014: UCF vs. USF The UCF Knights are set to battle their in-state and conference rival, USF, at home in CFE Arena. It may not be the best-known team in The American, but UCF’s basketball program may be one to watch in the Conference. The Knights have been set on making a splash in their American debut, and everything from their court, to their uniforms to their talent seems aligned to help them reach that goal.

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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 16-18 (7-9) Final Result: Finals, Conference USA Tournament Top Scorer: Gevenia Carter, 15.7 ppg Top Rebounder: Erika Jones, 9.6 rpg

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Pictured: Erika Jones

ISSUE 01


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HE WOMEN OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

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finished up the 2012-13 season playing,

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arguably, their best basketball of the year.

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The Knights went 13-17 in the regular season

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before winning three games in a row to advance to

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the Conference USA title game, ultimately losing

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a tight contest to Tulsa. UCF return with four of their five starters from last year and likely a sense of unfinished business given how tantalizingly

*Denotes player was a red shirt

close they were to their third conference title in five years. These Knights will face a tougher level of day-in, day-out competition having joined The

UCF’s run to the league championship game

American, but they also will have one of the most

last March.

complete returning rosters, which should give them a leg up in the early going.

Returning for her senior season, Erika Jones was also named to the Conference USA All-

KEY RETURNEES: Briahanna Jackson, a

Tournament Team a year ago and for good reason.

sophomore guard who plays much bigger than

The 6’2” forward/center registered the third-

her 5’4” stature, will be expected to lead the

best rebounding total (44) by a single player in

Knights this year. Jackson was second on the team

conference tournament history while averaging

in scoring a year ago averaging 15 points per

a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) during

game. She also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 3.1 steals

UCF’s four-game run.

and 2.0 assists per game over the course of the season. The Tampa native broke the fifteen-year-old Conference USA freshman single-season steals record and became UCF’s single-season steals record holder with 108. Like her team as a whole, Jackson played her best in the postseason. She was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.5 points per game and making 92.9 percent of her free throws during

Sara Djassi also returns for her senior season. During the conference tournament last year, Djassi averaged 10.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. The Lisbon, Portugal native, scored a career-high 17 points and added 10 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double in the Knights’ conference semifinal win against UTEP.

KEY LOSSES: Guard Gevenia Carter was selected to the All-Conference USA Second Team as a

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senior last year. The Houston, Texas native, who was the team’s leading scorer a year ago (15.7 points per game), became the 16th Knight to score 1,000 career points. Carter finished her career ranked ninth among UCF’s all-time leading scorers list with 1,111 career points. She also finished her career ranked among the program’s top-10 career leaders for steals (175) and 3-point field goals made (94). Carter graduated after the 2012-13 season.

NEW ADDITIONS: Despite all of the returning starters Head Coach Joi Williams and UCF will welcome a big group of newcomers this season. The seven additions to the roster include redshirt junior forward Brittni Montgomery, who sat out last year after transferring from Virginia Tech. Two other transfers - Makenzi Reasor and Yanique Gordon are expected to contribute in the frontcourt this season. The Knights also welcome three freshman guards, including Bartow, Florida product Zykira Lewis who was twice a All-State First Team selection.

a bigger game than when the defending national champion UConn Huskies come to UCF for their first meeting as members of The American. This

CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 1, 2014

New Year’s Day tussle will mark the Knights first

UConn vs. UCF

conference home game as a member of The

As the Knights enter its first year in the newly formed American Athletic Conference, UCF will play against eight opponents who played in

American. It’s also a huge opportunity to make a splash in their new league; especially if they can knock off the defending national champion.

either the NCAA or WNIT Tournament during the

Entering her 7th year leading the UCF

2012-13 postseason. However, there will not be

program, Head Coach Joi Williams has already

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compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including taking the Knights to the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Tournaments after her teams claimed Conference USA Championships in each of those seasons. The move to The American could be her biggest challenge though. If UCF want to get back to the NCAA tournament, they will have to go through some of the most dominant programs in the women’s game in conference play. That said, don’t be surprised if the Knights take down a couple of the league favorites, because in her tenure at UCF, Williams and her teams have been known to rise to whatever challenges are in front of them.

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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 22-12 (9-9) Final Result: Second Round, NCAA Tournament Top Scorer: Sean Kilpatrick, 17.0 ppg Top Rebounder: Titus Rubles, 5.9 rpg

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Pictured: Ge’Lawn Guyn

ISSUE 01


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HIS SEASON, HEAD COACH MICK CRONIN

CINCINNATI MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

and the Cincinnati Bearcats are looking to extend their streak of three consecutive

appearances in the NCAA tournament. Combined,

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the experience of Cincinnati’s returning players

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and the talent of this year’s strong recruiting class

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Last season, Cronin, a Cincy alum, molded the

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Bearcats into one of the top defensive teams in

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the country, ranking 14th in opponents’ field goal

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percentage. Given the list of players returning

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should keep the Bearcats firmly in contention all season and into the postseason.

for the 2013-14 season, defense looks to again be central to the Bearcats’ identity.

KEY RETURNEES: For one, forward Titus Rubles will be key to the Bearcats success on

*Denotes player was a red shirt

the defensive side of the ball. A year ago, he joined the team as a transfer from Blinn College (Brenham, Texas) and contributed immediately. Rubles played in all 34 games, starting 12. By season’s end, he ranked 16th in the Big East in rebounding, averaging 5.9 per game. More than just a defensive weapon, Rubles is also an exceptional passer with the ability to finish around the basket.

Alongside Kilpatrick, junior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn looks to be a top contender for significant minutes. During Guyn’s sophomore year, he shot 83.3% from the free-throw line and regularly provided a spark of defensive energy coming off the bench. While Guyn has valuable experience at the collegiate level, a recruiting class that features three of the nation’s top guards will provide a

6’4” senior guard Sean Kilpatrick had a sparkling

number of potential backcourt scenarios with

2012-13 season with the Bearcats. He finished

which Cronin can experiment.

as the team’s top scorer, averaging 17.0 points per game; in turn, earning a spot on the All-Big East Second Team. This summer, Kilpatrick was selected as one of twelve players to compete for Team USA in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. In eight games, he contributed an average of 7.5 points and two rebounds, while adding invaluable international experience to his arsenal. powered by

KEY LOSSES: Departing are two of the program’s most dynamic offensive threats, Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker. Wright ran the point for the Bearcats from 2010-2013. In his senior season; Wright was second on the team in scoring, (behind only Kilpatrick) with 12.7 points per game. Wright finished his career at Cincinnati as the only player in school history with more than 1,300 points, 475

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HOME AWAY

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. r s s e e ll e e ll e n o al gh ate aska MU phi ate er be owe Stat stat exic tat tat vie n U rmin entr sto ur p a S tg St S S St r o u b t p m . . u X L b o m s o n a C M e w t R U C s H rle ell ia nn cag M Ne Ca C. N. Pit as nesa SC @ ew B ch Te i Ca @ N. a M h N e U l l n C U @ pa Ke idd Ap M

assists, and 175 steals—before moving on to play professionally in the Netherlands. His teammate, JaQuon Parker, also a senior a year ago, was arguably the Bearcats’ most effective outside shooter last year. He tied for sixth in the Big East, shooting an impressive 40.0 percent from three-point range. Cronin’s squad will also be without Senegal native, Cheikh Mbodj. Mbodj was never a top scorer, but he contributed significantly with his defensive skills and presence under the basket. In his final year, Mbodj finished fourth all-time for most blocks in a single season (90)—going only three games without recording a block. Mbodj currently plays professionally in Greece.

NEW ADDITIONS: Looking to offset the significant departures his team faces, Cronin and staff return to the court with a highly touted recruiting class. One of the most talked about has been 6’9” forward, Jermaine Lawrence. Prior to his senior year of high school, Lawrence underwent surgery that caused him to miss a portion of the season. But on the night of his return, he was ready to play. Lawrence came off the bench and contributed 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Regarded as the No. 2 overall prospect from New York by ESPN.com, Lawrence’s athleticism is likely to be on display in the Bearcats’ offense.

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Troy Caupain joins the team from Midlothian, Virginia and is projected to contend with Ge’Lawn Guyn for playing time. During high school, Caupain finished as the school’s leader in rebounds (347) and assists (230) and was named a Top 50 shooting guard by 247Sports.com. Expect Lawrence, Caupain, and this highly talented group of recruits to provide key minutes for the Bearcats this year.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 22, 2014: Cincinnati vs. Louisville On February 22, the Cincinnati Bearcats take on the defending National Champions, the Louisville Cardinals, in a nationally televised battle at the Bearcats’ Fifth Third Arena. If they gel as expected, this talented Bearcats roster could have an exciting contest versus the reigning National Champions in this late season prelude to the American Conference Tournament. With Mick Cronin looking for 20 wins to climb to 2nd among the program’s winningest coaches, one of the most promising recruiting classes in recent memory and a raft of marquee matchups in the American Conference, Cincinnati fans will have plenty of reasons to follow this Conference title contender allseason long.

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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 12-18 (4-12) Final Result: First Round, Big East Tournament Top Scorer: Dayeesha Hollins, 15.4 ppg Top Rebounder: Tiffany Turner, 6.0 rpg

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Pictured: Alyesha Lovett

ISSUE 01


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Kayla Cook

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a Bearcat. With youth on their side, coach Elliott

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and squad will look to turn the corner after a

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disappointing 12-18 run a year ago.

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NE THING BEARCATS’ FANS SHOULD BE excited about is the young talent Head Coach Jamelle Elliott consistently recruits.

Of the nine letter winners returning to Fifth Third Arena, only four are entering their final season as

KEY RETURNEES: The Bearcats will take to the

*Denotes player was a red shirt

hardwood this season returning a number of key pieces from last year. Leading the charge will be senior guard, Dayeesha Hollins. Hollins is already

blocks, placing her in seventh in school history for

off to a good start in what is expected to be an

the time being. Last but not least, Cook contributed

exciting season in Cincinnati; she was recently

valuable minutes for the Bearcats last season

pegged as a member of the American Preseason

while finishing first on the team in free-throw

All Conference Team—an honor voted on by the

percentage (78.4%). Combined, these three

league’s head coaches—and for good reason. Last

players started a total of 80 games last season

year, she left her mark by averaging 15.4 points

and will all play significant roles in Cincinnati’s

(finishing 8th in the Big East), 4.1 rebounds, 2.8

inaugural season in The American.

assists, and 1.5 steals per game. A member of the 2012-13 All-Big East Second Team, Hollins racked up double-digit points in 23 contests, including 17 straight to start last season.

KEY LOSSES: The Bearcats will take the court this season without their tallest player from a year ago, 6’4” center, Lesha Dunn. She saw action in 30 games averaging 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and

Accompanying Hollins are fellow seniors Tiffany

1.3 assists per game. Her height opened a number

Turner, Jeanise Randolph, and Kayla Cook. Last

of options both offensively and defensively for

year, Turner was the only player on the team to

Coach Elliott. Dunn’s low post presence will be

shoot above 50% from the field and is currently

missed this season; however, what Cincinnati

ranked sixth in career blocks (61) for Cincinnati.

lost in height, they will gain in promising talent

Not far behind Turner is Randolph with 52 career

for 2013-14.

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NEW ADDITIONS: Coach Elliott welcomes four incoming freshman to this year’s roster, providing her squad with more depth and versatility than ever before. One key recruit is Springfield, Ohio native Bianca Quisenberry. Quisenberry comes to UC as a four-year starter on her varsity squad. In high school, she was crowned the Springfield

News-Sun Player of the Year in both her sophomore and junior seasons and holds school records in multiple offensive categories including: points in a game (44), points in a season (617), career points (1,617), and assists in a season (166). Also joining the Bearcats is 6’2” forward, Marley Hill. Hill is as an athletic post player with the capability to shoot from behind the arc. During her junior season in high school Hill averaged 13.2 points per game and captured a state championship as well. Hill runs the floor well for her size and will be yet another valuable weapon off the bench as the Bearcats get rolling.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: December 29, 2013: Cincinnati vs. UConn Watch Head Coach Jamelle Elliott bring the Bearcats on a visit to her alma mater to face the defending national champions in this nationally televised match-up against UConn. Over the previous couple of seasons, coach Elliott has done some heavy recruiting in order to rebuild the Bearcats’ into a winning program. After losing

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just one senior from last year’s team, Elliott’s youthful squad will take the court with an extra season of experience under their belt—experience that could jumpstart a resurgence for the Bearcats. With a solid core of young, but tested players, the future in Cincinnati looks bright and should only grow brighter as the team grows together.

