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Jack Williams, D1CoachCorner.com 8:00am July 05, 2016 - Correction Made 08-2-16

Anyone who side against Coach Gregg Marshall and Wichita State may find themselves taking a big chance. However, if there was ever a year in which Wichita State could be vulnerable it could be this year. The reason is that they’ve lost a lot of players to graduation after the 2015-2016 season - and the point guard position is questionable.

With that said, Missouri State arguably has one of the best recruiting classes in the Missouri Valley Conference. We should expect to see a lot of points go up on the boards with Missouri State. Southern Illinois, Missouri State and Wichita State all have a very good change to take the top spot in the Missouri Valley Conference. This is just a projection of what we think the Missouri Valley Conference will look like next season:

1. Wichita State Basketball

Coach: Gregg Marshall

Off Roster:
Graduated: Ron Baker, Anton Grady, Fred VanVleet, Bush Wamukota, and Evan Wessel
Transferred: Tyrone Taylor (UNCW)

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Zach Brown (SF), Shaquille Morris (PF), Markis McDuffie (SF), and Conner Frankamp (PG)
Key Role Player(s): Rauno Nurger (C), John Robert Simon (PG), Eric Hamilton (PF) and others…
Key Transfer(s): Daishon Smith (Tallahassee, SG) and Darrlyn Willis (Pearl River, PF)
Key Freshmen: Austin Reaves (PG), Landry Shamet (SG) and C.J. Keyser (SG)

Wichita State loses three (3) of their top scorers to graduation. The good news is, shooting guard Landry Shamet should be returning to play from a season ending injury. Shamet averaged 8.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in just three (3) games last season. Wichita State will also add two (2) quality JUCO transfers to the roster in shooting guard Daishon Smith and center Darrlyn Willis. Smith is a great scorer and defender. He averaged 16.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in final season at Tallahassee. Smith ranked 55th nationally in steals and 60th in assists. Willis averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his final season at Pearl River. He ranked 57th nationally in scoring, 97th in block shots and 15th in rebounds. Wichita should remain one of the top defending teams in the nation next season with its additions.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 26-9 (16-2) NCAA 2nd Round Exit
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 16-

2. Missouri State Basketball

Coach: Paul Lusk

Off Roster:
Graduated: Camyn Boone, Loomis Gerring, and Dorrian Williams

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Dequon Miller (PG), Chris Kendrix (SG), Jarred Dixon (SG), Obediah Church (SF), Ryan Kreklow (SG), Tyler McCullough (C), and Jordan Martin (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Alize Johnson (Frank Phillips, C), Ronnie Rousseau III (State Fair, PG) and Jarrid Rhodes (Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa, SF)
Key Freshmen: Greg Williams (SG)

Missouri State should be a dangerous team to play in the Missouri Valley Conference this coming season. This team should put up a lot of points with their new additions. Missouri State ranked only 293rd in points per game last season - putting up an average 65.5 points per game. They allowed their opponents to score an average 72.5 point per game in comparison. Missouri State added three (3) JUCO transfers who can flat out score in Alize Johnson, Ronnie Rousseau III, and Jarrid Rhodes. Rousseau averaged 23.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in final season at State Fair. He was ranked 7th nationally in scoring that season. Johnson averaged 16.7 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists per game in his final season at Frank Phillips. Johnson’s twelve (12) rebounds made him the 8th best rebounder in junior college. He was also the 97th best scorer in junior college.

