Southland Tournament Preview
The top of the league is full of contenders but the bottom is pretty rough. The teams near the bottom really struggle with turnovers and shoot the 3 very poorly. Defending champs Stephen F Austin didn’t even qualify for the league tournament so we will have a new champion.
2018 Champion: Stephen F Austin
1-seed Sam Houston State Bearkats 21-10 (16-2)
Sam Houston State cruised through the conference schedule on their way to a regular season title. The Bearkats force turnovers and rebound it pretty well. Their key to winning the league is efficient offense.
2-seed Abilene Christian Wildcats 25-6 (14-4)
Statistically, Abilene Christian is the best team in the Southland. They score it well, play strong defense, and distribute the ball well. In order to win the automatic bid, the Wildcats need to force turnovers and turn those into easy buckets.
3-seed Southeastern Louisiana Lions 16-15 (12-6)
The Lions play decent defense but the offense really struggles, they score under 70 points a game and turn it over 17 times a night. Moses Greenwood and Marlain Veal are a solid duo and if they can play well this team is capable of making a run.
4-seed New Orleans Privateers 17-12 (12-6)
The Privateers force turnovers well, they average 9.1 steals a night. That’s big. But their offense is horrible inefficient turning it over 16 times per game. It’s hard to win giving away that many possessions. With all those steals, if New Orleans can cut their turnovers down even 3 a game, that’s a huge difference that at least gives them a chance.
5-seed Lamar Cardinals 19-12 (12-6)
Offense is what Lamar does best and that is what will lead them to the big dance. The Cardinals score 78 points per game and have four players in double figures. In order to win they will have to continue to score the ball well.
6-seed Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders 14-17 (9-9)
Poor offense has plagued the Islanders all season, but their defense has kept them in and won them some games this year. Corpus Christi plays a very slow tempo and they need to start making more of their possessions.
8-seed Central Arkansas Bears 13-18 (8-10)
I put Central Arkansas in the sleeper category because they run such a high tempo offense and can speed teams up and force them into turnovers. That will be their way to win the league.
7-seed Houston Baptist Huskies 12-17 (8-10)
Houston Baptist can win because they score over 80 points per game. So long as you ignore what they do defensively, they can win the auto-bid.
Lamar over Central Arkansas
Texas A&M CC over Houston Baptist
Lamar over New Orleans
SE Louisiana over Texas A&M CC
Sam Houston State over Lamar
Abilene Christian over SE Louisiana
Abilene Christian over Sam Houston State