An updated look at our ASUN men’s basketball Power Rankings after the first few couple weeks of conference play.This week’s Power Rankings are based on games played through January 18th.
Note: National rankings are courtesy of KenPom.com. Arrows denote change in power rankings since previous ranking.
1. Liberty 13-6, 4-0 #104
Any questions on whether or not Liberty would compete for a fourth straight ASUN title have all been debunked after the Flames have opened conference play at 4-0, especially on the heels of Tuesday night’s drubbing of Jacksonville, 88-49. Darius McGhee has likely already clinched the ASUN Player of the Year award, even if he finishes the rest of the season at or even below his current averages. He’s scored 75 points in the last two games while playing just 61 minutes.
This week: 1/20 @ Kennesaw State, 1/22 @ Central Arkansas
2. Jacksonville St 11-6, 4-0 #123
Perhaps Liberty’s biggest challenger at an ASUN title is Jacksonville State. One of three newcomers to the league this week, the Gamecocks have won six straight games dating back to late December. They own double digit wins over North Alabama and Eastern Kentucky while escaping with five point victories over Lipscomb and Central Arkansas.
This week: 1/22 vs FGCU
3. Bellarmine 10-8, 4-0 #205
It’s easy to try to count Bellarmine out, but every time someone does, the Knights prove them wrong. After finishing 10-3 in conference play last season, you would think people would stop doubting Scott Davenport’s crew. Bellarmine has opened league play at 4-0 ahead of a big matchup against Jacksonville on Saturday.
This week: 1/22 vs Jacksonville
4. Kennesaw St 8-8, 3-0 #214
Many expected the Owls to be more competitive and win more games this season, but a 3-0 start to conference play? I don’t think anybody had that on their radars, especially with Kennesaw winning its first two games by a combined 52 points! After having to take a COVID pause to begin the new year, KSU has taken care of business against FGCU, Stetson, and North Florida, with the last two coming on the road. All ASUN eyes will be on their showdown against Liberty on Thursday to see if they are for real.
This week: 1/20 vs Liberty, 1/22 @ Lipscomb
5. Jacksonville 11-5, 3-1 #236
The Dolphins have proven that their strong non-conference showing was not a fluke, opening ASUN play 3-0 with wins over FGCU, Stetson, and North Florida. Yes, they had a bit of humble pie served to them in Lynchburg Tuesday night with a 88-49 setback, but that’s what Liberty has been doing to the rest of the ASUN since joining the league just over three years ago. Jacksonville has a strong team that will be competing in the top half of the league all season.
This week: 1/22 @ Bellarmine
6. Central Arkansas 6-12, 3-2 #332
The Bears have been near the basement of these ASUN Power Rankings all season after beginning the year 1-9 and 2-10. UCA and head coach Anthony Boone have been able to start conference play on the right foot with a 3-1 start before falling to Jacksonville State in a nail-biter Tuesday night. Central Arkansas has another strong test on their hands when they play host to Liberty on Saturday.
This week: 1/22 vs Liberty
7. FGCU 12-7, 2-3 #215
The Eagles’ strong non-conference start was tampered by three straight losses to Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, and Liberty to open ASUN play at 1-3. FGCU was able to get back in the win column with an over defeat of Stetson, 93-91, on Tuesday night.
This week: 1/22 @ Jacksonville State
8. Eastern Kentucky 9-10, 1-4 #225
The Colonels were expected to compete at the top of the conference in their first year, but they dropped its first four ASUN games. EKU was without three key pieces due to COVID protocols in the conference opener against Central Arkansas, but those three would return the next game. Eastern Kentucky has played the past three games at full strength, and suffered losses to North Alabama and Jacksonville State before finally getting in the win column Tuesday night against Lipscomb. Don’t count EKU out though, they have the talent to get this turned around and be a force entering the conference tournament.
This week: 1/22 vs North Florida
9. Lipscomb 8-12, 1-4 #276
For the past few seasons, everyone has expected Lipscomb to put together a strong season behind their all-ASUN big man Ahsan Asadullah. That hasn’t been the case so far this season. After a conference opening win against North Alabama, the Bisons have dropped four straight. Head coach Lennie Acuff and crew will look to get it turned around Saturday against the upstart Owls.
This week: 1/22 vs Kennesaw State
10. Stetson 7-11, 1-4 #291
The Hatters opened conference play with a strong start to the game against Liberty before the Flames turned things on a dime. Stetson would drop that game by 16, but then they responded with an overtime win on the road against North Florida. It looked like the Hatters might have a dog in the race, but they have been without the services of their top player, Rob Perry, apparently due to an academic issue the past three games, all losses.
This week: 1/22 @ North Alabama
11. North Alabama 8-10, 1-4 #283
After finishing last season in the ASUN Championship game where they took Liberty to the wire, the Lions have had a tough start to the 2021-22 ASUN. North Alabama’s only win came at home against Eastern Kentucky by one point. They have lost their last two in close games, including a one point loss in overtime at Central Arkansas.
This week: 1/22 vs Stetson
12. North Florida 4-14, 0-5 #303
The Ospreys have been competitive in each of its first five conference games, but they have come out on the wrong end each time. UNF lost its conference opener at FGCU by 7, and since then has lost games by 2 (in overtime), 5, 3, and 2. North Florida will scrap together some wins this season, it’s just a matter of how many.
This week: 1/22 @ Eastern Kentucky