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December 24, 2012
Surveying the Sun Belt
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The Hilltoppers have made it through a dreadful three game stretch and are now enjoying a couple days off before returning to Diddle Arena on Thursday night. The Tops will head back into Sun Belt play, looking to extend their home winning streak to 11 games, with a showdown against FIU at 7:00 PM CST.
The current home winning streak is WKU's longest since a 15 game streak that started at the end of the 2007-08 season and ended in the beginning of the 2009-2010 campaign.
As Sun Belt play reopens, it's time to take a look around the league and see how the other programs are shaping up.
South Alabama 6-5 (3-0) The Jaguars started off the season on high note with a big win against Florida State. Their Sun Belt victories were against Florida Atlantic, Florida International, and Arkansas State. Augustine Rubit leads the Jags with 17 ppg and nearly 10 rebounds per game. South Alabama is averaging 72 ppg, a league best. Ronnie Arrow, who had spent 13 years in Mobile, retired after a 5-5 start to the season. Their associate head coach will finish the season.
Western Kentucky 8-5 (2-0) You already know.
Middle Tennessee 9-3 (1-0) The Blue Raiders lone conference game was against Louisiana-Lafayette which resulted in a 72-58 victory. They have also chalked up two wins against SEC schools, the Ole Miss Runnin' Ross Bjorks and the Vanderbilt Commodores. Kermit Davis has another tough team this year that will give WKU an interesting matchup.
The Floridians FIU 4-5 & FAU 5-7 Both schools hold a win against Arkansas State and a loss against South Alabama. Both teams are also leaving the Belt for Conference-USA. You're dead to me, Florida teams!
Troy 5-8 (0-2) The Trojans have lost 6 of their last 7 games and are only averaging 62 ppg.
Arkansas-Little Rock 8-6 (2-1) The Trojans of the west lead their division with wins over Troy and Louisiana-Monoroe and a loss against South Alabama. They have a balanced scoring attack led by six-foot freshman, John Gillion. Arkansas-Little Rock will visit Diddle Arena on January 3rd.
Louisiana-Lafayette 5-8 (1-1) Shawn Long leads the way for the Ragin' Cajuns, averaging 17 ppg & 10 rpg this season. After ULL nearly knocked off Michigan State, they were given a 14 point loss at home courtesy of MTSU followed by a four point road win at North Texas. Lafayette has given up a league worst 72.2 ppg.
North Texas 5-7 (0-1) Sophomore forward, Tony Mitchell, decided to return to Denton for another shot at the Sun Belt championship. So far the Mean Green have been less than impressive. They have only played one conference game thus far which resulted in a home loss against ULL. North Texas will be visiting Diddle on December 29th.
Arkansas State 6-5(0-2) The Red Wolves went to Murray State on December 19th and left with a seven point loss at the hands of Steve Phrom. They did however notch a victory against Austin Peay after dropping back-to-back games against both Florida schools. ASU will be visiting Bowling Green on January 5th.
Louisiana-Monroe 1-7(0-2) Not much to say here. The Warhawks lone victory was an overtime win against Southeastern Louisiana. ULM ranks near the bottom of the NCAA in almost every possible category. They will most certainly be the outhouse of the Sun Belt this Season.
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