This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
There is something sad about seeing a dynasty die. Calling Middle Tennessee State a Conference USA dynasty might be a little strong, especially when they did not make the NCAA Tournament last year. However, the Blue Raiders had more success in both the regular season and the Big Dance than any other team. Coach Kermit Davis returned to the SEC at Ole Miss and the MTSU roster does not look as powerful as past seasons. Coach Nick McDevitt had success and UNC-Asheville, but it will take a few seasons for him to put a stamp on the program via recruiting.
It may be Western Kentucky's time to step into the light. Rick Stansbury has always been an excellent recruiter and it looks like he has brought another excellent player to Bowling Green in center Charles Bassey. The problem has been that the results rarely equal the talent. At Mississippi State, Stansbury took the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament six times, but they never made it past the second round. This year's Hilltoppers should be the favorite to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.
Center: Elbert Robinson III, Old Dominion Monarchs
Other than Bassey, there is a dearth of centers in Conference USA. Perhaps Robinson will be able to use his size (7-foot-1, 290) at Old Dominion to his advantage after three quiet years coming off the bench at LSU. Robinson never player more than 9.3 minutes, which he did in 2015-16 when he played next