With a little more than a week of the college basketball season under our belts, it is time for our first Missouri Valley Conference Power Rankings. Each team has played at least 2 games and our rankings reflect the results of those games as well as the very early impression we have drawn during those contests.
MVC Power Rankings
1) Creighton – The Bluejays won three games over overmatched opponents – North Texas, UAB, and Presbyterian. We’ll learn more this week when Creighton plays Wisconsin and either Arkansas / Arizona State in Las Vegas.
2) Illinois State – The Redbirds won an important non-conference road game over CAA favorite, Drexel. Add in two easy wins over UCSB and Delaware State and Coach Dan Muller is off to a flying start.
3) Wichita State – Gregg Marshall and his Shockers exacted some measure of revenge over a recent nemesis, VCU. The road win over their Atlantic-10 foe was a signal to other MVC teams that this year’s Wichita State club is not in rebuilding mode.
4) Northern Iowa - UNI was fortunate to escape Toledo in ovetime. Despite that, I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt since they have been playing without guard Anthony James due to suspension. Three challenging games await in Nassau – we’ll know much more at this time next week.
5) Bradley – Two double digit home wins and a decent road win are signs of progress for Geno Ford’s squad. I’m not ready to buy in completely, but following a strong start we’ll put them in the Top 5 for at least one week.
6) Southern Illinois – Barry Hinson starts 2-0 in his second go around in the Valley, opening with an impressive 72-55 road win at New Orleans. The Salukis still have much to prove, but like Bradley, we’ll recognize their very early success.
7) Drake – A tough defeat at Horizon League favorite Detroit was an opportunity lost for the Bulldogs, but games against Cal and perhaps Georgia Tech in the Anaheim Classic should give Valley fans a better idea where this DU team stands.
8 ) Missouri State - There is no shame in losing to a Top 25 team – as the Bears did to San Diego State on Saturday. There were probably more questions than answers, however. Fortunately for Coach Paul Lusk, the next two games are gimmees.
9) Indiana State - The Sycamores were handled easily by a UCLA team absent superstar Shabazz Muhammad. A road win at Ball State on Tuesday would likely boost them in the rankings.
10) Evansville – Two early season losses land the Aces at the bottom of the rankings for the moment. The key concern is definitely the health of Colt Ryan who left the game against Buffalo with an apparent hip pointer.
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