Tag Archives: CUSA

Mid December Other 5 hoops report

Other5= AAC, CUSA, MAC, MWC, & SUNBELT

AAC- SMU handled Michigan easily, but their banned from the post-season. Memphis  has been slowly recovering with strong efforts from KJ Lawson and tonight’s Ol Miss game will show if they’re going to hang tough this season. Temples terrible start is a head scratcher.

CUSA-  WKU and Marshall have  stumbled more than I anticipated. La Tech has some easier games to recovered from  the Ol Miss spanking. Perrin Buford and his fellow MTSU Blue Raiders appear to be serious contenders.

MAC-  Akron & NIU   remain steady in pre-conference games.  Kent St faces SMU Dec 22. Can Kellon Thomas lead them to an upset win?

MWC-  New Mexico has struggled against the stronger conferences . Its two losses are to USC and Purdue, and they face auburn Dec 22. Maybe Fresno St   who played Arizona tough takes the conference?

SunBelt-  I’ll stick with Ark-LR and UTA as pre-season favorites with a passing nod to Ethan Montalvo and the Tx StBobcats.

Other 5 brief hoops

AAC-  SMU beat Michigan but  can’t play in the post-season. Cincy looks sharp and has big intra-city contest against Xavier today. Houston finally played a decent team Rhode Island and lost.

CUSA: Disappointed that UTEP (BTW< MWC recruiting them) lost to Texas – Arlington.  Louisiana Tech faces Ol Miss this week. They lost to Memphis earlier this season so the jury is out.

MAC: Bowling Green and NIU are shining early but I’m intrigued by Akron with the solid trio of Forsythe, Jackson , & McAdams.

MWC .UNLV Rebels lost a tough one to Wichita St (MVC)  , but Van Vleeet was solid.

SunBelt: Props again to TX-ARL and still like Ark LR when conference play starts.

Other5= AAC,CUSA, MAC,MWC,& SUNBELT

Four from three

The  winners of the CUSA. MAC , & Sunbelt tournaments will get automatic dance tickets and are too difficult to predict. Every year a few regular season winners are  sent to the NIT.  Western Kentucky & Georgia Southern are atop the first two conferences, and Buffalo and Toledo are atop the MAC divisions. I think the CUSA gets a possible  extra ticket. UAB is tied for the second with La Tech who they  just walloped and will be my dark horse  for the extra ticket. Anyone remember when they brought in Gene Bartow to kick start  the  new program almost thirty years ago? So much is up in the air with three weeks to go in the regular season.

Four players headed for solid NBA careers.

CUSA: Jerome Hill- UTSA  17 ppg 8rbg ; Raheem Appelby- Louisiana Tech  16ppg , 2rbg 2apg

MAC: Justin Moss- Buffalo- 18ppg 9rbg

SunBelt: Ryan Harrow- Georgia St- 20.4 ppg, 2 rbg ,  4.3apg

 

Feb 11: Moss had 33 points and 10 rebounds  for Buffalo in a loss to the red hot Toledo Rockets (six straight) in an East matchup. Bowling Green and Akron kept pace in the West

 

fEB 26:  Leaders

MAC: East then West

Bowling Green 10-5
Kent St. 10-5
C. Michigan 11-4

SUNB

 

Ga. Southern 12-4 19-6 138
Georgia St. 12-4 19-8 80
UL-Monroe 12-4

CUSA:

La. Tech 12-3 21-7 64
UTEP 11-3 19-7 60
UAB 11-4

2/27/15 CUSA update . Big LT win over Utep- ODU wins again. Props to Marshall’s steady improvement.

CUSA 2014/15 hoops preview and weekly updates

Some CUSA fans thought that the addition of Old Dominion last season would help them get more than one NCAA dance ticket. It didn’t as USM &  Louisiana Tech became just the third and fourth teams in NCAA Basketball history to miss the NCAA Tournament with 27 wins. Tulsa won the CUSAT and took the lone Dance ticket. IMO, the CUSA  rarely gets judged more on it’s weak history than on  it’s improving  quality of teams

1. UTEP Miners : Lew Stallworth, the point guard recruit, from Los Angeles is getting a lot of hype| and could  bolster  big man Vince Huter

2. UAB Blazers | Big time recruit William Lee will be make the Blazers even tougher under the boards.

3. Old Dominion Monarchs | Jeff Jones is a decent coach and has brought in some JC transfers to bolster the Bacate & Batten show.

