PHILADELPHIA (CBS Connecticut) – The University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Team has been selected to finish fifth in the 2017-18 season in the preseason coaches poll announced Monday morning.
For the second consecutive year, Cincinnati has been tabbed as the favorite to win the American Athletic Conference regular-season title. The Bearcats got the nod by a single point over conference-newcomer Wichita State. UCF was selected to finish third, followed by SMU.
After redshirting following a season-ending injury in 2016-17, UConn’s Alterique Gilbert repeated as The American’s Preseason Rookie of the Year. In three games season, Gilbert averaged 10.3 points per game.
SMU junior guard Shake Milton was chosen as the conference preseason player of the year. In his sophomore year, Milton averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 assists per game, knocking down 42.3-percent of his three-point attempts.
UConn will look to rebound after an injury-plagued 2016-17 campaign, as Gilbert, Terry Larrier and Mamadou Diarra all suffered season-ending injuries at the outset of last season. Those three, along with eight newcomers, join Jalen Adams, who earned first team all-conference honors after a sophomore year in which he averaged 14.4 points per game and a conference-best 6.1 assists per game.