Big South Power Rankings: Gardner-Webb Returning to Form

Ethan Miller

It was another jam packed week in the Big South. It looks like Gardner-Webb is settling in with new head coach Tim Craft; while some of the conference's younger teams struggled this week.

1. Winthrop Eagles (5-1)
Last Week:
1

The Eagles continue to impress in out of conference play early this season. After taking care of two Atlantic Sun teams earlier this season, it was Pat Kelsey's turn to host a CAA member in Rock Hill last week. Winthrop dispatched James Madison with ease with another total team effort and to move to 5-1 on the year. Winthrop will look to keep it going this week against the ACC.

Last Week: W 69-57 vs JMU
This Week: 12/3 at Virginia Tech (5-3)

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

It wasn't a busy week in North Charleston with the Buc destroying a non-Division I opponent at home. The Bucs will welcome in Delaware this week, a team they beat 95-93 earlier this season. It will be interesting to see how Barclay Radebaugh's squad adjusts to seeing the Blue Hens for a second time. CSU will then begin a three game road trip with a game in Tuscaloosa next weekend to kick it off.

Last Week: W 105-58 vs Trinity
This Week: 12/3 vs Delaware (4-3)

3. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (4-4)
LW:
7

Tim Craft seems to be settling in with the Bulldogs now. Gardner-Webb is coming off a stretch where they really challenged Missouri and Northwestern and then won their bracket this past weekend at the Las Vegas Invitational. Texas A&M transfer Naji Hibbert really stepped up in Vegas scoring 38 in the two games. Gardner-Webb will look to keep the momentum going with two games versus the Southern Conference this week.

Last Week: L 72-59 at Northwestern, W 61-54 vs IUPUI, W 86-82 vs Morehead State
This Week: 12/4 vs Wofford (2-4), 12/7 at The Citadel (3-6)

4. Radford Highlanders (4-3)
LW:
4

R.J. Price's 24 points vaulted the Highlanders over Cornell on the road, but then the Highlanders simply didn't show up when they headed down the road to play Virginia Tech. Non-D1 Central Penn comes to town this week before hosting North Carolina A&T, a team that beat Longwood this past weekend, later in the week.

Last Week: W 86-71 at Cornell, L 81-56 at Virginia Tech
This Week: 12/4 vs Central Penn (Non-D1), 12/7 vs North Carolina A&T (2-5)

5. High Point Panthers (3-3)
LW:
2

Just when you thought Scott Cherry's squad was building some momentum and living up to the preseason hype, the Panthers drop a home game to Stephen F. Austin, despite 27 points from John Brown. Allan Chaney did not play for High Point this week after his defibrillator went off during the Wofford game last week to regulate his heartbeat. Chaney will continue to meet with doctors this week and it's unknown when he may return for the Panthers.

Last Week: L 71-68 vs Stephen F. Austin
This Week: 12/5 at Georgetown (4-2)

6. VMI Keydets (4-3)
LW:
5

The Keydets just didn't show up and got blown out by in-state rival William & Mary this week. VMI hasn't won a Division I game since their upset over Air Force during the opening weekend, a win that has become less impressive. We'll find out a lot about Duggar Baucom's squad with a tough slate of games this week.

Last Week: L 97-67 at William & Mary
This Week: 12/3 at Elon (4-4), 12/7 vs Wright State (5-3)

7. Campbell Camels (4-3)
LW:
10

I don't know what to think about this team. Coming off the North Carolina Central debacle, the Camels didn't look any better struggling against non-Division I team St. Andrews. But then the Camels went out and beat a rebuilding Georgia Southern squad on the road with a last second bucket in overtime. We'll learn a little more about the Camels this week when they head down I-40 to take on UNC Wilmington.

Last Week: W 62-55 vs St. Andrews, W 75-73 at Georgia Southern
This Week: 12/3 at UNC Wilmington (4-5)

8. Liberty Flames (3-5)
LW:
11

Flames fans can exhale, they won't have to wait until New Year's Eve for Liberty's first Division I win as the Flames took down Hampton in Corpus Christi. The vital signs are there for the Flames, who competed with Missouri State and beat Sam Houston State to win their portion of the Corpus Christi Challenge, but will they lose momentum with a limited slate over the next two weeks?

Last Week: L 54-52 at Missouri State, W 70-53 vs Hampton, W 62-58 vs Sam Houston State
This Week: 12/7 vs Greensboro (Non-D1)

9. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (2-5)
LW:
6

No miracle upset over Clemson this year for Coastal, as the Chants got spanked by the Tigers 69-40 in a bit of a revenge game. What will Cliff Ellis' squad show with games on back-to-back nights against a solid Western Carolina team and a non-Division I opponent?

Last Week: L 69-40 at Clemson
This Week: 12/4 vs Western Carolina (5-5), 12/5 vs North Carolina Wesleyan (Non-D1)

10. Longwood Lancers (2-6)
LW:
8

It just wasn't a good week for first year head coach Jayson Gee and his young Lancers squad. After a good fight against St. John's on Tuesday, the Lancers dropped a pair of neutral site games in the Barclays Center Classic. The Mississippi Valley State loss was particularly deflating, as the Lancers clawed back and lost by one point in the final seconds. A four game homestand, with three games coming against non-Division I opponents, may be the best medicine for this young squad.

Last Week: L 65-47 at St. John's, L 85-78 vs North Carolina A&T, L 90-89 vs Mississippi Valley State
This Week: 12/4 vs West Virginia Tech (Non-D1), 12/7 vs Eastern Kentucky (6-2)

11. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (1-7)
LW:
9

The Preseason NIT was once again unkind to UNCA this week, losing to Rhode Island and East Carolina in Kingston. The Bulldogs also closed the week with a loss at in-state rival Charlotte. The good news is the Bulldogs can't lose this week and Nick McDevitt's next game will finally be his first home game as a head coach.

Last Week: L 73-56 at Rhode Island, L 81-70 vs ECU, L 77-56 at Charlotte
This Week: No Games

12. Presbyterian Blue Hose (1-7)
LW:
12

Not even a trip to Mexico could get the Blue Hose their first Division I win of the year. Presbyterian will get two more shots this week, after battling Georgia Southern hard this week. The good news is that four of the next five games for PC will come at home.

Last Week: L 67-45 vs Bowling Green, L 76-66 vs Georgia Southern
This Week: 12/3 at UNC Greensboro (4-3), 12/5 vs Montreat (Non-D1), 12/7 vs Furman (3-3)

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