This team is deep. Missouri State maybe good enough, defensively and offensively, to steal the top spot in the Missouri Valley conference.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 13-19 (8-10) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 14+

3. Illinois State Basketball

Coach: Dan Muller

Off Roster:
Graduated: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Quintin Brewer, and Justin McCloud

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Paris Lee (PG), MiKyle McIntosh (PF), Tony Wills (SG), and Deontae Hawkins (PF)
Key Role player(s): Keyshawn Evans (PF) and Daouda Ndiaye (C)
Key Transfer(s): Derrick 'D.J.' Clayton, Jr. (Palm Beach State) and Phil Fayne II (Western Nebraska)
Key Freshmen: Madison Williams (PG) and Andre Washington (PF)

Illinois State should remain a very good defensive team with many of their core players returning this coming season. Illinois held their opponents to an average of 69.4 points per game- making them the 42nd best defensive team in the nation and the 5th best in the Missouri Valley Conference. On the other hand, they only put up a measly 67.2 points per game on average. Illinois State hasn’t made any changes to address their scoring woes.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 18-14 (12-6) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 14+

4. Southern Illinois Basketball

Coach: Barry Hinson

Off Roster:
Graduated: Anthony Beane and Ibby Djimde
Transferred: Bola Olaniyan

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Mike Rodriguez (PG), Sean O'Brien (SG), Tyler Smithpeters (SF), Leo Vincent (PG), Armon Fletcher (SF), Austin Weiher (PF)
Key Role player(s) possibly returning: Rudy Stradnieks (PF) and Sean Lloyd (SF)
Key Transfer(s): Jonathan Wiley (Panola, SF) and Thik Bol (Iowa Western, PF)
Key Freshmen: Aaron Cook (PG), Jeremy Roscoe (SG), and Brendon Gooch (SF)

Southern Illinois is a pretty good defending team. Their defense should only get better with the additions of JUCO transfers Jonathan Wiley and Thik Bol. Wiley was ranked 3rd nationally in blocked shots in his final season at Panola. He averaged 12.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game that season. Thik Bol was ranked 67th in rebounds in his final season at Iowa Western, averaging 10.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game that season.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 22-10 (11-7) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 11+

5. Northern Iowa Basketball

Coach: Ben Jacobson

Off Roster:
Graduated: Matt Bohannon, Paul Jesperson, and Wes Washpun
Transferred: Robert Knar and Aarias Austin (Minnesota State)

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Jeremy Morgan (SF), Bennett Koch (PF), Jordan Ashton (SG), Klint Carlson (SF), Ted Friedman (PF) and Wyatt Lohaus (PG)
Key Transfer(s): Hunter Rhodes (Kirkwood, PG) and Jordan Ashton (Iowa State, SG)
Key Freshmen: Juwan McCloud (PG), Spencer Haldeman (PG), Isaiah Brown (SG), Tanner Lohaus (SF), Luke McDonnell (PF), and Justin Dahl (C)

Northern Iowa has always been one of the top defending teams in the NCAA. Don’t expect anything to change. Northern Iowa will lose quite a few players to graduation and transfers. Northern Iowa will get back two (2) of their starters in Jeremy Morgan and Bennett Koch. They will also add a top JUCO recruit in Hunter Rhodes. Rhodes averaged 12.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in his final season at Kirkwood. He was ranked 37th nationally in assists on the junior college level. Northern Iowa should remain competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference.


NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 23-13 (11-7) NCAA 2nd round exit
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 11-

6. Bradley Basketball

Coach: Brian Wardle

Off Roster:
Graduated: Ka'Darryl Bell
Transferred: Scottie James (Liberty), Davante Cooper and Joel Okafor

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (SG), Ronnie Suggs (SG), Donte Thomas (SF), Luuk van Bree (PF), Callum Barker (PF), Antoine Pittman (SG) and JoJo McGlaston (SG)
Key Transfer(s): JoJo McGlaston (Utah State, SG)
Key Freshmen: Jerome Merritt (SF), Koch Bar (PF), Nate Kennell (SG), Jayden Hodgson (PG), and Darrell Brown, Jr. (PG)

Bradley is still a pretty young team - with the majority of their players being freshmen and sophomores. The good thing is that the entire starting lineup should be returning and chemistry should be much better now that they’ve gotten at least one season under their belts.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 5-27 (3-15) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 9-

7. Drake Basketball

Coach: Ray Giacoletti

Off Roster:
Graduated: Karl Madison
Transferred: Kale Abrahamson (Duquesne) and Dominik Olejniczak (Ole Miss)

