The fourth week of conference play didn’t provide a shakeup that the previous weeks displayed. Georgia State is still No. 1, with Texas State playing the role of caboose.
The Hilltoppers finally showed the talent that made them the preseason pick to win the Sun Belt and have the second best record in the Sun Belt. The UT Arlington Mavericks have picked up the pace a bit with a three-game winning streak, but everything else held level for the Sun Belt.
The teams in the middle of these rankings have proven to be the most inconsistent, but have also shown glimpses that they could take on any team on any given day. Can we tell which UL-Monroe or Troy team will show up on any given week? No, but we can offer you the Week 4 Power Rankings.
1) Georgia State Panthers – Georgia State is still undefeated in Sun Belt play, and its 11-game winning streak is tied for seventh-longest active streak in the country. The Panthers lead the Sun Belt in nearly every statistical category, and make you wonder what their record would be like if they had played this well earlier on in the season. R.J. Hunter is the Sun Belt leader with 23 points per game in conference play.
2) Arkansas State Red Wolves- The Red Wolves won their only game this week, but it was a blowout against UALR. They have the second-best field-goal percentage in conference play and opponents are shooting second-worst in the same statistic. Who is the only team that is doing better? That would be the best team in the conference: Georgia State.
3) WKU Hilltoppers - The Hilltoppers played a great game against UL-Lafayette, which showed in the team converting 24 of their 27 free throw opportunities. The Hilltoppers entered the game with a free-throw percentage of 53 percent and enjoyed an increase of nearly 11 percent following their efforts on Saturday. This is still a very, scary team.
4) UALR Trojans- The Trojans dropped a spot after their brutal loss against the Red Wolves on Saturday. Lost in Will Neighbor’s monster season is the improved play of James White, who is averaging 14.3 points per contest during conference play.
5) UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns- The Ragin’ Cajuns lost two, hard-fought games last week against the Panthers and Hilltoppers. This team is still very talented and shouldn’t be underestimated by other teams in the conference. Elfird Payton and Shawn Long could the best guard-forward combination in the conference; something that UL-Lafayette will look to use more.
6) UT Arlington Mavericks- The Mavericks are riding a three-game winning streak in the Sun Belt, which is tied for second longest in the conference with WKU. The duo of Reger Dowell and Lonnie McClanahan has averaged a combined 37.1 points per game during conference play. Though Brandon Edwards isn’t scoring the points he was at the beginning of the season, he is still getting 8.8 rebounds per game.
7) UL-Monroe Warhawks- The Warhawks lost both contests this week, but that shouldn’t have been a big surprise to anyone. Their 37 rebounds per game is second in the Sun Belt, but their 3-point percentage is second-worst. A better shot selection will help the Warhawks in their future contests.
8) Troy Trojans- The Trojans suffered an ugly loss against Texas State on Saturday and have shown to be rather inconsistent throughout conference play. This team has always finished with a record no better than 10th in conference play through the past three years. They’re making progress, but their inconsistency may prove to be their doom this season.
9) South Alabama Jaguars - The Jaguars have the worst record in the conference, but have shown more promise this year than the Bobcats. They dropped a very winnable game against UT Arlington on Saturday, which has been the recurring theme of South Alabama’s season. The Jaguars do have Augustine Rubit, who is leading the Sun Belt with 10.3 rebounds per game in conference play, but they need others to step up and help out.
10) Texas State Bobcats- Sure the Bobcats have more conference wins than the Jaguars, but they’ve also looked worse than the Jaguars this year. The Bobcats schedule gets a bit easier after this Saturday’s contests against the Hilltoppers. While Joel Wright has been a prolific scorer for Texas State this year, his 33 turnovers in conference play are the most in the conference.