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59


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 20-10 (10-8) Final Result: Finished 8th, Big East (Regular Season) Top Scorer: Shabazz Napier, 17.1 ppg Top Rebounder: DeAndre Daniels, 5.5 rpg

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Pictured: Ryan Boatright

ISSUE 01


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OSTSEASON PLAY WAS OFF THE TABLE due to long-ago issues of not meeting

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wouldn’t be UConn. Despite serious potential for

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distraction and/or disarray, Head Coach Kevin

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Ollie’s first season at as the Huskies Head Coach

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was almost business as usual, they posted their

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Rodney Purvis

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14th 20-win season in the last 16. In the offseason,

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Ollie earned a five-year contract extension.

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academic standards. Three players—

including their then-starting center—transferred elsewhere. A new head coach had also been installed at the helm of the program. With all of that in the background, a severe drop in form would not have been exactly shocking for the UConn Huskies. That never happened, that just

*Denotes player was a red shirt

Off the court, his athletes are earning grades that should keep the program from falling afoul of the NCAA again. On court, UConn is looking to earn its way back into the postseason. To do that, the team will rely on several returning veterans, a handful

as he was in general, Napier was even better in crunch time, contributing 51.4% of the team’s points in overtime.

of impact freshmen and the Head Coach who kept

Two juniors will be key to UConn’s prospects

last season from turning into a lost season.

as well. Guard Ryan Boatright will re-team with

KEY RETURNEES: These Huskies return with a familiar look, as much of last year’s roster will suit up for this campaign as well. Their top six scorers from a year ago are back, as are the players who accounted for 91.5% of their assists and 75.8% of their rebounding. Atop the list of key returnees is senior guard Shabazz Napier. A year ago, Napier was named to the All Big East First Team, finishing top ten in the conference in points, assists and steals per game (17.1, 4.6 and 2.0 respectively). He was the only player in the conference to average at least 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. As good

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Napier in the backcourt. Boatright, who started every game a year ago, led the Huskies with 131 total assists and ranked 10th in the conference in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Like Boatright, forward DeAndre Daniels also started all 30 games, leading the team with 5.5 rebounds per game, while adding 12.1 points and a team high 1.5 blocks per game. 6’6” sophomore guard Omar Calhoun, who was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team, returns to the fray after a sterling freshman season that saw him contribute 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Calhoun had two hip impingement surgeries in the offseason, causing him to miss the american campus insiders

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nn dia land Co cor y U n ar S. M Co

oit

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summer competition, but appears ready to

six languages: English, French and four African

contribute this season.

dialects. Despite weighing in at a slight (for his

KEY LOSSES: While the majority of Coach Ollie’s roster is back for another run in Storrs, center Enosch Wolf returned to his native Germany to play professionally.

NEW ADDITIONS: With postseason play back on the table, the Huskies reload with a number of promising additions ready to impact the team both immediately and in the future. Falling definitively on the immediate side of the equation is 6’6” guard Lasan Kromah. Kromah is a graduate transfer with one remaining year of NCAA eligibility. Last season, playing for the George Washington University,

F is ph UC m e M @

e e a n la ty rd on on ston MU vard fo rsi olleg ngto oyo lorid Main gt gt S r n e n n i i i a L v ou F @ t i C h h h Ha H n S s s s n a a a @ W W W n U osto @ to rn or B s e a t s Bo ian Ea Ind

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frame) 217 pounds, his high school record was one of success beneath the basket. He averaged 15.7 points, 11.6 rebounds and 7.2 blocks per game. A major question mark for the Huskies is Jamaica native Kentan Facey. Facey was named New York State Gatorade Player of the Year based on his senior year stat line of 14.8 points, 13 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. The 6’9” freshman is embroiled in an dispute with the NCAA based on whether his “eligibility clock” started ticking when he passed the equivalent of a high school exit exam in Jamaica or when he graduated high school in New York, having entered the American

Kromah averaged 10.1 points per game. It was the third time he averaged double-digit points for the Colonials. Ghanian-born center Amida Brimah is, in a word, impressive. His 7’0” stature might only trumped by his reported 7’6” wingspan, the fact that he has only played four years of organized basketball or the fact that he speaks

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school system as a high school sophomore. As of press time, it was still unclear whether or not the highly touted power forward would be cleared to play.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 18, 2014: UConn vs. Louisville Rick Pitino brings defending National Champion and American Athletic Conference foe, Louisville to Gampel Pavilion. The 2013-14 edition of Louisville’s roster is arguably as stacked as last year’s in what could be a measuring stick matchup for two of the American’s most storied programs. 2013-14 should be a fun season in Storrs. UConn looks to figure prominently in the inaugural American Conference regular season and in postseason play as well. With significant talent, strong coaching and a legacy of success they’re eager to continue, these Huskies should be in the hunt for wins all season long.

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63


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 35-4 (14-2) Final Result: NCAA National Champions Top Scorer: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, 17.6 ppg Top Rebounder: Breanna Stewart, 6.4 rpg

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W

ITH A RECORD STREAK OF SIX

UCONN WOMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances and a National

Championship to back up, UConn returns to the

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fray with a battle-tested team looking to capture

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even more championship glory.

12

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Stefanie Dolson

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Given the way the last 28 years have played out,

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Bria Hartley

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it’s hard to remember that UConn wasn’t always

4

Moriah Jefferson

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a women’s basketball dynasty. In fact, when now-

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Tierney Lawlor

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Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Geno

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Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

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Auriemma first took the reins in 1985, the Huskies

11

Briana Pulido

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had a total of one winning season to their credit.

30

Breanna Stewart

F

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Kiah Stokes

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Morgan Tuck

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Since that game changing hire, UConn’s name has become storied. The Huskies, under Auriemma,

*Denotes player was a red shirt

have developed into an almost peerless women’s basketball powerhouse, a powerhouse currently riding a streak of eight consecutive 30-win seasons. Looking for a record-breaking ninth NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship this season, there’s little reason to believe that this group of UConn Huskies won’t etch their own names into history like so many who came before them.

KEY RETURNEES: WBCA/State Farm All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis figures to again be an impact player for the Huskies. The 6-foot tall junior forward spent her summer leading Team USA to a gold medal in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia averaging 13 points and a teamhigh 6.5 rebounds per game during the event. She returns to Storrs to again be a central figure on what figures to be a very strong UConn team. Last year, Mosqueda-Lewis contributed a team-high 17.6 points per game and led the team from behind the arc with 118 3-pointers.

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e e e F y n d d d ti n n is is ia ia .J. ture ple uk tat ego ersit tat Dav no lph rtfor nfor ylan rn inna N ph usto UC m D n o S S n h f r e m e a r @ e i t a c v a o l n o @ T i e O a i u n G ilad H n H St av UC M M Ca Ci Un mo Oh Pe on @ @ n Ph n B @ . sto Mo St Bo

Mosqueda-Lewis’ teammate in Kazan, Bria Hartley,

Team during last season’s title run. She was also

will re-join her at UConn as well. Hartley, a senior

the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year. The only

guard, is looking forward to a full, healthy season

Husky to start all 39 games, Faris was a key part of

after ankle injuries got her 2012-13 campaign off

her team’s success, not just with her defense, as

to a uneven start. The 2011-12 State Farm/WBCA

evidenced by a team-high 96 steals, but with her

All-American bounced back to be a major contributor to Team USA at the World University Games, scoring 13.5 points per game, proving she’s ready to open her final season as a Husky on the right foot. State Farm/WBCA All-All American Stefanie Dolson spent most of her offseason in recovery mode. A plantar fasciitis diagnosis put her in a walking boot for three months, while a stress fracture in her ankle had her in an air cast. After spending a summer on rehab, the 6’5” senior is ready to take back her place as UConn’s starting center. Starting 38 games a year ago, Dolson was a major presence under the hoop leading the Huskies in blocks.

KEY LOSSES: While Coach Auriemma can count on a lot of talent being on the floor for the Huskies this season, he will be without a couple of key members of last season’s championship team, most importantly Kelly Faris. Now down Route 32 with the WNBA’s UConn Sun, Faris was named to the NCAA’s All Tournament

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offense as well. Faris contributed 10.2 points and a team-leading four assists per game.

NEW ADDITIONS: UConn prioritized quality over quantity with their recruiting class. The Huskies have only added one scholarship freshman to its roster this season, but she’s a highly regarded addition. Saniya Chong, a 5’8” guard joins the team from Ossining HS in New York. The 2012-13 Parade All-American Team Girls Basketball Player of the Year averaged a New York state record of 34.4 points per game in her senior season. Chong did more than put up shots though, in leading her team to its first state championship, she added an average of six rebounds, five steals and 9.1 assists per game. While the collegiate game will certainly be a step up in terms of competition, Chong’s resume thus far shows her to be a rare talent with the potential to contribute quickly.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: November 15, 2014: UConn at Maryland There’s no such thing as an easy game for a defending National Champion, every opponent is going to take their best shot, especially one with a score to settle. Last year, Maryland finished a 26-8 season with a loss to UConn in the NCAA regional semifinal in Bridgeport. Their early season rematch is on the Terps’ turf. These UConn Huskies return with a veteran team featuring their most potent weapons from a year ago and on the back of a National Championship run. These Huskies are playing for right now. With every opponent sure to bring their best to face them, the Huskies will have to find peak form quickly and sustain it over what’s sure to be a bruising season. The target on the back of this edition of the UConn Huskies is big, but there’s little to suggest that they won’t again be the big guns when all is said and done.

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67


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 20-13 (7-9) Final Result: Quarterfinals, Conference USA Tournament Top Scorer: Joseph Young, 18.0 ppg Top Rebounder: TaShawn Thomas, 9.8 rpg

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Pictured: Danuel House

ISSUE 01


Houston MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

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Danrad Knowles

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Mikhail McLean

F

JR*

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Brandon Morris

G

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Jaaron Simmons

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LeRon Barnes

G

SO*

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L.J. Rose

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Jimmie Jones

G

SR*

AST SEASON MAY HAVE MARKED THE

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first steps in a turnaround for the Houston

20

Adam Drexler

F

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Cougars men’s basketball program. The

21

Jherrod Stiggers

G

SO*

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Danuel House

G

SO

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Lawrence Paye

G

SR

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Ahmed Hamdy

P

FR

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TaShawn Thomas

F

JR

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Valentine Izundu

C

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J.J. Richardson

F

SR*

Cougars wrapped up their schedule 2012-13, recording the program’s first 20-win season since 2008-09. They also advanced to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals in what was the program’s first postseason appearance since 2010. It was a good starting point for Head Coach

*Denotes player was a red shirt

James Dickey’s team, but these Cougars are looking to be (and fare) even better in 2013-14.

KEY RETURNEES: TaShawn Thomas from Killeen, Texas, averaged 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds as a sophomore a year ago. Thomas was named to the 2013-14 Preseason All-American Athletic Conference Second Team. The 6’8” forward was one of only two players to rank among the conference top five in both categories. His strong play was recognized as he was named to both the 2012-13 All-Conference USA First Team and the 2012-13 Conference USA All-Defensive Team. Last

Young in being named to the Conference USA AllFreshman Team. 6’7” sophomore guard Daniel House ranked third on the team and 18th in the league a year ago with 12.4 points per game. That, plus the 4.9 rebounds per game he pulled down, led to House becoming Houston’s first ever conference Freshman of the Year. A native of nearby Sugar Land, Texas, House was also named to the Kyle Macy Freshman AllAmerica Team.

year’s accolades only continued his run of

Redshirt sophomore Jherrod Stiggers has

receiving recognition for outstanding play. During

established himself as a three-point threat for

his freshman season Thomas was the only player

Houston, leading the Cougars with 67 3-pointers,

to start all 30 games for the Cougars. Following

a Houston freshman single season record.

that effort, he joined then-teammate Joseph

Stiggers, who hails from Terrell, Texas finished

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) M as tate er. TSA ate yette ate igh ward ford Tech C.C. m h m A& e St St S n ( o e s U A o a s fa L h s a n H St . T exa Pan or ex A&M exa os -La c T J l / a St T T s n A s @ an gh xa Sa ur Texa isi Te b u s t @ Lo Pit @

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fourth on the team in scoring with 8.1 points pergame. The 6’5” guard ranked also third in Houston freshman single-season history with a .379 3-point field goal percentage.

