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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sports Illustrated - 2008-09 Conference Capsules

Sports Illustrated
2008-09 Conference Capsules

CONFERENCE USA

07-08 CHAMPIONS: xy-Memphis.

POSTSEASON TEAMS: NCAA: Memphis. NIT: UAB.

PRESEASON POLL: Memphis; UAB; Tulsa; Texas-El Paso; Southern Mississippi (only five teams picked).

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Robert Vaden, UAB; Robert Dozier, Memphis; Stefon Jackson, Texas-El Paso; Jerome Jordan, Tulsa; Jermaine Taylor, Central Florida.

THREE THINGS: Memphis had a season for the ages in 2007-08 winning an NCAA-record 38 games, running unbeaten through C-USA again to run its in-conference winning streak to 42 games, reaching No. 1 in the poll, but the Tigers lost to Kansas in overtime in the national championship game. Four players are gone from that team, but coach John Calipari recruited a stellar class to go with Robert Dozier. ... When Mike Davis took over as coach at UAB, Robert Vaden transferred from Indiana, and he set a C-USA record last season with 142 3-pointers. He'll be joined by Paul Delaney III, an all-conference guard who missed last season with a knee injury. ... Ben Braun didn't take long to get back in the coaching ranks when California let him go after the season. He'll be in charge at Rice, which ended the season on a 20-game losing streak.

08-09 PREDICTIONS:

NCAA-Memphis; UAB; Tulsa.

NIT-Texas-El Paso.

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