Here’s our updated Big South Basketball Power Rankings with games played through February 16th.
Note: National rankings are courtesy of KenPom.com. Arrows denote movement in power rankings since last week.
1. Coastal Carolina 19-8, 10-5 #146
After losing 4 out of 5 at the end of January, Cliff Ellis and the Chanticleers have seemingly righted the ship. Coastal has now won 4 out of 5 including a dominating 40 point win over Liberty on Saturday and a road win at Radford on Monday night. CCU’s final 3 games are against Campbell, Longwood, and Presbyterian. If they can take care of business in those 3 games, they would have a great shot at the #1 seed for the conference tournament which will be played on their home court.
2. Charleston Southern 16-9, 10-4 #199
The top 5 teams in this league are so balanced. Any game between the likes of Charleston Southern, Coastal, High Point, Winthrop, and Radford can go either way. The Buccaneers have now won 3 straight including wins over Radford and Coastal Carolina.
3. High Point 19-7, 10-4 #138
The Panthers rebounded from their first 2-game losing streak of the season with wins over Winthrop and Campbell this week. John Brown scored 34 against Winthrop and is now averaging 18.9 points per game on the year. Having a dynamic player like Brown, could prove to be a difference maker in the conference tournament since the top of the league has so much parity.
4. Winthrop 14-11, 9-5 #170
The Eagles are 9-1 in conference play against teams not named High Point or Radford after getting swept by both. As the top part of the Big South jockeys for position entering the conference tournament, Pat Kelsey’s crew will hope they fall on the opposite side of the bracket as the Panthers and Highlanders.
5. Radford 19-9, 10-5 #177
With a senior laden squad it feels like it’s this year or bust for Mike Jones and the Highlanders. Javonte Green and R.J. Price are doing their best to make sure this season ends as a success. Green leads Radford with 15 points and 8 rebounds on the year while Price is averaging 12.7 points per game.
6. Gardner-Webb 16-11, 8-6 #204
Just one game this week for the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who fell at Winthrop, 71-68. Jerome Hill’s 21 points and 15 rebounds were not enough for Gardner-Webb to pull the upset on the road. Hill will be in the mix for Big South Player of the Year though as he’s 2nd in the league in scoring and tops in rebounding.
7. UNC-Asheville 13-12, 9-5 #224
I’ve felt all along that UNC-Asheville was at the bottom of the top half of the league, and their home loss to Presbyterian helps prove this point. Rowsey finished with 24 points against PC, but missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the game that would have given the Bulldogs the lead.
8. Presbyterian 9-18, 5-9 #330
With a healthy Jordan Downing and DeSean Murray, the Blue Hose could play spoiler down the stretch and into the conference tourney. Murray has now scored over 20 points in 3 consecutive games.
9. Longwood 7-20, 3-11 #312
The Lancers have dropped 6 out of 7 since beating Liberty on January 17th. 7 of Longwood’s 11 conference losses have come in overtime or by single digits, so they’re close, but just haven’t been able to get over the hump. Forward Jason Pimentel could provide an extra boost for the Lancers down the stretch. Pimentel played in his first game of the season against Charleston Southern on Saturday after being suspended.
10. Campbell 9-18, 3-11 #288
Campbell’s next 3 games are against Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, and Winthrop, as the Camels fight with Presby and Longwood for seeding. Campbell’s final game of the season is at Longwood, a game that could prove critical to tournament seeding.
11. Liberty 7-20, 1-13 #339
After dropping their first 12 games of conference play, the Flames finally got off the snide with a 73-60 win over Campbell. Liberty wasn’t able to celebrate long as they suffered their worst regular season conference defeat in school history against Coastal on Saturday, losing 96-56.