KEY LOSSES: There may not have been a bigger loss for any American Basketball team than Houston’s losing Joseph Young. Young transferred to Oregon after his father, former University of Houston standout Michael Young, wasn’t retained as the team’s director of basketball operations. The Houston native who averaged 18 points per game last season was on the 2012-13 All-Conference USA Third Team as well as the 2012-13 USBWA AllDistrict VII Team.

NEW ADDITIONS: The news in transfers isn’t all bad for Houston though. Joining the Cougars reunites LJ Rose with his family in more ways than one. The 6’4” sophomore guard transferred from Baylor after last season to be closer to his mother who was recently diagnosed with Lupus. Having received an NCAA waiver to transfer without sitting out a season, Rose also looks set to strengthen his ties to his family on the court.

merely trading off his name. In 2009, he was a

Before going on to the NBA, his father, Lyndon

member of the gold medal-winning Team USA for

Sr. was a member of the Cougars’ legendary Phi

the FIBA Americas U16 championship.

Slama Jama teams, taking Houston to the NCAA Final Four alongside legends Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. His uncle Cecile Rose starred at Houston in the late ‘70s racking up 1,244 career points. Legacy aside, the younger Rose isn’t

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Jaaron Simmons will likely begin his collegiate experience behind Rose and senior Tione Womack on the depth chart, but the freshman, named JJ Huddle’s Ohio Player of the Year averaged 24

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points and four assists per game in high school play and could be another strong option for Houston at the point.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 5, 2014: Louisville at Houston This contest is a statement game for Houston. If the Cougars have truly turned a corner that many believe, this game on a national stage will be a great indication. Louisville is widely considered to be the top team in both the American Athletic Conference and the country, so if Houston can knock them off at home on ESPNU, it will speak volumes as to how far the program has come over the past couple of seasons. This is a very important year for Houston, they are trying to build off of last year’s momentum and do so against stiffer competition in the new American Athletic Conference. The Cougars certainly have the talent to make another step forward this year and return to a prominent place in the postseason. The question is, will they manage to capitalize on it, or will the turnaround take a bit longer?

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71


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 13-17 (7-9) Final Result: First Round, Conference USA Tournament Top Scorer: Porsche Landry 16.6 ppg Top Rebounder: Yasmeen Thompson, 8.5 rpg

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ISSUE 01


T

HE HOUSTON COUGARS WOMEN’S Basketball program enters the new season in a new conference with new energy and

expectations. Returning nine players (including four starters) from their 2012-13 squad, the Cougars are looking to improve on their 13-17 overall and 7-9 Conference USA records from a year ago. The key for Houston will be to build upon last season’s positives and grow into their berth in

Houston WOMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

the new American Basketball Conference.

KEY RETURNEES: Promising sophomore forward Marche’ Amerson was named to the Conference

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USA All-Freshman Team a year ago after finishing

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second on Houston’s roster with 9.1 points per

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Demetria Foreman

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game (10.1 ppg in conference play). Amerson set a

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Bianca Winslow

G

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12

Destini Texada

F

SR

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Alecia Smith

G

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Yasmeen Thompson

C

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Jessieka Palmer

G

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Yasmeen Thompson, a 2011-12 transfer from

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Marche’ Amerson

F

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Paris Junior College, returns for her final year of

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Marissa Ashton

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eligibility after making a splash last year in her first

25

Mae Woods

C

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Te’onna Campbell

F

SR

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Tyler Gilbert

F

SO

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Terran Alford

F

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Taylor Gilbert

F

FR*

University of Houston freshman record by starting all 30 games. She also placed in the top ten among Houston freshmen all-time in six other categories.

season as a Cougar. Thompson led Conference USA and ranked 10th all-time in the history of Houston Women’s Basketball in field-goal percentage (.553), putting up 8.6 points and pulling down a team-leading 8.5 rebounds per contest.

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*Denotes player was a red shirt

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s a M M on on ate ate ate ate Rice m xa ht A& ingt aba St n St s A& St St Te g i @ i t s h e t Al en View ash xa ipp ster Texa Cr or K e s @ T N s W e @ i ie @ iss rthw air M Pr o N @

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Te’onna Campbell averaged 8.2 rebounds per

a senior after leading the team in average scoring

game last year, ranking her eighth in Conference

(20.1 points per game), rebounding (7 per game),

USA. The senior from Ontario, California ranked

steals (4.1), assists (2.7) and blocks (1).

second on the team last year playing 32.9 minutes per game. Campbell also led the team and was fifth in the conference with 2.5 steals per game. She pulled down an impressive ten boards in the first round of the Conference USA Championships; her seventh game of the season with double-digit rebounds. KEY LOSSES: Houston lost senior guard Porsche Landry to graduation. A First Team All-Conference selection, Landry wrapped up her Cougar career with 1,578 points, ranking seventh on the Houston

In addition, Houston adds 6-foot tall forward Destini Texada, a senior transfer from Houston Baptist. A local product from Elsik High School, Texada started 53 games (of 57 played) for Houston Baptist, averaging 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. The two-time Great West Second Team selection should be expected to immediately provide quality minutes for the Cougars.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 24, 2014: SMU at Houston

charts. She also finished her career in the top ten all-time on 15 different Houston career lists including sixth in steals (232), field goals made (593) and free throws made (310), plus seventh in 3-pointers made (82) and free-throw percentage (.723). She is now playing professionally in Iceland. NEW ADDITIONS: The 2013 Houston recruiting class is made up of two talented Texas guards who look to fill immediate needs for the team. Demetria Foreman played last season at Angelina College averaging 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Freshman Alexia Sanders comes to the University of Houston from College Park High School in The Woodlands, where she earned District 14-5A MVP honors as

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Whenever these two instate rivals collide, it’s time for their respective fanbases to circle the date on the calendars. Houston will be looking to make an early season statement in conference play, one that would only be sweeter against their Texas rival. If Houston can win this game, the team will gain some early conference season momentum that could propel them throughout the rest of their schedule. This tilt will be available on the American Digital Network. Despite playing with five freshmen and nine total newcomers last season, Head Coach Todd Buchanan’s team won ten more contests than they did in 2011-12 and knocked off the top two teams in Conference USA during the regular season. Fans should expect more of the same in 2013-14, the first year of the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars’ first year in the conference is highlighted by 15 home games against squads that reached the postseason a year ago, including defending national champion UConn and national runner-up Louisville. Houston will have plenty of opportunities to prove to their new conference mates that they are to be taken seriously. Overlook them at your own peril.

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75


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 35-5 (14-4) Final Result: NCAA National Champions Top Scorer: Russ Smith, 18.7 ppg Top Rebounder: Gorgui Dieng, 9.4 rpg

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Terry Rozier

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Anton Gill

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NTERING THE 2013-14 SEASON, LOUISVILLE

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has all the pieces necessary to make a second

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consecutive run at an NCAA Championship.

21

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Momentum is certainly on the Cardinals side.

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This is a Louisville program, after all, that rattled

23

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off a 16-game winning streak to end last season

24

Montrezl Harrell

F

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encompassing the Big East tournament and the

44

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E

NCAA Championships. This Cardinals roster—

*Denotes player was a red shirt

mostly intact from a year ago—has proven they play their best in crunch time, which bodes well for

after matching a career high with 31 points against

another deep postseason run this year. The “mostly

Oregon and scoring 23 points against Duke.

intact” roster will have one key change though and thus, one key question. Will Junior College All American point guard Chris Jones be able to replace NBA draftee Peyton Siva?

Before suffering that gruesome, season ending injury in the Elite Eight against Duke, guard Kevin Ware was able to tally 167 points, 66 rebounds, 31 assists, 39 steals and four blocks in the 2012-13

KEY RETURNEES: Although many eyes were

campaign. A valuable sixth man, Ware scored five

trained on Siva, Russ Smith’s 2012-13 season

or more points 18 times off the bench last year.

was attention-grabbing in its own right. The now

In the offseason, Ware had successful surgery to

senior guard played a total of 1218 minutes and

repair his broken right tibia, and is expected to be

led Louisville in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per

performing near 100 percent before the conference

game. Smith, an All Big East First Team selection,

schedule tips off.

scored in double figures in 36 of 40 games last season. The accolades continued to roll in for Smith in the postseason; he was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Midwest Regional powered by

6’8” sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell averaged 16.2 minutes and 5.7 points per game in his freshman frame, but, importantly, he seems to

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i l ’l y d d ky ity tte nd ipp CF gers phis An ville ston fstra rnel ate nt ck or rfiel e t I o C f y u uc @U t s y t S t t e e s a r e o o i m s a l l i k i n n a a f d r a i C H s e e Ru Mem s a F a ch ri P H ur es s i n K K L i h o o @ l R a W a @ F rn a/ S. M ri K fC iss ky @ ian este lin M u s eo uc o i t o g r u n W iss llo Ca Lo Ke M Co th r No

like the big stages. He memorably came alive in

Cardinals than Peyton Siva. He led Louisville to

the Big East Conference Championship game at

two Final Fours, his second and final culminating

Madison Square Garden, scoring a season high

in a National Championship. Siva is a two-time

20 points and grabbing seven rebounds helping

Big East Tournament MVP (2012 and 2013) and was

Louisville win the title. Cincinnati native Chane Behanan was named to

selected 56th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.

the 2013 NCAA Final Four

6’11” Senegalese center

All-Tournament Team

Gorgui Dieng led the Big

and with good reason.

East in blocks, and his 267

In the National Semifinal

career blocks are second

against Wichita State,

most at Louisville. In the

the 6’6” forward was a

2012 NCAA Tournament,

rebound shy of a double

Dieng matched a Louisville

double, with 10 points

high water mark with

and 9 rebounds. Then

seven blocks against

against Michigan in the

Michigan State. He was

Championship game,

drafted 21st overall in the

Behanan recorded 15

2013 NBA Draft and is

points and 12 rebounds.

currently playing for the

However, at this time

Minnesota Timberwolves.

Behanan’s future with the Cardinals is unclear. On October 17th, he was suspended “indefinitely” for violating university policy. Whether or not he suits up, what happens with Behanan will be an important factor in Louisville’s season.

NEW ADDITIONS: No one should be surprised that a Rick Pitino-coached program would attract a stellar incoming class. The crown jewel is Chris Jones, a junior transfer point guard from Northwest Florida Junior College where he was a first-team NJCAA All-American.

KEY LOSSES: Since 2009 there arguably hasn’t

The 2012 Panhandle Conference Player of the

been a more important player suiting up for the

Year averaged 18 points per game for the Division

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1 NJCAA runner-up. The rest of Louisville’s recruiting class is guard-heavy including Anton Gill (Raleigh, NC), Terry Rozier (Cincinnati, OH). Together, the Cardinals’ newcomers ranked as a top-eight recruiting class according to Scout, Rivals and ESPN.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: December 28th: Louisville vs. Kentucky Did you really think there was another option? Yes, Louisville could face North Carolina in the Championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic on November 24th but nothing compares to when these two Bluegrass State rivals get together. Bragging rights for the state of Kentucky are on the line with the outcome of this game, especially in a season when both teams have fielded Championship-caliber squads. Despite losing two key performers from last year’s National Championship team, the Cardinals are still expected to fly high. With Coach Pitino leading another talented Louisville team into the 2013-14 season, the sky truly is the limit for how far this team could go.

