Big South Power Rankings: Steady at the Top

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Not much changed during exam week for most teams, but a telling week awaits most of the Big South.

1. Winthrop Eagles (6-2)
Last Week: 1

Winthrop is off to their best start since the Gregg Marshall era. Joab Jerome dazzled this week with 20 points in a home win over Appalachian State. The Eagles will get a tough match up at North Carolina Central mid-week before welcoming another Southern Conference foe to the Coliseum on Saturday.

Last Week: W 80-72 vs Appalachian State
This Week: 12/18 at North Carolina Central (6-2), 12/21 vs Wofford (3-6)

2. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-5)
LW: 2

I'm not moving Barclay Radebaugh's squad until they lost some games they aren't supposed to lose. The Bucs struggled to score at Alabama and now can focus on some more comparable opponents in Western Carolina and Central Arkansas this week. We'll find out a lot about Charleston Southern during this road stretch.

Last Week: L 59-45 at Alabama
This Week: 12/18 at Western Carolina (5-6), 12/21 at Central Arkansas (2-5)

3. Radford Highlanders (6-2)
LW: 3

Radford didn't win and they didn't lose this past week. There is no time for rust for Mike Jones' Highlanders as they head out for road games against Santa Clara and UNLV before taking part in the Las Vegas Classic in a pool that includes Sacred Heart, Florida Gulf Coast, and Florida A&M.

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/16 at Santa Clara (4-5), 12/18 at UNLV (4-4), 12/22 vs Sacred Heart (2-8)

4. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (6-5)
LW: 4

The Bulldogs took care of business against a non-Division I team this week and now have a brutal week with three games, including a road trip to Duke and Georgia. Tim Craft's team should certainly be battle tested by conference play.

Last Week: W 106-54 vs Clearwater Christian
This Week: 12/16 at #8 Duke (7-2) ESPNU, 12/19 at Georgia (4-4), 12/21 vs Hiwasee (Non-D1)

5. VMI Keydets (6-4)
LW: 5

VMI struggled a bit against non-D1 Virginia-Lynchburg this week, but then woke up to blow them out in the second half. This has certainly been a streaky team this year and they'll look to grasp some consistency on the road this week with a trip to East Carolina. Freshman Q.J. Peterson is leading the Big South in scoring, as he's averaging 21.5 points per game.

Last Week: W 110-78 vs Virginia-Lynchburg
This Week: 12/19 at East Carolina (9-2)

6. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (5-5)
LW:7

Coastal had no trouble against their non-Division I opponent last week. The Chants now enter a very unique stretch of their schedule before conference play where they will play home and home series against South Carolina State and Central Connecticut State.

Last Week: W 118-82 vs Reinhardt
This Week: 12/17 at South Carolina State (2-7), 12/21 at Central Connecticut State (3-7)

7. High Point Panthers (3-5)
LW: 6

High Point has now dropped their last three straight games by an average margin of nearly 18 points. Quite frankly, the Panthers seem to be sinking without Allan Chaney. If Scott Cherry's team is going to overcome adversity and compete then they need to do it in a hurry. The Panthers next four games are on the road, including match ups at Syracuse and at Arkansas.

Last Week: L 84-69 vs James Madison
This Week: 12/18 at Morgan State (2-7), 12/20 at #2 Syracuse (10-0)

8. UNC Asheville Bulldogs
LW: 11

Asheville's ranking thus far has been more indicative of their schedule than their performance. Finally the Bulldogs hosted their first home game this week in a way over a non-D1 opponent and then ended USC Upstate's twelve game home win streak over non-conference opponents. UNCA may have to wait a couple of weeks to generate some momentum though, the schedule is sparse this week.

Last Week: W 92-56 vs Bluefield, W 73-63 at USC Upstate
This Week: 12/20 vs Virginia Intermont (Non D1)

9. Liberty Flames (4-6)
LW: 8

Liberty continues being Liberty and completely confusing. It seemed like the Flames were putting a little momentum together after their trip to South Padre Island, but then they lose to Austin Peay on the road. This weekend is a real gauge for Dale Layer's squad as they play Howard and Furman, two teams the Flames should beat if they really are a top level program in this conference.

Last Week: L 77-71 at Austin Peay
This Week: 12/17 vs Howard (3-11), 12/20 at Furman (4-6)

10. Longwood Lancers (4-7)
LW: 10

Longwood pulled away from non-D1 Bluefield State in the second half Saturday night to grab their fourth win of the season. Lucas Woodhouse is leading the Big South in assists and is now sixth in the country in assists per game. Another non-D1 opponent awaits before a brutal stretch of six of the next seven away from home.

Last Week: W 99-73 vs Bluefield State
This Week: 12/16 vs Virginia Intermont (Non D1), 12/21 at Dartmouth (4-4)

11. Campbell Camels (4-6)
LW: 9

It continues to be a rocky transition in Buies Creek for first year head coach Kevin McGeehan. For the second straight year the Camels lost to a non-Division I opponent on their home floor. The Camels best chance at getting out of their current three game game losing streak comes this Saturday when another non-D1 program comes to the Creek.

Last Week: L 67-65 vs Chowan, L 80-68 at Loyola (Ill)
This Week: 12/18 at Robert Morris (4-7), 12/21 vs Johnson & Wales (Non D1)

12. Presbyterian Blue Hoes (3-8)
LW: 12

The Blue Hose might have climbed out of the last spot this week but they didn't play. PC will now get a shot at two teams who aren't that far from being on par them this week. Both games are at home for the Blue Hose, so we'll find out a little more about what their made of early this week.

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/16 vs UT-Martin (4-8), 12/18 Appalachian State (2-7)

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