Predicted Order of Finish:
- Alabama State (20-9)
- Jackson State (16-13)
- Alabama A&M (15-11)
- Prairie View (13-16)
- Mississippi Valley State (13-18)
- Alcorn State (10-19)
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-19)
- Texas Southern (9-20)
- Grambling State (5-21)
- Southern (5-26)
- Christopher Jones (G) – Prairie View – Purest point guard in the SWAC, but will have to reduce his turnovers for the Panthers to be successful this season.
- Troy Jackson (G) – Alcorn State – Ruthless scorer who also shot better than 40 percent from the field in 08-09.
- Grant Maxey (F) – Jackson State – Versatile forward will likely emerge as the 09-10 SWAC Player of the Year
- Douglas Scott (F) – Southern – Tenacious rebounder, came on late last season with three double-doubles in his last five games.
- Darnell Hugee (C) – Prairie View – If he stays out of foul trouble, could be one of the best post players in Division I basketball.
6th Man. Deandre Hall (G) – Texas Southern – Turnover prone, but can do damage from interior and perimeter.
What You Need to Know. The SWAC is among the worst conferences in all of Division I basketball. There’s no sugarcoating the lack of talent and the brutal out-of-conference schedules that the SWAC member schools play just to keep their athletic budgets afloat. But what they are lacking in appeal and talent, their upper-echelon teams make up for in competitive drive and great coaching. Alabama State took SEC opponents Auburn and Mississippi to the wire on the road last season before dropping both games by fewer than five points.
Predicted Champion. Jackson State (NCAA Seed: #16). Jackson State has played second fiddle to Alabama State in the regular season for two years in a row. But while the Tigers return key seniors Grant Maxey and Garrison Johnson, the Hornets of ASU lost a lot in the departure of PG Brandon Brooks and forward Andrew Hayles. The JSU Tigers will prevail in the conference championship, but not without serious tests from the likes of Prairie View and Alabama State.