Shockers picked 7th in American preseason poll


WICHITA, Kan. (WSU Athletics) — The American Athletic Conference coaches slotted Wichita State seventh in their annual preseason poll, released Wednesday morning.
The Shockers did not have a representative on the 10-man preseason all-conference squad.
The league’s coaches are taking a wait-and-see approach to Wichita State (23-8, 11-7 AAC), which returns three starters from last year’s fourth-place squad and adds a battle-tested point guard in UConn graduate transfer Alterique Gilbert. However, the Shockers must also replace four rotation players, including all-conference center Jaime Echenique.
WSU has history on its side. Shockers teams have won at least 22 games in each of the past 11 seasons and last finished below sixth-place in a conference race during the 2007-08 campaign while competing in the Missouri Valley.
Led by preseason conference player of the year Caleb Mills, Houston is The American’s overwhelming 2021 favorite, earning nine first-place votes and 99 of a possible 100 poll points. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams or players.
Memphis took the other two first-place ballots and finished second in the poll with 90 points. The Tigers boast the league’s preseason freshman of the year in Moussa Cisse.
SMU (80) edged out Cincinnati (77) for the No. 3 spot, followed by USF (61) and Tulsa (50) in fifth and sixth-place. WSU (44) finished ahead of UCF (37), ECU (34), Temple (18) and Tulane (15).
Preseason Poll:
1. Houston (9) — 99
2. Memphis (2) — 90
3. SMU — 80
4. Cincinnati — 77
5. USF — 61
6. Tulsa — 50
7. Wichita State — 44
8. UCF — 37
9. East Carolina — 34
10. Temple — 18
11. Tulane – 15
Player of the Year: 
Caleb Mills, Houston
Rookie of the Year:
Moussa Cisse, Memphis
First Team:
Keith Williams, Cincinnati
Jayden Gardner, East Carolina*
Caleb Mills, Houston*
Kendric Davis, SMU
Brandon Rachal, Tulsa
Second Team:
Chris Vogt, Cincinnati
D.J. Jeffries, Memphis
Landers Nolley II, Memphis
Alexis Yetna, USF
Tyson Jolly, SMU
(* denotes unanimous first-team selection)

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