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SWAC Sunday: Texas Southern tops the Power Rankings

Texas Southern pulls another upset and Grambling looks strong

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

So it’s been almost a month since we checked on the SWAC. When we did, Texas Southern was coming off a major upset. Well, they did it again.

The Tigers upset the Aggies of Texas A&M. It may come as a shock to many but TSU has been in the business of beating your favorite power school all year. Get used to it.

But conference play is finally here so let’s check the pulse of the SWAC as more even opponents are on the slate. The mid-major abuse is over. Because of that and just because the SWAC is amazing, let’s celebrate!

It’s SWAC Sunday!

Weekly Rankings

Texas Southern (5-8)

Grambling State (6-7)

UAPB (3-10)

Alcorn State (4-8)

Alabama State (2-9)

Jackson State (3-10)

Mississippi Valley State (2-12)

Prairie View A&M (1-11)

Alabama A&M (0-11)

Southern (1-12)

What’s New?

After close losses to Lamar and Tulane before Christmas, the Tigers were gifted with another upset. Their win over Texas A&M was not a fluke and TSU led for pretty much the whole game. The strong performances so far this season means that some SWAC teams will be fearing the Tigers when they are on the same court with them. Jalyn Patterson is playing solid so far, leading the team in points with 15.1 and 3-pointers made with 30.

Another team who had a solid non-conference showing was Grambling State. They had good wins against Niagara and Portland, and only close losses against Louisiana-Monroe and Wyoming prevented them from having a winning record before conference play. Despite that, GSU has the top record in the SWAC. Ivy Smith leads the conference in assists and Dallas Polk-Hilliard ranks 6th in total points scored.

Grambling v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

On paper and from what I’ve seen, there are the top two teams in the conference right now. They will face off January 19th in Houston.

But there’s still someone named Martaveous McKnight in the conference, who is arguably the top player in the conference and a top-15 scorer in the nation. Since we last checked on him, he scored 27 against Texas Tech, 24 against North Texas, and 22 against Troy. He’s doing fine scoring and torturing defenses. Overall, Arkansas Pine-Bluff sits at 3-10. They will get more wins in conference play.

The same goes for Alcorn State. Maurice Howard and Deshaw Andrews are both averaging a little over 13 points per game. Unluckily for the Braves, the non-conference slate was too much to handle.

That sadly goes for most of the conference who has three wins or less. Not every mid-major conference can be dominant before conference play starts. It’s not a knock on the conference, but the play truly heats up when the conference play comes into the fray. There are major rivalries that last all year long and some amazing atmospheres. Despite the bumps and even blowouts, the SWAC is set for a very interesting season.

Poll

After seeing Non-Conference play, who’s your pick to win the SWAC?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Texas Southern
    (25 votes)
  • 9%
    Grambling
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    Alcorn State
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (1 vote)
31 votes total Vote Now

Player of the Week: Jalyn Patterson - Texas Southern

Scoring 20 points on the road against an SEC opponent is a solid day of work. Patterson’s work and hot shooting helped push Texas Southern over Texas A&M on Saturday. He shot 8-14 from the field and 3-6 from the three-point line. He dished out five of TSU’s 26 assists and also grabbed a few rebounds as well. He played 35 minutes and made every one of them count.

Games to Look Out For

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Texas Southern @ Alcorn State

Grambling State @ Alabama State

Jackson State @ Alabama A&M

Mississippi Valley State @ UAPB

Prairie View A&M @ Southern