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Big South Power Rankings: Radford the Team to Beat?

It wasn't a busy week in the Big South with a lot of teams with the week off. Despite the limited action did one team stake it's claim as the best the conference has to offer?

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

1. Radford Highlanders (8-4)
Last Week: 1

I wrote this summer about the maturation of Mike Jones' program and how he had to rebuild the program from scratch, a process that is taking shape at Longwood and Campbell right now as well. Jones' hard work really seems to be paying off as the Highlanders won their portion of the Las Vegas Classic by knocking off Sacred Heart and former mid-major heart throb Florida Gulf Coast. Radford will look to continue to build momentum and could find themselves with double-digit wins and a meaningful winning streak going into conference play.

Last Week: W 64-64 vs Florida Gulf Coast
This Week: 12/30 vs Houghton (Non D1), 1/2 vs The Citadel (4-9), 12/4 at Hampton (5-7)

2. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (5-6)
LW: 3

Soooooo...the Bucs beat a non-Division I team by 82 points... I don't care who you are playing, that's just crazy. six Bucs finished in double-figures. Competition will step up just a little for Barclay Radebaugh's squad as they travel to Tallahassee to take on Florida State this week.

Last Week: W 122-40 vs St. Andrews
This Week: 12/30 at Florida State (8-3)

3. Winthrop Eagles (6-5)
LW: 2

After starting the season 5-1 the Eagles have lost four out of their last five, including Sunday's overtime loss at Hampton. It won't get any easier this week for Winthrop as they face a very talented Dayton squad. The Eagles will likely have a winning record though heading into Big South play.

Last Week: L 101-95 at Hampton
This Week: 12/1 at Dayton (10-3), 12/4 vs Barber-Scotia (Non D1)

4. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-6)
LW: 4

Coastal finishes off the back end of home and home series versus South Carolina State and Central Connecticut State after being off this week. The Chants will be looking for revenge against the Bulldogs and a sweep against the Blue Devils. This team has been up and down all year, can they gain some consistency in the HTC Center this week?

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/30 vs South Carolina State (3-8), 1/3 Central Connecticut State (4-8)

5. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (7-7)
LW: 5

After a week off the Bulldogs will close out their out of conference slate with a trip to Delaware State, a team that has been rumored at various times to be interesting in joining the Big South. Will Gardner-Webb be a winning team going into conference play?

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 1/2 at Delaware State (2-9)

6. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (5-7)
LW: 7

After a 1-7 start to the year Asheville has rattled off four straight wins, including beating former head coach Eddie Biedenbach's UNCW Seahawks this past weekend. UNCA looks to keep building their momentum going into conference play with a pair of home games against a non-Division I opponent and Ohio.

Last Week: W 75-61 vs UNCW
This Week: 12/31 vs Montreat (Non D1), 1/4 vs Ohio (8-3)

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

The Keydets had the week of for the holidays and will look to get back into the groove with a trip to Clemson and a home game versus non-Division I Washington College on tap this week. How good is Duggar Baucom's squad that features veteran leaders in D.J. Covington and Rodney Glasgow, along with high scoring freshman Q.J. Peterson.

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/30 at Clemson (8-3), 1/4 vs Washington College (Non D1)

8. Liberty Flames (6-7)
LW: 8

Liberty inched back closer to .500 with a blowout of a non-Division I opponent last week. The Flames will have trouble getting back to .500 before Big South play though with a trip to Delaware and a home match up against a very talented Princeton squad.

Last Week: W 92-53 vs Southeastern (FL)
This Week: 1/1 at Delaware (6-6), 1/4 vs Princeton (9-2)

9. High Point Panthers (3-8)
LW: 9

Make it six straight losses for Scott Cherry's Panthers. The biggest question now is will the streak be ended Monday or Friday?

Last Week: L 89-48 at Arkansas
This Week: 12/30 at Wofford (4-7), 1/3 vs Lees-McRae (Non D1)

10. Longwood Lancers (5-8)
LW: 10

Jayson Gee was not happy with Longwood's effort against Dartmouth and will want to see some more fire out of the Lancers coming out of a week off. The Lancers will have a tough week travelling to Ohio, a team Gee served as an assistant at in the 90s, and Louisiana Tech. The Lancers may not need to focus on winning, but playing solid, hard fought basketball going into Big South play.

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/30 at Ohio (8-3), 1/4 at Louisiana Tech (10-3)

11. Presbyterian Blue Hose (4-9)
LW: 11

The Blue Hose probably didn't want a week off after taking down Appalachian State a week and a half ago. Two of PC's four wins have come against the Southern Conference; can the Hose add to that total this week?

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/30 at Samford (5-9), 1/5 at Marshall (5-7)

12. Campbell Camels (5-7)
LW: 12

This week will be a good gauge to see where Kevin McGeehan's Camels are at. Campbell will first host Georgia Southern, another team with a first year coach who the Camels beat in overtime last month. Then the boys from the Creek will host a tough East Carolina team and a comparable Delaware Squad.

Last Week: OFF
This Week: 12/30 vs Georgia Southern (7-7), 1/2 vs ECU (10-4), 1/4 vs Delaware State (2-9)