Wichita State, the once mid-major power house of the Missouri Valley Conference, is no longer considered as a Mid-Major power house – just plan ole power house. Wichita State has moved on the American Athletic Conference. Valparaiso, a powerful team from the Northeastern Conference, has filled the gap. However, with a new coach on board, Valparaiso is going through a rebuilding process.

Looking at all of the team rosters in the Missouri Valley Conference it seems as if Missouri State and Loyola-Chicago have the best chance to take the crown in the MVC. With that said, here is a look at what the MVC could look like by the end of the 2017—2018 season:;

1. Missouri State Basketball

Coach: Paul Lusk

Off Roster:
Graduated: Dequon Miller, Jordan Martin, and Tyler McCullough
Transferred: Austin Ruder (Oral Roberts), Chris Kendrix (Minnesota State)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Ronnie Rousseau III (PG), Alize Johnson (PF), Obediah Church (SF), Jarrid Rhodes (SF), Jarred Dixon (PG), and Ryan Kreklow (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Reggie Scurry (PF, Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa), Tanveer Bhullar (C, New Mexico State), Kabir Mohammed (SF, San Jacinto-Central), and Abdul-Hakim Fofana (PF, Dakota)
Key Freshmen: Greg Williams (SG), Darian Scott, and Mustafa Lawrence (PG)

Missouri State was expected to do well in the Missouri Valley Conference last season. That was until the injury of Ronnie Rousseau III. Missouri State was 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference prior to Ronnie Rousseau III’s departure from the team. Keep in mind that after the departure of Rousseau Missouri State had four (4) overtime losses against Illinois State, Southern Illinois twice and Drake. The presence of Rousseau would have made a difference in those games.

Starters Alize Johnson (PF), Obediah Church (SF), and Jarrid Rhodes (SF) should also be ready to compete this coming season. Johnson was Missouri State’s top scorer. He average 14.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game last season.

The best news for Missouri is its incoming 2017 recruit class. Missouri State is bringing in several big men to beef up on defense and rebounds, this includes three (3) excellent JUCO transfers, Reggie Scurry, a transfer from Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa Community College; Kabir Mohammed, a transfer from San Jacinto-Central Community College; and Abdul-Hakim Fofana, a transfer from Dakota Community college. The three (3) of them are very good defenders and they all have averaged over 8 rebounds per game with their former teams.

Joining these big men will be New Mexico’s graduate transfer, Tanveer Bhullar, who averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in his final season.

2016-2017 Record: 17-16 Overall (7-11 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 14+

2. Loyola-Chicago Basketball

Coach: Porter Moser

Off Roster:
Graduated: Milton Doyle,
Transferred: Maurice Kirby (IUPUI) and Vlatko Granic,

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Donte Ingram (SG), Aundre Jackson (SF), Clayton Custer (PG), Ben Richardson (SG), Bruno Skokna (SG), Cameron Satterwhite (SG), and Tyson Smith (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Carson Shanks (C, North Dakota) and Marques Townes (SG, Fairleigh Dickinson)
Key Freshmen: Christian Negron (PF), Cameron Krutwig (C), and Lucas Williamson (SG)

Loyola-Chicago will be returning two (2) out of three (3) of their best point producers in Donte Ingram and Aundre Jackson. Both of them were instrumental in making Loyola the 2nd best scoring team in the Missouri Valley Conference last season.

Scoring will only get better this coming season with the addition of Fairleigh Dickinson’s (FDU) transfer guard, Marques Townes, who was the third best scorer on the team in 2015-2016. Townes averaged 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in his final season at FDU. Loyola-Chicago also looks to solve their rebounding problem with the addition of North Dakota’s transfer center, Carson Shanks, and freshmen big men Christian Negron and Cameron Krutwig.

Expect this team to get better in all categories.

2016-2017 Record: 18-14 Overall (8-10 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 14+

3. Northern Iowa Basketball

Coach: Ben Jacobson

Off Roster:
Graduated: Jeremy Morgan and Jordan Ashton

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Bennett Koch (PF), Juwan McCloud (PG), Wyatt Lohaus (PG), Klint Carlson (SF), Luke McDonnell (PF), Spencer Haldeman (PG), Ted Friedman (C), Isaiah Brown (SG), Hunter Rhodes (PG), and Justin Dahl (C)
Key Freshmen: Tywhon Pickford (SG), Tanner Lohaus (SF), and Austin Phyfe (PF)

Three (3) out Five (5) of Northern Iowa’s starters will be returning for the 2017-2018 season, which includes their second best scorer, Bennett Koch.

