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Sunday, March 24, 2019

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Power rankings: Cougars in control


The Cougars have played well this season against conference foes. Temple stands as the only loss on UH’s record. | Kathryn Lenihan/ The Cougar

  1. UH (23-1, Last week: 2-0)

UH remained at the top of the conference with big wins against Cincinnati and UCF. Senior Corey Davis Jr. had a big game against UCF as he scored 26 points. The Cougars have played the best teams in the AAC and are in good position to win the regular season championship.

  1. Cincinnati (20-4, Last week: 1-1)

The Bearcats took a hard loss at the hands of UH on the road, but Cincinnati is still in a good spot. The loss was its first since Jan. 5. Junior Jarron Cumberland continues to prove that he is one of the best players in the AAC. He is averaging 19 points a game and dropped 27 against UH Sunday.

  1. USF (17-6, Last week: 2-0)

The Bulls have righted the ship after suffering a three-game losing streak in mid-January. USF is on a five-game win streak and will see UCF in its next game. USF has been relatively dominant during its wins, but its last two were close, including an overtime game against ECU. This could be due to the team missing its third-leading scorer, redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna, who has missed the past two games because of injury.

  1. UCF (17-5, Last week: 1-1)

UCF has gotten strong performances from its big three of redshirt senior B.J. Taylor, senior Tacko Fall and redshirt junior Aubrey Dawkins. While these players shoulder a majority of the offensive and defensive load, they will need help to keep their spot at No. 3 in the conference. In UCF’s most recent loss to UH, Taylor, Fall and Aubrey were the only players to reach double-digit points.

  1. Temple (17-7, Last week: 1-1)

Temple started AAC play strong and became a dark horse candidate to win the AAC Tournament. Even though the team has slowed down slightly, it is still significantly more complete than the teams below it. It showed a balanced effort in a rout against UConn when five players scored in double digits but then showed inconsistency by taking a bad loss to Tulsa a couple days later.

  1. Wichita State (12-11, Last week: 2-0)

After a rough start to conference play, Wichita State has gained some stability while on its current four-game win streak. Last week, it beat its opponents by an average of 15.5 points per game. The Shockers are waiting for some of the three-point production that helped them be successful last season.

  1. Memphis (14-10, Last week: 1-1)

The Tigers were able to break a three-game losing streak with a win against UConn. The story of the team so far is the production of senior Jeremiah Martin. He is the team’s leading scorer, and he recently scored 41 points in a game against USF.

  1. Tulsa (14-10, Last week: 1-0)

Five Tulsa players scored in double digits in a big win against Temple last week. It was an important win, especially since the team had lost six of its last eight games before the most recent one.

  1. SMU (12-11, Last week: 0-2)

The Mustangs are in the middle of a four-game skid, but there are reasons to be positive. The main reason is all the team’s losses have been close. Every game in the losing streak has been decided by less than six points, including a five-point loss to Cincinnati.

  1. ECU (9-14, Last week: 0-2)

ECU lost both games last week, but the Pirates were very close to splitting the week’s schedule. It lost in overtime to USF, but the team had a lead in the final minute and had a final shot that would have won the game. It proved ECU can be competitive with some of the better teams in the conference.

  1. UConn (13-11, Last week: 0-2)

The Huskies have had a rough season so far, but the team’s prospects have gotten much worse as its leading scorer senior Jalen Adams will be out for the next four to six weeks. The team kept a close game against Memphis without him, but it will likely struggle without his scoring.

  1. Tulane (4-18, Last week: 0-1)

The Green Wave has not won a game since mid-December, and it currently sports a 12-game losing streak. There have only been a few competitive games as the team suffered many blowouts. Last week was no different as Tulane withstood a 15-point loss to Wichita State.

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