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Big South Power Rankings: Winthrop, High Point Rising to the Top

Another week is in the books for Big South and it seems like some traditional powers are rising up, while others are really struggling.

Jamie Sabau

1. Winthrop Eagles (4-1)
Last Week: 3

Winthrop continues to take care of business against out-of-conference opponents taking down East Tennessee State on the road. Pat Kelsey's Eagles also blew out non-D1 Virginia Intermont at home. Freshman Keon Johnson has been very impressive averaging 14 points per game. Winthrop can grab another impressive conference this week when they host James Madison at home.

Last Week: W 76-66 at East Tennessee State, W 96-62 vs Virginia Intermont
This Week: 11/27 vs James Madison (2-4)

2. High Point Panthers (3-2)

I slammed High Point for not battling with programs they should compete with, this week Scott Cherry's team stepped up with a big win at William & Mary and beating Wofford at home. Allan Chaney and John Brown continue to be dominant in the paint, but can the Panthers be more than a two man show? High Point has a slow week coming up with only one game on the slate.

Last Week: W 80-69 at William & Mary, W 66-56 vs Wofford
This Week: 12/1 vs Stephen F. Austin (3-2)

3. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (2-3)

The Bucs now have a brutal stretch of their schedule past them after competitive games at ranked New Mexico and Baylor. Now Barclay Radebaugh's squad can relax a little with just one match up this week against a non-Division I opponent. It's not just Arlon Harper and Saah Nimley performing thus far this year, as Sheldon Strickland, Matt Kennedy, and Will Saunders are all averaging in double-figures.

Last Week: L 109-93 at #19 New Mexico, L 69-64 at #20 Baylor
This Week: 11/26 vs Trinity (Non D1)

4. Radford Highlanders (3-1)

Javonte Green's 17 points and 8 rebounds helped the Highlanders pull out a road win over Binghampton that Radford likely wouldn't win in the past. Mike Jones' team will get a chance to continue to show they are for real with two big road match ups this week, including a cross-town rivalry versus Virginia Tech.

Last Week: W 69-63 at Binghampton
This Week: 11/15 at Cornell (0-6), 11/29 at Virginia Tech (3-3)

5. VMI Keydets (4-2)

VMI probably doesn't deserve to drop this much, but they probably didn't deserve to be so high in the first place. We didn't learn much about the Keydets last week in a loss at Virginia Tech and a trouncing of a non-Division I opponent, but we'll learn more over the next three games as VMI plays a slew of solid mid-major programs.

Last Week: L 105-92 at Virginia Tech, W 112-86 vs Bridgewater
This Week: 11/27 at William & Mary (2-3)

6. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (2-4)

The Chanticleers had a pretty solid week hanging with Minnesota and Louisiana, while also knocking off St. Francis (NY) 70-59 in Maui on the Mainland. Freshman Elijah Wilson has been the biggest surprise leading the Chants in scoring with over 17 points per game for Cliff Ellis' squad. A good Clemson team will be looking to get revenge on Coastal this week, so look out!

Last Week: L 82-72 at Minnesota, W 70-59 vs St. Francis (NY), L 73-69 vs Louisiana
This Week: 11/29 at Clemson (5-0)

7. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (2-3)

Tim Craft and his Bulldogs showed a little flash of brilliance this week drubbing of an non-Division I opponent and a solid game at Missouri. We'll find out more about the Bulldogs next week after they visit Northwestern and take on some teams on their own level in Las Vegas.

Last Week: W 92-51 vs Allen, L 72-63 at Missouri
Next Week: 11/25 at Northwestern (3-2), 11/28 vs IUPUI (1-4), 11/29 vs Chattanooga/Morehead State (Las Vegas Invite)

8. Longwood Lancers (2-3)

A hobbled Lucas Woodhouse and the Lancers played two solid teams this week and came out on the losing end on both.  Longwood showed energy and fight in both match ups but was outscored 31-0 to start all four halves this week. The road won't get any easier this week as Longwood heads to St. John's and now Tristan Carey suffered an ankle injury Sunday versus Penn State. Jayson Gee will get a bit of a measuring stick for his Lancers when Longwood plays in the Barclays Center Classic against North Carolina A&T and either Monmouth or Mississippi Valley State this week.

Last Week: L 81-69 vs Brown, L 93-67 at Penn State
This Week: 11/25 at St. John's (3-1), 11/29 vs North Carolina A&T (1-3) , 11/30 vs Monmouth/MVSU (Barclays Classic)

9. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (1-4)

First year head coach Nick McDevitt must feel like he'll never get to play at home, in fact the Bulldogs won't see the "Ski Lodge" until December 12. UNCA drew Duke in the Preseason NIT and got smashed, but then almost beat Norfolk State in the second game of the tournament. Things won't get any easier this week as they'll have to play at Rhode Island and then take on in-state rival East Carolina in Rhode Island.

Last Week: L 91-55 at #4 Duke, L 80-78 vs Norfolk State
This Week: 11/15 vs Rhode Island (4-2), 11/26 vs ECU (4-1)

10. Campbell Camels (2-3)

Remember those growing pains pains I mentioned Campbell would endure under Kevin McGeehan's system this year? They came early this week when Campbell only scored 9 points in the second half against North Carolina Central after being up at halftime. Can the Camels find scoring options or will they look stagnant at times throughout the year?

Last Week: L 62-43 vs NC Central, L 81-62 vs Campbell
This Week: 11/27 vs St. Andrew's (Non-D1), 11/30 at Georgia Southern (2-3)

11. Liberty Flames (1-4) 

It's Deja Vu all over again for Dale Layer and the Flames, or at least that's what Flames fans are hoping. Three weeks into the season and Liberty has still failed to win a Division I game. The team is claiming they are learning how to play with senior Antwan Burrus, who sat out last year, but the Flames just look like a team out of sync. The Flames best chance this month will come this week in Corpus Christi.

Last Week: L 87-76 vs UNC Wilmington, L 75-53 at Virginia
This Week: 11/26 at Missouri State (4-0), 11/29 vs Hampton (2-3), 11/30 vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff/Sam Houston State

12. Presbyterian Blue Hose (1-5)

I'm not sure what there is to say about the Blue Hose at this point, they had to rally at home to beat something called Toccoa Falls. I guess the good news for PC is that they get to go to Cancun this week and may even win a basketball game!

Last Week: W 86-78 vs Toccoa Falls, L 69-51 at Old Dominion, L 88-55 at West Virginia
This Week: 11/26 vs Bowling Green (1-3), 11/27 vs Georgia Southern/Oral Roberts (Cancun Challenge)