4. Charlotte 49ers | Pierre Henry & the Niners  could surprise some teams.

5. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Appelby and Hamnilton are a strong backcourt but  not enough to prevent a small descent.

6. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Brandon Price and crew will be in the middle of the pack in their first CUSA season

7.Southern Miss Golden Eagles– Eagles lost some starters and new Coach Sadler will be be re-building

8. Marshall Thundering Herd : Is Nikolic from Serbia part of a successful Dantoni plan?

9. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders | Raiders lost their biggest contributors from last season.

10. Florida Atlantic Owls | They’ll miss  Bertone, last season’s leading scorer.

11North Texas Mean Green |

12. Florida International Golden Panthers |

13. UTSA Roadrunners |

14. Rice Owls

______________________________________________________________________

New- Western Kentucky

Departed – Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina

Four new head coaches Dan D’Antoni (Marshall) and Michael Curry (FAU) — joining veteran Doc Sadler (Southern Miss) replacing Tyndall who went to Tennessee,  and rookie Mike Rhoades (Rice) in the league.

 

12/18/14- ODU has 2 nice OOC wins over LSU and VCU

 

1/5/15- ODU  edges Charlotte and stays hot going into  CUSA play

1/17/15

LA Tech and WKU are 4-0 and sit atop the CUSA. Side note :

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24966347/kentucky-ends-talks-with-utep-for-anniversary-game-in-2016

Kentucky reportedly “backed out” of talks to play a game against UTEP in 2016, one which Miners coach Tim Floyd had intended to make a celebration for the 50th anniversary of Kentucky and Texas Western’s 1966 NCAA title game.

1/25/15: MU 78 utep 71. WKU 83 UTSA 74

Impressed with Marshalls front court, particularly R. Taylor 17 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 St yesterday,  getting their first CUSA win this season  . UTSA gave WKU a fight early but lost. Here’s where I stand with a little more than a month to go.

On the left my prognostications. Nailed NT, way off on WKU.

1. UTEP Miners : Western Kentucky
2. UAB Blazers |  Louisiana Tech
3. Old Dominion Monarchs |  UAB
4. Charlotte| Middle Tennessee
5. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Old Dominion
6. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers |  UTEP
7.Southern Miss Golden Eagles- UT San Antonio
8. Marshall Thundering Herd :  Rice
9. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders |  Florida International
10. Florida Atlantic Owls |  Charlotte
11North Texas Mean Green | North Texas
12. Florida International Golden Panthers | Florida Atlantic
13. UTSA Roadrunners | Southern Miss
14. Rice Owls Marshall

2/15/15

Big win for Marshall yesterday-Loop was great, and they’ve made serious progress since my Jan 25 th post. UTEP has moved to 2nd. In () is  my pre-season prediction. really got Charlotte wrong, so far.

La. Tech(5) 11-2 20-6
UTEP(1) 10-3 18-7
Western Ky.(6) 9-3 16-8
UAB(2) 9-4 13-13
Old Dominion(3) 7-5 18-6
UT-San Antonio(13) 7-6 13-11
Rice(14) 6-6 9-15
Middle Tenn.(9) 6-7 13-13
FIU(12) 5-7 12-13
North Texas(11) 5-7 11-13
Marshall(8) 5-7 9-16
Charlotte(4) 4-8 11-14
So. Miss(7) 2-11 7-17
FAU(10) 1-11

CUSA 2014 football preview

East

Marshall: Rakeem Cato returns to lead the potent Thundering Herd but will sure miss Gator Hoskins, the talented TE drafted by the Dolphins. If the Herd can find some D. I don’t see anyone stopping them in the East. Kevin Grooms dismissal  will hurt the Herd’s depth at RB.

Florida Atlantic:  The Owls,free of the Carl Pellini  troubles, are one of my two dark horses. Head Coach Partridge has most of  #1 D  in the 2013 CUSA returning if they can survive the first two games at Nebraska & Bama.

Middle Tennessee- Blue Raiders will go as the  QB merry-go -round spins. Grammerly, Stocksill (coach’s son), orErdely. Some say Stocksill has the edge, The Blue Raiders  tempo style may not be enough in the  CUSA and will weak O & D lines land them in the basement?

