Checking In On… The Missouri Valley Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on February 8th, 2012

Patrick Marshall is the RTC correspondent for the Missouri Valley Conference. You can also find his musings online at White & Blue Review or on Twitter @wildjays.

Reader’s Take 


The Week That Was:

  • Creighton Knocked Off, Twice—Creighton went into Cedar Falls with an 11-game winning streak, but left with a loss against Northern Iowa. The Panthers’ Anthony James was the hero in this one. After an Antoine Young three-pointer to tie the game up with just under five seconds to play, James went the length of the court, dribbled in and then bounced out for a step-back three over the outstretched arms of Doug McDermott and drained it sending the Northern Iowa fans into a frenzy. Creighton was cold from the field again and lost against Evansville taking some luster off of Saturday’s game against Wichita State. Northern Iowa now takes the momentum of that win into Wichita to take on the Shockers on Wednesday. For Creighton, they are hoping to survive.

  • Stutz is Stud—After concerns of Wichita State’s Garrett Stutz having some back problems and his ongoing health mentioned here last week, he spent last week proving everyone wrong.  Stutz went out and scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Missouri State and then turned around and had 24 points and 15 rebounds against Indiana State. He went over 1,000 points in his career as a Shocker. Over the past four games he has averaged almost 25 points and ten rebounds per game. It will be interesting to see how he fares against Northern Iowa and Creighton this week.
  • Braves Hitting Bottom—Normally, you wouldn’t talk much about a team that is 6-19 and 1-12 in the conference, but it is hard not to after the week Bradley had. The Braves lost by 30 to Evansville last Wednesday and then lost to rival Illinois State by 30 on Saturday, Bradley’s worst loss in the series since 1909. It is the first time in the storied program history that it has lost by 30 or more points in back-to-back games. Geno Ford has a long road ahead of him to bring this program back to relevance. Maybe the only good news is that four of their last six games are at home.

Garrett Stutz Has Powered The Shockers Past Creighton In The Latest RTC Power Rankings.

Power Rankings (last week’s rankings in parentheses)

Wichita State has moved up to #1 with Creighton’s loss to Evansville. The rest of the league had little movement, but the Panthers are back in the conversation.

  1. Wichita State (20-4, 11-2) (2): The Shockers are the team to watch over the next few weeks. Although they appear to be a solid bet to make the NCAA Tournament, a couple wrong steps here or there may throw them on the bubble.  Toure Murry is on pace to reach the top 10 in Wichita State career scoring. He is already there in games played, three pointers, free throws made, assists, and steals. He will have to be a factor down the stretch for the Shockers to be successful. The defense has been big too as they held Missouri State to 10-33 shooting in the second half last week.
  2. Creighton (21-4, 11-3) (1): By now, the different teams in the league know that if they can contain Doug McDermott in some way, they have a chance against the Bluejays. The supporting cast had been pretty efficient in picking up the pieces, but struggled against Northern Iowa and Evansville — which led to the losses. That completely contrasts the performance against Illinois State earlier in the week when the Bluejays scored 102 points. The players are having a lot of fun this season as teammates Jahenns Manigat and McDermott interview each other. Read the rest of this entry »
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Morning Five: Groundhog Day Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 2nd, 2012

  1. Very sad news in the college basketball community came on Wednesday as former Missouri State, St. Louis, and UNLV head coach Charlie Spoonhour passed away from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 72. You may recall that two years ago Spoonhour underwent a lung transplant at Duke University, with a nice assist from his friends in the coaching fraternity, Bob Huggins and Mike Krzyzewski. The “Spoon” is best known as a coach for building consistently good programs at MSU and SLU that regularly made the NCAA Tournament (eight trips and 373 wins at three schools), but his lasting legacy will be the wisecracking and affable personality that he regularly brought to bear in his press conferences and interviews. The Dagger compiled a greatest hits list of some of his better quips dating back to the ’80s, and we highly suggest you get over there to enjoy them all. RIP, Spoon, you will be missed.
  2. One of the notable aspects of the 2011-12 season is that the NPOY race has been slow to develop a clear favorite as it has at the same point of the season in other years. In just the last five seasons, for example, players such as Tyler Hansbrough, Evan Turner and Kevin Durant were well ahead of their counterparts in early February and stayed at the top of the list through March. This straw poll of NPOY candidates suggests that Kansas forward Thomas Robinson may be putting some distance between himself and the other top contenders — Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, West Virginia’s Kevin Jones — so it’ll be interesting to see how KU’s February road games impact what appears to be the presumptive favorite with six weeks remaining in the season.
  3. It may have been National Signing Day in football on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t significant news from the college basketball recruiting front as well. In fact, there was some huge news on Wednesday as Class of 2013 center Nerlens Noel from the Tilton School (NH) has decided to reclassify to his original high school Class of 2012, effectively making him eligible to play college basketball next season. The 6’10” shot-blocking extraordinaire is considered one of the top two or three prospects in either class, and his reclassification will open up a floodgate of additional interest given that there are only a handful of top prospects left on the board for next season. His list includes several Big East schools, including Georgetown, Syracuse, Connecticut and Providence, in addition to SEC powers Kentucky and Florida, along with North Carolina. It will be very interesting to watch this recruitment over the next few months.
  4. From a high school recruit to a collegiate one, former Arizona forward Sidiki Johnson has decided to transfer to Providence where he will be eligible to play in the second semester of the 2012-13 season. The former top 100 recruit in the Class of 2011 only played a grand total of seven minutes in Tucson this year, scoring a single point and grabbing three rebounds. The Harlem (NY) native clearly thinks he’ll fit in better in the Big East, and his inclusion to the Friars’ already-loaded 2012 haul of recruits (top 10 by all indications) will give Ed Cooley the talent he needs to compete in the deep conference.
  5. Expect an official announcement on this Thursday, but reported last night that Orange center Fab Melo has been reinstated and will be available to suit up for the team during Saturday’s game vs. St. John’s. During his two-week absence from the lineup as starting center, Syracuse went 2-1, losing its first game of the season at Notre Dame, but bouncing back to win at Cincinnati and at home against West Virginia (in a controversial call involving Melo’s backup, Baye Keita). We’re not sure Jim Boeheim’s team would have beaten the Irish on that night even with Melo in the lineup, but they’re clearly a better defensive team with him patrolling the lane and anchoring their zone. We’re glad to see that whatever academic issue he had has now been resolved.
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Spoonhour Recovering Well After Transplant