As always, coach Jacobson’s team should be very good in the defensive category. On the other hand, offense may remain a problem. Northern Iowa had one of the worse offenses in the Missouri Valley Conference last season and there doesn’t seem to have been any chances made to address that problem.

However, Northern Iowa has always been a team that knows how to turn defense into offense.

2016-2017 Record: 14-16 Overall (9-9 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 12+

4. Bradley Basketball

Coach: Brian Wardle

Off Roster:
Transferred: Alex Foster (Albany) and Ronnie Suggs (Missouri)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Darrell Brown Jr. (PG), JoJo McGlaston (SG), Donte Thomas (SF), Antoine Pittman (SG), Koch Bar (PF), Jayden Hodgson (PG), Luuk van Bree (PF), Nate Kennell (SG), Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (SG), and Callum Barker (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Luqman Lundy (PG), Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa )
Key Freshmen: Elijah Childs (SF) and Ryan Stipanovich (SF)

This is a team on the rise. Bradley has several key players returning from the 2016-2017 season. This team’s problem last season, though, was ball movement and offense. Bradley had the 2nd worst offensive in the Missouri Valley Conference last season behind Northern Iowa. They held their opponents to an average 70.7 points per game but scored, on average, only 65.5 points per game.

Bradley looks to fix this problem with the addition of Luqman Lundy, a JUCO transfer from Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa Community College. Lundy was ranked one of the top point guards to come out of Junior college in 2017. He averaged 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game in his final season of Junior College. He had the 15th highest assists per game in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA). He also had a total of 73 steals last season, which was the 20th highest in the NJCAA.

Expect good things from this team this coming season.

2016-2017 Record: 13-20 Overall (7-11 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10+

5. Southern Illinois Basketball

Coach: Barry Hinson

Off Roster:
Graduated: Sean O'Brien, Mike Rodriguez, Leo Vincent, and Tyler Smithpeters

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Armon Fletcher (SG), Sean Lloyd (SF), Thik Bol (PF), Jonathan Wiley (SF), Aaron Cook (PG), Rudy Stradnieks (PF), and Austin Weiher (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Eric McGill (PG, Panola), Kavion Pippen (C, Three Rivers), and Marcus Bartley (PG, Saint Louis)
Key Freshmen: Brendon Gooch (SG)

Southern Illinois loses Sean O'Brien and Mike Rodriguez but gains three very good recruits, JUCO transfers Eric McGill and Kavion Pippen and Saint Louis transfer Marcus Bartley, to replace them. McGill is a very talented point guard who averaged 5.6 assists per game (ranked 25th in the National Junior College Athletic Association) in his final season at Panola Community College. McGill is also a great defender. He had a total of 85 steals (ranked 10th in the NJCAA) last season.

Pippen is also a greater Rim Protector. He had a total of 53 blocked (ranked 34th in the NJCAA) shots in his final season at Three Rivers Community College.

With Wichita State out of the way Could Southern Illinois University has a chance to move up to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference.

2016-2017 Record: 17-16 Overall (9-9 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 8+

6. Illinois State Basketball

Coach: Dan Muller

Off Roster:
Graduated: Paris Lee, Tony Wills, and Javaka Thompson
Transferred: Deontae Hawkins, MiKyle McIntosh (Oregon), DJ Clayton,and Andre Washington

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Phil Fayne (PF), Keyshawn Evans (PG), Daouda Ndiaye (C ), Madison Williams (SG), Christian Romine (C), and Matt Hein (PG)
Key Transfer(s): Milik Yarbrough (SF, Saint Louis), Zachary Copeland (SG, San Francisco), and William Tinsley (SG, Lake Land)
Key Freshmen: Elijah Clarance (PG), Isaac Gassman (SG), and Taylor Bruninga (PF)

Illinois State will be without nearly their entire starting five (5) from the successful 2016-2017 season. Their top scorer, Deontae Hawkins, has bolted to seek out opportunities in one of the big 5 conferences. Their third best scorer, MiKyle McIntosh, has transferred to Oregon; and their star player, Paris Lee has graduated.

Coach Muller has added three (3) very good recruits to keep this team competitive next season in Milik Yarbrough, a transfer from Saint Louis; Zachary Copeland, a JUCO transfer from San Francisco Community College; and JUCO transfer William Tinsley from Lake Land community college. Yarbrough started all 27 games in his final season at Saint Louis. Copeland, who is a great all around player has the potential to do great things at Illinois State. He averaged 18 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game in his final season at San Fransisco.

