The First and Only Mississippi Valley St. Post You’ll Ever See

Posted by rtmsf on August 25th, 2008

Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is RTC’s Big 12 correspondent and occasional contributor.

During the off season for college basketball, about the only real exciting thing to look forward to is speculation on the schedule for next year–like will a large conference team go on the road to play at a smaller team home court or will teams be playing RPI killers that will hurt them come Selection Sunday?  College basketball scheduling is a little different than college football scheduling in that it is almost an up to the last minute thing to develop a schedule.  Most college football fans have a pretty good idea who is on the schedule up to four years or more in advance.  Most college basketball fans have to wait until a month or two before the current season to find out that season’s schedule.  This probably is more exciting for a small college fan to speculate and wait for, but nonetheless interesting. 

Being a fan of the Creighton Bluejays, I was perusing some schedules that have been posted on to see if there were any teams having Creighton on the schedule that we as fans did not know were there yet.  But as I looked a little closer, there was a schedule developing that caught my eye—Mississippi Valley State.

The AD or coach or whoever does the scheduling for the Delta Devils must either dislike the basketball program as a whole or just want to throw the team on the floor because they know they are getting a lot of guaranteed money.  Check out this schedule so far for their month of November:

·         November 17th–@Oklahoma in the first round of the Preseason NIT

·         November 18th–@Oklahoma to play either James Madison or Davidson in winner or loser round of Preseason NIT

·         November 20th–@Montana

·         November 22nd–@Arkansas State

·         November 23rd–@Washington State

Are you serious?  I know SWAC teams are notorious for lining up all of these guaranteed games at schools to help fund other sports and things at their schools, but this makes no sense and you are creating a team that will definitely be tired.  Going from Mississippi to Oklahoma, then three days later go to Missoula, Montana, back towards home to Jonesburg, Arkansas and then back the other way again to Pullman, Washington in the next three days.  Now mapping out it would made a heck of a lot of sense to actually go to Missoula, take the bus ride to Pullman and then fly back to Jonesburg.  But, to cover both coasts back and forth over a couple day period and logging over 6000 miles doesn’t really make sense to me.  Doesn’t that destroy your profit margin? That is absolutely ridiculous.  BTW, the Delta Devils come into Omaha to play the Jays on December 2nd.  They should be a tired team.   

I am also excited to mention that I am taking the challenge of a conference correspondent with Rush the Court this winter.   Though I am a Creighton fan and would love to cover the Valley, I am right smack in the middle (well sort of) of Big 12 territory.  This season should be an intriguing one as we have several questions to answer.   Can Kansas reload and vie for a championship repeat?  Will Texas finally answer the hype machine and be in contention for a run in March to the Final Four?  Will Pat Knight be able to step out of his dad’s shadow to lead Texas Tech to the tourney?  And will Doc “Slingblade” Sadler be able to get Nebraska to the NCAA and notch that first tournament win in program history?  This will be a fun year and an exciting time to be a college basketball fan.



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08.20.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 20th, 2008

Is anyone else a little Michael Phelpsed out?  Apparently Amanda Beard is…  on to the hoops news…

  • Remember the Toledo kid (Sammy Villegas) who the FBI busted for pointshaving?  In a shocking (!!!) turn of events, the FBI is now saying that it was related to the football pointshaving scandal from last season!  (heavy sarcasm alert for you analog types)   So…  how deep does this mire go at Toledo?
  • Former Johnnie and Dookie Roshown McLeod, last seen fumbling a ball out of bounds in the 98 regional finals in St. Pete, is back on the radar as a new assistant for Tom Crean at Indiana (yes, we’re aware he got a little run in the NiBbA).  Too bad he can’t suit up for the new $24M man
  • Former UNC big man Alex Stepheson will transfer to USC and will attempt to get a waiver from the NCAA (similar to what Tyler Smith did last year at Tennessee) so that he can play this season for the Trojans.  His father is suffering from an undisclosed illness. 
  • Get ready to see a LOT of Stephen Curry this year (not a bad thing).  The Preseason NIT will feature Curry’s Davidson squad in addition to other NCAA teams Purdue, Oklahoma, Cornell, Georgia, Mississippi Valley St., and Arizona.   We like the Boilers vs. Curry in the finals.
  • So Ty Lawson ends up with 26 hours of community service (working on his crossover?) and the city of Chapel Hill still has its celebrated point guard in light of his “drinking while driving” arrest back in the spring.  Something doesn’t seem too right about that. 
  • The NCAA denied Pitt forward Mike Cook’s request for an extra year of eligibility.  He played in eleven games last season before suffering a knee injury, and according to the NCAA rules, a player is only eligible for a redshirt season if he played in less than 30% of his team’s games.  Pittsburgh played 37 games last year – Cook played in 11.  That’s 29.7%, so what’s the problem?  The problem is that the NCAA qualifies ALL postseason games as ONE game, which means, by their fuzziest of math, Cook played in 11 of 32 games, or 34.3%.  Ridiculous.  Did you guys know that Kansas won its title in only one game last March/April?
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6.24.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on June 24th, 2008