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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 29-9 (11-5) Final Result: Runner-Up, NCAA Tournament Top Scorer: Shoni Schimmel, 14.2 ppg Top Rebounder: Sara Hammond, 6.4 rpg

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ISSUE 01


LOUISVILLE woMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

POS

CLASS

00

Sara Hammond

F

JR

2

Monny Niamke

G

SO*

3

Sheronne Vails

C

SR

HE 2012-13 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

4

Antonita Slaughter

G

SR

season was an especially successful one

10

Starr Breedlove

G

SO

in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only did the

12

Shawnta’ Dyer

F

JR*

13

Cortnee Walton

F

SO

15

Megan Deines

G

SO

21

Bria Smith

G

JR

22

Jude Schimmel

G

JR

23

Shoni Schimmel

G

SR

25

Tia Gibbs

G

SR*

same season. With the men poised to be National

31

Asia Taylor

F

SR*

Championship contenders a second year running,

32

Emmonnie Henderson

F

FR

T

men cut down the nets in Atlanta, but the Lady Cards played in the National Championship game as well. Louisville was just one win away from becoming only the second school to claim the men’s and women’s championships in the

the Louisville women are looking to take care of

*Denotes player was a red shirt

some unfinished business. As remarkable as it is that the 2012-13 Lady Cards reached the Final Four in general, it’s arguably even more remarkable how they got to New Orleans. Louisville faced down a murderer’s row of storied programs to punch their ticket to the Final Four. The Cardinals pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NCAA tournament history stopping Brittney Griner and defending National Champion Baylor in the Sweet 16. Before losing at the hands of the Cardinals, Griner and company had won 74 of their prior 75 games. With every opportunity for a letdown after staving off Baylor’s furious second-half comeback attempt, it was business as usual for Louisville in beating Tennessee in the

KEY RETURNEES: Shoni Schimmel, a 5’9” guard, has been one of Louisville’s most important talents. Last year the Mission, Oregon native led the Cardinals with 14.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. In the postseason, Schimmel was selected as the Most Outstanding Player for the NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Regional. Entering the 2013-14 campaign, Schimmel, was named to the prestigious 2013-14 Preseason State Farm Wade Watch list (from which the winner of the State Farm Wade Trophy for Outstanding Woman Player of the Year is chosen), by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Elite Eight, then California in the Final Four before

Louisville native Antonita Slaughter, played in all

ultimately running out of gas versus American

38 games for the Cardinals a season ago. In the

Athletic Conference rival UConn in the National

epic Round of 16 win against Baylor referenced

Championship game.

earlier; Slaughter brought the pain from the

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ille llege Co P la o y Lo v ike

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y e o U le te te io tate ky ky ati USF ea ad SM mp n tat uc uc i Sta t Sta r P Oh n S S t t i @ lo n n n a ll r Te inc sti Co @ Ba igh rid n Ke @Ke sou C u r o l @ A is W F ter M es W @

backcourt. She didn’t just score 21 points—the

Bria Smith played in all 38 games for Louisville a

6’1” guard did it all from behind the arc . For her

year ago, starting 32. Not surprising for a player

season as a whole, she finished third in scoring

who started as much as Smith did, she contributed

contributing an average of 10.1 points per game.

regularly in multiple facets of the game. She

Look for Slaughter to be an even more forceful

averaged 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists

presence in her senior campaign.

and just shy of a block per game. Again Smith, will

Junior forward Sara Hammond, was second on the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game. Standing 6’2,” Hammond also led the team in

be counted on to bring her diverse skill set to the table if this team looks to match, let alone exceed the success of their immediate predecessors.

rebounding with 6.4 per game and tied for the

KEY LOSSES: Monique Reid, who made the game

team lead with 34 blocks.

winning free throws in the Baylor upset, was the

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only player who had played on both Women’s Final Four teams at the University of Louisville (2009, 2013). In her final season, the Louisville native averaged 9.2 points per game and shot 53 percent from the floor. NEW ADDITIONS: For the 2013-14 season, Louisville has a lone freshman joining their roster in Emmonnie Henderson from Edwardsville, Illinois. Whether she’s dominating on the basketball court or holding court inside a 400-meter track, you can’t dispute Henderson’s athletic skill set. On the basketball court, Henderson, scored 1,806 points in her career and averaged 15.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in her senior year at Edwardsville High School. She also holds the Illinois state shot put record at 50 feet, 9.5 inches.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: March 3, 2014: Louisville vs. UConn Remember the National Championship game last year? Well, this year Louisville and UConn will be competing for at least an American Athletic Conference Championship. The defending National Champion and runner-up are expected to be the top two teams in the American this season as well. UConn will play the Cardinals twice this season, but their meeting in March could have regular season championship implications. This year, Louisville will try and build on their awe-inspiring run in the NCAA tournament last year, hoping to go one step further. Luckily for the Cardinals they return most of their roster from last year including two Preseason All-Conference selections in Antonita Slaughter and Shoni Schimmel. If the Cardinals can build on their momentum from last year, it’s not out of the question for the team to make back-to-back Final Four trips, or more.

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83


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 31-5 (16-0) Final Result: Third Round, NCAA Tournament Top Scorer: Joe Jackson, 13.6 ppg Top Rebounder: D.J. Stephens, 6.6 rpg

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Pictured: Chris Crawford

ISSUE 01


Memphis MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

POS

CLASS

35

Anthony Cole

G

SO

3

Chris Crawford

G

SR

10

Markel Crawford

G

FR

11

Michael Dixon Jr.

G

SR

32

Trey Draper

G

SR

season. Despite all of that winning, Memphis

2

Shaq Goodwin

F

SO

basketball has never received the recognition

23

Kuran Iverson

G-F

FR

nationally that many thought it deserved. With

1

Joe Jackson

G

SR

the move to the American Athletic Conference,

55

Geron Johnson

G

SR

Memphis will get to prove to its fellow league

5

Nick King

G-F

FR

members (along with the nation) that they are, in

42

Jake McDowell

G-F

FR

4

Austin Nichols

F

FR

12

David Pellom

F

GS

Facing a loaded schedule in and out of conference

20

RaShawn Powell

G

FR

play, Memphis will rely on a roster that is

14

Hippolyte Tsafack

F

JR

experienced, deep, and talented, especially its

0

Damien Wilson

G

SO

backcourt. The vaunted backcourt, which some

15

Dominic Woodson

F

FR

INCE BEING NAMED THE MEMPHIS TIGERS

S

Head Coach in 2009, Josh Pastner has guided the Tigers to an average of 26.2 victories per

fact, as good as advertised.

publications have ranked the best in the country,

*Denotes player was a red shirt

includes Missouri transfer Michael Dixon, plus returning Tigers Geron Johnson, Chris Crawford,

In the 2012-13 season Geron Johnson was

and Joe Jackson, all of whom have averaged at

the team’s third-leading scorer (10.4 ppg) and

least 10 points per game at the Division I level.

rebounder (4.6 rpg); while also finishing second

KEY RETURNEES: In three decorated seasons with Memphis, Joe Jackson became the first player in history to win the Conference USA Tournament MVP two years in a row and topped even that by being named the Conference USA Player of

on the team in both steals (59) and assists (117). With those numbers it was not surprising to see the Dayton, Ohio native earn All-Conference USA third team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) second team honors.

the Year as a junior. The 6’1” guard shot a stellar

Chris Crawford was named to the preseason All-

51.9 percent from the field and contributed 13.6

Conference USA Second Team a year ago and will

points per game last season. With an extra year

be a very important part of Memphis’ success

of experience under his belt, Jackson could be an

this year, especially if Coach Pastner goes to a

even more important presence on the court

four-guard lineup. Crawford has the presence of

this year.

a bigger guard that can knock down threes while

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k e e e a a n n ’s O rs eay tate ati ville ple SF BD M tat Roc orid n tat Sien tat on ph we T U he P E s n m t S S S S s C i l i O e e S @ o e n c s U a F l n n u T r n tt Jo Br usti om ne oll so @ Lo Ci ste s-Li ck h oy ch @ an int A e i i a a a t a l M J w ns N S ris Le Ok rth U/ a @ Ch LS No Ark

holding his own in the post against opposing fours. His ability to create mismatches on the offensive end without being a defensive liability is a major asset. KEY LOSSES: Adonis Thomas, a 6’7” guard/forward, last season ranked second for Memphis in scoring (11.7 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (4.5 per game). The local Memphis native was a Third-Team All-Conference USA selection. Thomas entered the NBA draft after last season. D.J. Stephens, a 6’6” forward, was the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and a third-team All-Conference USA selection in 2012-13. Stephens recorded a conference-best 95 blocked shots, the fourth-most in a season by a Memphis player. After graduation, Stephens is playing professional basketball in Greece. Tarik Black, a 6-foot-9 big man, was a big time prospect coming out of high school but didn’t quite find his projected form at Memphis. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 2012-13 before transferring to Kansas this upcoming season. NEW ADDITIONS: Josh Pastner took a page from his predecessor John Calipari’s playbook this past year when he brought in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. This Memphis 2013 class is right up there with some of the very best in the country. Six freshmen are considered top 100 recruits, including: Kuran Iverson, Nick

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King, Markel Crawford and Rashawn Powell. Austin Nichols leads the way as a five-star recruit and the 17th ranked recruit in the nation, according to Rivals. In addition to the freshmen, there’s also significant excitement around Michael Dixon. The Missouri transfer, who gives Memphis a fourth senior guard, averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists before transferring to Memphis after the 2011-12 season.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 8, 2014: Gonzaga at Memphis. These two programs have historically been two of the top non-BCS teams and this should be a nice showcase game for both programs. In 2013-14 Memphis and Gonzaga will once again get to showcase their talent on a national stage. ESPN GameDay will be in Memphis for this tilt and televising the game. The key to the 2013-14 Memphis Tigers season will be their chemistry. Memphis is loaded with talented players at every position, so their success will boil down to chemistry, health and how the individual stars accept their new roles. If the chips fall right, watch out. Pastner and his Memphis Tigers could make a deep run in March.

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87


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 17-15 (8-8) Final Result: First Round, Conference USA Tournament Top Scorer: Nicole Dickson, 18.5 ppg Top Rebounder: Nicole Dickson, 7.0 rpg

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ISSUE 01


MEMPHIS WOMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

POS

CLASS

21

Asianna Fuqua-Bey

F

SO

33

Brandi Goodman

F

FR

12

Ariel Hearn

G

SO

15

Pa’Sonna Hope

F

SR

23

Jaymie Jackson

G

SO

34

Devin Mack

G

SR

hard by the injury bug last season, so if the

32

Courtney Powell

F

SO

Tigers can stay healthy this season, they can

24

Mooriah Rowser

G

FR*

expect significant improvement versus last year.

1

Breigha Wilder-Cochran

G

FR

3

Taylor Williams

G

FR

E

NTERING THE 2013-14 SEASON, MEMPHIS’ Lady Tigers return seven players from last year’s 17-15 WNIT team, Memphis was hit

KEY RETURNEES: Guard Ariel Hearn who

*Denotes player was a red shirt

appeared in all 32 contests for the Tigers last year was a Conference USA All-Freshman Team honoree. She finished last season as the team’s second-leading scorer with 13.8 points per game and was also the team’s assist leader, with 109 over the course of the season. Hearn’s 2012-13 campaign marked the first time in 30 years that a Memphis freshman had 100 assists in a single season. 6’2” senior forward Pa’Sonna Hope, a Cleveland, Ohio native transferred to Memphis from Ole Miss last season also appeared in all 32 games for Memphis last season. Hope scored double-digit points in four of Memphis’ first seven games, including a Memphis-career best 14 points in the loss to eventual NCAA tournament team University of Arkansas Little Rock. She had a career-best 13 rebounds in the win over UTEP. Hope’s experience will be counted on to help lead a team expected

Mooriah Rowser got her freshman season off to a flying start a year ago, averaging 12 points and 4.7 rebounds per game before a season-ending knee injury in the Preseason WNIT. The 5’9” guard, who made the Dean’s List during her first semester as a Tiger will be looking to make up for lost time as she returns to the Roane Fieldhouse for what she and the Tiger faithful hope will be her first full season.

KEY LOSSES: Nicole Dickson, who wrapped up her Memphis career in 2012-13, finished 10th all time on the Memphis scoring list with 1,656 points. Dickson also finished her Tigers career 7th on the rebound list with 785 boards. In 2012-13, Dickson, was named to the Conference USA All-Conference First Team, was the Conference Player of the Week four times, and was the CollegeSportsMadness. com conference Player of the Year.

to mostly play four sophomores who saw

NEW ADDITIONS: Brandi Goodman, who played

significant minutes a year ago.

at Obion County Central High School in Troy,

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Tennessee, was a three-time all-state honoree and helped her high school team to the state championship game in 2012. Goodman was named the District 13 AA MVP, along with being named to the all-region 7AA regular season and all-tournament teams. Breigha Wilder-Cochran, a 6’1” combo guard, was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 6A all-state team and recognized as The Birmingham News Area Player of the Year in 2013. Wilder-Cochran was a three-star recruit according to ESPNHoopgurlz.com, and was the 28th ranked guard in the 2013 class. She averaged 10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest at Hoover High School. Taylor Williams joins the Memphis Women’s Basketball program from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas. In her senior year, Williams averaged 13.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 22, 2014: Memphis vs. SMU Heading into the first season of the American Athletic Conference, Memphis was picked to finish sixth in the league’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll, while SMU was picked to finish fifth. This late February matchup will be very important to see if Memphis will be returning to the NIT or if they’re NCAA tournament bound. Yes, every

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game is important, but conference games against teams take on a heightened importance for teams looking for NCAA at large bids, especially home games. Memphis will want to build on their success from a year ago and if they can stay fully healthy they should be in position to do just that. With the emergence of Ariel Hearn and a solid incoming class Memphis could challenge for a top spot in the American Athletic Conference from there, the distance to the Big Dance in March is not very far at all.

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91


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 15-16 (5-13) Final Result: Second Round, Big East Tournament Top Scorer: Eli Carter, 14.9 ppg Top Rebounder: Wally Judge, 5.4 rpg

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Pictured: Jerome Seagears

ISSUE 01


O

N PLAYGROUNDS AROUND THE WORLD,

RUTGERS MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

hoop dreams are born, raised and in most cases die under the harsh glare of reality.

For Eddie Jordan, basketball turned out to be his

NO

NAME

POS

CLASS

Plan A. In 1976, as Rutgers’ starting point guard,

15

Craig Brown

G-F

JR

Jordan contributed an average of 14 points per

55

D’Von Campbell

G

JR

10

Junior Etou

F

FR

1

Kadeem Jack

F

JR*

33

Wally Judge

F

SR*

30

Logan Kelly

G

SO

Malick Kone

G-F

JR

After being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers,

35

Greg Lewis

F

SO*

Jordan spent seven seasons playing in the NBA.

4

Myles Mack

G

JR

44

J.J. Moore

F

SR

3

Kerwin Okoro

G-F

SO

1

Jerome Seagears

G

JR

21

Stephen Zurich

F

SO*

game to a team which went undefeated in the regular season and all the way to the NCAA Final Four. A year later, Jordan officially made the sport his career.

While superstardom may have eluded him, a ring did not. Eddie Jordan—no relation—was a part of the “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers (alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kurt Rambis) that won the NBA Championship in 1982.

*Denotes player was a red shirt

After his playing career ended, Jordan turned his sights to the bench. To date, he’s earned 28 years

Big East in free throw percentage (.882) and

of coaching experience, including three stints as

three-point field goal percentage (.462). Off

an NBA head coach.

the court, Mack was named to the Big East’s

This season, Jordan takes on a new challenge, returning to the banks of the Raritan as Rutgers’ University’s new Head Coach. Over 30 years

weekly honor roll twice. Mack’s intelligence and offensive output will be key to Coach Jordan getting the most out of his young squad.

after the end of his playing days, Jordan’s school

Jerome Seagears is a man to watch as he

records in assists (585) and steals (220) still stand.

enters his Junior season for Rutgers. Like Mack,

The question coming into this season is will he be

Seagears competed in all 31 games last year,

able to nurture talent capable of breaking them.

notching a few standout performances. As a

KEY RETURNEES: Returning for his junior year is 5’9” guard Myles Mack. Mack started all 31 games last season, averaging 13.6 points per contest. Mack scored in double figures 23 times, led the team in assists (83) steals (56) and time on court, on the floor for an average of 30.3 minutes per game. A sharp-shooter by nature, Mack led the

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sophomore, he scored a career-high 21 points against an always-tough UConn team, shooting 8-15 from the floor. If Seagears can progress to making strong displays such as those a more regular occurrence across their competitive schedule, Seagears could be a key component of a resurgence for the Scarlet Knights.

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Also returning is redshirt senior Wally Judge. In

Senior transfer J.J. Moore received an NCAA

the 2012-13 campaign, Judge started 30 of the 31

exemption to play this season, moving from Pitt

games while shooting a team-best 52.6 percent

to be nearer his ill grandfather. Moore checks in

from the field. A 2011 transfer student from Kansas

at 6’6,” 215 pounds with a 37-inch vertical leap

State, Judge is capable of playing three different

that allows him to attack the rim on both ends of

positions for the Knights and could end up sharing

the floor. Stats aside, Moore provides depth and

captain duties with Mack.

experience to Jordan’s young squad.

KEY LOSSES: These 2013-14 Scarlet Knights will

CIRCLE THIS DATE: Dec. 8, 2013:

be without 6’8” fan favorite, Austin Johnson.

Rutgers vs. Seton Hall

Johnson was a crafty role player who by the time he reached his senior season he’d gained a solid 25 pounds since his freshman year and assumed a leadership role within the team. On court, Johnson’s midrange presence, which created numerous scoring opportunities for his teammates, will be missed.

NEW ADDITIONS: By the time Jordan was tapped in April, many top high school recruits had already signed elsewhere. Nonetheless, there is still excitement around a couple of additions to this year’s Scarlet Knights, one being Junior Etou. The Congo-born 6’7” freshman forward comes from Bishop O’ Connell High School in Arlington,

The Scarlet Knights versus fierce cross-state rival Seton Hall. This year the Pirates will have to weather both the Knights and the noise, playing at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC), frequently cited as one of the loudest arenas in all of college basketball. It’s not news to say that Rutgers’ offseason wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. That said, Jordan has already taken some of the most important steps toward putting the program on solid footing once more—fielding a squad that can be competitive in one of the country’s toughest basketball conferences.

Va. where he was named a Rivals 150 recruit on the back of averaging a double-double, (14.8 points and 10.1 boards) as a senior. Rutgers won’t be Etou’s first taste of big-time basketball though; Jordan coached him on an AAU 17U team and his cousin is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.

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95


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 16-14 (7-10) Final Result: Quarterfinals, Big East Tournament Top Scorer: Erica Wheeler, 10.5 ppg Top Rebounder: Betnijah Laney, 5.0 rpg

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Pictured: Betnijah Laney

ISSUE 01


A

FTER BECOMING ONE OF ONLY THREE

RUTGERS woMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER

women’s basketball coaches to reach 900 wins, Rutgers Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer,

a Naismith Hall of Famer, looks to lead her beloved

NO

NAME

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squad to a strong debut in the American Athletic

33

Alex Alfano

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Conference. While Stringer has been installed as

22

Alexis Burke

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JR*

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Ariel Butts

F-C

SO

4

Briyona Canty

G

SO*

2

Kahleah Copper

G

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Syessence Davis

G

JR

One of the loudest buildings in all of college

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Christa Evans

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basketball, the RAC’s trapezoidal design keeps

1

Rachel Hollivay

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fan noise in and the team is doing plenty this

44

Betnijah Laney

G-F

JR

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G

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Tyler Scaife

G

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Rutgers’ head coach since 1995, there are changes afoot at the Rutgers Athletic Center, affectionately known as the RAC.

season to fill the stands. Rutgers fans’ game day experience will be enhanced by a new state of the art video board and sound system that was

*Denotes player was a red shirt

installed in the off-season. The enhancements should help Stringer’s squad be able to depend even more on the sixth woman as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last year for the first time in a decade.

KEY RETURNEES: This season Coach Stringer will rely heavily on a relatively young roster. After starting in 29 of the team’s 30 games a year ago, junior guard/forward Betnijah Laney is back and looking to contribute even more this year. Laney reached double figures 14 times; one of which came on the night of Coach Stringers’ 900th win, when Lacey contributed 20 points against American Conference opponent, USF. Also re-taking the floor this season will be rising star Kahleah Copper. Copper is coming off of a redhot freshman season with the Scarlet Knights in which she was named to the Big East All Freshman Team. Even before her freshman season, Copper was named the fifth best wing player according to

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ESPNU HoopGurlz. After gaining some valuable

Player of the Year built quite the resume even

experience in that freshman campaign, Copper will

before arriving on the banks of the Raritan. During

be one to follow in the near future.

her senior season she led her high school team

KEY LOSSES: Missing from Rutgers’ 2013-14 squad will be sharp shooter Erica Wheeler. In her final season as a Scarlet Knight, Wheeler averaged 10.5 points per game. She ranks 10th in career three-point attempts (322) and percentages (.326). Known primarily as an offensive threat, she once accumulated 65 points over a stretch of four games. Wheeler begins her first professional season in Puerto Rico this month.

to a 30-2 overall record, closing her career with a state championship. In that senior season, Scaife averaged 23.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Scaife made her first major appearance on a national stage at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBAC) High School All-America Game at the Final Four in New Orleans where she was named MVP after posting 17 points, shooting 47.1% from the floor. Shortly after, she was invited to participate in the 2013 USA Basketball U19

Also departing from this year’s team will be

Championship Team trials in Colorado Springs,

6’2” Monique Oliver. Oliver provided some

Colorado—a privilege awarded to only 34 of the

much-needed height, which benefited her both

nation’s top athletes. Under the guidance of one

defensively and offensively. She entered her

of the game’s top coaches, the ninth overall recruit

senior year as a Preseason All-Big East selection.

(ESPNU HoopGurlz) steps further onto a national

A recurring ankle injury prevented Oliver and,

stage with the Scarlet Knights.

in turn, the Scarlet Knights from reaching their potential. She ended her career ranked sixth in the Rutgers’ record books with 144 blocked shots, demonstrating continuous improvement each season.

Over the summer, Rutgers’ also acquired a late addition to their 2013-14 team, freshman Alex Alfano. A New Jersey native, Alfano guided her team to four high school division championships and earned the opportunity to compete in her

NEW ADDITIONS: With a young core of returning

conference’s All-Star Game. Finishing the season

players, Coach Stringer went after recruits

with an overall record of 29-2, Alfano averaged 10.4

who could have an immediate impact on the

points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.

upcoming season and she definitely seems to

The Scarlet Knights’ new sharpshooter is also

have succeeded in attracting guard Tyler Scaife

expected to contribute early and often this season.

from Little Rock, Arkansas. The two-time Gatorade

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CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 4, 2014: Rutgers vs. Houston The University of Houston will visit the RAC for Rutgers’ first home game as a member of the American conference. Coach Stringer knows the importance of bringing the best out of her players. As the Scarlet Knights welcome back eight letter winners and integrate two blue-chip recruits, the team will look to get back to where they belong, the very upper echelons of women’s basketball and the NCAA Tournament. With Coach Stringer’s usual defense-first strategy and an improved lineup of shooters it won’t just be the renovated building keeping Scarlet Knights fans captivated this season.

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99


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 12-19 (3-15) Final Result: First Round, Big East Tournament Top Scorer: Victor Rudd, 12.3 ppg Top Rebounder: Victor Rudd, 6.9 rpg

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Pictured: Victor Rudd

ISSUE 01


USF MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

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Musa Abdul-Aleem

G

JR

4

Corey Allen Jr.

