After being picked seventh in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll by the coaches, Wichita State has a marker it can summon for motivation while grinding through league play. Interim coach Isaac Brown, who took over after Gregg Marshall resigned in November, declines to acknowledge a chip on the shoulders of the Shockers (8-3, 4-1 AAC). "I think we just take it one game at a time and Memphis is our next opponent," Brown said.
State of the Conference In its first year without Connecticut, the AAC has turned in an underwhelming start to the season, to say the least. Only Houston is ranked in the top 50 of the ESPN power index, and the No. Cougars are the only team ranked in the AP Men's Top 25.
Cincinnati’s woes are more on-court as the team is off to a rocky 3-6 start, but the Bearcats are coming off their best performance of the season, a road win over SMU, led by guard Jeremiah Davenport’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. That victory ended a five-game skid in which three of the losses were by five points or fewer and the other two came at the hands of SEC teams. Though Wichita State is 6-3, two of those wins have come against non-Division I teams.