Chuck Landon: All-Chuck teams will have to do for C-USA
Conference USA dropped the ball.
The basketball the men's players dribble.
I mean, did anyone notice where Marshall was ranked in the league's preseason poll or which Herd players were picked to the All-Preseason team?
Of course not.
That's because C-USA didn't select either one. How short-sighted. Do league officials not understand the perception this creates? Apparently not.
So, I'll spell it out.
When Memphis was in C-USA, preseason teams were always selected. Now that the Tigers are gone the league decides not to choose one.
Consequently, the perception is since C-USA doesn't have a nationally known, marquee basketball program any longer, then why bother with preseason teams nobody cares about nationally.
What a public relations blunder.
Apparently, this mistake began when the C-USA men's coaches voted unanimously not to pick a preseason poll or teams because there are eight new league schools.
What a lame excuse.
What's worse, the C-USA women's basketball coaches didn't get the memo. That's right, the distaff coaches went ahead and still picked a preseason poll and teams.
C-USA officials should have at least mandated a consistent policy, keeping men's and women's basketball on the same page. Either both have a preseason poll and teams or neither does.
Instead, C-USA dropped the ball.
Well, I'm picking it up.
Welcome to the Landon C-USA Preseason Poll and the All-Chuck teams.
First, the poll.
No. 1: Louisiana Tech
No. 2: Middle Tennessee State
No. 3: Southern Miss
No. 4: UTEP
No. 5: Marshall
No. 6: UAB
No. 7: Tulsa
No. 8: Charlotte
No. 9: East Carolina
No. 10: North Texas
No. 11: Rice
No. 12: Tulane
No. 13: FIU
No. 14: Old Dominion
No. 15: Florida Atlantic
No. 16: UTSA
Now, for the All-Chuck teams (players must wear Chuck Taylors):
First team: Neil Watson, Southern Miss, 5-foot-11 senior point guard (averaged 9.8 points, 4.9 assists last season); Raheem Appleby, Louisiana Tech, 6-4 junior shooting guard (14.9 points); Elijah Pittman, Marshall, 6-9 senior small forward (16.4 points); Julian Washburn, UTEP, 6-8 junior guard/forward (12.3 points); Rod Rucker, UAB, 6-5 senior forward (14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds).
Second team: Pierria Henry, Charlotte, 6-4 junior point guard (10.3 points); Neiko Hunter, Middle Tennessee State, 6-7 junior forward (7.7 points); Kenny Smith, Louisiana Tech, 6-3 junior point guard (6.8 points, 5.0 assists); Ryan Taylor, Marshall, 6-5 freshman forward; James Woodard, Tulsa, 6-3 sophomore shooting guard (12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds).
Third team: Jordan Swing, UAB, 6-6 senior forward/guard (14.0 points); Shawn Jones, Middle Tennessee State, 6-8 junior forward (8.5 points, 5.4 rebounds); Kareem Canty, Marshall, 6-1 freshman point guard; John Bohannon, UTEP, 6-11 senior center (10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds); Daveon Boardingham, Southern Miss, 6-7 senior forward (8.6 points).
Let the arguments begin.
At least, I had the nerve to select a preseason poll and pick the teams.
That's more than I can say for C-USA.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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