Jan. 15 Men's Basketball Notebook
Jan. 15, 2014
Five C-USA men's basketball teams remain undefeated following the first weekend of Conference play, but all 16 teams play a pair of games this weekend.
The action tips off Thursday with a full eight-game schedule. Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic and Marshall all tip at 7 p.m. Eastern, while Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and UAB begin at 7 p.m. Central. The "late game" at 8 p.m. Central features a 2-0 Louisiana Tech team at Tulane and will be televised by Cox Sports. The Bulldogs roll into New Orleans on a six-game win streak and with votes in the most recent AP poll, but Tulane is coming off a road win. The Green Wave boasts two of the biggest offensive threats in the league in sophomore Louis Dabney (18.2 ppg) and reigning C-USA Freshman of the Week Jonathan Stark (16.8 ppg).
UAB will defend its perfect 9-0 record at Bartow Arena this season when the Blazers host UTSA. The Roadrunners are off to a 2-0 start in league play, winning a pair in front of their home crowd. UAB is looking for its first C-USA win after falling in overtime to Middle Tennessee Jan. 11. The Blazers, who entered the game coming off their best non-conference season since 2009-10 at 11-3, did get an impressive 28-point performance from Chad Frazier that included 19 in the second half against MT.
Southern Miss also has a flawless record at home with a 6-0 mark at Reed Green Coliseum. The Golden Eagles, off to a 14-3 start, will welcome Rice Thursday. Rice freshman Sean Obi ranks second in C-USA for rebounding (9.3 per game) and 37th nationally.
UTEP travels to Middle Tennessee for a game at the Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders picked up a win in their C-USA debut against UAB at home Jan. 11. Although new to C-USA, it was Middle Tennessee's 17th-straight conference win and 25th in a row at home. The Miners look to break that streak as they hope to get more strong play from senior John Bohannon, the reigning C-USA Player of the Week. Bohannon averaged 20.5 points, 11 rebounds, 6.5 assists and two blocks in the opening weekend of conference play against Charlotte and Marshall.
Marshall returns to the Cam Henderson Center after the Herd has played four of its last five games on the road. North Texas will make the trip to Huntington for a game that will be televised on Time Warner Texas. Both will be looking for the first C-USA win of the season. Marshall will rely on the strength of its freshman duo of Kareem Canty and Ryan Taylor. The Mean Green has had a different leading scorer in its last six games.
Old Dominion won its C-USA debut on the road at East Carolina and heads back out for games at FIU and Florida Atlantic this weekend. The Monarchs will look to sophomores Aaron Bacote and Keenan Palmore for their offensive output when they face FIU Thursday. Bacote ranks third in C-USA for the season with an average of 18.6 points per game, while Palmore tossed in 23 against the Pirates. FIU seniors Rakeem Buckles and Tymell Murphy have registered seven double-doubles apiece this season, and Murphy grabbed 15 boards in the Panthers' C-USA win at Rice Jan. 11.
Florida Atlantic will host East Carolina in a game that will feature the league's top two scorers. ECU senior Akeem Richmond leads the nation with an average of 4.69 three-pointers made per game. His 19.6 points per game leads C-USA and ranks 36th nationally. FAU has some offensive firepower as well in senior Pablo Bertone, the league's second leading scorer who averages 18.6 points per game this season.
Tulsa brings its 2-0 league record to Charlotte for the fourth meeting between the schools and first as conference rivals. Golden Hurricane sophomore James Woodard and senior Pat Swilling combined for 35 points to hold off a Southern Miss comeback attempt and defeat to the Golden Eagles Jan. 11. Charlotte won its first game back in C-USA with a victory at UTEP Jan. 9. It was also Charlotte's 100th C-USA win as the 49ers compiled a 99-57 record while a charter member of the league between 1995-2005.
C-USA UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Thursday, January 16
Saturday, January 18
Sunday, January 19
Conference USA games in Bold.
All times Central.
More information on your favorite team can also be found on the school web sites: