Inside Marshall Sports

C-USA rankings, 1/3/17

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All teams play Thursday-Saturday weekends, both home or both away. Exception: “Travel partners” FIU, FAU play each other in a single game, Saturday.

My rankings, with results and schedule (RPI as of Tuesday morning):

  1. Middle Tennessee (11-3, 1-0, 23 RPI), d. UAB 60-49. This week: at Rice, North Texas. Reggie Upshaw scored 34 in wire-to-wire victory over Blazers, who shot just 35 percent and turned it over 16 times.
  2. Marshall (9-6, 2-0, 111 RPI), d. FIU 94-70, d. FAU 89-72. This week: home vs. ODU, Charlotte. An FIU/FAU road sweep does not a season make, but Herd did spank both pretty hard. And who else do I put No. 2?
  3. Louisiana Tech (9-5, 1-0, 249 RPI), d. Southern Miss 79-55. This week: home vs. UTEP, North Texas. Perhaps this team, which led just 25-18 at halftime before destroying Golden Eagles.
  4. Alabama-Birmingham (7-7, 0-1, 198 RPI), lost to MTSU 60-49. This week: at North Texas, Rice.
  5. Old Dominion (9-5, 2-0, 119 RPI), d. Rice 62-56, d. North Texas 55-48. If Marshall scores 75 on these guys, that’s as good as 100. Monarchs beat NT despite shooting 28 percent. This week: at Marshall, WKU
  6. Rice (11-4, 1-1, 184 RPI), lost to ODU 62-56, d. Charlotte 89-70. My “hunch” team rolled over 49ers as 4 players scored 16 and up. We’ll find out more about the Owls in a hurry. This week: home vs MTSU, UAB.
  7. Western Kentucky (8-7, 2-0, 227 RPI), d. FAU 69-54, d. FIU 69-66. Duplicated MU’s Florida sweep, but struggled at FIU. Panthers led for 22 minutes. This week: home vs. Charlotte, ODU.
  8. Charlotte (7-6, 1-1, 159 RPI), d. North Texas 101-76, lost 89-70 to Rice. Plays at Marshall on Saturday in possible 200-point game. This week: at WKU, Marshall.
  9. Texas-San Antonio (6-8, 1-0, 334 RPI), d. UTEP 67-55. With 22 pts off turnovers, led UTEP for 30 minutes. This week: at Southern Miss, La Tech.
  10. Florida International (4-11, 0-2, 340 RPI), lost to Marshall 94-70, lost to WKU 69-66. The dregs of C-USA society begin here. This week: at FAU, Saturday.
  11. North Texas (6-8, 0-2, 288 RPI), lost to Charlotte 101-76, lost to ODU 55-48. This week: home vs. MTSU, UAB.
  12. Texas-El Paso (2-11, 0-1, 347 RPI), lost to UTSA 67-55. The horror show continues in El Paso. This week: at La Tech, Southern Miss.
  13. Florida Atlantic (4-9, 0-2, 268 RPI), lost to WKU 69-54, lost to Marshall 89-72. This week, home vs. FIU, Saturday.
  14. Southern Mississippi (3-10, 0-1, 349 of 351 RPI), lost to La Tech 79-55. This week: home vs. UTSA, UTEP.

TV games: Campus Insiders, UTEP/La Tech 7:30 Thursday, WKU/UAB at 8 p.m. Saturday. beIN Sports: MTSU-Rice, 8 p.m. Thursday. FCS: Charlotte-WKU, 8 p.m. Thursday. ASN: FIU-FAU 2 p.m. Saturday, ODU-WKU 6 p.m. Saturday.

Stat leaders

Top scorers: Elmore (MU) 20.3, Davis (Char) 20.1,  McGill (FIU) 19.6, Koulechov (Rice) 18.2, Evans (Rice) 18.0

Rebounders: Kessens (FIU) 10.0, McCree (LT) 9.4, Taylor (ODU) 8.5.

Assists: Artis (UTEP) 7.2, Elmore (MU) 6.4, Bracey (LT) 5.6.

Top scoring teams: Marshall 88.5, Rice 83.3, La Tech 78.9.

Top shooting teams: Rice .486, La Tech .481, Middle Tennessee .480, Marshall .474.

Top 3-point % teams: Rice .393, Marshall .387, Charlotte .384

Offensive rebound %: Old Dominion .384 (MU 10th at .262)

Defensive rebound %: La Tech .770 (MU 143h at .660)