Checking in on the… SWACPosted by rtmsf on December 20th, 2008
JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.
In case you thought differently, the SWAC is still pulling up the rear in Division I basketball. Just once, you want to associate these hard working teams with other descriptors than “lopsided defeat” or “demoralizing road trip.” But, the SWAC has to make money, and we should all credit them for their hard work in trying to build solid programs.
So let’s take a look at the hardest working conference in America.
THIS WEEK – There’s a lot of losing going on in the SWAC, but there are some signs of life. Prairie View A&M appears to be following their football team and pulling together a decent team for the 08-09 campaign. Against Hawaii, Baylor and New Mexico State, the Panthers have lost by an average margin of 13 points; not bad on the road against teams that have had recent appearances in the national tournament.
After Prairie View, Alabama A&M, Alcorn State and Grambling State all have captured two victories on the season, which will likely be all they get out of conference.
- It gets hard on the road when you are overmatched talent-wise, but the SWAC is maintaining a respectable approach to the intangibles. Rebounding for all but three teams is above 30 per game, and the same goes for teams averaging double-digits in assists.
- There is truly no place like home. The SWAC Traveling Road Show does not stop until conference play, so the uneven match-ups are going to continue to give the conference a negative perception.
- Free throw shooting is horrible. Only Jackson State and Alabama A&M are above 70 percent on the season.
Here are a few of the upcoming key match-ups for SWAC teams. The race for 2009 is on, because the remainder of 2008 is nothing but trouble.
- Southern @ DePaul - Friday, Dec. 19 – The MEAC has found great success against DePaul the last two seasons, and hopefully, the Jags can find the same.
- Grambling @ Tulane - Monday, Dec. 29 – This is a winnable game for the Tigers against a Green Wave team that has gotten off to a .500, slow start to the season.