As we come into this week, I just like many of you are shaking my head in confusion. How do you rank a conference with so much parody, well it’s my thing so I shall once again attempt to do it. I’m ranking based on how they are playing now and can play, which is all you can do really. So here is my latest attempt, lets rank’em!
Winners of two games this week and were the only one of the top teams so thus they slide up to the top spot. They are rolling right now since their slip up at UT Martin, winners of their last 5 games. The guard heavy team is starting to settle into the new lineup and boy are they putting on a show right now and sit just one game back of first place in the OVC. Only team in the conference in my opinion that can score with team number two. The Colonels host Austin Peay before going to Valpo for Bracketbusters on ESPNU.
Another week of the same problems for the Bruins, lack of size and sloppy play. That being said they have a have a buffer and need just one win to clinch a share of the OVC title. The Bruins have come back to earth shooting wise, and it has shown in their losses to say the least as they have shot just 19% from deep. Teams are figuring out the Bruins sophisticated offense that makes the extra pass to get the open jumper. Bruins are at EIU before hosting Ohio for Bracketbusters on ESPN2.
I discount their loss to Murray last week on the basis that their biggest post presence was injured early in the game. If M.J. Rhett plays, who knows how that game goes, look at what he did against Belmont in terms of length on ball screens. The Tigers have been waiting for their team to gel and be healthy, Robert Covington seems to be back now and just in team too. Tigers are at SIUE before hosting Loyola(MD) for Bracketbusters.
I get on the bandwagon against what I had seen all year, and boom the Racers I know show their head once again with two road losses. Stacy Wilson has been leading this team as guard Isaiah Canaan has shot just 29.6% in his last three games. Sure they have the West sown up, but they are far from what they could be, like many teams in the OVC. I’m expecting the lineup to change this week I would suspect for a spark, only team in the conference that still uses the same 5 every game. Racers try to avoid a 4 game road losing streak at Morehead before hosting South Dakota State.
At the beginning of the year we said they needed guard play to step up for this team to be an outside contender, well here they are. Marland Smith has been on fire lately for the Redhawks and their bench play has become more productive. That being said one reason for that is big man Tyler Stone getting in foul trouble. The Redhawks need his production and shot blocking ability on the floor more. SEMO is at Jacksonville State before hosting Ball State.
The Eagles but the edge of their teeth pull out two wins this past week with a technical foul against JSU and a last minute score against TTU. Call it luck, or call it wins that they should have had based on what we thought. The Eagles were the benefactors of a crazy week in the OVC, avoiding the curse of being upset somehow. The Eagles host the Racers and then go to Oakland for Bracketbusters.
The Panthers had an interesting week falling to the Govs before taking out the Racers this week in the week of upsets. The Panthers took the Racers best shot and still came away with the victory. This team is still inconsistent at times like the other teams in the area of the list. But their post presence is something that will cause some matchup problems for teams down the stretch. This team believes they can do it and are showing it now. Panthers host Belmont before going to Northern Illinois.
The Cougars rollercoaster season was summed up this week, a split week in which we saw a Jekyll and Hyde SIUE come together and upset Murray while there top player Jerome Jones was suspended for the season. They followed up their court storming win with a loss to Austin Peay. Teams do play up when they take on powerhouse teams, and that’s what I suspect happened. Cougars without Jones will be interesting as they host TSU before going on the road to Central Arkansas.
Three straight losses by the Gamecocks have them going the opposite way of most teams in the conference. This week was saw them unravel in front of our eyes by committing a foul to lose to Morehead, then letting EKU come back and take what they wanted. The Gamecocks still will cause trouble in their final two conference games, and will play a role in the seeding of the tournament. JSU hosts SEMO before going to UNC-Asheville.
Its easy to see the 20 losses next to Austin Peay but this number doesn’t tell the whole story. With their injured point guard back healthy, they have won two straight and lit it up on the shooting chart, allowing Anthony Campbell to win Player of the Week. A team that is out of the tournament picture, but ask anyone in the OVC and they don’t want to have them on their schedule right about now. Govenors are at EKU before going to Liberty for Bracketbusters.
A game that the Skyhawks needed to win, and they allowed 50 points in the opening half. To make things even worse, the teams ahead of them for the final spot defeat Murray leaving the Skyhawks on lifesupport for Nashville. This week Terrence Smith showed the type of player he was expected to be. Stepping up and taking over when they needed it, especially with Myles Taylor fouled out. Skyhawks are at TTU before hosting Longwood.
Leading at halftime against EKU and then leading with a minute to go against Morehead, the Golden Eagles collapsed like they have done all season. This is a young team and they are getting their bruises now. They are starting to click offensively but the defense is another story. The Golden Eagles host UT Martin and UMKC for the first half of a four game homestand.