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Big South Power Rankings: High Point Jumps to the Top

High Point is going streaking! Meanwhile the rest of the Big South is beating up on each other.

Donta Harper is helping Gardner-Webb become one of the Big South's top dogs.
Donta Harper is helping Gardner-Webb become one of the Big South's top dogs.
Grant Halverson

1. High Point (15-10,10-3): While the rest of the Big South waters are getting muddied, High Point is demonstrating that they are the cream of the crop in the North Division. The Panthers have won six in a row and the John Brown/Allan Chaney combo proves to get better every week.

High Point has already clinched a bye in the conference tourney and can stick a fork in the division with a win over VMI this week.

Last Week: W 82-53 at Longwood, W 73-68 at Liberty
This Week: 2/19 at VMI, 2/23 vs Morgan State

2. Charleston Southern (14-9,9-3): After winning their first seven conference games the Bucs came back down to earth with losses against Gardner-Webb and Coastal. The inconsistency continued this week with a loss at Winthrop before taking down Asheville in a first place clash.

The Bucs now have a challenging and rare three game week. It's sink or swim for Barclay Radebaugh's squad.

Last Week: L 75-60 at Winthrop, W 73-65 at UNC Asheville
This Week: 2/19 vs Presbyterian, 2/21 vs VMI, 2/23 at Rider

3. Gardner-Webb (16-11,8-5): The Bulldogs may be below Asheville in the standings but Gardner-Webb is the South Division's hottest squad. GWU has won three straight thanks to the tremendous play of Donta Harper, who is averaging 17 points per game over that stretch.

Last Week: W 67-65 at UNC Asheville, W 70-63 at Coastal
This Week: 2/19 vs Winthrop, 2/23 @ Charleston

4. UNC Asheville (15-12,9-4): Asheville could have put a strangle-hold on the South Division and likely lock up a bye last week with two pivotal home match ups. Instead the Bulldogs now find themselves in a position where they will likely have to win on the road more than once to make sure they aren't playing in the Tuesday round in Myrtle Beach.

Last Week: L 67-65 vs Gardner-Webb, L 73-65 vs UNC Asheville
This Week: 2/19 at Coastal Carolina, 2/23 vs Jacksonville State

5. Coastal Carolina (12-12,7-6): Cliff Ellis' squad is going to have to catch fire to avoid the first round of the conference tournament on their homecourt. The good news is two of their three remaining conference games are against teams ahead of them in the conference standings. The Chants need to step it up starting Tuesday.

Last Week: W 60-53 at Presbyterian, L 70-63 vs Gardner-Webb
This Week: 2/19 vs UNC Asheville, 2/23 at Western Carolina

6. Radford (12-15,6-7): Radford needs to find themselves and find some consistency. After a big win at VMI the Highlanders were poised to move up in the division but laid a dud at Longwood. Mike Jones' squad has a crucial Tuesday match up in the wide-open North Division second place race.

Last Week: W 82-79 at VMI, L 76-61at Longwood
This Week: 2/19 vs Campbell, 2/23 at Siena

7. Winthrop (11-14,5-8): Pat Kelsey's young squad is still trying to figure "it" out. After a big win over Charleston Southern the Eagles lost to another Big South cellar dweller for the second weekend in a row.

Last Week: W 70-65 vs Charleston Southern, L 64-57 at Presbyterian
This Week: 2/19 at Gardner-Webb, 2/23 vs Southeastern Louisiana

8. VMI (11-13,6-6): A lot of people will have the Keydets higher up in the Big South, after all they are in second place in the North Division, but Duggar Baucom's squad is a bit of a false positive at this point. VMI's record has benefited from playing less games and this is the week the Keydets will finally play catch-up.

This team will either shoot up the rankings this week or drop farther down. VMI has to stop their three game skid to stay in play for the ever important tournament bye.

Last Week: L 82-79 vs Radford, L 87-78 at Campbell
This Week: 2/19 vs High Point, 2/21 at Charleston Southern, 2/23 at Marist

9. Liberty (9-18,5-8): The Flames are certainly playing better with a big road win last week and then a hard fought game against High Point, but it may be too little to late for Dale Layer's squad. Liberty will need to take care of business against their in-state rivals and hope for a little help from others to have a shot at the bye in Myrtle Beach.

Last Week: W 82-80 at Campbell, L 73-68 vs High Point
This Week: 2/19 at Longwood, 2/23 vs Austin Peay

10. Campbell (11-16,6-7): The Camels finally snapped their six game skid with an unlikely hero against VMI. Andrew Ryan, who had averaged 2 points per game in the Camels previous four contests, went off for 27 points to help get things back on track.

Trey Freeman needs some help from guys like Ryan for the Camels to get back to the top of the North Division.

Last Week: L 82-80 vs Liberty, W 87-78 vs VMI
This Week: 2/19 at Radford, 2/23 vs Savannah State

11. Presbyterian (7-20,4-9): PC isn't exactly rolling over for anyone in the Big South. Gregg Nibbert's squad continues to be a tough out and the Blue Hose showed it again this week with a win over Winthrop. This is a team that could shock some people come tourney time.

Last Week: L 60-53 vs Coastal Carolina, W 64-57 vs Winthrop
This Week: 2/19 at Charleston Southern, 2/23 vs The Citadel

12. Longwood (5-22,2-11): The Lancers may finally be awake from their long slumber. In an odd week, Longwood had division leader High Point on the ropes with a one point game at halftime and then got blown out by almost 30 in the second half. Then Longwood took down in-state rival Radford in a blow out and a game that the Highlanders never lead.

We'll see if Longwood can take down another in-state rival this week and maybe be a team to keep an eye on going into March.

Last Week: L 82-53 vs High Point, W 76-1 vs Radford
This Week: 2/19 vs Liberty, 2/23 at UT-Martin