Posted by jstevrtc on September 20th, 2010

A while back we mentioned that former Saint Louis, UNLV, and (Southwest) Missouri State head coach Charlie Spoonhour had been diagnosed with a strange and unfortunately progressive lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the only real cure for which is a lung transplant. Coach Spoonhour had the transplant in mid-August and is said to be doing well, even able to walk up to a mile during the course of a day.

Good spirits, great family support, and a world-class facility. Our money's on The Spoon.

We know this is not something for which they would be outwardly seeking praise, but it’s certainly worth remembering that it was his friends and fellow coaches Bob Huggins and Mike Krzyzewski who helped get Spoonhour into the Duke Medical Center for diagnosis and treatment of this disease. We again applaud their efforts, and we hope Coach Spoonhour’s recovery continues to go well. We hope we can continue to post nothing but positive reports about this.

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The Spoon Awaits Lung Transplant, But Gets A Nice Assist

Posted by jstevrtc on August 5th, 2010

We first heard about this a week ago (via Curtis Kitchen from and saw another mention of it late last night, so we most definitely had to take a minute to send some positive thoughts in the direction of former Missouri State, Saint Louis, and UNLV head coach and 1994 Henry Iba Award winner Charlie Spoonhour.  Coach Spoonhour, 71, was recently diagnosed with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and is currently awaiting a lung transplant at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.

Talk about a heck of an assist, though.  According to this report from St. Louis Today (the online manifestation of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), a pair of fellow members of the coaching fraternity did a great service to Coach Spoonhour.  The Spoon is an old friend of West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, who called Mike Krzyzewski to help Spoonhour gain admission to DUMC.

As you’ve probably already figured out, there’s no cure for IPF, so the only way to get rid of it is to get some new lungs, or at least one new lung.  As if that weren’t frustrating enough, there’s no specific known cause for the disease (hence “idiopathic”), not even cigarette smoking or chemical exposures, except that it’s almost always seen in people over 50.  In persons with IPF, the lower and side parts of the lungs get gummed up with stuff called collagen, which is actually one of the most prevalent, normally-occurring substances in the body (and yep, it’s similar to the stuff they inject in people’s lips).  Patients start out feeling like they have pneumonia and get short of breath when they exert themselves because their lungs have trouble filling — but then, unlike pneumonia, it doesn’t go away, and the lung doctor eventually finds the disease on deeper investigation.

Anyway, enough pulmonology.  We say bravo to Huggins and Krzyzewski, but most of all we just want a suitable transplant match to be found and for Spoonhour to get through this as well as he can.  Get better, Coach, because we miss seeing and hearing you on the sidelines and the broadcast booth.  We’re all pulling for you!

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Morning Five: 07.29.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 29th, 2010

  1. Fifteen seconds to infamy.  Rick Pitino took the stand yesterday and will likely do so again today in the extortion trial of Karen Sypher in Louisville.  The twitterati are all over this in a big, huge, ridonkulous way.  Like here, or here, or maybe here.  We’re thinking that perjury where the only person on earth who could impeach you is also the defendant might have been a better option.
  2. Good news from Vegas as West Virginia head coach Bob  Huggins was released from the hospital yesterday.   In less good news, former Missouri State, St. Louis and UNLV head coach Charlie Spoonhour is at Duke University hospital waiting on a lung transplant.  He is on the list, and we’re hopeful that he gets the procedure that he needs, as we’ve always been a fan of his.
  3. And even sadder news from Memphis, as the body of former Tiger all-american Lorenzen Wright was found in a wooded section of the city yesterday nine days after a 911 call went out from his cell phone followed by at least ten gunshots.  He leaves behind six children and a legacy of being a great father and never having a harsh word for anyone.  RIP, Lorenzen.
  4. On Tuesday, Seth Davis gave us the best of his interviews with eleven college coaches about next season; yesterday he followed it up with part two which consisted of his assessments of various college and high school players that he saw play in Las Vegas last week.  The truth is that few of the returning players that Davis saw seemed all that impressive (Kyle Singler and Shelvin Mack excepted).
  5. We admit that we know as much about NASCAR as we do about geophysics, but Jim Boeheim and driver Tony Stewart enjoyed a shooting contest at the Melo Center on the campus at Syracuse University yesterday.  Boeheim quipped about his penchant to speed, but you can watch the whole interview for yourself below.
  6. Boeheim and NASCAR Star Tony Stewart

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