Memphis Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Second in American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll

(AUDIO): full interview with Memphis Asst Coach Cody Toppert
Landers Nolley II
Landers Nolley II Photo credit Memphis

Memphis Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Second in American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll

IRVING, Texas ‑- The American Athletic Conference coaches have selected the 2020-21 Memphis men's basketball team to finish second in the conference preseason poll.

Third-year head coach Penny Hardaway's team received two first-place votes and 90 total voting points from the other 10 AAC coaches.
Houston is picked to win the conference with nine first-place votes and 90 total.

Tiger freshman center Moussa Cisse is the Preseason Rookie of the Year. One of the top recruits in the country, Cisse led Lausanne Collegiate School to the 2019-20 Tennessee Division II-A state title. In his final high school season, Cisse averaged 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 9.2 blocks.

Sophomore forward D.J.
Jeffries and sophomore guard Landers Nolley II are both second-team selections.
The 6-foot-7 Jeffries appeared in 19 games with 13 starts last season, averaging 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman. Nolley, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Virginia Tech, joins the Tigers after averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while earning Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team honors for the Hokies last season.

Last season, the Tigers finished 21-10 overall and 10-8 in AAC play. The season was canceled just prior to the conference tournament due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Eight of the 14 players on Memphis' roster have started at least 13 games at the Division I level. That list includes Jeffries (13), Nolley II (29), guard Alex Lomax (15), guard Boogie Ellis (27), guard Damion Baugh (25), guard Lester Quinones (23), forward DeAndre Williams (15) and forward Lance Thomas (13).

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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

Preseason Player of the Year

Caleb Mills, Houston

Preseason Rookie of the Year

Moussa Cisse, Memphis

First Team

Keith Williams, Cincinnati

Jayden Gardney, ECU*

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

*Unanimous first-team selection