Saturday, October 29, 2016

College basketball preview: Breaking things down in the MEAC

NORFOLK, Virginia -- With only five teams above .500 in conference, the MEAC might not be the conference that sports the most awe-inspiring brand of basketball. But it was home to the leading scorer in the nation. Back to that in a bit.

Hampton took regular-season and conference tournament titles to punch the team’s ticket to the Big Dance. In the tournament, the Pirates ran into a buzzsaw in Virginia, though.

The Pirates will look to make it three straight trips to the NCAA tournament this year, but that task will be significantly more difficult in the 2016-17 season — especially given the departure of the team’s top three scorers. That's the same issue facing the Spartans of Norfolk State who came in third in the MEAC, so the top tier of the conference is likely to see some different schools in the mix come season's end.

Teams like South Carolina State (tops in assists per game in the MEAC) and Bethune-Cookman (tops in blocks per game) might be licking their chops at that prospect, but there's a lot of basketball that needs to be played first. Both teams have their respective leading scorers returning — guard Eric Eaves (17.6 ppg) and guard Jordan Potts (16.0 ppg, 4.3 apg) — but a lot can happen between now and March.

Best player

How does 27.1 points a contest sound? Sounds like you’re talking about the leading scorer in the country. And if so, that means you’re talking about James Daniel III.


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