RTC Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 5th, 2010

RTC is still seeking a MEAC correspondent.  If you are interested in covering this league, email us for further information at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Morgan State (13-3)
  2. South Carolina State (12-4)
  3. Norfolk State (10-6)
  4. Delaware State (9-7)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (9-7)
  6. Maryland-Eastern Shore (8-8)
  7. Hampton (8-8)
  8. Howard (7-9)
  9. North Carolina A&T (6-10)
  10. Coppin State (4-12)
  11. Florida A&M (2-14)
  12. Savannah State (*provisional member — ineligible for postseason and league awards)
  13. North Carolina Central (*provisional member – ineligible for postseason and league awards)

All-Conference Team

  • CJ Reed (G) — Bethune-Cookman
  • Hillary Haley (G) – Maryland-Eastern Shore
  • DeWayne Jackson (F) — Morgan State
  • Kyle O’Quinn (F) – Norfolk State
  • Kevin Thompson (F) — Morgan State

6th Man

  • Darnell Porter (G) — South Carolina State

Impact Newcomer

  • Dominique Sutton (F) — North Carolina Central.  NCCU isn’t yet playing a complete MEAC schedule nor is it eligible for postseason play this year, but the Eagle program is already making noise on the recruiting trail with the announcement of high-major transfer Sutton returning to Durham to suit up for his hometown team.  As of this writing, the 6’5 junior forward who averaged 7.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG as a full-time starter last season for Kansas State was practicing with the team and awaiting an NCAA decision on whether he can play this season.  He moved back east to be closer to his girlfriend and two daughters in Durham, and the wing player who terrorizes the glass on the offensive end (especially given his size) will automatically become one of the best players in the MEAC as soon as he is eligible.

Bozeman is Building Quite the Program in Baltimore

What You Need To Know

  • All Morgan, All the Time. Todd Bozeman has built a powerhouse in Baltimore to the tune of three straight regular season titles, two straight NCAA bids, and a 46-6 record against MEAC teams the last three seasons.  But like all consistently great programs, Morgan doesn’t re-build anymore as much as re-load.  From Jamar Smith to Marquis Kately to Reggie Holmes to the next generation (Thompson and Jackson), Bozeman continually has high-mid major talent playing for him.  The Bears’ strategy is clear — play a tough non-conference schedule to build up their RPI (beating DePaul, Maryland and Arkansas in recent years), dominate the MEAC, and get back to the NCAA Tournament.  Morgan State earned #15 seeds the last two seasons, but they haven’t yet been matched up against the right team in order to pull off the upset — #2 seeds Oklahoma (2009) and West Virginia (2010) were simply too powerful inside for them to handle.  Could it come this season?

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2009-10 Conference Primers: #31: MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2009

seasonpreview 09-10

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC conferences.  Click here for all of our 2009-10 Season Preview materials.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Morgan State (22-9)
  2. North Carolina A&T (17-14)
  3. South Carolina State (16-12)
  4. Coppin State (14-13)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (14-16)
  6. Hampton (12-18)
  7. Delaware State (10-17)
  8. Norfolk State (9-19)
  9. Florida A&M (9-16)
  10. Howard (4-23)
  11. Winston-Salem State (4-26)
  12. UMES (3-27)

All-Conference Team:

  • Tavarus Alston (G) – North Carolina A&T – Should lead the MEAC in assists this season, and could be a scoring threat as well.
  • Reggie Holmes (G) – Morgan State – 3rd leading scorer and leading 3pt shooter in the MEAC in 08 will expand his role in 09.
  • Jason Flagler (F) – South Carolina State – Dynamic scorer is SC State’s best chance at post-season success.
  • Neal Pitt (F) – UMES– Tenacious rebounder and defensive force under the basket will lead conference in glass cleaning for second straight season.
  • Kevin Thompson (C) – Morgan State – Could emerge as a secondary scoring option in the low post, and will fill role as interior stopper.
  • Alexander Starling (6th Man, F) – Bethune-Cookman –Versatile forward is Bethune-Cookman’s primary scoring option.