G

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Martino Brock

G

SR

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Dre’ Clayton

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G

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Javontae Hawkins

G

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Josh Heath

G

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Zach LeDay

F

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looking to rebound and book their second trip

15

Shemiye McLendon

G

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to the NCAA tournament in three seasons. To

35

Jordan Omogbehin

C

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succeed, both the new and established parts of

23

Chris Perry

F-C

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Heath’s squad will need to make an immediate

2

Victor Rudd

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impact. If they succeed, USF could make their

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A

FTER A TOUGH 2012-13 SEASON THAT saw USF lose 14 of their first 15 conference contests, USF Head Coach Stan Heath

shook up his assistant coaching ranks and pounded the pavement to build a talented recruiting class. The goal? These USF Bulls are

presence felt in the American and beyond.

KEY RETURNEES: Victor Rudd, a native of Los Angeles, California, was key to USF’s success on both ends of the floor, he finished the 2012-13 season as both the team’s leading scorer, racking up 12.3 points per contest, and rebounder with 6.9 boards per game. Named to the American Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference Second Team, the 6’9” redshirt senior forward, was the lone Bull to average double figures in points a season ago. Rudd’s career hit its stride after transferring from Arizona State in 2010 and

*Denotes player was a red shirt

Like Rudd, Anthony Collins was selected to the American Athletic Conference Preseason AllConference Second Team. The 6’1” junior guard was key to the USF offense, leading the Bulls with 194 assists last year. A natural distributor, after just two years in Heath’s program, he already ranks 10th in USF men’s basketball history with 355 assists. The Houston, Texas native also finished his sophomore campaign with 8.6 points per game, good for third best on the squad.

especially last season, when he was named the

KEY LOSSES: Tampa product Toarlyn Fitzpatrick

USBWA National Player of the Week and the Big

played four seasons for the Bulls. While he may no

East Player of the Week on December 23rd.

longer be on the court, Fitzpatrick’s name continues

On an individual level, Rudd is 507 points away

to be writ large all over the USF record book.

from securing a slot among USF’s top ten

He finished his career with a 3-point field goal

all-time scorers. Of course, to a USF program

percentage of .389, the best in program history. He

on the comeback trail those points would mean

played 132 games at USF, also a high-water mark

even more.

for the team. Fitzpatrick also has the ninth most

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e y n ti h an een tson tate troit son ama oast &M tate lara phis ley to mpl SMU nna sit Tec d s m r a A S S C e a k e u G e i M D ab a fC a ee oo @ inci em St ma Br Ho @T n Al Gul orid sipp ant ss M C @ ge ing C o U e l r e l S h n s / i a F eo s la V d rry Ten hun Bow i s k L G a i r t O B M @ @ UN Flo Be @ @ r ive

rebounds in school history (672) and is seventh on

ESPN’s 23rd ranked power forward nationally,

the all-time USF career blocks list with 112. With

Chris Perry isn’t projected for the starting roster

Fitzpatrick gone to graduation, the Bulls will need

just yet, but he nonetheless looks to

more contributions from the remaining members

be a significant addition to this year’s Bulls. A

of their frontcourt especially Rudd and emerging

6’8” power forward with a 7’3” wingspan,

sophomore forward Zach LeDay.

Perry has local ties, he averaged 13.3 points and

Jawanza Poland, from Wichita, Kansas, played 31 games last year and finished the 2012-13

11.2 rebounds per game at Bartow High School last season.

season third on the USF team with 31 steals.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: December 31, 2013:

A transfer from Hutchinson Community College,

USF vs. Memphis

Poland finished his final season at USF, as the Bulls’ fourth leading scorer, averaging 8.4 points per game.

NEW ADDITIONS: Coach Heath infused his program with copious young talent for this first season in the American. ESPN ranked his 2013 recruiting class 22nd in the nation and third in The American. This promising class is led by two major additions to his frontcourt in center John Egbunu and power forward Chris Perry. A 6’10” center, Egbunu may jump right into the Bulls’ starting lineup. With a reported 40-inch vertical leap, Egbunu’s athleticism is sparking fully warranted enthusiasm around his debut at the Sun Dome. The highly touted freshman from Fort Walton Beach, Florida was a consensus top ten-ranked recruit at his position for Rivals, Scout and ESPN, where he was ranked 64th overall on the ESPN100.

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Welcome to The American Conference, USF. The Bulls will open their conference schedule against a familiar foe, Memphis. If USF believes it can contend for a league championship and a make a push to get back to the NCAA tournament this would be a great game to win. Memphis figures to finish towards the top of the league, and if USF can knock them off early on, it should give the rest of the roster plenty of confidence going forward. Added Bonus: The game will be nationally televised on ESPN 2. South Florida will be bigger and better in 2013-14 than they were a season ago, however the question that remains is, will that translate into a better record within the Conference. The Bulls will be tested early on with a challenging nonconference slate that includes Oklahoma State, Alabama, Florida Gulf Coast, and UNLV. If the Bulls can charge out of those games in form and continue to play the way that Stan Heath wants them too, a return to the heights of two seasons ago, and yes, the NCAA tournament is possible.

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103


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 22-11 (9-7) Final Result: Second Round, Big East Tournament Top Scorer: Andrea Smith, 16.3 ppg Top Rebounder: Alisia Jenkins, 6.2 rpg

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Pictured: Inga Orekhova

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Paige Cashin

F-C

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Alisia Jenkins

F

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Jayla King

G-F

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Micah Kroll

G

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Laura Marcos Canedo

G

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AST SEASON ENDED IN STRONG FASHION

5

Trimaine McCullough

G

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for the USF Bulls, with the program’s second

32

Akila McDonald

C

SR

trip to the NCAA tournament. They won their

15

Shavontae Naylor

G

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first round over Texas Tech and took eventual Final

13

Inga Orekhova

G

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Neena Pacholke

G

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G

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Four team, California, to overtime in the second round. Now, having been invited back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2006, Head Coach Jose Fernandez and his team are looking to not only capture a return ticket this season, but to stay a bit longer this go-round. First things first, to earn a tournament berth, USF will likely need to post the fifth 20-win season of Fernandez’s tenure.

*Denotes player was a red shirt

KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Inga Orekhova, who

6’1” forward Alisia Jenkins had a breakout

was born in Sevastapol, Ukraine, was named to

freshman season at USF being named to the

the preseason All-American Conference team.

2012-13 Big East All-Freshman Team. She played

Orekhova will be USF’s leading returning scorer

in 32 games, and was installed as a starter in mid-

from last year when she averaged 12.7 points per

season, starting in the team’s final 22 games. The

game, but it’s not all offense from the 6’2” senior

Statesboro, Georgia native recorded 200 points

guard. Orekhova also finished last year with 37

and 199 rebounds in her freshman season giving

blocks, which put her 12th all-time for a single

the team high hopes that they’ve only seen the

season at USF.

beginning of what Jenkins can bring to the Bulls.

Orekhova isn’t the only USF player capable of

KEY LOSSES: Andrea Smith, who graduated from

dishing out rejections, Decatur, Georgia native

USF in 2013, started in 29 of USF’s 33 games a

Akila McDonald had 57 blocks last season to lead

year ago, after redshirting the prior year due to an

the team and rank 4th all time. The 6’4” center

ACL tear. She returned to lead the team with 16.3

started 25 of USF’s 33 games last year and brought

points per game and was a unanimous selection to

a defensive intensity that served her team well.

the All Big East First Team. Her 538 total points, put her 7th all time on USF’s single-season points list,

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while her career average of 16.4 points/game

NEW ADDITIONS: With success on the basketball

puts her fourth in school history in career

court comes success on the recruiting trail. Thus,

scoring average.

there should be no surprise that following a run to

Andrea’s twin sister Andrell Smith also graduated last year. An All Big East second team selection, Smith was the only player on the USF roster last year to start all 33 games. A transfer from Gulf Coast Community College in 2010, she finished her USF career with 1,027 points, ranking her 16th on the Bulls’ all time list, she also finished 7th all-time in assists with 317 and 14th in steals with 157.

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the NCAA tournament, this USF class is one of the deepest in in Fernandez’s tenure. The class includes Ariadna Pujol, a standout 6’1” guard from Spain who led Spain’s U17 team to a second place finish in the World Championships. She’s played on her national junior team since 2007. The 2013 class also includes transfer Tamara Taylor, a junior guard ranked as the 17th best JUCO prospect by the

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Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. The best of the bunch could very well be freshman guard Trimaine McCullough, a top-100 recruit who led Edgewater High School in Orlando to two consecutive Florida state championships.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: February 16, 2014: USF vs. UConn For a program with national aspirations, there is no bigger measuring stick game than one against the UConn Huskies. For their part, the athletic department is already telling its fans to pack the Sun Dome and act as the 6th woman for the Bulls’ showdown with the defending National Champion. For those who can’t be in Tampa, this contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. This might be Jose Fernandez’ most important season since becoming the coach in 2000. With their recent success, the Bulls will have a higher profile than ever before. The Bulls will be appearing on national television multiple times this year and they’ll be looming larger on every opposing coach’s radar. With a loaded roster and recent success, the bar for the Bulls is set even higher in 2013-14. If USF can get the most out of their recruits, they should be well positioned to build off last year’s success. The Sweet 16 would be one step further for this team, but let’s be honest: Why stop there?

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A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 15-17 (5-11) Final Result: First Round, Conference USA Tournament Top Scorer: Jalen Jones, 14.0 ppg Top Rebounder: Jalen Jones, 7.7 rpg

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Pictured: Nick Russell

ISSUE 01


SMU MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

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POS

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3

Sterling Brown

G

FR

15

Cannen Cunningham

C

JR

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Kevin Dunleavy

G

JR

4

Keith Frazier

G

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13

Crandall Head

G

JR*

21

Jalen Jones

G

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5

Markus Kennedy

F

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Ryan Manuel

G

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Ben Moore

F

FR

Methodist University (SMU) a year ago to

11

Nic Moore

G

SO*

rejuvenate their men’s basketball program.

35

Yanick Moreira

C

JR

For their part, the Mustangs would have been hard

24

Jean-Micheal Mudiay

G

JR

pressed to find a more experienced man to take on

12

Nick Russell

G

SR*

the job. With NCAA, NBA and Olympic titles to his

20

Jonathan Wilfong

G

FR

name, Brown certainly knows how to build and get

2

Shawn Williams

F

SR*

L

ARRY BROWN WAS HIRED BY SOUTHERN

the best out of a team. This year, SMU sports a strong recruiting class and a coach eager to prove that he still has “it.” As such, these Mustangs are expected to build significantly on last season’s 15-17 record and perhaps even put themselves in contention for an NCAA tournament berth.

KEY RETURNEES: Nick Russell, a 6’5” guard who sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring from Kansas State, led SMU in assists (4.3 per game) and minutes (35.9 per game) a year ago, while tying for the lead in scoring with 14.0 points per game. A redshirt senior who hails from

*Denotes player was a red shirt

Jones also led the Mustangs in second chances averaging 7.7 rebounds per game. Jones recorded nine double doubles on the season and became the seventh SMU player to have at least 700 points and 350 rebounds after his sophomore season. In 2012-13, Cannen Cunningham averaged 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and led SMU in blocks with 1.8 per game. Cunningham, from nearby Arlington, Texas is now 10th all-time in school history with 77 blocked shots and counting. The 6’10” junior center also led SMU in field goal percentage (50.7%).

