Here are four Conference USA story lines to watch as the 2001-02 season unfolds:
Can Memphis make some major noise?
|Coach John Calipari has lost Dajuan Wagner after just one year, as most expected.|
The Tigers have the potential to build on last year's NIT Final Four appearance. John Calipari is in his second year at the school and his squad is ready. An experienced nucleus is back, and this team can be special with the arrival of America's premier high school star, DaJuan Wagner. Plus, Kelly Wise can be a force up front.
How will Rick Pitino do in his return to the college sidelines?
Louisville will be a major story nationally with Pitino returning to collegiate coaching. The Cardinals and Pitino are revitalized. He hopes to build on the tradition, extending from the success of Denny Crum over the years. You can tell that this group of players has bought into his program of working hard. Rece Gaines and company will surprise a lot of people.
Can Cincinnati remain a major factor in C-USA?
Bob Huggins always seems to find a way to win, though the loss of Kenny Satterfield leaves a major void. The Bearcats may be overshadowed by the Pitino story and Wagner's presence at Memphis. But never underestimate Huggins and his program.
Will South Florida finally reach its potential?
Seth Greenberg's team is due to break out and make it to the NCAA Tournament. South Florida last made it to the NCAAs in 1992. B.B. Waldon and Altron Jackson provide a talented 1-2 punch.