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Conference Primers: #31 – SWAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 2nd, 2007

Season Preview Banner 3

Predicted Order of Finish.

  1. Alabama A&M (18-9) (13-5)
  2. Mississippi Valley St. (13-13) (12-6)
  3. Grambling St. (14-9) (12-6)
  4. Alabama St. (15-14) (10-8)
  5. Southern (13-15) (9-9)
  6. Jackson St. (12-17) (8-10)
  7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-19) (8-10)
  8. Prairie View A&M (9-20) (8-10)
  9. Alcorn St. (5-20) (7-11)
  10. Texas Southern (5-23) (3-15)


What You Need to Know (WYN2K). Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the worst basketball conference in America! For three years running, the Southwestern Athletic Conference has found itself at the absolute bottom of every major computer ranking system (RPI, Sagarin & Pomeroy) as its ten schools have gone a collective 32-229 (.123) in OOC games during the last three seasons (easily the worst). Its sacrificial lamb league champion has received eight straight #16 seeds in the NCAAs and four of those teams were relegated to the dreaded play-in game. Just how bad is it? Consider that tournament champion Jackson St. and regular-season champion Mississippi Valley St. were the only two schools with overall winning records last year – no other conference member won more than eleven games. There are no encouraging signs of change for this season.

Predicted Champion. Alabama A&M (#16 Seed NCAA). Yes, we’re predicting a worst-to-first here, but the Bulldogs are the only SWAC school returning all five starters from last season, including dynamic sophomore guards Trant Sampson and Cornelius Hester as well as 6’11 defensive freak Mickell Gladness (6.3 bpg), who blocked an astonishing 20.5% of shots while he was on the court last season.

Others Considered. Grambling is an interesting team because they return four starters including the SWAC’s best all-around player Andre Ratliff, but they also open a brand-new 7500-seat arena and we shouldn’t discount the “new barn” effect. Mississippi Valley St. is another team to watch because they won the regular-season crown last season and return former Southern Miss coach James Green, who has inspired his teams to play maddening D, which will keep them in the hunt.

Games to Watch. There’s only one game you’ll find on tv from the SWAC, and it’s the only game that matters for this conference all season.

  • SWAC Championship Game (03.15.08).

RPI Booster Games. The SWAC plays 28 games against BCS conference opponents, and 26 of those are on the road. In a weird scheduling coincidence, only Auburn deigns to venture into a SWAC gym, and it does so twice – it could lose either of these if Lebo’s team isn’t careful.

  • Auburn @ Alabama St. (11.17.07)
  • Auburn @ Southern (12.16.07)

Odds of Multiple NCAA Bids. Nil. It’s never happened before, and the reality of the non-conference “guarantee games” in the SWAC will ensure it doesn’t happen again this year.

All-Name Team. Alabama St.’s Grlenntys “Chief” Kickingstallionsims is a cinch for national honors, but Texas Southern’s St. Paul Latham is another worthy candidate.

Neat-o Stat. The SWAC likes to run, as half of its teams were among the top 62 fastest tempos in the nation in 06-07. By the same token, though, none can shoot the ball, as 9 of its 10 teams were among the bottom 35 teams last year in effective FG%.

65-Team Era. The SWAC is 1-21 in the era. Southern University (#13) defeated Georgia Tech (#4) 93-78 in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tourney.

Final Thought. The SWAC isn’t worth much in basketball, so we’ll give it some love for something it’s actually good at.

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