C-USA Basketball Power Rankings
1. Western Kentucky (13-5, 5-0 C-USA) – Last Week #2
It has been a long time since some took the top spot away from Middle Tennessee but the Hilltoppers are playing some damn good ball right now. The senior trio of Justin Johnson, Darius Thompson and Dwight Coleby are as good as they come with a combined 41.2 PPG and 22.5 RPG. Last week Western got some great news as former 4 star and top 60 recruit 6’8” Moustapha Diagne was declared eligible by the NCAA. We’ll see how long they claim the top spot though with arguably the toughest two game swing in conference coming up…UAB and MTSU.
2. Middle Tennessee (13-4, 5-0 C-USA) – Last Week #1
Maybe they shouldn’t have dropped a spot since they haven’t lost but they haven’t looked quite as impressive as WKU. Nick King as dropped his PPG from 23.3 in OOC to 18 PPG in conference. The Blue Raiders will need King and Potts to play at their best this week as they play Marshall and possible showdown with Western Kentucky on Saturday.
3. UAB (13-5, 4-1 C-USA) – Last Week #4
The Blazers are a tough team to figure out. They have won four straight after losing the conference opener to MTSU. Even though the four wins have come against teams with losing records in conference the Blazers have handled their business and haven’t really struggled. If they want to make a statement to the rest of the conference this is the week to do it. Huge matchup tomorrow night with WKU and Marshall on Saturday.
4. Old Dominion (13-4, 4-1 C-USA) – Last Week #3
The Monarchs let me down last week versus WKU, I thought they would matchup good and slow them down but couldn’t come away with the win. They did bounce back with a nice win over Marshall though. They start a 3 game road swing this week that includes trips to FIU, FAU and Charlotte. They have a chance to get back on a little winning streak.
5. North Texas (10-8, 3-2 C-USA) – Last Week #5
Probably the surprise team in conference. Grant McCasland has his team playing really well defensively as they are only allowing 68.8 PPG in conference which is good for 4th. Roosevelt Smart might be in the player of the year running early on as he has won conference player of the week twice already and is averaging 24 PPG, 4.8 RPG and shooting 84.2% from the free throw line.
6. Marshall (12-6, 3-2 C-USA) – Last Week #6
The Thundering Herd did just as everyone thought they would without Penava last week. They beat a charlotte team they should’ve and lost to an ODU team that they should’ve. With Penava out last week, CJ Burks averaged 28 PPG and is now averaging 25 PPG in C-USA play. With Burks, Elmore, Watson and when Penava returns…..watch out.
7. FAU (8-9, 2-3 C-USA) – Last Week #14
Biggest mover of the week, the Owls notched their first two wins of conference play in Texas versus UTSA and UTEP. Besides the blowout loss vs UAB their other two losses in C-USA have come by a combined 5 points to FIU and MTSU.
8. Louisiana Tech (10-9, 1-5 C-USA) – Last week #7
The Bulldogs lost twice last week and are probably the biggest disappointment in conference so far. I will cut them a little slack though as they have probably had the toughest start in conference playing MTSU, UAB, WKU, UTSA, UTEP and Marshall. Those teams are a combined 21-11 in conference while their next 6 opponents are 11-21. Look for them to get back on track in the next few weeks.
9. Southern Miss (9-10, 2-4 C-USA) – Last Week #8
Tough road trip last week vs MTSU and UAB but the bigger issue for me was not seeing Dominic Magee play last week. Not sure what the issue is or what happened but the Golden Eagles are a different team without him. Hopefully he’ll be on the court this coming week.
10. UTEP (6-10, 1-3 C-USA) – Last Week #10
Another less than impressive week as the Miners went 1-1 vs FIU and FAU. Keith Frazier returns to the team and I am sure he’ll be getting a lot more playing time than he did last week. Tirus Smith had surgery this week and is out indefinitely, so the Miners basically only have WIllms and Thomas in the frontcourt.
11. FIU (8-10, 2-3 C-USA) – Last Week #11
Split games last week against UTSA and UTEP. 4 of their 5 games in conference so far have been one possession games under a minute remaining. Panthers are going to eventually get some games they probably “shouldn’t” win.
12. UTSA (9-10, 2-4 C-USA) – Last Week #9
The Roadrunners have lost 3 straight games and have a matchup up with UTEP on Saturday for the week. Jhivvan Jackson is going to win freshman of the year and wouldn’t be surprised to see him make an all-C-USA team right now as he is scoring 23PPG off the bench in conference play.
13. Rice (4-14, 1-4 C-USA) – Last Week #12
Conner Cashaw has been the lone bright spot this year improving his conference PPG from 7.2 a year ago to 17.4 this season.
14. Charlotte (5-11, 1-4 C-USA) – Last Week #13
Blah Blah Blah Blah. Not much to say about this Charlotte team, besides we’ll probably be seeing Jon Davis and Adrien White elsewhere next year.