Conference Breakdown: American Conference

A pair of brothers gives Memphis the league's top class, but that could be short lived with Connecticut waiting on a few key decisions.

Scout Signing Day Central

Best Class

All it took was the hiring of a single assistant coach and the Memphis Tigers were able to reel in the top recruiting class in the league. When Memphis hired Keelon Lawson, that sealed the deal for his two sons, K.J. Lawson and Dedric Lawson.
AAC Rankings
1.  Memphis
2.  Connecticut
3.  Central Florida
4.  Cincinnati
5.  SMU
6.   Temple
7.  South Florida
8.  Tulane
9.  Tulsa
10.  East Carolina
11.  Houston

K.J. Lawson actually committed before his father was hired, but the word was he would go wherever his dad could get a college job. K.J. is a 6-foot-6 wing who can play either forward spot, has good athleticism, is a solid scorer, and has pretty good ability off the bounce. There is nothing out of this world that stands out about K.J.’s game, but he also has no glaring hole in his skill set.

Dedric is bigger, more athletic, and more skilled than his younger brother. Initially a member of the 2016 class, Dedric moved up to 2015 and is now considered a five-star prospect. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Dedric can really shoot the ball and handles it pretty well for his size. Also someone who can play above the rim, Dedric has a ton of natural ability, but can be a bit inconsistent mostly because of focus.

The two Lawson brothers provide a little something different and will give Josh Pastner a lot of versatility and scoring punch at the forward spot. They each are better in an open court style which Memphis plays, so overall these two look like a good fit, and they continue Pastner’s strong run of keeping the top Memphis talent home.

Other Winners

A lot of the recruiting classes in the AAC are small, but a few other schools managed very solid groups.

Coming in second with the chance to definitely leap frog to the top spot is Connecticut. Kevin Ollie is coming off of a national title and used that momentum to land a pair of four-star targets in Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch. Each hail from New England and bring upside and athleticism to the table.

Along with those two, the Huskies are considered in the top three with Tevin Mack, Diamond Stone, and Isaiah Briscoe. Mack and Briscoe are expected to decide on Thursday, though Connecticut is considered to have a much better chance with Mack than with Briscoe. Stone, a five-star target, will wait until the spring to make his decision. Landing any of the three likely gives Connecticut the top class in the league.

Also you have to look at Cincinnati, SMU, and UCF who all brought in solid classes.

UCF added two four-star interior players in Chad Brown and Tacko Fall. Both are a little bit raw, but each has major upside, and the 7-foot-5 Fall is one of the most unique players in the class given how he can change a game with his presence.

Cincinnati dipped into the state of Louisiana and nabbed top 100 wing Jacob Evans. Evans is a very solid scorer and someone capable of doing about everything with his versatility. Also Justin Jenifer and Tre Scott give Mick Cronin a very solid class, and a group of players in a style that works well for him and his staff.

SMU landed a four-star wing in Shake Milton who had a lot of other offers, and then he is complemented with a solid floor leader in Sedrick Barefield as well as Jarrey Foster. This is a solid three-man class for Larry Brown.

Who Will Help The Most As A Freshman?

Top AAC Prospects
Top Prospect:Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Best Scorer:Jalen Adams, Connecticut
Best Passer:Sedrick Barefield, SMU
Best Shot Blocker:Ernest Aflakpui, Temple
Most Versatile: Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
Best Rebounder: Chad Brown, Central Florida
Best Shooter:Trey Lowe, Temple

I think Jalen Adams is the guy who will make the biggest impact out of this group. His ability to play either guard spot is huge, and of course UConn will lose Ryan Boatright after this season, so Adams will have big shoes to fill, but none the less he is equipped to do so.

Adams is someone who at first will probably look to score as opposed to facilitate, but he does have a decent feel for the game, and has shown a good ability to handle the basketball. Ollie has done well with combo guards like him, and this

How They Stacked Up

This was a decent year for the American Conference, but nothing that is going to blow anybody away. If Connecticut can finish on some of their top targets it would change things, but overall they came in sixth for the major conferences, and the Big XII has a lot more big fish left on the hook.

Connecticut and Memphis landing high level guys helps, and Cincinnati had a very solid class with Temple having a surprise group as well is good for the depth of the league, but you would like to see a bit more star power at the top.

Scout Hoops Top Stories