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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Men's Basketball

Team, players take home preseason honors

Damyean Dotson WEB

Senior Damyean Dotson (left) and junior Rob Gray Jr. (right) were voted to spots on the Preseason All-American Conference teams. | File photo/The Cougar

Coaches within the American Athletic Conference named two members of the Cougars basketball team as Preseason All-American Conference Team just two weeks before the season begins.

In addition to player accolades, the league’s coaches votes project that the Cougars will finish fourth overall in the conference.

Senior guard Damyean Dotson finds himself on the conference’s first team while junior guard Rob Gray Jr. is a member of the second team.

Dotson was a force last season, averaging 13.8 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. The Oregon transfer played in and started all 32 games for the Cougars.

Gray led all scorers last season with 16 points per game on .435 percent shooting from the field. Despite battling injuries and missing games throughout the season, Gray was a defensive force and finished second on the team in steals with 30.

With more experience around these players on the court, Dotson and Gray should see their statistics increase across the board.

The coaches’ vote also predicts the Cougars to finish among the top teams in the conference.

Basketball quietly had an excellent season last year as they finished 22-10 overall and 12-6 in conference play. The team dominated at home with a record of 15-3 inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson’s squad is projected to finish fourth behind University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut and Southern Methodist University. The team was just one point behind third-place SMU in the preseason voting.

Overall, a more experienced team with a plethora of young talent justifies the team’s high preseason ranking.

The Cougars open their season against the University of North Carolina-Pembroke next Saturday in Hofheinz Pavilion.

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