Wall Street may have been shut down for the holiday, but we’re open for business. Another week of Conference USA basketball is in the books–let’s take a look at who’s rising, falling, and breaking even in our second weekly C-USA Stock Report.
Southern Miss: A tip of the cap to the Golden Eagles, who welcomed Louisiana Tech to Hattiesburg and sent the Bulldogs back home with their first conference loss of the season. It looks like Donnie Tyndall and his crew are building a case for the top team in the league.
UTEP: It appears rumors of the Miners’ demise were premature. After a C-USA opening loss to Charlotte at the Don Haskins Center, Tim Floyd and his team have rattled off three in a row (Marshall, Middle Tennessee and UAB–the latter two on the road). High marks to Vince Hunter, who’s averaging 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds a game over the last three.
Old Dominion: Is this the same club that won just five games last season? It certainly doesn’t look like it as the Monarchs are off to a 3-0 start in their debut season in C-USA. Leading the charge is Aaron Bacote (17.5 ppg), but a sprained ankle suffered against FIU on Thursday may throw a monkey wrench into his team’s plans for further improvement.
Charlotte: They’re 3-1 to open C-USA play, but they’ve had to come back twice in a row to win against Tulane and North Texas. If the Niners can put together a solid, 40-minute effort each night, they’ll be hard to beat.
The Florida teams: I’m not sure where I stand yet with FIU and Florida Atlantic, both 2-2 in league play, but my guess at this point is that they’ll be middling this season at best. For FIU, the same team that laid an egg against Old Dominion (36 points scored) put up 68 against ECU. Florida Atlantic defeated ECU 78-67 but turned around and lost to Old Dominion 65-60.
Tulane: The Green Wave got ripped by LA Tech before defeating Rice, so you can’t really fault them. Their response at ECU and Old Dominion this week will be telling.
Rice: The dreadful season continues for the Owls after they were rocked by both LA Tech and Tulane on the road. Marshall and Charlotte come to town as Rice looks to finally get in the league’s win column.
ECU: Jeff Lebo and his team are 0-3 to start the conference slate. How they come out against Tulane might tell us a lot about this team’s general trajectory.
Marshall: We may get a look at who truly may be in the dregs of Conference USA depending on the result of the Rice/Marshall matchup on Wednesday. The Herd have averaged only 57.6 points over their last three games.