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Big South Power Rankings: North Division Rising?

What did we learn in Week 1 action in the Big South? Nothing, we're just more confused at who will rise to the top in this conference.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We have a full week of basketball in the books and not one team in the Big South is undefeated at this points. We've had some surprises and some disappointments so far, the only thing that is clear at this point is that nothing is clear.

1. VMI Keydets (3-1)

A lot of drop off was expected from Duggar Baucom's squad after top scorer Stan Okoye graduated, but energizing freshman guard QJ Peterson has filled in the void averaging over 21 points per game. Rodney Glasgow has also been impressive averaging 15 points and nearly 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game.

The start of the Keydets season was impressive in beating the Citadel and Air Force in-route to the All-Military Classic title, but the win over the Falcons has been tempered a bit now with Jackson State also beating Air Force. We'll find out more about the Keydets this week when they travel to in-state rival Virginia Tech.

Last Week: W 82-71 vs The Citadel, W 71-63 vs Air Force, L 98-71 at Wake Forest, W 121-80 vs Bluefield State
This Week: 11/18 at Virginia Tech (2-1), vs Bridgewater (Non-D1)

2. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (2-1)

After a 79 point win over non-Division I Johnson and an impressive, high octane win at Delaware the Bucs fell back a little bit with a loss at home to UNC Wilmington. Six Buccaneers are averaging in double-figures right now, lead by Saah Nimley with 15.7 points per game. Head coach Barclay Radebaugh told us that Cedrick Bowen should be the biggest shot in the arm for the Bucs before the season and he has come through averaging 11.7 points and 7 rebounds per game.

The Bucs will get a chance to prove themselves this week with a visit to #22 New Mexico and #23 Baylor. CSU gave the Lobos a run for their money last year, losing 76-69 in Albuquerque.

Last Week: W 130-51 vs Johnson, W 95-93 at Delaware, L 80-78 vs UNC Wilmington
This Week: 11/17 at #22 New Mexico (1-0), 11/20 at #23 Baylor (2-0)

3. Winthrop Eagles (2-1)

Pat Kelsey's squad couldn't shut down Torrey Craig, but the nevertheless the Eagles had a solid win over USC Upstate earlier this week. The Eagles also held their own in the first half in a hostile environment at VCU. Andre Smith, Keon Johnson, and Joab Jerome have formed a formidable scoring trio, as all three are averaging 13 or more points per game. Kelsey will try to continue his success over the Atlantic Sun this week with a road match up against East Tennessee State.

Last Week: vs Roanoke W 93-74, vs USC-Upstate W 82-74, L 92-71 at VCU
This Week: 11/19 at East Tennessee State (0-3), 11/23 vs Virginia Intermont (Non-D1)

4. Campbell Camels (2-1)

Kevin McGeehan's Camels had an impressive win at Appalachian State this week and also gave North Carolina State a solid fight. McGeehan's system and transition seems to be going better than expected at this stage in large part to former Kent State transfer Darius Leonard, who is averaging 17 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Two more challenging road match ups are in front of the Camels this week.

Last Week: W 87-62 vs Shenandoah, W 73-66 at Appalachian State, L 81-66 at North Carolina State
This Week: 11/18 at NC Central (1-1), 11/20 at Cincinnati (3-0)

5. Radford Highlanders (2-1)

After an opening night loss to George Washington, the Highlanders have won two in a row including win over Chattanooga in a battle of two former Shaka Smart assistants. Javonte Green continues to be a beast and live up to his preseason hyper averaging 16.7 points and 7 rebounds per game. Now Mike Jones squad will be tested with three straight road games.

Last Week: L 76-54 vs George Washington, W 89-78 vs Chattanooga, W 105-57 vs Brevard
This Week: 11/23 at Binghampton (1-3)

6. Longwood Lancers (2-1)

It didn't take long for first year head coach Jayson Gee to make some noise with the Lancers. After losing to South Carolina, the Lancers grabbed their first win over a power conference member in school history by knocking off TCU in Fort Worth behind 31 points from Tristan Carey. Carey continues to be one of the conference's premier scorers averaging 20 points per game, while sophomore Lucas Woodhouse has been impressive averaging 10.7 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Woodhouse also hit the game winning three in the last two seconds of the game against TCU.

Longwood's biggest problem is in the paint and on the boards where they have been out-rebounded 127 to 88 on the year. We'll learn more about the Lancers in the next week with match ups versus Brown and Penn State.