MEAC_logo

What You Need to Know.  The MEAC is a mid-major conference that, while among the lowest rated in RPI, is among the more recognized brands in college basketball outside of power conference competition. The MEAC champion has won three first-round tournament games in the last 20 years, and has produced tough out of conference wins over quality competition in the last three years. (Morgan State defeating Maryland, Hampton defeating George Mason in 2008)

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Sweetest NCAA Memories #14: Coppin St.

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

RTC asked its legion of correspondents, charlatans, sycophants, toadies and other hangers-on to send us their very favorite March Madness memory,  something that had a visceral effect on who they are as a person and college basketball fan today.  Not surprisingly, many of the submissions were excellent and if you’re not fired up reading them, then you need to head back over to PerezHilton for the rest of this month.  We’ve chosen the sixteen best, and we’ll be counting them down over the next two weeks as we approach the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

Coppin St. Eagles Fly High - (submitted by JC of HBCU Sports Blog)

Just six days after my 16th birthday, an NCAA tournament game changed the direction of my entire life.

I had grown up around historically black colleges and universities in the state of Maryland, but I was too young to remember the tournament appearances by Alcorn State in the 80s, and Southern’s win over Georgia Tech in 1993 was past my bedtime.

coppin-st-sc-1997

But #15 seed Coppin State was a school right in my back yard, and their 78-65 upset over #2 South Carolina in 1997 came at a critical point in my college selection process, and amidst the ending of a TV-watching curfew.

Two days later, Coppin State missed a chance to go to the Sweet 16, losing to Texas by one point.

Antoine Brockington and Coppin St. Flew High on This Night in 1997

Antoine Brockington and Coppin St. Flew High on This Night in 1997 (photo credit: Al Bello)

Two years later, I would enroll in Coppin’s cross-town rival, Morgan State University.  Twelve years later, it’s still the greatest moment in NCAA history.

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Checking in on the… SWAC & MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences. With the end of the regular season imminent, both conference wrap-ups are below this week.

SWAC Wrap-Up

And so it is nearly finished. A final act for the SWAC conference that is low on team talent, but with a few programs that have a legitimate shot of scoring more than 29 points against the number one seed in the national tournament.

Alabama State paces the conference, and is poised to eclipse 19 wins for the second-consecutive season. On their heels is Jackson State, with just two conference losses on the year and one courtesy of Alabama State.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 20th, 2009

JC at HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC Conferences.

A rebirth in hoops nation is taking place. You can see it in the hearts of mid-major loyalists everywhere, championing the chance for little schools to draw and keep the attention of the college basketball conscience.

There is no better example of this than in the MEAC, whose champion will likely present the best chance for a historically black college to advance in the national tournament. So let’s call this a born day for the underdog, and check out the week that was in the MEAC.

THIS WEEK

With little less than a month to go before the MEAC basketball tournament begins, two teams are picking up where the left off in 2008. Morgan State and Coppin State have emerged as two of the favorites in the latter part of the season, with Morgan having paced the conference for much of the season, while Coppin has mounted its annual late season flurry of conference wins.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 6th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.

The big news in college sports this week was national signing day for high school football players. But basketball is king in the MEAC, so we look back on the obvious, the shocking and the downright ugly in this week’s wrap-up.

THIS WEEK – And here come the Coppin State Eagles. Again. Last year’s team ripped off eight of their last nine regular season contests heading in to the MEAC tournament, and you know the rest. They’ve won four in a row and five of their last seven after a murderous 2-13 start. Maybe there is something to taking so many out-of-conference beatings.

While the Eagles are rising, the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats are falling. The Wildcats were tops in the conference at the outset of conference play, but have lost their last three games at home, the last two to conference bottom feeders Delaware State and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Here’s what’s in between.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on January 23rd, 2009

JC of HBCU Sports Blog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC conferences.

Things are beginning to take shape in the MEAC, and if you followed the conference at all last season, you know that it means absolutely nothing. Morgan State and Coppin State are exactly who we thought they were. If you asked at this time last season who would appear in the conference finals, one of those teams would have been on your list for a bust down back to Division II, let alone an appearance in the big dance. 

