The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is the youngest league in Division I. The league has only played seven seasons of basketball. However, that does not mean there have not been good teams. In fact, Connecticut won a national title in the league’s first year. The past seven years have been all about the AAC making a name for itself.
American Athletic Conference 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Nic Moore, SMU
Nic Moore played at SMU from 2013-2016. He is the only repeat player of the year award winner, having won twice. The Illinois State transfer was a three-time member of the conference’s first-team, twice voted unanimously. Moore was a two-time honorable mention for the AP All-American team and a member of the NIT All-Tournament team in 2014.
Moore averaged 14.6 points and 5.1 assists per game for his career. He also shot 42.1 percent from the three-point line overall. He is the all-time leader in three-point and free-throw shooting percentage for the AAC. Furthermore, he was the league leader in points and assists per game for the 2015-16 season. Moore led SMU to the NIT semis in 2014 and went off for 24 points on 6-11 from the three-point line in his only career NCAA Tournament game.
Guard – Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Shabazz Napier only played one season in the American Athletic Conference, but what a season it was. The award list is long. He was the AAC player of the year and a first-team All-American. He was also voted as the point guard of the year. To ice the cake, Napier was the East Region and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player while leading the Huskies to an NCAA Championship.
In his lone AAC season, Napier averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. His 7.9 win shares led the NCAA and account for 20 percent of Connecticut’s 40 wins that season. He led the ACC in assists and points produced for the 2013-14 season. During the Huskies’ title run, Napier averaged 21.2 points per game and 17 points per game in two Final Four games. He is forever etched in Connecticut and AAC history.
Guard – Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati
Jarron Cumberland just finished his career, playing for Cincinnati since 2016. He was the 2018-19 conference player of the year and a two-time member of the conference’s first-team. He was also an honorable mention for the AP All-American team in 2019. Cumberland finished his career ranked seventh in school history in points and assists.
For his career, Cumberland averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. He sits as the second-leading career scorer in AAC history. He also had 16.7 career win shares, also second-most. Cumberland appeared in three NCAA Tournaments, and his outstanding 2018-19 campaign helped the Bearcats secure a two-seed.
Guard – James Woodard, Tulsa
James Woodard played at Tulsa from 2012-2016. He started all 65 of his games in Tulsa’s first two seasons in the conference. He was voted as a member of the first-team in both years. Woodard scored in double-figures in 56 of those games and is the fourth on the all-time scoring list for the Golden Hurricane.
Woodard averaged 15 points, five rebounds and two assists per game during his two seasons playing in the AAC. He helped Tulsa reach the NIT in 2015 and the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
Forward – Gary Clark, Cincinnati
Gary Clark played for the Bearcats from 2014-18. His career culminated in 2018 with him being named the conference’s player and defensive player of the year. He was also an AP All-American honorable mention and the conference tournament Most Valuable Player. Clark is one of three Cincinnati players to finish his career with at least 1,400 points and 1,100 rebounds. He also had 32 career double-doubles and finished in the top-five in rebounds and blocks in school history.
Clark averaged 10.5 points and 8.1 rebounds for his career. Rebounding was the name of Clark’s game. He is the American Athletic Conference’s all-time leader in four rebounding categories. He also leads in every win shares category and in defensive rating. Clark was a member of four NCAA Tournament teams for the Bearcats.
Guard – Rob Gray, Houston
Rob Gray played three seasons for Houston from 2015-18. He was a two-time member of the conference’s first team. He finished as a top-ten career scorer for Houston and was the conference’s career points leader (he is fourth now). Gray became just the second Cougar to win multiple conference scoring titles.
Gray averaged 18.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and three assists per game during his career. He led the AAC in made field goals in a season twice, and his 18.8 career points average is still the best in league history. Gray made two NIT appearances before being the heart and soul of Houston’s 2018 NCAA Tournament team. He blasted San Diego State for 39 points in his first career tournament game.
Guard – Damyean Dotson, Houston
Damyean Dotson played at Houston from 2015-17 after transferring from Oregon. He made first-team all-conference in 2017. He started all 64 games he played at Houston. Dotson finished his career in the top ten in the NCAA in 2017 in three-point percentage and makes.
Dotson averaged 15.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for his career. His 132.1 offensive rating was tops in the AAC for the 2015-16 season. He made two NIT appearances for the Cougars and had 10.9 win shares in two seasons in Houston.
Forward – Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Dedric Lawson may be more well-known for his time at Kansas, but he spent 2015-17 at Memphis. He garnered Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 and was a member of the AAC’s first team in 2017. Lawson’s 19 double-doubles during the 2016-17 season led the conference.
In two seasons at Memphis, Lawson averaged 17.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. He was the top rebounder in the league in both seasons. He also sits in the top ten in career blocks and rebounds as an American Athletic Conference member. Lawson transferred to Kansas after two years, going on to be a good player in one season as a Jayhawk.
Forward – Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
Montrezl Harrell is another player that made the most of one season in the AAC. He was a first-team all-conference member for the 2013-14 season. He was also voted the league’s most improved player.
Harrell averaged 14 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in his one AAC season. His 60.9 field goal percentage was best in the league and sixth-best in the NCAA. He also averaged 12.3 points and 10.7 rebounds over three NCAA Tournament games that season. Harrell was part of a weird three years for the Cardinals, who went from the Big East to the AAC to the ACC over a three-year span.
Forward – Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
Precious Achiuwa is the freshest face on this team, having played this past season at Memphis. He was voted as the player and rookie of the year this season, the first player to earn both in AAC history. He was also the first Memphis freshman to win player of the year in 38 years.
Achiuwa averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game this season. He grabbed 22 rebounds against Tulane earlier this year, setting a single-game conference record. He led the American Athletic Conference in rebounding and defensive rating (82.5). Achiuwa took the reigns of an up-and-down season at Memphis but has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.