The Week That Was:
- The Valley Beats Another Ranked Team: Another week, another set of nice wins in the Valley. The latest is Indiana State knocking off then #25 Vanderbilt on the Commodores’ home court. Sophomore R.J. Mahurin came off the bench to get 14 points including 4-7 from three to help lead them to the 61-55 victory. After going 11-22 against BCS schools last season, this year the MVC is 10-10 so far. The last time they had a .500 record against those leagues was during the 2007-08 season.
- Poll Gathering: Creighton continues to stay in the polls, this week at #21 in the Coaches Poll and #23 in the AP poll. But other MVC teams are starting to get noticed. Wichita State, Northern Iowa and Indiana State are all getting votes in the AP poll. The chances of having two teams in the Valley ranked might be going down as conference play starts in about a week. It may be a battle all season on which MVC team will be ranked in the national Top 25.
- Sending Out An SOS: While most teams in the MVC are trying to set the bar high to get the conference at a different level and four teams are in the RPI top 52, there are a couple of other teams that are on the other end of the spectrum. Illinois State is sitting at #292 in the strength of schedule category, while Southern Illinois‘ strength of schedule is at #343 out of 345 teams in D-I. Evansville is at #305. While the top of the league is pretty solid, the bottom half of the league still has some work to do. This could keep the Valley from moving as high as they could in the RPI as a conference later in the season.
- Creighton (9-1)— Creighton moves back up to the top spot this week after blowing out Houston Baptist on Saturday at home and Tulsa on the road Monday night. Grant Gibbs had 18 assists during those two games and Gregory Echenique has had his best performances offensively in those two games. A lot of the talk over the past few weeks from the national media is Creighton’s suspect defense. However, that is one thing they are working on fixing.
- Northern Iowa (10-2)—Ohio stunned Northern Iowa on Tuesday night to break the Panthers’ nine-game winning streak. They will have to regroup a bit heading into conference play. Northern Iowa is all about streaks and they will probably start one again. But the Panthers will definitely be in the top tier of the conference. The question always lingers—What if they did not let Doug McDermott out of his LOI? While everyone still ponders that, get an inside look at Ben Jacobson’s office. Read the rest of this entry »