Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014/15 Sun Belt Women's Basketball Conference Predictions

First I did the men's basketball predictions, so naturally it is the women's time.

The coach's poll is as such:
1. Arkansas State (9) - 118 pts
2. UALR (2) - 112 pts
3. Texas State - 93 pts
4. Georgia State - 82 pts
5. Troy - 70 pts
6. UL Lafayette - 64 pts
7. South Alabama - 49 pts
8. Appalachian State - 47 pts
9. UT Arlington - 44 pts
10. Georgia Southern - 27 pts
11. UL Monroe - 20 pts

1 UALR (7-2). They've looked the most impressive to me. They have wins against some name teams like LSU, Oklahoma and Memphis (though these schools didn't get their names from women's basketball. The two losses to South Dakota State and Tulane give me a little pause, but at least the wins were DI and not Southland or Southwestern Athletic Conference teams. They are third in the conference in scoring defense, field goal percentage and fourth in rebounding. They play a slow grinding game that isn't fun to watch, but is successful when the record is concerned.

2014/15 Sun Belt men's basketball predictions

Time for the conference predictions for the upcoming Sun Belt basketball season, and as usual, it is later than most because I like to let the non-conference portion play out. I feel that gives a better feel for the teams and avoids some shot-in-the-dark guessing that can be otherwise seen.

At the beginning of the year, the coaches thought the final Sun belt standings would be:
1 Georgia State 121 (11)
2 UL Lafayette 110
3 UALR 94
4 UT Arlington 75
5 Arkansas State 73
6 UL Monroe 69
7 Texas State 43
8 Troy 42
9 Georgia Southern 38

South Alabama 38
11 Appalachian State 23

Mine won't vary too much, but there were some question marks that did arise from a couple of teams, and some head turners from others.

1 Georgia State (7-4). The Panthers are the defending SBC champs and in some ways seem to be following the formula from last year. The non-conference record is better than the previous version, but for the top of the SBC, I'd hoped for better. Still, they have R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow, who can score. I still remember Markus Crider who killed the Mavs last year, and he's a role player for the squad. They are scorers from start to finish. The one weakness seems to be rebounding. Catch them on a cold shooting day and you can walk out with a W. There is no signature win and some losses to Colorado State, Old Dominion and Wisconsin-Green Bay, teams the top of the SBC could and maybe should beat, IMHO. However, the SBC is theirs to lose given what they did last year and with most of the cast returning.