Author: Eric Angevine

Deshawn Stephens, Lawrence Johnson-Danner

2013-2014 SWAC Preview: Texas Southern is ready to run

1 Comment
source: AP

All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To see the rest of the Conference Previews we’ve published, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

Texas Southern was the best team in the SWAC last season, garnering a 16-2 league record and a regular season crown. Coached by former Indiana and UAB leader Mike Davis, and playing behind burly 6-foot-9 senior Kyrie Sutton, the team would have likely grabbed the SWAC’s auto-bid had they been eligible for the postseason, but NCAA issues had them sidelined, and Southern University made the Dance instead, scaring Gonzaga with a 64-58 near-miss.

This year, Davis and his guys are out from under the ban, and they’ve added troubled big man Aaric Murray as a graduate transfer. If off-court issues don’t interfere, the Tigers have the speed and size to run the table.

The Southern Jaguars can be expected to put up a fight to retain their crown. Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff were the only league teams to beat Davis’ squad last year, and they’ll be the ones likely to make a run at it again this season. We’ll have our eye on Grambling as well, watching to see if they can improve on last year’s 0-28 debacle.


Hey, you know this guy. He wore out his welcome at La Salle, then got into Bob Huggins’ (admittedly crowded) doghouse at West Virginia. His dismissal from the Mountaineers led him to jump at the life preserver offered by Mike Davis, and the big man will play his final season with the Tigers. Murray is a talented player, he’ll be bigger and better than anyone else in the SWAC, and he’ll make a huge difference in Houston if he can stay out of trouble.


  • Ray Penn, Texas Southern: A 5-foot-9 dynamo who will thrive throwing the ball to Murray on the block.
  • Malcolm Miller, Southern: A rangy 6-foot-6 shooter, Miller is a matchup nightmare in the SWAC.
  • Demarquelle Tabb, Alabama A&M: The league’s leading rebounder returns to lead his team as a senior.
  • Vicktor Arnick, Texas Southern: Mike Davis’ best recruit has the speed and length to make a difference in his first season.


1. Texas Southern
2. Southern
3. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
4. Jackson State
5. Alabama A&M
6. Alcorn State
7. Prairie View A&M
8. Alabama State
9. Mississippi Valley State
10. Grambling

Former Tide teammates reunite in UNCW backcourt

UNC Greensboro UNC Wilmington Basketball
Leave a comment

The UNCW Seahawks are looking to rebound in the CAA standings after suffering through an NCAA-mandated postseason ban last season. Buzz Peterson can use some playmakers after uber-loyal star forward Keith Rendleman finally used up his eligibility.

Rendleman led the Seahawks in just about every category possible last season, save assists per game. That honor went to Chris Dixon (pictured), who made sure to get the ball to Rendleman as much as possible, and backed the big man up with 9.8 points per game. Dixon spend his first collegiate season at Alabama in 2009 before redshirting and heading off to junior college, then ending up in Wilmington.

Ben Eblen, Dixon’s former teammate in Tuscaloosa, actually played three seasons as a backup at ‘Bama, graduated, and decided to play out his final season of eligibility at UNCW, where the two will be reunited in the upcoming season.

Brian Mull of the Wilmington Star-News found out what Eblen will bring to the table.

After graduating from Alabama last December, Eblen spent the spring at home in Isle of Palms, S.C. He liked what Dixon told him about the program and the area, and felt he could help the Seahawks turn around.

“I really like to get after it on the defensive end, keep pressure on the other team’s guards,” Eblen said. “And put offensive pressure on the other team.”

Peterson plans to play the two together, with either capable of pushing the tempo to create scoring opportunities.

This isn’t Eblen’s first look at the CAA, either. He initially committed to Anthony Grant when he, and VCU, were in the Colonial. When Grant left for Alabama, Eblen went with him.

It’s tough to tell who will come out on top in a CAA decimated by realignment, but the Seahawks have to like their chances of an improved showing with an experience backcourt duo in place.

Mizzou adds four-star Namon Wright to 2014 class

Kyle King, Namon Wright
1 Comment

Frank Haith and the Missouri Tigers got some good news today, picking up a commitment from 2014 guard Namon Wright.

Wright is a 6-foot-4 wing from California, ranked No. 87 overall by Rivals. His Twitter announcement was pretty low-key, and hardly definitive.

Follow-up tweets between Wright and his followers confirmed that the 2014 prospect had, indeed, pledged to Mizzou on his visit.

Haith and the Tigers still have a long ways to go before they’re in the recruiting stratosphere occupied by SEC foes Kentucky (and hey, who doesn’t?) but their ability to range all the way to the west coast to pick up a big, athletic guard is impressive. Haith was hardly lauded as a savior when Mizzou hired him away from Miami a couple of years ago, but he’s more than proved his mettle since then.