CALGARY, Alta. — With each passing day, the excitement continues to build for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
It’s no secret that the MEAC isn’t one of the top conferences in the NCAA. Constantly mocked on social media as being the lowest-rated conference in the nation, the impression of the conference isn’t where it should be, outside of the teams in the conference itself.
That’s one of the main reasons we chose to cover the conference. We are trying to change the perception of the league through shining a bright light on the coaches, players, and teams that it has to offer.
This past week was a relatively quiet week in and around the MEAC. The non-conference schedules are starting to fill out for each team, while there were two big moves on the transfer market.
Here’s what you may have missed in the MEAC from the past seven days.
MEAC Teams Featured Across Non-Conference Schedules
The 2017-18 season is quickly approaching, and teams have started to release their non-conference schedules. As of Monday, July 24th, a total of 89 teams have released their non-conference schedules on social media, per The D1 Docket.
With the majority of power conference teams looking for ‘buy’ games to pad their records early on, several teams from the MEAC can be found on schedules in November, and the early parts of December. Some games are tied to early-season events, and are Round Robin games before those particular events break off into their two bracketed portions.
Over the past week, including the 24th of July, there were 27 teams that released their respective non-conference slates. Seven of those teams had at least one team from the MEAC on their non-conference schedule.
Here are the seven that were released this past week:
College of Charleston Cougars: Dec. 19 v. South Carolina State
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Nov. 19 v. Bethune-Cookman (Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase); Dec. 17 v. Florida A&M; Dec. 27th v. Coppin State
Virginia Tech Hokies: Dec. 10th v. Maryland-Eastern Shore; Dec. 28th v. North Carolina A&T
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns: Nov. 17 v. Savannah State
Texas Longhorns: Nov. 29 v. Florida A&M
Washington Huskies: Dec. 19 v. Bethune-Cookman
St. Bonaventure Bonnies: Nov. 15 v. Maryland-Eastern Shore (Emerald Coast Classic)
A Big Man Transfers Out, While a Big(ger) Name Transfers In
Verbal Commits announced this week that former Florida A&M big man Derrick Dandridge had found his new home. The native of Memphis, Tennessee will suit up for the Arkansas-Fort Smith Lions next season.
Tai Young of Verbal Commits broke the news himself on July 17th, but the website wasn’t updated until later in the week.
Dandridge, a 6’8”, 230-pound forward, averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds with the Rattlers last season, his first in the NCAA. He put up a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Howard Bison back on January 4th.
While Dandridge has transferred out of the conference, another team added a huge transfer from the JUCO ranks to bolster their roster.
Shawntrez Davis, a former commit of the Nevada Wolfpack and a member of South Plains CC, committed to Ryan Ridder and Bethune-Cookman back at the start of last week. He is eligible to play in the fall, which will give the Wildcats a big boost as they look to contend for a MEAC crown in 2017-18.
Last season, Davis appeared in 34 games for South Plains, averaging 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. He shot above 57% from the field for the second season in a row at the JUCO level, while also shooting 47.1% from the field.
Adding Davis to a core group that features Brandon Tabb, Ulmer Manzie, and a returning Jordan Potts has Bethune-Cookman poised to make a jump in the MEAC this coming year.
– T. Bennett