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Adams, Gilbert Earn AAC Preseason Honors

Jalen Adams was named First Team All-Conference in 2016-17.

Oct. 16, 2017

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--- UConn junior guard Jalen Adams (Roxbury, Mass.) and redshirt freshman guard Alterique Gilbert (Richmond, Va.) received preseason honors from the American Athletic Conference as the league announced the results of its men's basketball 2017-18 preseason polls Monday at the AAC annual Media Day.

Adams was named to the Preseason All-Conference First Team, while Gilbert was the Preseason Rookie of the Year in a vote of the conference's head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team or players. In the Preseason Coaches' Poll, UConn was picked to finish fifth in the 12-team AAC, in back of Cincinnati, Wichita State, UCF and SMU.

Adams, a postseason First Team All-Conference selection last year, comes off a 2016-17 season in which he led UConn in scoring (14.4) and free throw percentage (.828) and led the Huskies, the entire conference and was 14th nationally in assists (6.1). Following the season, besides his All-Conference selection, he was named to the AAC Championship All-Tournament Team, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District I Team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All-District First Team.  

Gilbert has the unique distinction of being named the Preseason Rookie of the Year for the second year in a row. He earned the same honor last year, but had his season curtailed prematurely in UConn's third game by a torn labrum in his left shoulder, requiring season-ending surgery. His short season makes him eligible for Rookie of the Year honors again. At the time of his injury, Gilbert was averaging 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.

Gilbert was a McDonald's All-American and a consensus Top 30 recruit coming out of Miller Grove High School (Lithonia, Ga.) and was selected the Georgia Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2015-16. His selection marks the fourth consecutive season that the Preseason Rookie of the Year has come from UConn, following in the footsteps of Daniel Hamilton (2014), Adams (2015), and his own (2016).

UConn compiled 79 points in the Coaches' Poll, which was led by Cincinnati (116) and Wichita State (115). UCF (93) was third, followed by SMU (91) and UConn. Behind the Huskies, in order, are Houston (72), Temple (68), Tulsa (52), Memphis (36), Tulane (30), ECU (24) and USF (16).

Adams was joined on the Preseason First Team by SMU's Shake Milton, Wichita State's Landry Shamet, Houston's Rob Gray, and B.J. Taylor of UCF. On the Preseason Second Team are Gary Clark, Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans, all of Cincinnati, Junior Etou of Tulsa and Tacko Fall of UCF.

Milton was named the Preseason Player of the Year.

UConn will begin its exhibition season against Merrimack on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies will face Queens College in their second exhibition game, set for Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. The season-opener is against Colgate on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at Gampel.

2017-18 AAC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL

Rank      Team (First-Place Votes)              Pts.

  1.       Cincinnati (7)                                 116
  2.       Wichita State (5)                            115
  3.       UCF                                                 93
  4.       SMU                                                91
  5.       UCONN                                            79
  6.       Houston                                           72
  7.       Temple                                            68
  8.       Tulsa                                               52
  9.       Memphis                                          36
  10.       Tulane                                             30
  11.       ECU                                                 24
  12.       USF                                                 16

 

2017-18 PRESEASON INDIVIDUAL HONORS

 

Preseason Player of the Year

Shake Milton, SMU

 

Preseason Rookie of the Year

Alterique Gilbert, UConn

 

Preseason All-AAC First Team

Shake Milton, SMU

Jalen Adams, UConn

Rob Gray, Houston

Landry Shamet, Wichita State

B.J. Taylor, UCF

 

Preseason All-AAC Second Team

Gary Clark, Cincinnati

Junior Etou, Tulsa

Jacob Evans, Cincinnati

Tacko Fall, UCF

Kyle Washington, Cincinnati


 

 

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