Duncanville, Texas, Russell posted double-digit

KEY LOSSES: After one season playing at SMU,

point totals in every game but five, including 17

Brian Bernardi will play the remaining three years

straight contests from January 2nd until March 9th.

of his eligibility elsewhere. The Staten Island

Tied with Russell for the scoring lead was Dallas native Jalen Jones. In addition to scoring,

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native, contributed 11.5 minutes per game as a true freshman and was best known for his range, shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. the american campus insiders

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NEW ADDITIONS: In addition to his skills as a head coach, SMU brought on Larry Brown for his ability to attract prime recruits. The Class of 2013 has Brown’s handprints all over it. This year’s class includes shooting guard Keith Frazier, a highly touted local product. The fourth-ranked shooting guard at Rivals.com, Frazier led his high school, Kimball, to the Texas 4A State title game. After averaging 23.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists (while hitting 43 percent of his 3-pointers) as a high school senior, Frazier is expected to contend for significant playing time in his first season. 6’11” Yanick Moreira was the No. 1 junior college power forward, according to Rivals.com. The Angola-native was also a junior college first team All-American. He averaged 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for South Plains who he led to a 36-0 mark a season ago. The junior is also looking to contend for significant minutes in his first season with the Mustangs. Guard Nic Moore transferred from Illinois State a year ago and sat out last season due to NCAA eligibility regulations. In his one season at Illinois State, Moore started 29 of 35 games and was named to the All-Valley Freshman Team averaging ten points and 3.9 rebounds per game, he has three years of eligibility remaining. In addition to Moore, 6’9” power forward Markus Kennedy joins SMU from Villanova, as does shooting guard Crandall Head from Illinois after sitting out a season.

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CIRCLE THIS DATE: March 8, 2014: SMU at Memphis Two of the most talented teams in the new American Athletic conference will meet on the last day of the regular season. Do you think there will be something riding on this one? Absolutely. Both teams will be competing for the league title along with seeding in the conference tournament. So tune into ESPN/ESPN2 at 11AM on March 8th to watch this one unfold. Larry Brown may have been just 15-17 in his first season behind the SMU bench, but he is just getting started. In his second season, there should be a vast improvement in play all over the court. Each member of the starting five returns, more seasoned. Plus the Mustangs import significant talent in both transfers and incoming freshmen. At the very least, this SMU team should be one no one wants to face as the season winds down. If the pieces fall into place as Brown expects, SMU will make major strides and could very well be in the mix for an NCAA tournament berth. One of Coach Brown’s best traits as a basketball coach is being a great tactician able to maximize the talent in his care. In that respect at least, expect nothing to change this season.

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111


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 21-10 (12-4) Final Result: First Round, NIT Top Scorer: Kenna Mays, 18.4 ppg Top Rebounder: Akil Simpson, 8.1 rpg

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SMU WOMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

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Korina Baker

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Morgan Bolton

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Kamy Cole

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F

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Southern Methodist University (SMU) women’s

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basketball program as Head Coach. That’s an

24

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impressive run, but her history with the program

25

Krystal Johnson

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goes deeper. Three decades after Rompola last

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laced up her sneakers as a player for SMU, she

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HONDA ROMPOLA IS SYNONYMOUS WITH SMU Lady Mustang basketball. This year, she enters her 23rd season leading the

still holds single-season records for scoring and free throw percentage. In the ensuing years, Rompola has built on her legacy, guiding her alma mater to over 400 wins as Head Coach

*Denotes player was a red shirt

including nine 20-win seasons.

KEY RETURNEES: In addition to coaching her

As Mays is to the Mustangs offense, her fellow

team to a Conference USA regular season

senior Akil Simpson is to the defense. Standing at

championship, Rhonda Rompola reached an

6 feet even, the forward was a rebounding force

individual milestone last year, celebrating

through all 31 games for the Mustangs. Simpson

her 400th career victory against the University

averaged 8.1 boards per game last season, leading

of Tulsa. As Rompola focuses on growing

her team and good for ninth in the conference.

the program’s success, the Mustangs will

Not to say Simpson was an offensive slouch, on

return a similar lineup that attributed to last

the contrary, she led SMU in field goal percentage,

year’s highpoints.

hitting 47.7% of her shots last year. After capturing

Leading this year’s edition of the Mustangs is senior guard, Keena Mays. Mays, last season’s Conference USA Player of the Year, enters her final season looking to win those same honors

a regular season conference championship a year ago, the Mustangs will be ready to take on the heightened competition in the American as this upcoming season kicks off.

in the American. Considering she’s already

KEY LOSSES: The Mustangs will have to replace

been named to the American’s Preseason All-

last season’s lone senior, Alisha Filmore. Starting

Conference Team, it certainly seems possible.

all 31 games, Filmore ranked 14th in Conference

Mays averaged 18.4 points per game and led the

USA and second on the team with 12.5 points per

conference in 3-point percentage—shooting 40

game. The 20th woman to record over 1,000 career

percent from behind the arc.

points at SMU, Filmore was a leader off the court

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HOME AWAY

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r s a a e e n n P U te ati xa svill sti ama Stat rgin sian UTE n TC ngto Sta e u n T i i L ci s y ui .A @ hi th bl e/V Lou sa or @Lo Cinn as Valle en F e m n s n a a N h K es @ er n W pi @ Gr tep nn east ter ssip e S s T t i a @ u E iss @ So M S ing

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as well. During her last two seasons at SMU, she

brings a sharp offensive state of mind to the

was honored with the Conference USA Spirit of

Mustangs. In high school, she averaged 11.1

Service Award—an award designed to recognize an

points per game and concluded her career as

athletes’ dedication to community efforts and good

MVP in her team’s second straight Texas 5A state

academic standing.

championship on the back of 70 consecutive wins.

NEW ADDITIONS: The Mustangs look to the future with the arrival of freshman guard, Kiara Perry who will provide much needed depth this year. Arriving from Duncanville, Texas, Perry

Named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ All State 5A team, this young athlete is a strong recruit and will have the fortune of gaining invaluable experience behind projected starter Keena Mays. Another one of the Mustangs’ exciting additions is Texas Christian University (TCU) transfer, Kamy Cole. In her freshman year at TCU, Cole played in 30 games with 22 starts and was a fierce competitor on the court for the Horned Frogs recording a team-high 51 steals in her freshman season. Cole will come to Dallas as the Mustangs look to become a top-of-mind team in the American.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 4, 2014: SMU vs. USF The SMU Mustangs reopen the doors to their newly renovated Moody Coliseum just in time to open their home conference schedule versus USF. During the offseason, SMU wrapped renovations to make their long-time home court at Moody Coliseum state-of-the-art. The Coliseum’s roots run deep in SMU history—hosting Mustang basketball games since 1956. The renovations include 27 new high-definition video displays

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and a top-notch sound system, all in the name of enriching the SMU fan’s as the team joins the American. With the heightened competition in their new conference and a strong roster of the floor, the Mustangs are out to make sure that the fans don’t just get a great experience because of the building, but because of the team taking the floor.

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115


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 24-10 (11-5) Final Result: Third Round, NCAA Tournament Top Scorer: Khalif Wyatt, 20.5 ppg Top Rebounder: Anthony Lee, 6.8 rpg

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TEMPLE MEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

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AST YEAR, TEMPLE WRAPPED UP THE

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season with their sixth consecutive NCAA

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tournament appearance. Finishing with an

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overall record of 24-10, Temple’s third round loss

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against Indiana heralded not just the end of the

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Owls’ season, but the departure of 73 percent of

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the team’s offensive output. Looking for identity with so many of last season’s scoring options gone, Head Coach Fran Dunphy led his team on a 10-day European tour, playing four exhibition games against some of the continent’s top competition in the month of August. Dunphy’s 2013-14 Owls will need the seasoning. Only two starters return from last year’s campaign, thus Temple will need to bring along its young core quickly to make their way back into the Big Dance, come March.

KEY RETURNEES: The Cherry and White only return juniors Anthony Lee and Will Cummings from among last year’s regular starters. Their experience will be needed to carry a good chunk of the load for a team that was picked fifth in the American Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

*Denotes player was a red shirt

Cummings will direct the Owls at the point guard position. A key member of last year’s team, he played in all 34 games, starting 32 of them. With so many of last year’s starters gone, developing chemistry with his new teammates will be perhaps his most important charge. Not far behind will be further leveraging the quickness that led to his team-leading 47 steals last year. With few other options on the floor, Lee and Cummings will have to serve as leaders for this Temple team to reach their potential.

KEY LOSSES: Last year’s Temple Owls have gone international, with five players from Dunphy’s squad playing professionally now in leagues from Luxembourg to Japan and places in-between.

Last year, Lee, a 6’9,” 230-pound forward, led the

Among the key losses is 2013 Atlantic 10

Owls in both rebounding (6.8 per game) and field

Conference Player of the Year, Khalif Wyatt. Wyatt

goal percentage (.537). During the offseason, Lee

compiled quite the senior year stat line with the

worked on improving his midrange game, which

Owls, becoming the sixth player in Temple history

should nicely complement his already established

to lead the conference in scoring, averaging 20.5

ability to finish around the basket.

points per game. With 697 points in his senior

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s F n as on on h’s gia TBA ate ate lyn ger er UC ex ep t or St th ws ems ok T s e @ u t u o o T n R o Jo /G Cl Br @ @ Ke sS nt on U i I a s a L x S @ vid Te Da

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season, Wyatt stands eighth on Temple’s all-time list for points in a season. His fearless offense was a big part of helping Coach Dunphy and the Owls complete their sixth straight 20-win campaign. Wyatt is now playing professional ball in China. Scootie Randall also exits the Owl roster. The 6’6” forward, now playing professionally in Japan, started 33 games, averaging 11.3 points (2nd on the team) and 6.3 rebounds per contest.

NEW ADDITIONS: Climbing aboard for the new season are freshmen Josh Brown and Mark Williams, both expected to make an immediate impact. Brown, a 6’3” guard, earned New Jersey First Team All-State honors from The Star Ledger in his senior year. Leading his team to their fourth consecutive sectional title, Brown contributed in every aspect of the game. He averaged 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks per game. A hard-nosed defender in addition to his offense, Brown is a player who can help Temple on a number of fronts. Williams’ 6’8,” 240 pound frame is also expected to be a boon to the Owls’ defensive efforts as well. His senior year in Cleveland, Ohio, he earned Second Team All-Met honors averaging a teamhigh 16 points and 11 rebounds. Williams led his high school team in three-point shooting, averaging 40 percent from beyond the arc, on a squad that finished 19-5. The good news is he

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didn’t leave his game back in Ohio. In fact, it travels well. On the Owls’ trip to Europe, Williams snagged 26 rebounds in just four games.

CIRCLE THIS DATE: January 11, 2014: Temple vs. Memphis It won’t take long for the Owls to get into the meat of their conference schedule. Temple takes on a strong Memphis team, but they’ll do so on their own home turf, on Broad Street at the Liacouras Center in a game scheduled for ESPN2. Defense looks to be the name of the game for Temple this year. A year ago, Temple allowed opponents to shoot a devastating 49 percent from the field. However, with a defense-minded recruiting class and some chemistry from their European tour they will likely make figures like that ancient history as this year progresses. Assuming they do, these Owls could be tournament bound.

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119


A LOOK BACK 2012-13 Overall Record (Conference): 14-18 (5-9) Final Result: Atlantic 10 Tournament Semifinals Top Scorer: Victoria MaCaulay, 14.1 ppg Top Rebounder: Victoria MaCaulay, 9.4 rpg

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TEMPLE WOMEN’S 2013–14 ROSTER NO

NAME

POS

CLASS

UCH HAS CHANGED FOR THE TEMPLE

1

Erica Covile

G

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Owls entering this 2013-14 season. The

2

Feyonda Fitzgerald

G

FR

team has shifted to the new American

3

Rateska Brown

G

JR

10

Shi-Heria Shipp

G

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12

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F

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Meghan Roxas

G

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G

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the Owls in any venue. With that in mind, Head

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Coach Tonya Cardoza will be looking for even

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more change from her team this year, specifically

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Conference, which means a big change in terms of competition. Not only do they now share a conference with the defending National Champions and runners-up, but fully six of the nine teams in the conference have never faced

the kind of change that will help last year’s 14-18

*Denotes player was a red shirt

season fade into the past. The good news for Cardoza is that her team

Alongside Brown is redshirt senior, Natasha

shined in the post-season. Coming into the

Thames. The six-foot forward started 31 games in

event seeded a lowly tenth; the Owls reached

the Owls’ 2012-13 campaign. She finished second

the semifinals of Atlantic-10 tournament. With

in rebounds per game (8.0) and fourth in points

a combination of experienced returnees and

(7.0). Perhaps Thames’ proudest moment up to

emerging talent, Cardoza and her Owls look

date has been receiving the Henry Sklar Award.

to build on that momentum and emerge as a

A two-time recipient, the Henry Sklar Award is

contender in the American.

awarded to “the Temple player who displays

KEY RETURNEES: As the Owls look to move in the right direction, Coach Cardoza will have the benefit of returning three starters and seven letter winners from a year ago. Among Temple’s key returnees are

outstanding academic achievement, leadership, good citizenship and dedication.” Her consistent commitment to the team sets a powerful example for the direction this team is headed in.

junior guard Rateska Brown. Brown was a major

Rounding out the key returnees is junior guard,

contributor to the offense averaging 10.8 points

Tyonna Williams. Williams averaged 5.0 assists per

per game (ranking second on the team) and

game last season, leading the team and placing

securing a team-high 44 steals. Brown saved her

second in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Her ability to

best for last, averaging 17.3 points per game in a

spread the floor and create open baskets makes

stellar post-season run to be named to the

her an extremely underrated weapon for Temple.

