Like everything in this season of COVID-19, this is a very unique men’s basketball season in the ASUN. Much of it has to do with the schedule format with teams playing two game series on back-to-back nights at one location. It makes for unbalanced schedules and it is very difficult to win games on consecutive nights against the same opponent. There are a few teams, Liberty included, who will not be able to play a full 16 game conference schedule. The final few weeks of the regular season are certain to have some fireworks.
This week’s Power Rankings are based on games played through February 7th.
Note: National rankings are courtesy of KenPom.com. Arrows denote change in power rankings since previous ranking.
1. Liberty 15-5, 6-2 #110
The Flames have won four straight games, including a non-conference win over Lancaster Bible College on Friday night. Liberty has had games canceled due to COVID issues for both Florida Gulf Coast and North Florida. Because of these cancellations, the Flames will not be able to play a full 16 game ASUN schedule. Liberty will finish with 14 regular season conference games. If they were to finish, 11-3, for example, and tied in the loss column with Bellarmine who finishes 13-3, Liberty would not win the regular season title. It’s unfortunate that, despite not having COVID issues to this point, the Flames are unable to play a full conference schedule.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 @ North Alabama
2. Bellarmine 11-5, 8-2 #183
The Knights continue to play exceptional basketball, and they make a very convincing argument for the number one spot on these power rankings. Bellarmine stand alone in first place and have won 8 straight since dropping their first two conference games at home to Lipscomb. Bellarmine’s 8 wins have come against ASUN teams who are a combined 11-27 in league play. Their only games against teams without a losing record were against the Bisons, dropping both on their home floor. The Knights’ remaining schedule includes road trips to North Florida and Liberty and a home series with North Alabama, the three teams at the top of the standings.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 @ North Florida
3. Lipscomb 12-9, 6-4 #210
The Bisons are a team that is tough to get a read on. They continue to split with everyone in conference play, with the exception of the sweep at Bellarmine. With Ahsan Asadullah and Romeao Ferguson, Lipscomb has the talent to return to a fourth straight ASUN title game.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 @ Jacksonville
4. North Florida 7-11, 5-3 #294
The Ospreys have had the best turnaround of any team in the league from non-conference to conference play. UNF was just 2-8 entering ASUN competition, but they have been able to manage a split with everyone they have played while sweeping Kennesaw State. UNF was unable to play Liberty this past weekend due to COVID, and their status for this upcoming week is in jeopardy at this point.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 vs Bellarmine
5. Florida Gulf Coast 9-6, 4-4 #258
FGCU had the unfortunate circumstance where they were unable to begin conference play due to COVID concerns, and when they came back, after nearly a month layoff, they played a surging Bellarmine squad, dropping both. Since then, the Eagles have been playing catch up, and with a weekend sweep of North Alabama, they are making a push to be included in the top half of the standings. Unlike some of the other teams competing at the top, FGCU played most of their tougher opponents in the front half of the conference schedule, and their back half should be more manageable. Don’t count Michael Fly’s team out.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 @ Kennesaw State
6. North Alabama 10-6, 6-4 #291
Like Bellarmine, the Lions raced out to an impressive 6-1 mark in conference play, but they did so against some of the weaker teams in the league. Since then, UNA has dropped three straight and they still have games remaining against Liberty, Bellarmine, and Lipscomb.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 vs Liberty
7. Stetson 7-10, 4-6 #231
The Hatters stood at just 2-5 in conference play a couple weeks ago after dropping four straight, including a sweep at Bellarmine, but Donnie Jones has gotten his team stabilized. With games remaining against Kennesaw State and Jacksonville, Stetson has an opportunity to get back into the mix in the middle of the standings.
This week: TBD
8. Jacksonville 9-11, 3-7 #316
Remember just a couple weeks ago when the Dolphins were tied atop the ASUN standings and even being projected into some NCAA Tournament bracket projections? That seems such a long time ago as Jacksonville has lost 7 straight games. Transfer guard Kevion Nolan got injured against North Alabama a few weeks ago, and it is showing on the scoreboard.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 vs Lipscomb
9. Kennesaw State 3-15, 0-10 #349
The Owls have gotten much closer to winning, but have been able to get over the hump yet. Six of their conference losses have come by six points or fewer.
This week: 2/12, 2/13 vs FGCU