Feb. 1, 2010

click here for feature on Kyle Roller of East Carolina

click here for coaches' preseason All-C-USA team


Rice ready for challengers in Conference USA


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2010 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at Conference USA (eight out of nine coaches participated).


The team to beat is: Rice


The top three starting pitchers are: Seth Maness, East Carolina; Todd McInnis, Southern Miss; Mike Ojala, Rice


The top closer is: Collin Cargill, Southern Miss (pictured right)


The one pitcher you don’t want to face is: Seth Maness, East Carolina; and Todd McInnis, Southern Miss


The most underrated pitcher is: Kevin Brandt, East Carolina


The best defensive catcher is: Jeremy Schaffer, Tulane


The best catcher arm is: Diego Seastrunk, Rice


The best defensive infielder is: Rick Hague, Rice


The best defensive outfielder is: Trent Whitehead, East Carolina


The three best pure hitters are: Anthony Rendon, Rice* (pictured right); Trent Whitehead, East Carolina; Rick Hague, Rice


The three biggest power threats are: Anthony Rendon, Rice; Kyle Roller, East Carolina; Victor Gomez, Marshall


The hitter you least want to face is: Anthony Rendon, Rice*


The most underrated hitter is: B.A. Vollmuth, Southern Miss


The best base-runner is: Jamal Austin, UAB; Nick Boullosa, Tulane; and Nick Crawford, UAB


Your favorite road stadium to visit is: Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, Southern Miss


The best game coach is: Wayne Graham, Rice


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: David Pierce, Rice; and Chad Sutter, Tulane

(photos courtesy of Southern Miss and Rice Media Relations Offices)