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HOME AWAY

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a re rn tate and ph’s rd us va lle his ville tan rac Sa lawa ubu wa lano mp e S kl n is s o y a a o n e A H e L il S O a ou Jo M V M g L t @ @D i @ @ @ in ich Sa M

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KEY LOSSES: Temple will be without forward

At guard, will be another talented recruit, Feyonda

Victoria Macaulay this season. Macaulay was a

Fitzgerald. Averaging 22.6 points and 6.5 rebounds

dominant force throughout her career with the

per game, Fitzgerald was named Virginia Player

Owls. In the 2012-13 season, she averaged a team-

of the Year by five different publications. She not

high 14.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. After

only led her high school team to their second

recording 12 double-doubles during her senior

state title, she broke Kara Lawson’s tournament

year, she was named to the Atlantic 10 Second

record by scoring 96 points in only three games.

Team; in addition to a spot on the conference All-

Fitzgerald will more than likely see minutes in the

Defensive Team. Macaulay finished her career

starting rotation and with the proper guidance,

ranked among Temple’s best: 22nd in points (972),

could end up playing a bigger role for the Owls

9th in rebounds (740), and 4th in blocks (211). She

sooner rather than later.

currently plays professionally in Italy.

NEW ADDITIONS: Looking to the future, Coach Cardoza has brought in promising talent headlined by twin towers, Safiya Martin and Taylor Robinson. A 6’4” center Martin led her high school team to the state championship tournament back-to-back years in her junior and senior years, finishing runner-up as a senior. Named All-State Honorable Mention by the Georgia Sportswriters Association, Martin is a highly touted low-post performer. Her fellow 6’4” freshman Robinson, arrives from St. Louis after being nominated to play in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game. She averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game, her junior year, earning her and her team a conference championship. The dual presence of Robinson and Martin should make it difficult for opponents to get to the basket, providing Temple with a solid defensive base in 2013-14.

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CIRCLE THIS DATE: December 22, 2013: Temple vs. Villanova Just before the conference schedule kicks off, the Owls face off against cross-city rival and last season’s Philadelphia Big 5 champion, Villanova. Building on a cache of big-time recruits and the momentum of last year’s A-10 tournament run, Temple might surprise watchers well beyond the City of Brotherly Love. With twelve of Temple’s 29 games being against teams that played in last year’s NCAA tournament, much will depend on Cardoza’s ability to maximize her team’s talent and get it moving in the right direction all season long. If she can do it, Temple could well be the surprise of this conference.

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123


CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Inside UConn

T

HINK BACK TO THIS TIME A YEAR AGO.

UConn team played inspired basketball in a season

Your famed coach, Jim Calhoun, with his

with no postseason play.

health declining, was forced to resign. Your

program was, seemingly, in disarray, and a season looming of virtual irrelevance was about to come thanks to the NCAA sanctions levied upon you. It appeared as though UConn basketball was en route towards those dreaded two words. Rebuilding process. The mere thought made every proud Huskies’ fan

Really, could there be a seamless transition from Hall of Fame Coach Jim Calhoun to Kevin Ollie? How? What would motivate such a performance? It became evident when the suits in Storrs shed the interim tag from Ollie and offered him a five-year deal that very December. They recognized very early - to their credit - that they had found the next great coach to roam the sidelines at Gampel.

tremble in stubborn disbelief. A makeshift coach

Okay, enough with memory lane, and now it’s time

was hired in the interim, and while he wasn’t

get back to reality – and it’s a good. UConn fans, it’s

expected to be Calhoun right away, there was a

time to start dreaming with your eyes open.

little bit of hope.

It is legitimate to expect that it’s possible for a

“At least he’s one of our own,” was an easy way to

conference championship banner to hang in the

get through the transition.

rafters again, but now the pressure is on.

“I hope he doesn’t screw things up too much,

Louisville and Memphis are going to be nasty,

before a splash hire can come and bring things

but the UConn backcourt of Ryan Boatright and

will be back to normal,” seemed like the general

Shabazz Napier can play with anyone in America,

attitude through a time of chaos and uncertainty

and if DeAndre Daniels can elevate his play just

for a program that once won three national titles in

a little bit, all of a sudden Coach Ollie – sans the

a span of 12 years.

interim tag - should make it a fight for a possible

But new head coach Kevin Ollie – check that interim coach Kevin Ollie, became much more than

American Athletic title and a deep run into the tournament.

his lowly job title projected.

And the transition will be complete.

This makeshift coach quietly won nine of his first

By Jordan Cornette for Campus Insiders.

11 games and people began to take notice as his

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Inside Louisville

Q

UICK, WHAT ARE THE DYNASTIES IN SPORTS?

ball as well and, of course, to play the patented

Yankees? Sure. Celtics? Yes. Louisville

Pitino pressure defense.

Cardinal Basketball? Not so much. At

least not quite yet.

Dieng’s spot will be filled by 6-8 senior Stephen Van Treese, who’s getting the first significant

Cardinal coach Rick Pitino thinks that if you make

minutes of his career. Cardinal fans call him

three straight Final Fours in this era of hoops

“Stephen Van Beast” for his rebounding prowess,

parity, you can call yourself a “mini dynasty,”

but he has been limited offensively, never

and that’s the goal for UofL this season.

averaging more than three points a game. This is

Pitino thinks the defending national champs can

his time to make a statement.

reach that level again thanks to the return of

But Louisville’s main statements will likely be

most of last year’s 35-5 team, including pre-season

made by Smith and Harrell.

All-American Russ Smith and Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Luke Hancock, plus rising star Montrezl Harrell. More importantly for the Cards, there may be capable replacements for those who left.

Smith is an undersized two-guard at only 6-0, but he has the uncanny ability to get his shot off in traffic and make it or draw a foul. He led the Big East in free throw attempts last year on his way to scoring 19 points a night offensively, while on

In fact, UofL hopes that going smaller will lead

the other side he’s also a standout on-the-ball

to big things. The Cards lost point guard Peyton

defender. His goal is to tone down some of the

Siva and center Gorgui Dieng to the NBA and will

wilder aspects of his game that led to the nickname

replace both with players at least three inches

“Russdiculous,” but he’ll be one of the top guards

shorter. However, the talent is there, even if the

in the nation no matter what his style of play.

same size isn’t.

Harrell, a 6-8 sophomore, is a player expected

Siva’s replacement is last year’s Junior College

to have a breakout season. Crazy athletic with

Player-of-the-Year Chris Jones, a 5’8” dynamo

a huge wingspan and a non-stop motor on the

from Memphis with a confidence on the court that

court, he should be a tone-setter. 45% of his

far exceeds his height. He’s a scoring point guard

baskets as a freshman were dunks, so the next

with the twitter handle “I am Unguardable”, but his

step is to broaden his game out to 15 feet while

challenge with the Cards will be to distribute the

also providing the momentum changing play

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT – INSIDE LOUISVILLE CON’T around the rim. NBA scouts think he can do it, projected as a top-10 overall pick. While he only played 15 minutes a game for last year’s champs, with the indefinite suspension of teammate Chane Behanan, the power forward position is his for the taking - although most observers expect Behanan back by mid-December. Louisville’s non-conference schedule is highlighted by a projected matchup with North Carolina and the annual showdown with rival Kentucky on December 28. The Cardinals are overwhelming favorites to win the American. UofL is ranked 3rd in the preseason coaches’ poll, so the potential is in place for a “mini dynasty” by getting back to another Final Four. Now the pressure is on to deliver.

By Lachlan McLean for Campus Insiders.

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT

Inside Memphis

A

AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD THEM.

the American championship this season. Jackson and fellow seniors Chris Crawford

Fine, they’re 18-and 19-year-old men –

and Geron Johnson should handle duties in the

they’re not exactly children - but Memphis

backcourt, but it will be a pair of talented big

certainly will be counting on its youth to take the

men who could make the biggest difference for

next step during its first season in the American

the Tigers.

Athletic Conference.

Sophomore Shaq Goodwin got his feet wet

Last season the Tigers were dominant, ripping

a season ago while averaging 7.4 points and

through Conference USA play with a perfect 16-0

4.4 boards in 33 starts, but he looked like the

record en route to posting 31 total wins reaching

freshman he was. Goodwin was one of the

the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but

top-rated recruits in the Class of 2012 and a

that’s where Head Coach Josh Pastner’s squad ran

McDonald’s All-American, but he was

into trouble.

consistent and foul-prone, issues that limited

Michigan State was too much for the Tigers, running them out of the gym in an embarrassing 70-48 loss in Auburn Hills, Mich. Then, during the offseason, second-leading scorer Adonis Thomas bolted for the NBA Draft -- going undrafted -- and

his effectiveness. It also held his minutes down and stunted his development a bit, but now that he’s facing his second go-around on the college level, Goodwin should start to work out some of those kinks.

Tarik Black decided to take advantage of the NCAA

He also will get some help from freshman

rules that allow graduate students to transfer

Austin Nichols, a 6-8, 220-pound forward who is

without sitting out a year, going off to Kansas for

expected to make an immediate impact this year.

his final season of college ball. The graduation of

Nichols isn’t the strongest kid in the yard, but

D.J. Stephens cost Memphis another experienced

he can play inside and out, and he knows how

player, as well.

to finish around the basket. He’s blessed with an

But Pastner didn’t exactly spend the summer moping. With one of the top recruiting classes in the country in his pocket, plus leading scorer Joe

array of post moves, and he is explosive off the floor. That allows him to battle through contact and get his shot on the rim while drawing fouls.

Jackson returning for his senior year, Pastner still

Goodwin didn’t do a great job of handling

dreams of challenging Louisville and UConn for

expectations last season, and Nichols will face

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CAMPUS INSIDERS SPECIAL REPORT – INSIDE MEMPHIS CONT’D much of the same attention this year. Even in a

All of which has the Tigers poised to upset

big city like Memphis, Nichols is going to stand

Louisville’s plans to win an American title this

out, and Pastner is hoping his young big man will

season. With vets in the backcourt and kids up

be able to handle the hype.

front, Pastner knows he is going to be in for quite

“I talk to him a lot,” Pastner told reporters a few weeks ago. “It’s new for him. He wants to be a

a ride. By Ken Bikoff for Campus Insiders.

college kid and people see him in the city and talk to him about, ‘Hey, you’re gonna lead us to this, you’re gonna lead us here.’ Mentally, it’s an adjustment period for him. So it’s gonna take some time.” The key for both Goodwin and Nichols will be to first learn to play alongside one another. Both will have to make adjustments to their games, and it usually takes some time for big men to get comfortable on the court. That will be inevitable. But if and when the duo figures it out, that’s when things can really get fun for the Tigers. Memphis loves to push the tempo at every opportunity, but with two quality power forwards operating inside, the floor will open for the Tigers’ guards and wings. And if they can knock down some open threes, take advantage of some driving lanes and find their bigs with dishes in the lane, the team is going to be nearly impossible to contain. The arrival of super-athletic freshman Kuran Iverson, who had scouts drooling during his high school career with his tantalizing mix of size and quickness, should make Memphis that much tougher on the defensive end if he makes a quick transition to the college game.

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