Good Morning, OK Let’s get to it……As we head into weekend three of the SWAC basketball slate, we know that defending champ Texas Southern and runner up Southern University will be fighting to stay on top. TSU heads into Grambling State with a 3-0 mark. Southern stumbled early on the road but broke even with wins over GSU and Jackson State to a 2-2 record. However, the most surprising team thus far is the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils who sit at 2-1 behind leader TSU. The sole lost is a 75-74 OT lost at Alabama State. The Devils started league play winless 0-14 before picking up their first win. MVSU has gone through several issues and chamges. Just four seasons ago, the Devils won the SWAC under former coach, Sean Woods . That year, MVSU went underfeated in SWAC play as well as winning the tournament and heading into NCAA post season. Woods left and Chico Potts took over. Under Potts, things didn’t go to well as the losses mounted, players left the program and questions about Potts management of the team arose. Shortly after Potts was released and an interium coach was in place. Heading into the 2014-2015, Valley officials reached into the NAIA ranks and hired Andre Payne, former Wiley and Texas College head coach to lead the program. Last season , Payne got things in order and finished 6-25. This year, the guys have bought into his program and after losing 14 straight games , MVSU finally benefited from the tough competition. Not only gaining much needed funds from big money games , the Devils were able to compete and win games in SWAC play. Dominating UAPB, AAMU and losing to Alabama State in OT after dominating the Hornets the entire game was a huge plus. MVSU has now gained the respect of other league schools as well as the respect of the Payne. Payne’s recruiting and his philosophy has finally took hold. This year’s team is paced by Marcus Romain with a 16.5 pts a game. Damian Young sits at 10 pts a game. There are a bevy of players who average between 8 to 4 points a game. I call that a balance attack. Another added demension Payne has added is on the bench. Former JSU star and assistant coach, Eric Strothers brings experience as well as on the court knowledge to MVSU . Strother’s presence has been a great one to MVSU program. As the Devils prpare for an indian invasion by Alcorn State on Saturday night, MVSU plans on writing another chapter as the SWAC season moves on.