AAC recap: Bearcats’ D impressive; UConn, Louisville back on track

10 things we have learned about the American Athletic Conference this week:

  1. STINGY ’CATS: Cincinnati has the most dominant defense in The American (56.6 ppg). How good are the Bearcats? Rutgers failed to make a field goal in the final 11:45 of Saturday’s game.
  2. NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME: The University of Central Florida might be a decent team, but it is not ready to challenge the big boys. The Cardinals them in the AAC opener and the Huskies did the same Saturday.
  3. BIG IMPACT: The Huskies found out how much easier life can be when they received production in the paint. Brimah Time was real for one night, but can it continue?
  4. ROAD WARRIORS: Memphis recovered from a Bearcats beating with wins at Louisville and Temple to improve to 3-0 on the road in the conference.
  5. COLD WINTER: Temple announced it was dropping seven sports last month, and now the Owls are just dropping conference games (0-4) despite lots of offense.
  6. BROWN’S TOWN: A rough shooting day and minus Yanick Moreira (knee), the Mustangs still gave Louisville a fight and showed they are a worthy league contender.
  7. BONDING BIRDS: After falling to Memphis, the Cardinals figured out they are not the same team that won the national title, and used a group effort to fend off SMU.
  8. SHAQ ATTACK:  Memphis 6-9 forward Shaq Goodwin had a monster week with a combined 38 points and 19 rebounds in two wins.
  9. BACKCOURT BEAUTY: A few big men grabbed attention with monster weeks, but The American is still run by guards like UConn’s Shabazz Napier, Cincy’s Sean Kilpatrick and Louisville’s Russ Smith – just look at their numbers, which landed all three on the weekly honor roll.
  10.  HOLDING ITS OWN: The Cougars fell short in their rally vs. Cincy and lost 61-60, but they have been the only team able give the Bearcats a fight until the end.


Louisville at UConn, 9 p.m. Saturday – The preseason conference heavy weights square off in a game that figures to draw plenty of national attention and could earn The American a little more respect with a good showing.


William Paxton