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Big South Power Rankings: Conference Gridlock

The Big South is totally up for grabs with seven teams either in first place or within a game of first place.

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Well... at least we're not in a five way tie for first place any more, but there is still plenty of gridlock in the Big South.

1. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (12-7, 6-2, LW 6): As much as I love Barclay Radebaugh I wasn't buying into the Bucs 2014-15 season this year. I get that CSU lost to both Coastal and High Point, but right now this is the hottest team in the conference winning five straight. Saah Nimley is also the conferences hottest player averaging 26.5 points in conference play and in the 30s for the last four contests. The Bucs had a huge advantage with five of six games at home but will play the price starting Saturday when they play six of their final nine games away from the Buc Dome.

2. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (15-5, 6-2, LW 1): Coastal never really got it going at UNC Asheville and fell to the Bulldogs at home. The Chants did respond with an 11 point home win over a surging Presbyterian squad over the weekend. A challenging week awaits as Coastal will face off with Winthrop and Gardner-Webb. The Chants' biggest struggles have come against solid frontcourts and they'll see two pretty solid ones this week. Gut check time in Conway.

3. High Point Panthers (14-5, 6-2, LW 2): High Point went 2-1 on the week beating Longwood and Asheville but losing to Radford on the road. The real story for the Panthers though is what's the deal with John Brown? Brown is still producing on the court but no one is really talking about how he has not started multiple games this season, including Saturday against Asheville, and his suspension earlier this year. Migraines was the reason given Saturday but there just continues to be whispers of other things steering the Panthers season besides Scott Cherry.

4. Radford Highlanders (14-7, 5-3, LW 5): Make it five straight now for Mike Jones' squad after beginning conference play 0-3. Javonte Green is now averaging 18.5 points and 8 rebounds in Big South play and is really the biggest reason that Radford is on this streak. The Highlanders will get Charleston Southern on the road and a home match up against Winthrop this week.

5. Winthrop Eagles (10-9, 5-3, LW 7): The Eagles had a creampuff week with Liberty and Campbell but it will heat up for Pat Kelsey and the Eagles this week with visits to Coastal Carolina and Radford on the slate.

6. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (13-8, 5-3, LW 3): Gardner-Webb split with a win over Longwood and a road loss to Charleston Southern. After dropping 31 in two straight games Jerome Hill had his worst game of the year with just 5 points in a 1-for-7 night from the field at Charleston Southern. Hill and the Bulldogs will look to get rolling again this week with a Monday visit to Buies Creek before hosting Coastal Carolina, a team they beat two weeks ago.

7. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (9-10, 5-3, LW 4): It seems like the Bulldogs can win on any given night or lose on any given night. It also seems that Andrew Rowsey can explode on any night or simply not show.  Rowsey lead the Bulldogs in scoring for two consecutive games with a combined 51 points but then had arguably the worst game of his career posting 3 points in a 1-for-8 performance at High Point Saturday. Asheville will strive for some consistency this week with match ups against Longwood and Campbell.

8. Presbyterian Blue Hose (7-14, 3-5, LW 8): The Blue Hose continue to take care of business against the lower portion of the conference as they have now knocked off Liberty, Longwood, and Campbell. Their average margin of defeat outside those three is 10 points. The Blue Hose have a serious opportunity to climb the standings now with three of their next four at home, including this week against High Point and Longwood.

9. Longwood Lancers (6-15, 2-6, LW 9): Longwood still is finding their way without Lotanna Nwogbo and even missed Kanayo Obi-Rapu against Gardner-Webb this week. The Lancers are competing night in and night out and really have gone into every Big South game close at the final media timeout. The schedule hasn't been kind as the Lancers have only had back-to-back home games once since the conference slate has begun. Can their gritty efforts pay dividends this week against Asheville and PC?

10. Campbell Fighting Camels (7-14, 1-7, LW 10): Campbell continues to play in very close games and is only losing conference games by an average margin of six points. Nevertheless the Camels can't find a way to win and have lost seven straight now. Kevin McGeehan's team will meet Gardner-Webb and Asheville this week still searching for a little momentum to close the first half of conference play.

11. Liberty Flames (6-15, 0-8, LW 11): Liberty did put up a tough fight at Radford this week but still remain winless in Big South play. The Flames get to stay in the Vines Center this week, which is good news, but the bad news is its High Point and Charleston Southern coming to town.