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Summer Shootaround: American

Catching up on news and notes from the American offseason while looking ahead to 2013-14 with predictions and analysis.

Here's an excerpt from the five biggest offseason questions:

Louisville's title defense looks very real: The Cardinals are not only the clear favorite in their one season in the American (before joining the ACC), but could make a strong case for No. 1 in the preseason polls. The last team that looked this prepared for a back-to-back title run was 2006-07 Florida. The Gators had more NBA prospects, but the Cardinals have just as many core players returning. Russ Smith, Montrezl Harrell, Luke Hancock, Chane Behanan, Tim Henderson and Wayne Blackshear are all back, and with the addition of highly touted guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier, there are more than enough options for Rick Pitino to play the way he wants and most importantly, win. Kevin Ware could be in this mix as well. He's made a remarkable recovery from the gruesome compound fracture he suffered during the Elite Eight. Ware is walking well and is set to start running late in the summer.

Read more on the American Athletic Conference.