Checking in on the… Missouri Valley ConferencePosted by rtmsf on December 7th, 2008
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and my standings (Last Week Rank)
- Illinois St. (8-0) (1)
- Creighton (5-2) (2)
- Evansville (5-1) (3)
- Northern Iowa (5-3) (5)
- Missouri St. (4-2) (9)
- Drake (6-2) (7)
- Bradley (4-3) (4)
- Wichita St. (3-4) (6)
- Southern Illinois (3-4) (8)
- Indiana St. (1-6) (10)
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Creighton (2-0 this week)—Creighton regrouped this week by defeating the SWAC’s Mississippi Valley State and then taking a trip to Philly and the Palestra defeating St. Joseph’s 69-58. The youth of this team is what has been holding it back. P’Allen Stinnett is back in the good graces of Coach Dana Altman and his teammates and has really shown it in his play in both games this week. They have a big game midweek against another A-10 team in undefeated Dayton before hosting preliminary rounds of the Las Vegas Classic.
TEAMS DOING WELL
Illinois St. (1-0 this week)—Illinois St. won their only game this week against Bowling Green. They basically have another week off before playing their next game against Morehead St. Though the scoring for the Redbirds was down from this game and the team struggled to find energy, they were able to pull away at the end. Osiris Eldridge is 20 points from joining the 1000-point club.
Evansville (2-0 this week)— Evansville is back on the winning track although playing some lower competition in Division I transition SIU-Edwardsville and unknown Ball St. The Seniors on this team are taking charge.
Missouri St (2-0 this week).—The Bears became part of the Sun Belt this week as they hosted and beat Arkansas St. and Arkansas-Little Rock, the same Little Rock team that beat Creighton the week before. Missouri St. is starting to show they may have more than expected in Springfield. In the win against Arkansas St., Missouri St. almost blew the game by only scoring 2 points in the final 5:55 of the game.
Drake (3-0 this week)—Drake won as expected in their own hosted cupcake tournament and, but will now hit the road to play a surging Iowa St. team. Drake is pretty happy with their two Joshes on the team.
TEAMS THAT ARE STRUGGLING
Bradley (0-1 this week)—Bradley’s only game this week was a trip to East Lansing to take on Michigan St. where they fought, but didn’t have enough to beat them. Bradley’s roster took a blow when starting center Will Egolf tore his ACL and is out for the season. That means fifth-year senior Sam Singh will be playing a lot more minutes.
Northern Iowa (1-1 this week)—Northern Iowa is still trying to find itself as it lost to in-state rival Iowa St., but then turned around and beat coach Ben Jacobson’s alma mater North Dakota. An up and down season so far for the Panthers and the home of ankle injuries.
Wichita St. (0-1) this week—Wichita St. is also up and down as they lost a close game in Lubbock against Texas Tech 72-69. The Shockers were down 17 at the half and a 3-pointer by Texas Tech with 4.2 seconds left in the game was the difference. Coach Gregg “Double G” Marshall thought his team was half asleep in the first half of the game.
Southern Illinois (1-1 this week)— The Salukis have been so confusing this season so far. There were high expectations for this team even though they had so many new players. There is obviously a learning curve to overcome and it doesn’t help being on the road so much this season. So you would hope being at home would put them back on track by winning against St. Louis as the bench stepped up. But then they lost at home (which is almost unheard of) against a 1-6 Charlotte team and couldn’t finish the game. SIU gets about a week off (probably for finals) and hits the road again this week against Nevada, so it doesn’t get any easier.
Indiana St. (0-2 this week)—Indiana St. is at the bottom of the stack again this week after losing a heartbreaker to Arkansas St. (ISU’s 91% free throw shooter missed all 3 foul shots towards end of the game to give them the chance to win) and then getting throttled by an embarrassed Louisville team by 40 points. However, they won a thrilling game against Lamar on a last second shot by Rashad Reed.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Drake 59, Texas-Pan American 57—This game was not expected to be as close as it was and in fact the Bulldogs from Drake were able to come back, scoring the last 8 points of the game with 2:34 left to play. The defense locked down and kept the Broncs from hitting the last 5 shots they took in the game.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Booker Woodfox, Creighton—Booker was on fire in the game against St. Joseph this week, scoring 29 points on 7-9 from 3, 4-4 from the free throw line and 7 rebounds in leading Creighton to victory. Just as the Hawks were starting to mount a comeback against the Bluejays, Booker hit timely shots and his teammates went to him. Combined with his game against Mississippi Valley State this week, Woodfox 10-14 from three. He is emerging as a leader for the Bluejays and willing to carry this team on his shoulders.
WEEK AHEAD AND GAMES TO WATCH
The week is started with the battle of the Iowa schools and hits a mid-week great matchup with another possible drubbing for the weekend.
- 12/9, Drake @ Iowa St. (ESPNU)—The in-state rivalry is always a good matchup.
- 12/9, Northern Iowa @ Iowa (ESPNU)—Another of the matchup for bragging rights in the state.
- 12/10, Creighton vs. Dayton (Local TV in Omaha and Dayton)—Dayton is undefeated an most likely ranked coming into the Qwest Center. Could be a big win for the Jays to make up for the losses at Arkansas-Little Rock and Nebraska
- 12/10, Bradley vs. Butler (Local TV in Illinois)—Bradley is the third Valley team to get a shot at an undefeated Butler team that has already beaten Drake and Evansville
- 12/13, Indiana St. @ Purdue (Big 10 Network)—Just what the Valley needs, another loss at a Major Conference school.