Conference USA Basketball Preview

Sophomore B.J. Greenlee and junior Karlis Silins double team a Florida National player as he looks for a green shirt to pass the ball to. Photo by Joseph Barak.

Fall is in the air. Welcome back college basketball.  Previewing Conference USA Mens Basketball, a competitive season on the horizon. 


Fourteen head coaches voted for UAB as the preseason favorite to be victorious in the Conference USA regular season championship. UAB brings back four guys from last season who were starters. In the West Division, they ended the season in second place, with a record of 13-5. Returners are junior Tavin Lovan, graduate Michael Ertel, junior Trey Jemison, and graduate Quan Jackson. 

Last season, Lavon averaged 12.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and a team-high 66 assists. He earned second team All-Conference honors. UAB brings in eight new guys who transfered in. These new guys who transferred in consist of KJ Buffen (Ole Miss), Josh LeBlanc, Sr (LSU), Jamal Johnson(Auburn). Jordan Walker (Tulane), Tyreke Locure (South Alabama), and Justin Brown(South Florida). Previous Odessa Junior College teammates join the team are AD Diedhiou and Elijah Tate.

Head Coach Andy Kennedy begins his second year with UAB. Twelve wins from 300 total in his coaching profession. Coach Kennedy is a graduate of UAB. Season opener against UNC Asheville Tuesday, November 9th 6:30 P.M.

Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech acquired 6 votes to be in first place, which puts them as runner up. The team is directed by Kenneth Lofton, Jr. He was Freshman of the Year last season, achieving 12.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, nine double-doubles, 23 blocks, and 33 steals. Kenneth Lofton, Jr is a Preseason All-Conference selection in addition to being on the Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List. Connecting with third year sophomore, Isaiah Crawford also a Preseason All-Conference candidate. Last season he was chosen first team All-Conference selection executing 11.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. Four starters from last season rejoin the team.

Season begins Tuesday, November 9th 8 P.M. vs Alabama.

WKU Hilltoppers

Hilltoppers chosen third in the preseason poll. A few key guys returning from last season. Consisting of fifth year senior Josh Anderson, Dayvion McKnight, and Luke Frampton. Josh Anderson earned another year of eligibility due to Covid-19. Dayvion McKnight who was a Conference USA All-Freshmen last season. Luke Frampton an experienced guard who produced 51 3 pointers last season. Newcomers include Division- 1 transfers, Jairus Hamiliton, Jaylen Butz, and Keith Williams. These three guys together have scored a total of 2,388 points, and played 6,514 minutes. 

Also joining the team junior college transfers, center Jamarion Sharp, freshmen guard Zion Harmon, and guard Sherman Brashear. 

They return only 30% of their scoring, 26% of their rebounding and 44% of their assists. Hilltoppers won the East Division title last season with the top winning percentage in the league. Another tough schedule is in the works for this season.  Hilltoppers begin the season against Alabama State Tuesday, November 9th 7 P.M.


Marshall chosen fourth in the preseason poll. Senior guard Taevion Kinsey received preseason All-Conference honors. 

Taevion was one of two guys to play and start in every game Marshall played last season, and earned Conference USA first team accolades leading the team in points per game in back to back seasons. He accumulated a career high 19.5 points per game. Team leader in rebounds, minutes played shooting percentage, and free throw shooting percentage. He is now picked to be on the 2022 Jerry West Award Preseason Watch List. He is considered one of the best 20 shooting guards in all of NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball. 

Last season, Kinsey was one of just two players to play and start all 22 of Marshall’s games en route to earning Conference-USA first-team honors. The Columbus, Ohio, native led Marshall in points per game average for the second-straight season, averaging a career-best 19.5 points per game. Kinsey led the Herd in rebounds per contest, minutes played, shooting percentage and free throw shooting percentage. Last season the team held a 15-7 record. 11 returners coming back along with bringing in five freshmen. Marshall begins the 2021-22 season November 12 against Wright State.

Old Dominion

Old Dominion chosen fifth in preason poll. Returner, Kulu Ezikpe picked as a Preseason All-Conference USA recipient. Kulu is a junior. Last season he had 155 rounds total, 6.7 per game. Coach Jeff Jones manages the team. He led them to a 15-8 overall record last year. 11-5 in the conference.  Returners consist of Kulu, Hunter, Austin Trice, MekhiLong, A.J. Oliver II, and Brady O’Connell. Seven new guys join the team as well. Season begins November 10 agasinst Virginia Weselyan.

