Sunday, September 24, 2017

American Athletic: Ex-Football Big East Schools Add Basketball-only Wichita State

The American Athletic Conference was formed by schools kicked out of the Big East by basketball schools after years of fighting, but this season the conference added back one basketball-only school - potential national contender Wichita State. Football is competitive throughout, but took a blow when Houston lost their head football coach.

The addition of Wichita State's Landry Shamet gives the conference six of the top 34 players in the country, according to Value Add, which projects Wichita State could battle Cincinnati for the title. Central Florida seems the most likely to make the tournament, which last year included on Cincinnati and SMU from the conference.

Here is where Value Add ranks each American Athletic Conference team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams. Updates will be provided here.

American Athletic / 2017 SeedHoops 2017-18Football
Wichita St. 106
Cincinnati 61297
SMU 68183
South Florida22941
East Carolina272122

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 American Athletic PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Dedric Lawson 19.12Memphis`6-09
Landry Shamet 118.80Wichita St.`6-04
Jacob Evans 18.72Cincinnati`6-06
Gary Clark 118.68Cincinnati`6-08
Rob Gray 328.54Houston`6-02
Shake Milton 18.38Southern Methodist`6-06
Tacko Fall 247.12Central Florida`7-06
Markis McDuffie 327.07Wichita St.`6-08
Kyle Washington 246.70Cincinnati`6-09
Shizz Alston 36.70Temple`6-04
Jarrey Foster 106.54Southern Methodist`6-06
Jalen Adams 26.20Connecticut`6-03
BJ Taylor 16.00Central Florida`6-02
Cameron Reynolds 55.82Tulane`6-07
Junior Etou 05.78Tulsa`6-08

Ken Pomeroy ranked the American Athletic 7th best of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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