It hasn’t been a very good start to the 2019-20 men’s basketball season for the ASUN. Teams not named Liberty and North Florida are a combined 15-36 against Division I teams with only 2 of those wins coming against teams ranked in the top 200 of the KenPom rankings. ASUN teams are a combined 0-15 against top 100 teams, and take UNF and LU out and they are 2-24 against top 200 teams.
Power rankings are based on games played through December 3rd.
Note: National rankings are courtesy of KenPom.com. Arrows denote movement in power rankings since last ranking (this is the first power rankings of the season).
1. Liberty 10-0 #75
The Liberty Flames have picked up where they left off from last season, blitzing out to a program-best 10-0, albeit against one of the weaker schedules in the country. KenPom currently ranks the Flames’ schedule as 350th out of 353 Division I teams. Still, Liberty is the only ASUN team with more than 1 win against a top 200 team thus far. The Flames’ schedule will ramp up considerably over the final month of non-conference play with games against Vanderbilt, LSU, Grand Canyon, Towson, and possibly Akron
This week: 12/8 vs Grand Canyon, 12/14 @ Vanderbilt
2. North Florida 6-4 #191
Outside of Liberty, the Ospreys are the only ASUN team that owns a win over a top 200 team. Until their loss Friday night to Tennessee State, UNF only had losses to top 60 teams. Two of their wins have come against non-DI teams and three others against teams ranked 250 or worse. Their best win to date is over Georgia Southern in their third game of the season.
This week: 12/7 @ Austin Peay
3. North Alabama 4-4 #276
The Lions have three losses to top 100 opponents with their 4th coming to #177 South Dakota State. They’ve taken care of the easier games on their schedule while having a solid home win over Samford. They are ranked this high because outside of Liberty and North Florida, UNA is the only ASUN that hasn’t lost to a team ranked #200 or worse.
This week: 12/4 @ Troy, 12/8 vs Birmingham Southern
4. Lipscomb 3-6 #196
It’s an entirely new look for the Bisons this year with new head coach Lennie Acuff and gone are the likes of Garrison Mathews, Rob Marberry, Kenny Cooper, and Eli Pepper. Big man Ahsan Asadullah will keep them competitive this season. Their best win came on the road against Navy, winning 65-61, just three days after Liberty beat the Midshipmen at home, 55-48. Four of Lipscomb’s losses have come against top 85 teams while the other two came against #233 Middle Tennessee and #255 Tennessee State.
This week: 12/3 @ Belmont, 12/8 vs Trevecca Nazarene
5. Stetson 5-5 #317
The biggest surprise of the early ASUN season has been the Hatters under first year head coach Donnie Jones. Jones has an impressive pedigree, with head coaching stings at Marshall and UCF, while serving as an assistant at Wichita State and Dayton the past two seasons. Stetson is 5-1 against teams ranked 200 or worse, with their best win coming against Monmouth, 63-55. Last year, they won 7 games all season.
This week: 12/7 @ VMI
6. NJIT 2-5 #220
Despite Zach Cooks terrific offensive start, where he has scored 20 or more points in six straight games, the Highlanders have struggled in the opening part of the 2019-20 season. Brian Kennedy’s squad has wins over Cornell and Wagner, both near the bottom of Division I basketball teams. NJIT’s worst loss is at home to (#301) Binghamton by 2.
This week: 12/4 @ Army, 12/7 @ UCF, 12/11 vs UMass Lowell
7. Jacksonville 4-5 #252
The Dolphins are off to a solid start despite having to replace most of their major contributors from a season ago including JD Notae who transferred to Arkansas. Their best win is a 57-37 triumph over Dartmouth a couple weeks ago. Their worst losses are against Merrimack and Campbell.
This week: 12/4 @ Marquette, 12/7 vs Bethune Cookman
8. FGCU 2-8 #313
The natives are starting to get restless in Fort Myers as 2nd year head coach Michael Fly is off to a dreadful start. Their wins have come against Florida Tech and over Florida Atlantic in overtime. The Eagles just had a pitiful performance in the Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Classic hosted in their own gym over Thanksgiving weekend where they lost all 3 games to North Dakota, Campbell, and Georgia Southern.
This week: 12/4 @ FIU, 12/7 vs Robert Morris
9. Kennesaw State 0-6 #345
Amir Abdur-Rahim is in his first season as head coach of the Owls, and based on his recruiting class it looks like he may have things headed in the right direction. There’s no reason KSU should be a bottom feeder in any sport in the ASUN. The Owls suffered an embarrassing loss Monday night, losing to Elon, 70-46. That was Elon’s first Division I win of the season.
This week: 12/4 @ UNC Greensboro, 12/7 vs FIU