This year, the Sunshine State is having an impact on the conference picture, and that could mean dark clouds for many teams come tournament time.

THIS WEEK – You have to watch out for the Florida A&M Rattlers and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Both teams were pushovers in 07-08, but they are in third and fourth place respectively and both have been the victor in five of their last ten games.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on December 1st, 2008

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.

Unlike its black college counterpart, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference knows how to effectively manage its early season maulings. The conference is a combined 15-36 so far, not bad given early season opponents have included Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky and Oklahoma. The MEAC is quickly emerging as one of the mid-major conferences to watch. They may not be primed to run upset city, but they are quickly preparing to take up residence.

THIS WEEK

Hampton University and Morgan State University are the cream of the crop in the MEAC. The two teams have wins over George Mason University and Marshall University, and will begin a stretch of competition against comparable mid-major teams. You know, the Mount Saint Marys and Akron Zips of the world.

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2008-09 Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 7th, 2008

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC conferences. 

Predicted order of finish:

  1. Morgan State University  (22-11) (14-2)   
  2. Hampton University  (18-12) (11-5)   
  3. Norfolk State University  (16-15) (11-5)  
  4. Delaware State University  (14-16) (10-6) 
  5. N.C. A&T State University  (15-16) (9-7)   
  6. Florida A&M University  (15-17) (9-7)   
  7. Coppin State University  (16-21) (7-9)   
  8. South Carolina State University   (13-20) (7-9)     
  9. Bethune-Cookman University  (11-21) (5-11)  
  10. Howard University  (6-26) (3-13)  
  11. Maryland - Eastern Shore  (4-28) (2-14) 

MEAC Logo

What You Need to Know (WYN2K). The MEAC is not a conference you want to sleep on this year. Two teams from the conference earned automatic bids to postseason play last year, with the conference champion Coppin State Eagles making it to the play-in game of the Big Dance, and regular-season MEAC champion Morgan State appearing in the NIT. With a loaded stock of Division I transfers across the board, in-conference parity and out-of-conference guaranteed games against power-conference opponents, the MEAC will be among the toughest mid-major conferences in the country this season.

Predicted Champion. Morgan State (#16 Seed NCAA).  While the MEAC is usually relegated to play-in purgatory (four of the last five years), the Morgan State Bears could reverse the 16-seed blues this season. In several mid-major polls last season, the Bears were ranked in the Top 25 as a result of strong showings against the Big East (4-pt loss at UConn) and ACC (4-pt loss at Miami). Todd Bozeman is the reigning MEAC Coach of the Year, and returns two key starters in All-MEAC forward Marquise Kately and sharpshooting guard Reggie Holmes.

Others Considered. Norfolk State could surprise many in the conference this season. An early season road victory against the Richmond Spiders last year served notice of their depth and offensive talent, and they have several seniors returning. Despite the transfer of forward Matt Pilgrim, Hampton is also a team to watch because of forward Theo Smalling, who will likely be among the conference leaders in rebounding and minutes played this season.

Games to Watch. The MEAC doesn’t have many games with national intrigue, but in conference, these contests will be a litmus test for post-season mettle.

  • Morgan State vs. Coppin State (12.6.08) – In the first game since the Eagles defeated the Bears to capture the conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament, the intensity of this Charm City rivalry will heighten one of Baltimore’s signature athletic contests.
  • Hampton vs. Virginia Commonwealth (12.27.08) - Could be a bracket-busting test for an NCAA tournament-tested program in VCU. A win for the Pirates contributes to state bragging rights and boosts recruiting efforts at home.

RPI Booster Games. Several MEAC teams are participating in tournaments and classics, which present the best opportunities for upset wins.

  • Hampton @ Virginia (12.23.08)
  • Morgan State @ Utah (Glen Wilkes Classic) (11.22.08)
  • NC A&T @ Akron (12.13.08)

Odds of Multiple NCAA Bids. Nah.

Neat-o Stat. Of the top ten individual scoring leaders in the MEAC last year, only Howard’s Eugene Myatt will be playing this season. Morgan’s Jamar Smith, Coppin State’s Tywain McKee, Bethune-Cookman’s Dewayne Pettus, and Delaware State’s Roy Bright were all seniors, while UMES’ Ed Tyson is academically ineligible for his senior season.