They will be joining starter, Phil Fayne in the lineup.

2016-2017 Record: 28-7 Overall (17-1 Conference) NIT 2nd Round Finish
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 8-

7. Evansville Basketball

Coach: Marty Simmons

Off Roster:
Graduated: Jaylon Brown, David Howard, Christian Benzon, Sergej Vucetic, and Willie Wiley

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Duane Gibson (SG), Ryan Taylor (SG), Blake Simmons (SF), Dalen Traore (C), Dru Smith (SG),
Key Transfer(s): Solomon Hainna (PF, Midland), Dainius Chatkevicius (C, Vincennes), and Marty Hil l(SG, Northeast)
Key Freshmen: John Hall (SF), Evan Kuhlman (PF), and Noah Frederking

Evansville will get back Blake Simmons, who sat out the 2016-2017 season due to an injury. Simmons started all 34 games in the 2015-2016 season averaging 5.9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game that season. Also returning will be starters Duane Gibson and Ryan Taylor. Gibson led the team in assists with an average 3.8 assists per game last season. Taylor was the 2nd highest scorer on the team behind Jaylon Brown.

Look for Evansville to be competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference.

2016-2017 Record: 16-17 Overall (6-12 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 7+

8. Drake Basketball

Coach: Niko Medved

Off Roster:
Gradated: Jacob Enevold
Transferred: Billy Wampler (Wright State)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: De'Antae McMurray (PG), Reed Timmer (SG), T.J. Thomas (SF), Nick McGlynn (PF), Ore Arogundade (SF), C.J. Rivers (PG), Casey Schlatter (PF), Kory Kuenstling (PF), Graham Woodward (SG), and Antonio Pilipovic (SF)
Key Freshmen: Noah Thomas (PG) and Jalen Gibbs (PG)

Drake has several players returning from the 2016-2017 season. Most of their players are seniors and veterans of the game and with so many of them returning they should mesh well together this season. However, this group needs to improve drastically on defense to move up to the top of the Missouri Valley conference. Drake had the worst defenses in the MVC last season.

2016-2017 Record: 7-24 Overall (5-13 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 7+

9. Valparaiso Basketball

Coach: Matt Lottich

Off Roster:
Graduated: Shane Hammink, Alec Peters, Nick Davidson, Jason Karys, and Jubril Adekoya,
Transferred: Lexus Williams (Boise State) and Chandler Levingston Simon (Goldey-Beacom)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Tevonn Walker (PG), Derrik Smits (C), Max Joseph (PG), Jaume Sorolla (C), John Kiser (SF), Micah Bradford (PG), and Parker Hazen (SF)
Key Transfer(s): Joe Burton (SF, Oklahoma State), Bakari Evelyn (PG, Nebraska), and Markus Golder (SG, North Idaho)
Key Freshmen: Parker Hazen (SF), Mileek McMillan, and Marten Linssen

Valparaiso has found a new home in the Missouri Valley Conference. With several players gone from the 2016-2017 roster their introduction to the conference may be a little rocky. On top of that, Valparaiso had problems at the point guard position and it doesn’t appear that they’ve made moves to answer that problem.

2016-2017 Record: 24-9 Overall (14-4 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 5-

10. Indiana State Basketball

Coach: Greg Lansing

Off Roster:
Transferred: Everett Clemons, Matt Van Scyoc, T.J. Bell, and Niels Bunschoten

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Brenton Scott (PG), Laquarious Paige (PG), Jordan Barnes (PG), Qiydar Davis (SG), Bronson Kessinger (SF), Brandon Murphy (PF), and Emondre Rickman (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Devin Thomas (PF, Mineral Area)
Key Freshmen: Tyreke Key (PG), Clayton Hughes (SF), and Daniel Hunerman (PF)

Indiana State should get back its leading scorer, Brenton Scott. However, he’s going to need some helpd in the scoring department. Scot was the only player on Indiana State’s team to average double digits in scoring last season. Will Laquarious Paige and Jordan Barnes step p to help hi, this coming season?

2016-2017 Record: 11-20 Overall (5-13 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 5-


 

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Missouri Valley Conference: 2017-2018 Early Predictions
Jack Williams, D1CoachCorner.com August 24, 2017, 7:30am