Last Week: L 82-44 at South Carolina, W 82-79 at TCU, W 88-70 vs Mars Hill
This Week: 11/22 vs Brown (2-1), 11/24 vs Penn State (2-1)

7. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (1-2)

The Bulldogs still haven't played at home this year and have had a challenging slate. Freshman Andrew Rowsey has been the story thus far for the Bulldogs averaging 19.7 points per game, including a 23 point performance in a big overtime win over Charleston. The road won't get any easier for Nick McDevitt this week as the Bulldogs head to Cameron Indoor to take on Duke in the Preseason NIT.

Last Week: L 89-57 at #1 Kentucky, L 74-67 at Western Carolina, W 67-58 at Charleston
This Week: 11/18 at #4 Duke (2-1), 11/19 vs East Carolina/Norfolk State

8. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (1-2)

I got some backlash for picking the Bulldogs to regress a bit with the loss of head coach Chris Holtmann, but so far the Gardner-Webb has not totally lived up to their preseason billing. GWU got reamed by Xavier and then had a bad loss on the road at Furman. They did rebound with a solid win over Jacksonville despite having leading scorer Donta Harper. Jerome Hill and Tyler Strange have also been impressive. Hill has been averaging 12 points and nearly 8 rebounds, while Strange is averaging nearly 12 points and 7 assists per game. Tim Craft's squad will look to knock off Missouri this week.

Last Week: L 83-59 at Xavier, L 75-64 at Furman, W 87-78 vs Jacksonville
This Week: 11/19 vs Allen (Non-D1), 11/23 at Missouri (3-0)

9. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-2)

Coastal's rank is a bit deceiving because the Chants have played well in loses to Akron and Ole Miss, but Coastal has not taken down a Division I opponent yet. We'll find out a lot about the Chants when they host the Maui on the Mainland event this weekend with an interesting field of St. Francis (NY), Oakland, and Louisiana. Freshman Elijah Wilson has been a steal thus far averaging 15 points and nearly 5 rebounds for Cliff Ellis' squad.

Last Week: L 72-63 at Akron, W 76-49 vs Guilford, L 72-70 vs Ole Miss
This Week: 11/19 at Minnesota (3-0), 11/23 vs St. Francis (NY) (2-1), 11/24 vs Oakland/Louisiana

10. High Point Panthers (1-2)

No team has been more disappointing in this early season than Scott Cherry's Panthers. The preseason North Division favorites have lost both of their Division I games against UNC Greensboro and Eastern Kentucky. EKU is obviously a high caliber team this year, but these are the type of games that High Point has to grind out if they are going to raise the level of their program and the conference. John Brown and Allan Chaney have been dominant averaging 39 points and 20 rebounds combined, but it still hasn't been enough for the Panthers. High Point will get a chance to redeem themselves against a CAA and SoCon opponent this week.

Last Week: L 82-74 at UNCG, W 94-64 vs Ferrum, L 74-67 at EKU
This Week: 11/20 at William & Mary (1-2), 11/24 vs Wofford (1-2)

11. Liberty Flames (1-2)

The defending Big South champs are in danger of slipping back into the enigma and team that didn't win a Division I game until New Years Eve a year ago. The Flames choked against William & Mary, much like last year, and then lost to an exhausted Western Carolina team on their own floor. Of course Monday's match up versus UNC Wilmington isn't a "must-win", but if the Flames don't grab a win on their home floor then they could be staring a 1-5 start to the season in the face. Can Dale Layer's squad capture some of the Myrtle "Beach Magic" early this year?

Last Week: W 74-53 vs Randolph, L 84-72 at William & Mary, L 68-63 vs Western Carolina
This Week: 11/17 vs UNCW (2-2), 11/23 at #25 Virginia

12. Presbyterian Blue Hose (0-3)

The most consistent team in the Big South continues to be Presbyterian who hasn't sniffed victory this season. That should change Monday when the Blue Hose take on non-Division I Toccoa Falls, but then it's back to the lonely road for Presbyterian. The good news for Gregg Nibbert's squad is that Jordan Downing continues to be impressive this year averaging 18.7 points and over 5 rebound per game.

Last Week: L 88-57 at Georgia Tech, L 82-68 at the Citadel, L 69-48 at Wake Forest
This Week: 11/18 vs Toccoa Falls (Non-D1), 11/21 at Old Dominion (2-1), 11/23 at West Virginia (1-1)