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Owls Tabbed First In AAC Poll, Martin and Davis Named Preseason Players of the Year

On the heels of its historic Final Four run from 2023, Florida Atlantic has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2023-24 American Athletic Conference menís basketball title in voting done by the leagueís head coaches, the conference announced Monday as part of the American Basketball Media Day at the Grand Hyatt DFW.
Florida Atlantic, entering its first year in The American, received 11 first-place votes and a total of 167 points. Memphis, which won its first American Athletic Conference Championship in 2023, was tabbed second with three-first place votes and 159 total points.
Tulane is third with 142 points, followed by UAB, which was the 2023 NIT runner-up, with 128 points. East Carolina is fifth with 105 points, followed by the 2023 NIT champion, North Texas, in sixth with 100 points. SMU is seventh with 97 points, followed by Wichita State (90), South Florida (62), Tulsa (59), Rice (56), Temple (49), Charlotte (46) and UTSA (14).
A pair of Florida Atlantic Owls share the title of Preseason Player of the Year, junior guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin, while a pair of Memphis Tigers were selected Preseason Rookie of the Year, guard Carl Cherenfant and forward JJ Taylor.
Davis, the 2023 Conference USA Sixth Player of the Year, averaged 13.8 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Owls. Martin, the 2023 CUSA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a First-Team All-Conference selection, averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds for Florida Atlantic. The duo was joined on the Preseason All-Conference First Team by Tulane junior guard Jaylen Forbes, the lone unanimous first-team selection. Forbes (18.5 ppg) was an All-Conference Second Team member in 2023. UAB junior guard Eric Gaines and Memphis senior Jahvon Quinerly rounded out the First Team. Gaines averaged 11.5 points and 4.3 assists last season for the Blazers, while Quinerly (8.7 ppg) was the SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year in 2023 for Alabama.
The Preseason All-Conference Second Team consists of East Carolina junior guard RJ Felton (13.8 ppg in 2022-23), Memphis redshirt-senior forward Jordan Brown (19.3 ppg and 8.6 rpg for Louisiana), Rice senior forward Max Fiedler (11.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg), SMU junior guard Zhuric Phelps (17.5 ppg) and Tulane junior forward Kevin Cross (14.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg).
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or student-athletes.
The 2024 American Athletic Conference Menís Basketball Championship will be held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, March 13-17.
2023-24 American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll

1.   Florida Atlantic (11)   
2.   Memphis (3)   
3.   Tulane   
4.   UAB   
5.   East Carolina   
6.   North Texas   
7.   SMU   
8.   Wichita State   
9.   South Florida   
10.   Tulsa   
11.   Rice   
12.   Temple   
13.   Charlotte   
14.   UTSA   

* First-place votes in parenthesis
Preseason Player of the Year
Johnell Davis, Jr., G, Florida Atlantic
Alijah Martin, Jr., G, Florida Atlantic
Preseason Rookie of the Year
Carl Cherenfant, G, Memphis
JJ Taylor, F, Memphis
Preseason All-Conference First Team
Eric Gaines, Jr., G, UAB
Johnell Davis, Jr., G, Florida Atlantic
Alijah Martin, Jr., G, Florida Atlantic
Jahvon Quinerly, Sr., G, Memphis
Jaylen Forbes, Jr., G, Tulane*
Preseason All-Conference Second Team
RJ Felton, Jr., G, East Carolina
Jordan Brown, R-Sr., F, Memphis
Max Fiedler, Sr., F, Rice
Zhuric Phelps, Jr., G, SMU
Kevin Cross, Jr., F, Tulane
* denotes unanimous selection

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