10 things we have learned about the American Athletic Conference this week:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- SHAQ ATTACK: Memphis 6-9 forward Shaq Goodwin had a monster week with a combined 38 points and 19 rebounds in two wins.
- 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.
- 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.
GAME WORTH A PEAK
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.