65-Team Era. The MEAC is responsible for two of the only four #15 over #2 seed wins in history,  #15 Hampton over #2 Iowa St. in 2002, and #15 Coppin St. over #2 South Carolina in 1997.  The only other win of the era was in 2004 in the PiG over Lehigh. 

Final Thought. At least the MEAC isn’t the SWAC, right?

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Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 2nd, 2007

Season Preview Banner 3

Predicted Order of Finish.

  1. North Carolina A&T (20-10) (15-3)
  2. Morgan St. (15-12) (13-5)
  3. Coppin St. (14-15) (12-6)
  4. Hampton (13-15) (10-8)
  5. Delaware St. (12-16) (10-8)
  6. Norfolk St. (14-15) (10-8)
  7. Bethune-Cookman (15-15) (8-10)
  8. Florida A&M (13-16) (8-10)
  9. South Carolina St. (9-18) (7-11)
  10. Howard (7-21) (6-12)
  11. Maryland – Eastern Shore (6-24) (6-12)
  12. Winston-Salem St. (5-23) (3-15)

MEAC Logo

WYN2K. As bad as the SWAC is as a conference, the MEAC is only marginally better. But make no mistake – it IS better. Computer rankings for the last three years reflect that the MEAC lords over the SWAC, as it has won over twice as many OOC contests (70-268; .261) than its sister conference over the last three years. Yet, the MEAC champion is still a play-in game stalwart, finding itself in three of the last four PiGs and entering the NCAAs as a #16 seed each of the last five years. Exhibiting the same problem with OOC “guarantee games” as the SWAC, only Florida A&M and Delaware St. had overall winning records last year. Now, if the league could only keep its coaches out of trouble… Morgan St.’s Todd Bozeman (yes, that Todd Bozeman), SC State’s Jamal Brown and FAMU’s Mike Gillespie have all experienced legal trouble in the last year (Brown and Gillespie were fired).

Predicted Champion. North Carolina A&T (#16 Seed NCAA). Aggie Pride is back, as former Louisville champion (1980) and current A&T head coach Jerry Eaves continues to rebuild a program that was an NCAA regular in the 80s/early 90s (ten trips from 1982-95). Lightning-quick PG Steven Rush leads the charge for the 27th quickest tempo in the nation, and it doesn’t hurt that he has F Jason Willis and a cast of five other senior regulars from a team that made a late push in the MEAC last season.

Others Considered. Todd Bozeman’s Morgan St. squad intrigues us because his team improved leaps and bounds over 2006 based largely on the attitude shift he instilled into the program. Plus, he’s bringing the best recruiting class into the league this year. Hampton is also a team to watch because of Rashad West, a 6’1 playmaker who is likely the best player in the league. Coppin St. returns all five starters from an underachieving squad last year.

Games to Watch. Similar to the SWAC, there’s only one game that will matter in the MEAC.

  • MEAC Championship Game (03.15.08).

RPI Booster Games. The MEAC plays 43 games against BCS conference opponents this year, and all but one is on the road. The key point here is that the home game is definitely winnable, as are a couple of other road games.

  • Colorado @ Florida A&M (11.15.07)
  • Hampton @ Virginia (12.19.07)
  • NC A&T @ Miami (FL) (12.23.07)

Odds of Multiple NCAA Bids. Zero. See SWAC.

Neat-o Stat. Don’t come to this league if you’re seeking beautiful offense. Nine of its eleven teams last year rated in the bottom 20% of teams nationally for offensive efficiency, and three of its teams (UMES, Howard, Norfolk St.) earned the ignoble distinction of being the least efficient defensive teams in the nation.

65-Team Era. Counting PiGs, the MEAC is 3-22 overall, with two trips to the second round – Hampton (#15) over Iowa St. (#2) in 2002, and Coppin St. (#15) over South Carolina (#2) in 1997. The MEAC is responsible for two of the only four #15 over #2 seed wins in history.

Final Thought. At least the MEAC isn’t the SWAC, right?

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