1. Louisville (5-1, 0-0): Even with the recent loss to North Carolina, the Cardinals are still the class of the AAC. The defending national champions finished last season on a 16-game winning streak and started this season on a five-game winning streak before losing 93-84 to the 24th ranked Tar Heels earlier this week. Senior guard Russ Smith is averaging 20 points per game, and the team is still adjusting to the losses of Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. Still, expect Rick Pitino to figure out Louisville's defensive woes and bounce back from its loss.
2. Connecticut (6-0, 0-0): The Huskies have had a very impressive start to their season so far. Head coach Kevin Ollie is returning all five starters from last year, and the team looks much improved. They won one-point games over Maryland and Indiana already and beat Boston College by two. Senior guard Shabazz Napier is averaging 17 points and eight rebounds per game on over 50 percent shooting this year and has his team ranked 13th in the AP Poll. W will learn even more about the Huskies when they face No. 15 Florida next week.
3. Memphis (2-1, 0-0): The Tigers have looked great in their blowout wins over Austin Peay and Nicholls State. But they got destroyed in their matchup with Oklahoma State and head coach Jose Pastner was not happy with his team's performance. Pastner is looking for his 12th straight 20-win season after going undefeated in league play last season. Freshman guard Nick King is averaging 16 points per game on 56 percent shooting and senior guard Joe Jackson, a unanimous Preseason All-Conference First Teamer, is averaging 13 points per game.
4. Cincinnati (4-0, 0-0): The Bearcats have won easily in all four of their games this season, including a 68-57 win over N.C. State earlier this month. Senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who has earned all-conference honors in each of his first three seasons, is the team's leading scorer with 19 points per game, and senior forward Titus Rubles has also contributed 12 points and seven rebounds on 56 percent shooting. Cincinnati won't be tested until conference play, but it has made three straight NCAA tournament appearances coming into this year and should be a dangerous AAC team all season.
5. SMU (4-1, 0-0): The Mustangs have shown flashes of greatness throughout their first five games. Transfers Nic Moore and Yanick Moreira have made an immediate impact for the Mustangs on both ends of the floor, and the team's trio of freshmen has also made a good contributions. SMU's only loss was 89-78 to Arkansas in Fayetteville, where the Razorbacks only lost once all of last season. Head coach Larry Brown is still trying to figure out his talented rotation, but the Mustangs have shown the team is loaded, especially upfront. They will get a big test vs. Virginia later this week in the Corpus Christi Challenge.
6. Houston (5-1, 0-0): The Cougars only loss was an 86-76 defeat at the hands of Stanford last night in the Progressive Legends Classic. Houston is led by junior forward TaShawn Thomas, who is averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds per game this season. He was one of just two players to rank in the top five in Conference USA in both categories last year and was named a Preseason All-Conference Second Team choice for this year. The Cougars return two other starters from last year and the team has shown they are incredibly athletic as a whole. James Dickey's team could be dangerous this season, but they have a soft nonconference schedule that won't really test them until later in the year.
7. UCF (3-1, 0-0): The Knights' most impressive win of the season was a five-point victory over Miami last week. Their only loss so far was to Florida State, but their first test will be their first conference game against Louisville in December. The Knights return four starters from last year's 20-11 team and they are lead by guard Isaiah Sykes on offense. Sykes was the only player nationally to average at least 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals last season, but Calvin Newell has been the Knights leading scorer so far at 19 points per game.
8. South Florida (4-1, 0-0): The Bulls hung with No. 5 Oklahoma State for a few minutes last night before eventually getting blown out 93-67. But South Florida took care of business in their other four games to start this season. They are led by junior guard Corey Allen Jr. and senior forward Victor Rudd who were both a part of last season's 12-19 team. South Florida also returns guard Anthony Collins, a two-year starter who averaged 8.6 points per game and had 194 assists last year.
9. Temple (3-3, 0-0): Temple had high expectations coming into the season after going 24-10 last year. The Owls have made six straight NCAA tournament appearances and return two starters from last year's squad, but the loss of leading scorer Khalif Wyatt seems to be affecting them more than people expected. They lost three games in a row to Kent State, Towson and Clemson before bouncing back with victories over Georgia and UAB. They will get another test with Texas coming up on the schedule, but expect the Owls to turn it around because of head coach Fran Dunphy and forward Anthony Lee.
10. Rutgers (4-3, 0-0): The Scarlet Knights are expected to be near the bottom of the AAC for most of the year after the debacle they dealt with this offseason. In his first season as head coach, Eddie Jordan has started with a couple nice victories, but the team has also lost to UAB, Drexel, and William & Mary. Leading scorer Kadeem Jack has done a great job in the post for the Knights and has been averaging almost nine rebounds per game. Also, a couple transfers and guard Myles Mack, the top returning scorer and three-point shooter in Big East last year, have also helped this season, but Rutgers has a lot of work to do.
AAC Hoops Power Rankings
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