Big South Conference Tournament Preview
It’s Radford vs Chris Clemons aka Campbell to win this title. Clemons is the nation’s leading scorer and in his senior season, he will be giving it his all to get his squad to the NCAA Tournament. Radford has been there and done that winning the league last year. Will Clemons be enough to unseat the defending champs?
2018 Champion: Radford
1-seed Campbell Fighting Camels 19-11 (12-4)
There is one reason and one reason alone that this team can win the conference tournament, Chris Clemons. The nation’s leading scorer is averaging 30.1 points per game and 1.5 steals, if Campbell is going to win, it will be on Clemons’ back.
2-seed Radford Highlanders 20-10 (12-4)
This team has been there and done that in this conference, they are defending champs and play strong, efficient offense. The big 3 of Jones, Polite Jr, and Fields Jr is tough to match up with and those three alone can will this team to another conference title.
3-seed Winthrop Eagles 18-11 (10-6)
Winthrop is another team to look out for. They play a very fast paced game and are pretty solid on the offensive end. The Eagles have four players who average double figures and two of them shoot over 40% from 3-point range. Their weakness is the defensive side of the floor, they manage just 2.8 blocks, up the defense and they will be tough to beat.
4-seed Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 20-11 (10-6)
This team is playing some of their best basketball of the season right now so who knows what can happen. They are lead by an All-Conference player in David Efianayi. The Bulldogs also have four players averaging double digit points per game. The offense is there, can they string together the stops is the real question.
5-seed High Point Panthers 16-14 (9-7)
Year one under Tubby Smith has gone fairly well. Given the solid team Radford has and Chris Clemons still being at Campbell, a middle of the pack finish is not bad at all. The Panthers play a slow, half court game and rely on their star Jahaad Proctor who can finish from anywhere on the floor.
6-seed Charleston Southern Buccaneers 15-14 (9-7)
Another high tempo team that doesn’t play with much efficiency on offense. The Buccaneers have a star in junior Christian Keeling who is averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds as a guard. When he gets going this is a tough team to beat. The problem is the offensive inefficiency, CSU rebounds well but doesn’t shoot it well. If they can take advantage of 2nd chance opportunities they can be dangerous.
7-seed Presbyterian Blue Hose 17-14 (9-7)
Believe it or not, Presbyterian has one of the 80 most efficient offenses in America according to KenPom. The Blue Hose are lead by the duo of Adam Flagler and Francois Lewis, both averaging over 15 points per game. The issue is rebounding, if Presbyterian can keep the rebounding margin close they will be in most games.
8-seed Hampton Pirates 14-15 (9-7)
Hampton is the rare team in the lower half of these small-to-mid-major leagues that runs up-tempo offense and is somewhat efficient on that end of the floor. However, they don’t play much defense. The Pirates have a guy Jermaine Marrow that everyone is going to know about once Chris Clemons graduates because he is a scorer at 25.3 points per game. Defense wins championships and that is the case for Hampton.
9-seed Longwood Lancers 15-16 (5-11)
The bottom three of this league are really not great. Longwood is the best of the 3 and comes in at KenPom 283. They’ll need at least one of their three headed monster of Walton, Phillips, and Smith to get hot and stay that way for the entirety of the tournament.
10-seed UNC Asheville Bulldogs 4-26 (2-14)
Asheville is the 7th worst team according to KenPom, the Bulldogs play a super slow tempo and still give up 114 points per 100 possessions. Asheville would need a miraculous run to win this tournament and it would probably come from shooting the 3 well.
11-seed South Carolina Upstate Spartans 6-25 (1-15)
Upstate won just one lousy game in conference play this season and holds onto the 335th spot in KenPom. Upstate does have a duo that can help them win games, but they need to be much better than they have been thus far. Moore and Holmes combine for 31.3 points per game but turn it over nearly 5 times a game as well. Limit turnovers and score efficiently to have a chance to win a game.
Presbyterian over UNC Asheville
Charleston Southern over USC Upstate
Hampton over Longwood
Radford over Presbyterian
Winthrop over Charleston Southern
Campbell over Hampton
High Point over Gardner-Webb
Radford over Winthrop
Campbell over High Point
Campbell over Radford