WKU: Jeff Brohm tales the reins from hit and run Petrino and will need to evaluate QB Doughty quickly, then look for RBs to replace  Antonio Andrews.   Hilltoppers won’t be atop many opponents this season

UAB- Perhaps the best thing going for new HC Phil Clark is the QB-WR connection.  Incoming Juco QB Cody Clemens , the likely starter will have the top 3 targets back from last year, including big play threat Jamarcus Nelson, who averaged 20.1 yards per catch last year on 46 receptions and scored 8 TDs

Old Dominion:  Coach Wilder’s Monarchs up-tempo O led by Taylor Heinicke will put up some points , but I don’t see them getting to far out of the cellar.

FIU : Can true Freshman QB Alex McGough save Turner’s job?

WEST  

Rice :   If your team is the Owls (FAU) then you must’ve shared a scheduler for a tough first two games, @Notre Dame and @ Texas A&M. Rice had a solid D in 2013 , but  have big holes in the  D secondary with the departures of Gaines &  Porras. Can Dillard & Davis  replace Charles Ross @ RB?

UTSA:  Coker may finally have  the Roadrunners in contention. The transition at QB  from Soza  to  Carter  and the emergence of Glasco at RB  are the keys on offense. The D  will need to be great up front to cover for some of the doubts about the secondary .

North Texas: Pegram  &  Jimmerson returns to anchor  a solid offensive backfield   that may miss Byrd a little. Their D should be Ok but they;ll need more special teams  heroics to duplicate the solid 2013  season

Southern Miss-  If USM can keep Coach Monken for a few seasons and Mullens develops at QB the Golden Eagles may find their way back to the top of the CUSA.

UTEP Showers (QB) and RBs , Jones and Jeffery, will put up the points, but  the lack of D will keep the Miners  out of contention.

 

Louisiana Tech-   Skip Holtz train continues to derail in 2014. The transition from Dykes up tempo style was miserable in 2013. Who knows why LT ignored its personnel when picking  a HC? Tech will rely on Sokol, a JC transfer QB, and a stable of RBs , to pull of a miracle in the fleet style CUSA.  They’ve brought in Manny Diaz as DC, (remember him at Texas),  and are hoping for  one of his  great first seasons before  sinking. Maybe they’ll beat Old Dominion &UAB in conference.

 

Mid majors bowl preview 2013/14

Famous Idaho Potato Dec 21
Buffalo (MAC) vs. San Diego State

Buffalo Bulls had a strange November going .500. Licata, Oliver,  and Neutz are a potent trio when they’re on. The SD St Aztecs  were doing well in November until UNLV leveled them. Aztecs  O trio of Kaehler, Muema , and Ruffin will be a tad more potent and lead SD St to a 46-44 win.

12/22/13

I nailed this one , Aztecs started quickly and cruised to a 49-24 win. Big props to SDST RB Adam Muema who scored three touchdowns and rushed for 230 yards,

R+L Carriers New Orleans Dec 21
Tulane (CUSA) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette  (SUNBELT)

Tulane has  leveled off but they have a decent D and Joe Montana’s son Nick at QB. ULL ‘s QB Terrance Broadway leads a Cajuns O that plays well, at times.  Tulane’s D should save them. Tul 20 ULL 16

12/22/13

I was wrong ULL 24 TuL 21. Neither starting QB was effective  and  starting RB Darkwa almost carried (3 rushing TDs) Tulane to win.  Cajuns D deserves some props.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Dec 23
East Carolina (CUSA) vs. Ohio (MAC)

Ohio has been erratic and ECU  was rolling behind S. Carden( 358 504 3866 yards 32TDs) until a tough late-season loss to Marshall. Pirates beat ACC teams UNC & NC St, and lost a squeaker to VTech. ECU 31 Ohio 16

12/25/13- I wasn’t too far off on this one  ECU won 37-20, Carden & Cooper  had great days:

Passing: S. Carden (ECU) – 273 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: V. Cooper (ECU) – 25 CAR, 198 YDS, 2

Little Caesars Pizza Dec 26
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green (MAC)

I’m was leaning toward  BG after their impressive MAC title game win but Coach Clawson’s exit for Wake Forest has me wavering. BG RB Travis Green  rushed for over 1500 yards  and averaged five plus yards a carry. Pitt defeated Duke and Notre Dame  but lost to  Navy & UNC. I’ll  take Pitt (ACC) in a nailbiter.

12/27/13:  Pitt hung on (30-27) against the fiesty Falcons led by  M.Johnson (BGSU) – 272 YDS, 2 TD.

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Dec 26
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Lynch   & the Huskies  will bounce back after the loss to Bowling Green and beat  the Utah St. The Ags QB Chuckie Keeton has had a decent season but  their improving has been  the key. The Huskies in a low-scoring game 20-16.

