Southland Preview 2015-16

1.      Stephen F. Austin
2.      Northwestern State
3.      Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
4.      Sam Houston State
5.      Incarnate Word
6.      New Orleans
7.      Houston Baptist
8.      Nicholls State
9.      Southeastern Louisiana
10.   Lamar
11.   McNeese St.
12.   Central Arkansas
13.   Abilene Christian

The Southland may have had the biggest divide in the entire country between its best and worst teams in the past few years. Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State were both top-100 Kenny Pom squads last year (SFA was actually 40th), but 7 of the conference’s teams were 288th or worse (that’s over half!!). Those horrendous teams dragged down the league’s RPI, and with it, any chance of SFA earning an at-large bid.

SFA should be the class of the league again, though it will be interesting to see how their style changes with actual legit bigs this year. One of their biggest strengths in the past has been playing 5 skilled guys at a time (helped by the impressive rebounding of wings Thomas Walkup and Ty Charles), spreading the floor and opening massive driving lanes.

The Southland in general is a guards’ league, and no team better exemplifies that than Northwestern State. Zeke Woodley averaged 22.2ppg and 5rpg last year, but yet he was still clearly the team’s second-best player. Point guard Jalan West put up 20.0ppg, 7.7apg, and 4.4rpg of his own (an absurd 124.5 O-rtg on 26.7% of possessions in almost 90% of the team’s minutes), and he could find himself a place in the NBA if he proves he can shoot from that range. He put in 83/189 from deep as a junior (44%), so the stroke is clearly there. Coach Matt McConathy’s team has been in the top 5 in the nation in tempo the last 3 years (and 5 of the last 7), and with that backcourt, I would highly recommend catching the Demons play a game.

Sammy Houston loses a ton, but with the stink of this league’s bottom teams, should easily remain in the top 4 or 5. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi loses its best player in John Jordan, but basically everyone else returns from a team that finished third in the league. Rashawn Thomas is the rare dominant big in this league, and he bullied opponents down low – he had the number 18 free throw rate in the entire country. The Islanders themselves need to foul less, though.

Incarnate Word may be a middle tier of its own above 8 teams that could all suck miserably. Expect another gaudy conference record from SFA (17-1 wouldn’t surprise me), but unless they can get statement non-conference wins at Baylor, Northern Iowa, Arizona St, and/or UAB (probably need 3 of those 4), this horrific conference will prevent them from having any real chance at an at-large bid.

All Conference:

POY: Thomas Walkup, Senior, Stephen F. Austin
Coach of the Year:
Newcomer of the Year:

First team
G – Jalan West, Senior, Northwestern State
G – Zikiterian Woodley, Junior, Northwestern State
G – Thomas Walkup, Senior, Stephen F. Austin
F – Rashawn Thomas, Junior, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
F – Kyle Hittle, Senior, Incarnate Word

Second team
G – Zay Jackson, Senior, Southeastern Louisiana
G – Jordan Howard, Sophomore, Central Arkansas
G – Dakarai Henderson, Junior, Sam Houston State
F – Aurimas Majauskas, Junior, Sam Houston State
F – Ty Charles, Sophomore, Stephen F. Austin

Third team
G – Jamaya Burr, Junior, McNeese State
G – Jontrell Walker, Sophomore, Incarnate Word
G – Kevin Booze, Sophomore, Lamar
F – Kevin Hill, Senior, New Orleans
C – Josh Ibarra, Sophomore, Houston Baptist


1.      Stephen F. Austin
F – Ty Charles, 6‘5, Sophomore
F – Thomas Walkup, 6‘4, Senior
F – Clide Geffrard, 6‘5, Senior
SG – Dallas Cameron, 6‘3, Junior
PG – Trey Pinkney, 5‘9, Senior
Reserves: Demetrious Floyd, 5’11, So.; Jared Johnson, 6‘0, Sr.; CJ Williams, 6‘7, Jr.; JaQuan Smith, 6‘8, Jr.; Nathan Bain, 6‘6, Fr.; Lasani Johnson, 6‘1, Fr.; TJ Holyfield, 6‘7, Fr.; Jovan Grujic, 7‘0, Fr.
Postseason Prediction: 13 seed

2.      Northwestern St.
C – Tra’Von Joseph, 6‘5, Junior
F – Matt Killian, 6‘5, Senior
G – Sabri Thompson, 6‘3, Junior
G – Zeke Woodley, 6‘2, Junior
PG – Jalan West, 5’11, Senior
Reserves: Devonte Hall, 6‘1, So.; Ta’Jon Welcome, 6‘3, Sr.; Levi Yancy, 6‘8, Jr.; Ishmael Lane, 6‘7, Fr.; Colby Koontz, 6’10, Fr.
Postseason Prediction:

3.      Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
C – Rashawn Thomas, 6‘8, Junior
PF – Bryce Douvier, 6‘7, R-Senior
SF – Jelani Currie, 6‘4, Senior
SG – Brandon Pye, 6‘0, Senior
PG – Ehab Amin, 6‘3, Sophomore
Reserves: Kareem South, 6‘2, Fr.; Emmanuel Toney, 6‘2, Jr.; Viktor Juricek, 6’11, Sr.; Dale Francis, 6‘8, Sr.; Cole Martinez, 6‘2, Sr.; Joe Kilgore, 6‘5, So.; Kareem South, 6‘2, Fr.
Postseason Prediction:

4.      Sam Houston St.
C – Aurimas Majauskas, 6‘8, Junior
PF – Andre Sands, 6‘8, Junior
SF – Jamal Williams, 6‘4, Sophomore
SG – Dakarai Henderson, 6‘2, Junior
PG – Paul Baxter, 6‘1, Senior
Reserves: Ameer Jackson, 6‘4, Jr.; Jovante‘ Spivey, 6‘0, Jr.; Torry Butler, 6‘5, Jr.; Josh Delaney, 6‘0, R-Fr.; Jalin Barnes, 6‘1, Jr.
Postseason Prediction:

5.      Incarnate Word
C – Derail Green, 6‘7, R-Junior
PF – Kyle Hittle, 6‘5, Senior
SF – Shawn Johnson, 6‘5, Sophomore
SG – Jontrell Walker, Sophomore
PG – Mitchell Badillo, 5’11, Senior
Reserves: Jerred Kite, 6’11, Jr.; Phillip Johnson, 6‘4, Jr.; Tavin Askew, 6‘8, Jr.; Jordan Kite, 6‘3, Fr.; Tyler Singleton, 6‘3, Fr.; Simi Socks, 6‘6, Fr.
Postseason Prediction:

6.      New Orleans
C – Travin Thibodeaux, 6‘8, Sophomore
PF – Kevin Hill, 6‘7, Senior
SF – Tevin Broyles, 6‘4, Junior
SG – Christavious Gill, 5‘8, Junior
PG – Nate Frye, 6‘1, Junior
Reserves: Keivn Brown, 6‘2, Sr.; Michael Zeno, 6‘6, So.; Bryce Jackson, 6‘6, So.; Erik Thomas, 6‘5, Jr.; Danny Cohen, 6‘2, Fr.; Coleman Edwards, 6‘1, Fr.
Postseason Prediction:

7.      Houston Baptist
C – Josh Ibarra, 6’10, Sophomore
PF – Colter Lasher, 6‘7, Junior
SF – Jourdan Stickler, 6‘4, Senior
SG – Reveal Chukwujekwu, 6‘3, Junior
PG – Anthony Odunsi, 6‘4, Senior
Reserves: Will Gates Jr., 6‘1, Jr.; Trey Patterson, 6‘4, So.; Cody Stetler, 6‘9, Jr.; Alex Fountain, 6‘7, Jr.; Asa Cantwell, 6‘3, Fr.; Trey Harris, 6‘6, So.
Postseason Prediction:

8.      Nicholls St.
C – Liam Thomas, 7‘0, Junior
PF – Sam McBeath, 6‘7, Senior
SF – Ja’Dante‘ Frye, 6‘4, Sophomore
SG – Quinton Thomas, 6‘2, Sophomore
PG – TJ Carpenter, 6‘4, Senior
Reserves: Luka Kamber, 6‘7, Jr.; Marquis Nelson, 5’10, So.; Zach Young, 6‘0, So.; Stevie Repichowski, 6‘5, So.; Schane Rillieux
Postseason Prediction:

9.      Southeastern Louisiana
C – Daniel Grieves, 6‘7, Senior
PF – James Currington, 6‘7, R-Sophomore
SF – JaMichael Hawkins, 6‘4, R-Senior
SG – Joshua Filmore, 6‘0, Junior
PG – Zay Jackson, 6‘0, Senior
Reserves: Dimi Cook, 6‘2, R-Fr.; Justin Lobell, 6‘1, So.; Dylon Maggio, 6‘2, So.; Brett Barclay, 6‘6, So.; Jordan Capps, 6‘7, Jr.; Keith Charleston, 6‘8, Jr.
Postseason Prediction:

10.   Lamar
C – LeMon Gregory, 6’10, Senior
PF – Dontavious Sears, 6‘4, Senior
SF – Marcus Owens, 6‘1, Junior
SG – Quan Jones, 6‘2, Senior
PG – Kevin Booze, 5’10, Sophomore
Reserves: Preston Mattingly, 6‘2, Jr.; Zjori Bosha, 6‘3, So.; Lincoln Davis, 6‘0, Jr.; Dorian Chatman, 6‘6, Fr.; Christian Kennedy, 6’10, Jr.; Nick Garth, 6‘0, Fr.
Postseason Prediction:

11.   McNeese St.
C – Austin Lewis, 6‘8, Senior
PF – Matthew Moss, 6‘9, Senior
SF – Lance Potier, 6‘5, Junior
SG – Shaun Johnson, 5’10, Senior
PG – Jamaya Burr, 6‘0, Junior
Reserves: Stephen Ugochukwu, 6‘7, So.; Tevin Jackson, 6‘7, Jr.; James Harvey, 6‘2, Fr.; Jarren Greenwood, 6‘2, Fr.; Adrian Brown, 6‘7, Fr.; Andrija Milovanovic, 6‘5, Jr.
Postseason Prediction:

12.   Central Arkansas
C – Jake Zuilhof, 6‘9, Junior
PF – Mathieu Kamba, 6‘5, Sophomore
SF – Michael Milligan, 6‘5, Sophomore
SG – Jordan Howard, 5’11, Sophomore
PG – Michael Martin, 6‘0 Senior
Reserves: Derreck Brooks, 6‘6, Jr.; Albert Christensson, 6‘9, So.; Tanner Schmitt, 6‘9, Fr.; Jeff Lowery, 6‘1, R-Jr.; Justin Foreman, 6‘6, R-Sr.
Postseason Prediction:

13.   Abilene Christian
C – Austin Cooke, 6‘7, Senior
PF – Duran Porter, 6‘8, Senior
SF – Drake Green, 6‘3, Sophomore
SG – Jalen Little, 5’11, Senior
PG – Parker Wentz, 5‘9, Senior
Reserves: Riley Payne, 6‘5, So.; Isaiah Tripp, 6‘1, So.; Jaylen Franklin, 6‘2, Fr.; Hayden Howell, 6‘7, Fr.; Hayden Farquhar, 6‘7, Fr., Jovan Crnic, 6‘5, Jr.; Jaren Lewis, 6‘6, Fr.
Postseason Prediction: