The SWAC is home to two defending national champs: Prairie View's Reginald Jones, last season's top three-point shooter (57.1%), and Southern's Avery Johnson, who led the land with 10.7 assists per game and will take the Jaguars to the NCAAs once again.
The Southland regroups after three of its best teams bolted for the American South. Stephen F. Austin, one of four schools joining the Southland from the now-defunct Gulf Star, made as much hay out of the trey last season as any Division I team, draining nearly half its three-point attempts. Eric Rhodes (54.7%) and Scott Dimak (53.5%) return to eye it and fly it. But the Lumberjacks are ineligible for the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid, because this is only their second year in Division I. That leaves an opening for Northeast Louisiana, provided Michael (Steak) Saulsberry's Achilles tendon is sound.
The three-year-old Big South still doesn't receive an automatic NCAA bid, but Radford should become known for something other than starting Ralph Sampson's sister Joyce on its women's team.
MEAC doesn't stand for Monotonous Ending Athletic Conference, but try telling that to Howard coach A.B. Williamson, who has been beaten out for the Mid-Eastern title by North Carolina A & T the last six seasons. "Every dog has its day," says Williamson. "I'm not saying they're dogs. I just hope it's our day." It's not. The Aggies will make it seven in a row.