Three things to watch heading into the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament, which tips off Thursday.
THREE FAVORITES AND A WILD CARD
- Key question: Which AAC team can best game plan to stop Fran Dunphy and the Owls’ 3-point air raids?
- Key stats: Conference: 35%FGM were 3s (Devin Coleman 63%, Obi Enechionyia 46%, Quenton DeCosey 32%); 7.9 3PT made conference (No. 1 AAC), 8.6 3PTM overall (No. 1 AAC); Enechionyia: 41% 3PT (No. 7 AAC); Coleman: 40% 3PT (No. 8 AAC); DeCosey: 39% 3PT (No.10 AAC).
- Key question: Can the Bearcats exert their collective defensive will over American opponents as they have over the last month of the season?
- Key stats: Last 10 games: 7-0 when opponents scores 60 points or less, 0-3 when allowing over 60 points; overall: 61.8PPG allowed (No. 8 NCAA), 38.8%FG defense (No. 11 NCAA), 8.0 steals per game (No.24 NCAA); conference: Farad Cobb: 1.6 steals per game (T2 AAC); Gary Clark 1.4SPG (T7 AAC); Troy Caupain: 5.1APG (No.2 AAC).
- Key question: Will the most experienced team in the AAC win when it counts the most?
- Key stats: 9 seniors (No.1 NCAA); seniors represent 80% scoring, 87% rebounding, 89% assists.
- Key question: Is there an AAC defender who can shut down Rob Gray Jr and Kelvin Sampson’s high-scoring Cougars?
- Key stats: 78.2PPG (No. 56 NCAA), 47%FG (No. 50 NCAA); +13.8PPG increase from 2014/15; Gray: 16.3PPG (No. 1 AAC).
PROJECTED AUTOMATIC BID