Top returning scorer: Jenirro Bush (Jackson State) 14.2 ppg
Top returning rebounder: Demarquelle Tabb (Alabama A&M), 6.0 rpg
2012 Tournament: March 7-10 -- Garland, Texas
We keep waiting for the SWAC to give us two teams with a real chance to win 20 games. That hasn’t happened in the past decade for this conference, which is considered one of the worst in Division I.
There is no getting around it: the league needs an uptick in play, and badly. For so long -– too, too long -– a game against a SWAC team on your schedule comes with a candle to light the cupcake. It only hurts teams down the road. This year, is there reason to believe there will be change? Not really.
The league’s evolution has been slow, but on the bright side, there is some good talent in regard to the players at the top.
Texas Southern could and should win the league again. Hopefully it takes the conference championship title, too, because the SWAC is one of a handful of leagues that’s truly hampered by its conference tournament. When there’s this kind of parity, it doesn’t serve the league well when the best team is upset by a squad that lost most of its games outside the conference.
With all the finances involved in putting on the postseason tournament, the question should be thrown out there: Should the SWAC even have a conference tournament? Why not differentiate yourself, send your best team to The Dance, and maybe even bypass the first round games Tuesday and Wednesday in Dayton.
It’s an image problem as much as it is a basketball one. As soon as the latter gets more consistent, the former gets scrubbed away.