U of L picked to win AAC; Smith named POY

MEMPHIS - The defending national champion University of Louisville basketball team has been selected to win the American Athletic Conference title, while Russ Smith was picked as preseason Player of the Year.

The University of Louisville will be in the American Athletic Conference for just one basketball season. But the Cardinals are selected to win the league title in that one season.

In a vote of the leagues 10 coaches, Louisville was picked as the league favorite with nine of 10 votes.

The Cardinals were selected ahead of Connecticut, Memphis, Cincinnati, Temple and SMU. The final four teams in the league are Houston, South Florida, Central Florida and Rutgers.

U of L senior Russ Smith, who averaged 18.7 points a game last season, was picked as the AAC preseason Player of the Year.

Smith joined teammate Chane Behanan on the first-team All-AAC team. Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick and Memphis' Joe Jackson were also on the first team.

U of L sophomore Montrezl Harrell was selected to the second-team.

Cardinal Authority is at AAC media day and will have more coverage later.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories