The opening week of Big South play did not disappoint and only three teams survived the two game slate to stay undefeated in the conference (Campbell only played one game). If the first week is indication then this is going to be a crazy conference to watch.
1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (11-3, 2-0, LW 1): Coastal was the only team that really looked true to form in the opening games. The Chants dominated High Point on the road and then took care of business against rival Charleston Southern in Conway. Cliff Ellis is brining Josh Cameron off the bench and amazingly enough Cameron is leading the Chants in scoring with 14.2 points per game.
2. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (6-7, 2-0, LW 10): What a jump from the Bulldogs! UNCA rockets up the rankings after taking down Radford on the road and then dominating a surging Gardner-Webb sqaud at home. The Bulldogs success has come with Andrew Rowsey taking less of a roll as a scorer and more as a distributor. Through two games Rowsey is averaging 5 points and 4 assists.
3. High Point Panthers (10-4, 1-1, LW 4): High Point looked pretty pedestrian against Coastal Carolina but pulled out a big overtime win at Winthrop largely due to John Brown's defensive efforts. Three of the next four games will come at home for Scott Cherry's squad including match ups with Charleston Southern and Campbell this week.
4. Winthrop Eagles (6-7, 1-1, LW 6): Winthrop was one of two Big South squads that played in two overtime games over the week. Pat Kelsey's Eagles took down Longwood but then lost to High Point in a game riddled by questionable calls by the refrees down the stretch. The Eagles and their suddenly formidable frontcourt of youngsters will now play three straight road games.
5. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (6-6, 0-1, LW 5): The Bucs were the lone squad who didn't play on New Years Eve andd they'll have a "catch up" game against Campbell on Monday. We'll know a lot more about the Bucs after three games are in the books this time next week.
6. Longwood Lancers (5-10, 1-1, LW 8): Longwood was nearly 2-0 in the conference despite playing shorthanded to start the seaason with some illness running through the team. The Lancers fell to Winthrop in overtime and then had a gritty effort to take down in-state rival Radford in double overtime. Lotanna Nwogbo started the Big South slate as a dominant post player and he posted a double-double in both games for a combined 35 points, 26 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
7. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (9-6, 1-1, LW 2): Gardner-Webb did what they were supposed to do against Presbyterian but thhen the Bulldogs completely laid an egg at Asheville. Still they have an imposing froncourt and are still going to be a scary team from night to night. They'll have three straight home games and have a real chance to shoot up the conference standings.
8. Radford Highlanders (9-6, 0-2, LW 3): What a heart breaking week for Mike Jones and the Radford Highlanders. They lose to UNCA at the last second and then fall at Longwood in double OT. A tough road match up at Gadner-Webb awaits before a layup against PC at home.
9. Campbell Fighting Camels (7-7, 1-0, LW 7): Yes, the Camels are technically undefeated in the conference but the win came in a really ugly game against Liberty. We'll see where the Camels are next week after road games at Charleston Southern and High Point.
10. Presbyterian Blue Hose (5-10, 1-1, LW 11): The Blue Hose finally got their first Division I win of the year over Liberty and now we'll see if there is any opportunity for a bit of momentum for PC with tough match ups between Radford and Winthrop on the slate.
11. Liberty Flames (6-9, 0-2, LW 10): Things went from bad to worse for Dale Layer and the Flames this week as they fell to Campbell and Presbyterian/ The Flames also rank dead last now in the NCAA's RPI rankings out of 351 teams.