12/27/13: Utah St  held Lynch to 39 yards rushing and won 21-14. Rough Thursday night for the MAC.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman   Dec 27
Marshall (CUSA) vs. Maryland- First time these  two schools have played  a football game against each  other and I expect an ugly game. Rakeem Cato has thrown 36 TDs and only 9 INTs, but I look for the Terps to make a few picks and  their O should take advantage of a Marshall D that  gave up a lot of points in the CUSA.  Terps 23 Marshall 19 and  keep your eyes on  Gator Hoskins,  a solid TE for the Herd who’ll be playing on Sundays.

12/27/13: I was right about Hoskins and so wrong about my Terps. Props to Rakeem Cato 28-44-337-0 , too. Marshall 31 MD 20

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Dec 30

Middle Tennessee (CUSA) vs. Navy

Middies  are 1-5 in their last six bowl games and rely heavily on  their QB Keenan Reynolds- 25 TDs (19 rushing, 7 passing). MTSU won five in a row to finish the regular season and will need the D to play big. I predict a tie but the NCAA undid that option.

12/31/13: Navy  played better than I thought against the erratic Blue Raiders in a 24-6 W.

AutoZone Liberty  Dec 31
Rice (CUSA) vs. Mississippi State

Miss St saved their season by beating Ol Miss. They have too much talent to lose to Rice. I look for the Bulldogs D-line to punish the Owls.

1/1/14: Miss St 44 Rice7 Final score says it all

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL @ COTTON BOWL – DALLAS, TX Jan 1

My apologies for not making a  prediction. Mean Green woke up in the second half  behind Derek Thompson  who threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns and won in their first bowl appearance in nine years.

North Texas  36  UNLV 11

GoDaddy  Jan 5
Arkansas State (SUNBELT) vs. Ball State (MAC)

Ark St loses another head coach (Harsin to Boise St) to a bigger program and it’s hard to argue with  these numbers  from Ball St’s QB Keith Wenning(3,933 yards, 34 touchdowns, six interceptions).

Can Ball St  help the MAC avoid a winless bowl season?

1/6/14: Ark St did  a solid job slowing down Wenning,  scored last, and won 23-20. Nice stat line for: RB Rushing:  J Edwards (BALL) – 28 CAR, 146 YDS, 1 T

2.5 Pack Finals- Mid Majors

CUSA

Can Marshall Cato  ( 246-414, 3314 yds, 34 tds)ride the Herd to another victory and win the CUSA. They  had an easier time defeating  ECU last week than I expected, but Rice has a formidable rushing attack led by Ross( 183 car, 1143 yds, 12 tds). Rice has a slightly better D, but look for  Cato to find Gator Hoskins, a TE who’ll play on Sunday, often and trim the Owls feathers 24-23.

Some Marshall fans are ticked that BCS rankings were used to give Rice home field. More formulas and now some history: Marshall will be playing for its first conference championship since winning their sixth straight Mid-American conference title in 2002. Rice won a share of the Southwest Conference championship in 1994 and their last outright conference title was the 1957 SWC championship.

 

Congrats to Rice and it’s ground game of 250 yards. Also, the Owls D slowed down Cato and it appeared he was telegraphing his passes.

MAC

Bowling Green has an upghill battle against NIU and Lynch. Maybe Greene (  235 car, 1422 yds, 10 tds) will rush them to victory, but I’ll let Lynch’s numbers do the talking:

Passing: Lynch – 212-329, 2457 yds, 22 tds

Rushing: Lynch – 248 car, 1755 yds, 20 tds

Well, I was wrong big time. Matt Johnson , the Bowling Green Falcons QB, stole the show throwing 4 of his 5 TD passes in the first half   against NIU. Lynch had a so-so night and his Heisman hopes may have vanished. Props to the Falcons who last won a MAC title in 1992.

Sunbelt

If The Terence Broadway lights shine for ULL against USA then the Cajuns win  the SunBelt, but If Metheny and the improved Jags pull the upset than idle Ark St will be tied with ULL for the Sun Belt title.

 

South Alabama Jags (6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt) are up for most improved squad of the 2013 season. Jay Jones did the bulk of the rushing with 105 yards while Ken Houston scored two rushing TDs in their 30-8 win over conference leader ULL.

 

Mid-majors bowl preview blog will be started later tonight (Sunday) or early tomorrow.