Checking in on the… Missouri ValleyPosted by nvr1983 on January 26th, 2009
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and My Standings (Conference Record) (Last Week Rank)
- Northern Iowa (14-6) (8-1)(1)
- Illinois State (17-3) (6-3)(2)
- Bradley (12-8) (6-3) (4)
- Drake (14-7) (5-4) (3)
- Creighton (15-6)(5-4) (5)
- Evansville (12-7) (4-5) (6)
- Southern Illinois (9-11) (4-5) (7)
- Wichita State (9-11) (3-6) (9)
- Missouri State (9-11) (2-7) (8)
- Indiana State (4-16) (2-7) (10)
Almost everyone went 1-1 in the conference this week. The only consistent team at this point in the season is Northern Iowa. The rest of the conference looks mediocre and at this point it looks like only one team will be NCAA-bound unless one team wins the regular-season conference title and another wins the MVC tournament. No one is “At-Large” worthy at this point. Creighton isn’t consistently winning, Illinois State doesn’t have a strong schedule, and Bradley did too poorly in its non-conference season to get an at-large bid.
GAME OF THE WEEK
- Wichita St. 51, Evansville 50—Evansville led this game from the beginning until Toure Murry hit a 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds left to give the Shockers the win. Evansville had the last shot, but it bounced out and the Shockers now hit the road to play Bradley before hosting Drake later this week.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- Adam Koch, Northern Iowa—Koch had a stellar week for Northern Iowa again as he averaged over 20 points a game including a 30-point performance against Missouri State. He shot 18-20 from the free throw line in that game (making as many as the whole MSU team attempted–9-18 FT).
TEAMS PLAYING WELL
- Northern Iowa (2-0 this week)—Northern Iowa is the only team in the Valley that is playing with any consistency. They are on an 8-game winning streak and have been shooting lights out during this stretch (over 50% from the field). About the only thing that hasn’t been going well for them is the attendance at their home games.
- Wichita State (2-0 this week)— Wichita has now one 3 games in a row. Improved shooting has helped this team and the young players are starting to come around. Wins against Creighton, Illinois State. and Evansville in the last 3 games are nice wins for the Shockers.
UP AND DOWN
- Illinois State (1-1 this week)— Illinois State started the week losing to a suddenly hot Wichita State team and then turned around and was able to beat Southern Illinois. NBA analyst and former Redbird Doug Collins is getting his own statue outside of Redbird Arena.
- Southern Illinois (1-1 this week)— Southern Illinois got a somewhat expected win against Indiana State and then fell to the Redbirds as mentioned above. SIU has struggled to be consistent and win some games. Right now there are even questions as to whether they will make the postseason at all. Despite that, Coach Chris Lowery feels that they are doing things the right way.
- Bradley (1-1 this week)— The only team that MVC teams seem to be able to beat right now is Indiana State and the Braves won against them, but could not stop the surging Northern Iowa Panthers. The referees have always been a problem for the Valley and although they have scheduled more Sunday and Tuesday night games to get better known referees, it still seems to be an issue when it comes down to close games. Bradley seems to like playing in their throwback jerseys.
- Creighton (1-1 this week)— After a 22-point victory at Evansville, Creighton headed into a 3-game homestand in a position to make a run. They started hot against Drake getting out to an early lead, but then couldn’t hit anything and shot a horrible 9/40 in the second half (21/70 for the game). So other than a miracle finish against Southern Illinois, Creighton almost has a 3-game home losing streak. Hopefully games against Indiana State and Missouri State can get this team back on track. The message boards have been going crazy for the Bluejays, but obviously there seems to be a bigger problem with the team itself.
- Drake (1-1 this week)—Drake hit the road and after losing at Missouri State by 21 points they were able to turn it around after being down to Creighton early to come back and get a nice road win. Craig Stanley, a 5’11” guard, scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in that game.
- Missouri State (1-1 this week)—Missouri State joins the rest of the inconsistent crowd getting a win against Drake at home, but then dropping one to the team all over this report, Northern Iowa. However, Missouri State is looking better.
- Evansville (0-2 this week)— Evansville got blown out by Creighton earlier in the week where coach Marty Simmons then gave his team 2 days off this week and it seemed to help at Wichita State (up until the end of the game).
- Indiana State (0-2 this week)— Indiana State continues to be a non-factor this season.
GAMES OF INTEREST THIS WEEK
After the consistent inconsistency of the Valley here are the games to be aware of this week.
- 1/28: Illinois St. @ Northern Iowa (Local TV in Iowa)—Match-up of conference leaders. Can the conference leaders keep pulling away in the Valley or will Illinois State have the chance to catch up?
- 1/28: Evansville @ Drake (Local TV in Iowa)—Two teams headed in different directions.
- 1/31: Bradley @ Illinois State (Local TV in Illinois)– The rivalry hits again as the Redbirds look for retribution from their last match-up.
- 1/31: Northern Iowa @ Indiana State (Fox Sports Net)—UNI has been winning on the road all conference season so far. Can they continue pulling away in the valley?