Sunshine State Conference Median HeroSports = 75
The Sunshine State Conference is our number one overall D2 Men’s Basketball conference despite not featuring a single team ranked inside the BR Top 25. How is this possible?
Well, you can find a full explanation for our conference rankings here. But basically, we use the median HeroSports of all teams within a conference to rank conferences because we think it provides a good measure of the strength of the entire conference, top to bottom. The top teams in the Sunshine State aren’t as good as the top teams in some a lot of other conferences, but the conference’s bottom teams are the best of any conference.
Six of the Sunshine State’s nine teams are ranked within the BR Top 100 — the highest proportion of any D2 Men’s conference. The SSC is also one of only two conferences, along with the Lone Star Conference, without any team ranked below BR-200.
Last season’s SSC regular season and tournament titles went to Florida Southern thanks to some stellar play from Kevin Capers (21.ppg to lead the conference) and a couple fellow-juniors, point guard Tyler Kelly and forward Bubby Johnson. Their season ended in upset with a loss to Tuskegee in the first round of the D2 Tournament. Shortly thereafter, they lost their second-leading scorer, Dominic Lane, to graduation, along with Lamar McKnight, Garrett Putman, and Frank Adams. Each of these guys started at least 17 games for the Mocs last season.
The roster-turnover for the perennial SSC power could leave the door open for up-and-comer St. Leo to make a run at the crown. Eckerd, Rollins, Florida Southern, and St. Leo were founding members of the conference in 1975, but the Lions are the only member of the founding-four without a conference tournament title. They came within three points of taking the crown from Florida Southern in the 2011-12 title game, and won their first regular season crown in 2012-13, but finished second in the regular season last year and lost in the conference semifinals. They’ll be without Jerrel Harris, Spenser Mitchell, and Chim Kadima — all starters — but retained much of their depth. They’ll need it in this deep, competitive conference.