Sports

Who’s hot, who’s not in the MVC

Bradley

Men: The Braves finished the year with a 16-15 record. As the No. 7 seed in the MVC tournament, the Braves fell to No. 9 seed Drake. Bradley was granted an invitation to the CIT where they lost in the quarter finals to fellow-MVC foe Northern Iowa. The Braves will have to replace four seniors this year, which could hurt how this team does in the upcoming year

Women: Last season was the first time since 2008 that the Braves have been under .500. The only post-season play Bradley had in 2012 was one round in the MVC tournament. On the season, the team went 14-16 overall (8-10 in Missouri Valley). With only one senior who has seen much court time throughout her career, Bradley may find itself with another .500 or below season.

Drake

Men: The No. 9 seed in the MVC tournament was the Drake Bulldogs with a 15-17 (7-11) record. Somehow, the team knocked off ranked Creighton University. In
the MVC Tournament, Drake knocked off Bradley University before allowing Creighton to get revenge. Drake lost only three seniors from last year, so they should be an improved squad this season.
Women: Last season, the Bulldogs went 11-20 (5-13). In the MVC tournament, they beat Missouri State in the first round, but lost to Wichita State in the second round. This season, Drake will look for leadership from junior guard Kyndai Clark. She was the most outstanding player from last year’s squad and will be key to the team’s success.

Evansville

Men: The Purple Aces finished the year 18-13 (10-8) and beat Wichita State twice. The Aces had road losses to No. 19 Butler University and No. 16 Creighton. In the MVC tournament, the No. 4 seed Evansville fell to Indiana State. Evansville made the CIT, where they lost to eventual champs East Carolina University in the semi-finals. Six departed seniors puts this team in the lower half of the conference this season.

Women: Though Evansville’s 9-21 overall record last season looks bleak, their record in the Missouri Valley Conference was 7-11. In conference play,
Evansville was fairly competitive. They lost in overtime to Southern Illinois University in the first round of the MVC tournament. They had no post-season
play after that. With six freshmen on the roster, this could be a building year for the Purple Aces.

Illinois State

Men: The Redbirds finished the year with one major win: a 75-72 win over Creighton University. On the year, Illinois State had a 17-14 record (8-10) and entered the MVC tournament with the No. 6 seed. They upset Northern Iowa before falling to Wichita State 66-51. With no other post-season play, ISU said goodbye to four seniors they will look to replace this year. The team will likely face a regression.

Women: The Redbirds finished last season in the WNIT, where they lost to Kansas State in the second round. They finished 13-5 in the MVC, third in the league. They lost to runner-up Wichita State in the semifinals. The team was 24-11. However, their most notable players graduated last year, so this year’s team might lack leadership on the court.

 

Indiana State

Men: ISU picked up wins against the cream of the MVC crop: Wichita State and Creighton. The Sycamores experienced a late-season collapse, losing five of the last
six games of the season. As the No. 5 seed, ISU dropped Evansville before falling to Creighton 43-64. The team was invited to the 2013 NIT where they lost in the first round. No departed seniors means that Indiana State will be in the upper part of the conference next year.

Women: Last season, Indiana State University finished 18-13 (10-8). They finished fourth in conference rankings, but lost to No. 4 UNI in the MVC Tournament. The Sycamores qualified for the WNIT Tournament but lost in the first round. Among top returners is senior guard Anna Munn.

 

Missouri State

Men: The Bears took on five ranked teams last season and emerged winless in those contests. The team stumbled out of the gate, losing 10 of the first 12 contests of the season. Missouri State ended the year with a 10-21 record and the No. 8 seed in the MVC tournament. The Bears got a win over Southern Illinois, but fell to Wichita State in the second round, 59-69. Missouri State only lost two seniors, so they theoretically should improve.

Women: Missouri State went 14-17 (6-12) last year. In the MVC tournament, the Bears lost to Drake in the first round. One notable returner is sophomore
guard Tyonna Snow. While there is hope for improvement with younger players, this will probably not be the year for Missouri State.

 

Southern Illinois

Men: The proverbial bottom of the barrel. Southern Illinois University finished the 2012-2013 season dead last in the MVC. The team only won five conference games last year; however, one of those wins came when Wichita State came to visit. SIU was the 10th seed in the MVC tournament, falling to No. 7 seed Missouri State in the first round. SIU lost three seniors and should be more competitive.

Women: This team sat at the bottom of the conference last season with a record of 1-17 in the MVC and 5-26 overall. With only two freshmen on the roster, though, this season’s squad will be mostly veterans. This may help the Salukis improve on their abysmal numbers from last year, though they most likely will not contend for the title.

 

UNI

Men: The Panthers had a strong season, finishing with a 18-13 (11-7) record on the year. As the No. 3 seed in the MVC Tournament, UNI fell to No. 6 seed Illinois State University. The Panthers were invited to the CIT, falling in the semis to Weber State University. UNI will look to replace three departed seniors, but should remain competitive.
Women: Even though Northern Iowa finished fourth in the MVC standings last season, they beat No. 3 Indiana State in the MVC tournament. None of Northern Iowa’s players received All-Conference honors, but there are no seniors on the roster. This young team may struggle, but this season will be a good springboard.

 

Wichita State

Men: The Shockers finished with the second-best record of the MVC at 30-9 (12-6). As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Wichita fell to Creighton in the MVC
Championship game. However, it was the Shockers’ NCAA Tournament run that painted a target on this team’s back going forward. The team reached the Final Four, losing to Louisville University. This is the team to beat in the MVC.

Women: Wichita State tied Creighton for the best conference record, finishing 24-9 (15-3). They placed second in the MVC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for post-season play. They lost to the No. 3 seed Texas A&M University. Wichita State could very possibly lead the conference, especially with their crop of seasoned veterans returning.

 

Missouri Valley

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