The American Athletic Conference coaches expect an improved Wichita State squad to finish near the top of the 2020 men's basketball standings.
The Shockers were picked fourth out of 12 teams in the preseason poll, released Monday morning ahead of the league's annual media day festivities at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott.
WSU did not have a player selected for preseason all-conference honors
Ballots were cast by each of the 12 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their team or players.
Houston and Memphis are the co-favorites, according to the poll. UH garnered seven first-place votes to Memphis' four, but both teams finished with exactly 113 points. It's the first time in the league's seven-year history that two teams have tied for the top spot.
Only six points separated WSU (88) from third-place Cincinnati (94), which has the AAC's Preseason Player of the Year in Jarron Cumberland.
Memphis' James Wiseman was named Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Picked eighth last year, a rebuilding WSU (22-15, 10-8 AAC) started conference play 1-6 but went 9-2 the rest of the way to claim a sixth-place finish. Momentum continued in the postseason with semifinal runs in both the AAC and the National Invitation tournaments. Three starters and seven of the top-nine scorers are back, including a core of five sophomores who all played key minutes.
13th year Shocker head coach Gregg Marshall joined an elite fraternity last March when he picked up his 500th career victory. He's led WSU to at least 22 wins in each of the last 10 seasons.
American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll:
t-1. Houston (7) – 113
t-1. Memphis (4) – 113
3. Cincinnati (1) – 94
4. Wichita State – 88
5. USF – 79
6. UConn – 75
7. Temple – 72
8. SMU – 47
9. UCF – 40
10. Tulsa – 36
11. ECU – 20
12. Tulane – 15