North Texas

North Texas Conference USA Champions are picked sixth in preseaon poll this season. Season opener against Oklahoma Christian November 9. The top two scorers lost from last season need to be replaced. Thomas Bell fifth year senior named to Conference USA Preseason All-Conference.


In the preseson poll they are in 7th place. They begin the 2021-2022 season against Monmouth November 9th 7 P.M. Roster consists of 6 new guys joining the team. Over 50 percent of the team scoring comes back from last seaon. Junior, Jahmir Young, is on the All Conference USA preseaon squad. Last season Jahmir ended the year with a team high 18.0 points per game while starting in every game played.


Rice comes in 8th place in the preseason poll. They ended 2020-2021 season with a record of 15-13. Owls have 10 guys returning along with five starters. Powerful newcomers join the squad that will have immediate impact. A couple of returners consists of Quincy Olivari and Travis Evee. November 9, the Owls play Pepperdine in the season opener.

Florida Atlantic

The FAU Owls chosen ninth in the preseason poll. Head coach Dusty May enters his fourth season at FAU. 11 members from last year rejoin the team including three starters, and the score leader. The Owls ended at 13-10 overall last season. A trio of newcomers make their arrival. Returner, Michael Forrest scored 12.5 points a game. Rejoining him is Bryan Greenlee scoring 10 points a game, and 3 assists a game.

FAU begins the season with New Mexico November 10th.


In the preseason poll, UTEP Miners are 10th. A new begining for UTEP as Joe Golding takes over as head coach. Souley Boum, a redshirt junior is on the Preseason All-Conference list. Souley was the team leader in steals last season in addtion to 60 assists. Boum, comes in third in the conference in scoring. Scores 18.8 points a game. Six new guys join the team in additon to the returners. Season opener November 9th with Western New Mexico, 7 P.M.


RoadRunners, ranked 11th in preseason poll. Several top perfomers return involve, junior Jacob Germany who averages 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. Senior foward Cedrick Alley Jr averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds a game. Sophmore guard Jordan Ivy-Curry a 2020-2021 Conference USA All-Freshmen Team nominee, who averaged 7.2 points and 2.8 rebounds a game. Junior point guard Erik Czumbel started seven games as a sophmore along with senior forward Phoenix Ford. Need repalacements for the top two scorers. UTSA opens the season with Trinity Univeristy(Texas), November 9th 7:30 P.M.

Southern Miss

The Golden Eagles fall into 12th place in the presason poll. Tae Hardy, Tyler Stevenson, DeAndre Pinckney, Jaron Pierre Jr, and Denijay Harris return . New additions this season include Division 1 transfers Isaih Moore(St Johns), and Mo Arnold(Jacksonville). Wayln Napper joins from Dodge City CC, where he was a NJCAA First Team All-American. Stevenson scored a team best 14.1 points a game. Hardy came in second in scoring 11.0 points a game. Jaron Pierre Jr., Conference USA All-Freshmen Team recipient.

Tuesday, November 9, Golden Eagles play William Carey at 7 P.M. 


Come in at 13 in the preseason rankings. Tuesday, November 9, the Panthers play Georgia at 7 P.M. Panthers have seven returners. Eight transfers including, Clevon Brown(Vanderbilt), and Aquan Smart(Maryland). CJ Kelley and Mohamed Sanogo are in coming freshmen. Coaching changes were made including bringing in Colin Campbell to the staff. Zavier Anderson moved up to assistant coach from his previous position. Colin Campbell takes over Zavier Andersons position; player development/team video coordinator. 

Middle Tennessee

Blue Raiders fall to 14 in the preseason rankings. Tyler Millin, Jared Coleman-Jones, DeAndre Dishman, Josh Jefferson, and Donovan Sims return this season. A few newcomers include, Camryn Weston, Teafale Lenard, Isaiah Turner, and Justin Bufford. Everyone adds in their unique abilities to the game. Season begins November 9 against Brescia University(Kentucky) at 5:00 P.M. 


2021-2022 season will be competive. Each team has a variety of unique talent. It will be interesting to see how well each team does this season.

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