The Valley season got off to a bang, with Creighton, Indiana State and Northern Iowa all losing their first league tilt following solid non-conference seasons. The Jays bounced back and defeated Wichita State at Koch Arena on Saturday on ESPNU, but it wasn’t enough to save their spot in the AP Top-25. Indiana State also won their second game, a 77-66 decision over Bradley, but Northern Iowa fell at home to Evansville in their follow-up contest.
The story early in the conference season is Missouri State – their non-conference record of 7-5 wasn’t mind-blowing, but the quality of their opponents was solid. The Bears promptly began Valley Time by winning at Creighton and handling a good Drake team in Springfield. Reigning MVC Player of the Year Kyle Weems scored 53 points and didn’t commit a turnover in the two wins… he isn’t ready to turn the POY award over just yet.
The rankings are a combination of overall body of work, including recent play and momentum… and a good way for a writer to make enemies! Sorry, Missouri State fans… I can’t put you at the top just yet!
1. Creighton (11-2, 1-1)- Antoine Young actually outscored Doug McDermott (32-31) last week, but McDermott and Gregory Echenique combined for 28 rebounds.
2. Missouri State (9-5, 2-0)- Don’t assume that MSU is Kyle and the Weemsettes – Anthony Downing and Jarmar Gulley combined for 63 points last week.
3. Wichita State (10-3, 1-1)- Carl Hall was a beast for the Shockers last week, recording 27 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks last week.
4. Indiana State (10-3, 1-1)- Jake Odum and Dwayne Lathan combined for 67 points and 22 rebounds last week.
5. Evansville (7-5, 2-0)- Colt Ryan pumped in 54 points, including 29 in the second half against UNI, for the league’s top scoring team through the first week.
6. Northern Iowa (10-4, 0-2)- Seth Tuttle posted 22 points and 17 rebounds in his first Valley week, and Jake Koch added 16 rebounds and 11 assists.
7. Drake (8-5, 1-1)- Rayvonte Rice scored 38 points and Jordan Clarke grabbed 18 boards last week.
8. Illinois State (9-4, 1-1)- Jon Ekey was the star for the Birds, tallying 24 points, 26 rebounds and six 3-pointers last week.
9. Southern Illinois (4-9, 1-1)- Mamadou Seck punched in 29 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the surprisingly solid Salukis.
10. Bradley (5-9, 0-2)- Taylor Brown racked up 37 points in his first two league games in 21 months.
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