Sun Belt Notebook
Mark January 24th on your calendar, Sun Belt fans. For this will be the day the world finds out if Arkansas-Little Rock is for real. The Trojans begin the conference schedule at 10-3, the same record as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The main difference in these teams is that WKU has garnered national recognition all season following their opening night win over Kentucky. UALR hung with UMass and Mississippi State but lost both contests and has yet to win over a quality opponent. The Trojans won’t be deserving of the same props as the Hilltoppers until they can get that first “big” win.
Miss you Much
Think the Hilltoppers (10-3) don’t miss 7-1 All-American Center Chris Marcus following his foot injury in the fifth game of the season? Think again. The Hilltoppers have managed to remain in the Others Receiving votes lisitng of both major polls, but dropped a 61-58 decision to conference foe South Alabama last week. Western Kentucky shot only 32 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 40-34 by the Jaguars, whose tallest player is 6-9 Justin White. It seems that so long as Marcus is out of the lineup, WKU had better hope for strong games from the perimeter. Chris Marcus is scheduled to be reevaluated in the coming week and could return to action in time for the showdown with UALR.
A Little Division II News
The New Mexico State Aggies lost to host school BYU-Hawaii 94-84 in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational. The BYU-Hawaii students must have had a tough time choosing sides leading up to the Cougars-Rainbows matchup this past football season. I must admit, when I saw this game on the schedule, I thought perhaps the Aggies were taking a night off to watch ESPN Classic. Evidently, the Aggies players thought the same thing. Congrats to the Seasiders in pulling of a great win and in holding their own, 88-67, against Tulsa in the tournament final. The BYUH second place finish was the highest ever for a Division II school in a Division I tournament.