Checking in on… the Atlantic SunPosted by jstevrtc on January 8th, 2010
Ryan Dunn is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic Sun Conference.
- East Tennessee State (8-7, 4-0)
- Belmont (9-6, 4-1)
- Campbell (8-5, 3-1)
- Lipscomb (6-7, 3-1)
- Mercer (7-8, 3-2)
- Florida Gulf Coast (5-8, 2-2)
- North Florida (6-8, 1-3)
- Jacksonville (4-8, 1-3)
- Stetson (3-9, 1-3)
- Kennesaw State (5-10, 1-4)
- USC Upstate (1-14, 1-4)
News and Notes
As 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has gotten underway things are still not clear in the conference race. However, there are a few teams that we expect to be in the mix until the very end. There has been more parity in the league this year than we have seen in some time and I expect a very tight race as conference play continues. Even the bottom feeders of the league are bound to pull an upset or two. We have already seen it with North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, and Kennesaw State picking up upsets early on.
East Tennessee State has been a constant at the top of the A-Sun over the last several years and right now it is clear that the Bucs will again be in the mix again for the league title. They are off to a quick 4-0 start and have looked impressive particularly in the last few weeks. Tommy Hubbard has been a nice surprise for the Bucs and should certainly be considered a candidate for player of the year at this point of the year.
Belmont is a tough team to gauge at this point even though they are off to a solid start to league play. They started league play by knocking off Mercer and Kennesaw State in overtime before losing a head scratcher to Florida Gulf Coast and defeating Stetson. We will see how real this team is once they cycle through league play one time.
Campbell was off to a roaring start to begin non-conference play and that carried over to conference play as well. The Camels got off to a 3-0 start to league play but fell last night at Mercer. Campbell has struggled on the road in conference play the last several years and absolutely must find a way to steal some away from home in league play. Jonathan Rodriguez has continued to carry his team as he is averaging over 18 PPG and over 9 RPG.
Lipscomb was off to a slow start to begin the year but have slowly started to play like the team that I predicted to be league champs. The Bisons are right in the middle of things in the league and I certainly expect them to be near the top at the end. Adnan Hodzic looks to be the player of the year at this point as he is averaging 22 PPG while pulling down 8 RPG.
Mercer is an interesting team because we knew that they would be a scary team with their athleticism and experience. After starting out league play losing two straight, I wasn’t sure what to make of this team but they have since reeled off three straight victories. I expect the Bears to compete near the top but I am not completely sold on them just yet. They have been inconsistent throughout this season so far to give them accolades just yet.
Key Upcoming Games
- ETSU @ Mercer (1/9) – Both teams have been hot lately and should have an immediate impact at the top of the league standings.
- Campbell @ Kennesaw State (1/9) – Campbell really needs to win this tough road contest if they want to make noise at the top, but they have continued to struggle away from home.
- Belmont @ Lipscomb (1/11) – They call this one the “Battle of the Boulevards” as it is always a fight between these bitter rivals from Nashville. As it usually does this game will have a big impact on the conference standings.
- FGCU @ ETSU (1/16) – Florida Gulf Coast has already proven that they can pull an upset so ETSU needs to be extremely careful at home against the pesky Eagles.