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Reed Timmer (SG), Graham Woodward (SG), Ore Arogundade (SF), Jacob Enevold (C), Casey Schlatter (PF), Nick McGlynn (PF), Billy Wampler (SF), and C.J. Rivers (PG)
Key Transfer(s): De'Antae McMurray (Southwestern Illinois, SG) and T.J. Thomas (Tyler, SF)
Key Freshmen: Johannes Dolven (C)

Drake lost two (2) of their top four scorers to transfer. For a team that only put up an average 67.5 points per game- that could be a problem. However, Drake gets better defensively with the addition of JUCO transfer De'Antae McMurray. McMurray is an average scorer but is very good defensively. He was ranked 37th nationally in steals in his final season at Southwestern Illinois.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 7-24 (2-16) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 9-

8. Loyola-Chicago Basketball

Coach: Porter Moser

Off Roster:
Graduated: Montel James, Earl Peterson, Devon Turk, and Jeff White
Transferred: Julius Rajala (Southern Indiana), Cal Kennedy, and Pernell Adgei

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Milton Doyle (SF), Donte Ingram (SG), Tyson Smith (SG), and Maurice Kirby
Key Transfer(s): Clayton Custer (Iowa State, SF), Vlatko Granic (Weatherford, PF), and Aundre Jackson (McLennan, SF)
Key Freshmen: Cameron Satterwhite (SG), Matt Chastain (SF), and Bruno Skokna (SG)

Loyola is adding some good pieces to their roaster in Clayton Custer, a division 1 transfer from Iowa State, and two (2) JUCO transfers in Vlatko Granic (Weatherford) and Aundre Jackson (McLennan).

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 15-17 (7-11) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 7-

9. Evansville Basketball

Coach: Marty Simmons

Off Roster:
Graduated: D.J. Balentine, Egidijus Mockevicius, and Adam Wing
Possibly Turned PRO: Mislav Brzoja
Transferred: Harris Brown

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Jaylon Brown (PG), Blake Simmons (SF), Ryan Taylor (SG), David Howard (PF), Christian Benzon (SG), Sergej Vucetic (C), Willie Wiley (PF), and Duane Gibson (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Abraham Traore (Miami Dade, PF), Ryan Taylor (Ohio, SG), and Solomon Hainna (Midland, PF)
Key Freshmen: Jaiveon Eaves (SG), Dru Smith (SG), and John Hall (SF)

Evansville is losing a lot with the losses of D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius. The two (2) combined for an average of over thirty-five (35) points per game. With both gone, Evansville will also lose their top assist man and rebounder. With that said, Evansville still has a lot of good pieces to be competitive.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 25-9 (12-6) No Appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 6-

10. Indiana State Basketball

Coach: Greg Lansing

Off Roster:
Graduated: Devonte Brown, Brandon Burnett, and Khristian Smith
Transferred: Grant Prusator and Alex Etherington (Indianapolis)

On Roster:
Key player(s) possibly returning: Brenton Scott (PG), Matt Van Scyoc (SF), and Brandon Murphy (PF), Everett Clemons (PG), Niels Bunschoten (PF), Brandon Murphy (C), and Emondre Rickman (PF), Laquarious Paige PG)
Key Transfer(s): Donovan Franklin (Gulf Coast State, SG) and Demonte Ojinnaka (Cloud County, SG)
Key Freshmen: Jordan Barnes (PG), Trey Knight III (SG), and Bronson Kessinger (SF)

Indiana State will be missing two (2) of heir top three (3) starters from last season. Indiana State will be adding two (2) quality JUCO recruits to their roster in Donovan Franklin and Demonte Ojinnaka. Franklin averaged 14.9 points 4.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in his final season at Gulf Coast State. Ojinnaka averaged 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in his final season at Cloud County.

NCAA Basketball 2015-2016 Record: 15-17 (8-10) No appearance
NCAA Basketball Projected Conference Wins 2016-2017: 4-

Missouri Valley Conference Basketball
2016-2017 Very Early Projections
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