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MVCfans.com 2015 Player of the Year and All-MVC teams

Yesterday, I announced my choices for Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year. Today, I am honored to recognize the finest players in the Valley with my All-MVC first and second teams, as well as those deserving of honorable mention.

Larry Bird Player of the Year

Seth Tuttle – Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa senior Seth Tuttle is our choice for Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year based on an outstanding 2014-15 campaign in which he led the Panthers in scoring, rebounds, and assists while elevating UNI into the national polls an anticipated high NCAA seed.  Tuttle averaged 15.6 ppg for the season, but increased that to 16.7 in league play to lead Valley scorers.  He shot 63% from the floor and 44.7% from three point range, while also collecting 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Congratulations Seth Tuttle on being selected as the winner of the MVCfans.com Player the Year award.

 

First Team All-MVC

Seth Tuttle – Northern Iowa
Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
Ron Baker – Wichita State
Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville

Chris’ notes: Putting three Shockers on the first team wasn’t a hard decision here and frankly, adding a fourth was considered.  Tuttle, VanVleet, Baker, and Cotton were absolute slam dunks on my list.  The fifth spot came down to Mockevicius, Darius Carter, and DJ Balentine.  Ultimately, I chose Mockevicius based in large part on his 9 double-doubles in league play (in just 16 games).

 

Second Team All-MVC

Darius Carter, Wichita State
D.J. Balentine, Evansville
Wes Washpun, UNI
Devonte Brown, Indiana State
Daishon Knight, Illinois State

Chris’ notes: It was very difficult to distinguish between the 2nd team and honorable mention honorees, but I did my best to acknowledge those I felt were most worthy by placing them on this team.

 

Honorable Mention All-MVC

Anthony Beane, SIU
Daishon Knight, Illinois State
Gary Ricks Jr, Drake
Christian Thomas, Loyola
Khristian Smith, Indiana State
Reggie Lynch, Illinois State
Milton Doyle, Loyola
Deon Mitchell, Northern Iowa
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Illinois State

 

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MVCfans.com 2015 Missouri Valley Conference Awards and Honors – Part 1

After what was another tremendous Missouri Valley Conference basketball season, today we begin by honoring the best of the past year.  This is the first of two parts of our 2014-15 awards as we recognize a coach and several players for their accomplishments this season.

Below are our selections for Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year.

Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year:

Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa
Others considered: Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

In a year where two head coaches were absolutely deserving of the honor, Ben Jacobson of Northern Iowa is our selection for MVC Coach of the Year.  Jacobson led a UNI team that was without a single vote in the preseason poll into the AP Top 10.  The Panthers were only a New Year’s Eve three point loss (in the league’s first game) away from claiming a share of the MVC regular season title, finishing 16-2 in the MVC and 27-3 overall.   Congrats to Coach Ben Jacobson – our 2015 MVCfans.com Coach of the Year.

 

Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year:
Brenton Scott, Indiana State
Others considered: Reed Timmer, Drake; Josh Cunningham, Bradley

In another close decision, Brenton Scott of Indiana State is our choice for MVC Freshman of the Year.  The Sycamore’s redshirt frosh averaged 11.7 ppg in league play while shooting 45% from three point range.

 

Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year:
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, llinois State
Others considered: Tramique Sutherland, Bradley; Paul Jesperson, UNI

Despite missing nearly a month of the season (and the first 3 MVC conference games) Akoon-Purcell was an easy selection as Newcomer of the Year.  The junior transfer played his best basketball at the end of the season, scoring in double figures for the Redbirds in six of the final seven games.  He finished the year averaging 13.0 ppg and 5.7 rebounds per game.

 

Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year:
Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
Others Considered: none

In my opinion, Cotton will go down in MVC lore as one of the great defenders in league history. A relentless defender capable of containing virtually all types of scoring threats – inside and out -  we honor Tekele Cotton for the second consecutive year as our Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the year.

 

I will post our All-MVC teams and Player of the Year Honorees tomorrow.

2015 Arch Madness seeding probabilities – updated February 26

What we know:

1) The winner of the WSU-UNI game will be the #1 seed and win the MVC regular season title

2) If Indiana State defeats Bradley on Saturday, the Sycamores will be the #3 seed

3) If Indiana State loses and Illinois State defeats Evansville, the Redbirds will be the #3 seed and Indiana State will be #4

4) If Indiana St and Illinois St both lose, the Sycs are the #3 seed and Evanville becomes the #4 seed

4) No matter the outcomes on Saturday, Loyola is #6 seed, Drake #7, Missouri State #8

Thanks again to Hacksaw for his continued support in making this site enjoyable and informative for Missouri Valley Conference fans.

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2015 Arch Madness seeding probabilities – updated February 22

What we know:

1) The winner of the WSU-UNI game will be the #1 seed regardless of what happens Wednesday;

2) The winner of the Loyola-Drake game will avoid Thursday and be the #6 seed

With 10 conference games remaining, there are 1,024 different outcomes for the remainder of the conference season. The below charts break down the possible finishes. The current order for the NC SOS tiebreaker from ESPN is: ISUr 38, WSU 43, DU 51, MSU 111, UNI 125, UE 199, LUC 240, BU 245, ISUb 267, SIU 348.

The above charts take into account each possible scenario as an equally-weighted possibility. For a more realistic projection of where teams may be seeded, below you will see the remaining 15 conference games with weighted odds attached to them (using Sagarin’s Predictor, pulled from rpiforecast.com). These odds are then used to calculate the below seeding probabilities.

 

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2015 Arch Madness seeding probabilities – updated February 19


Chris’ note: Thanks again to Hacksaw for keeping us all up to date on the 2015 Arch Madness seeding probabilities.

With 15 conference games remaining, there are 32,768 different outcomes for the remainder of the conference season. The below charts break down the possible finishes. The current order for the NC SOS tiebreaker from ESPN is: WSU 28, DU 40, ISUr 42, MSU 120, UNI 151, UE 196, LUC 240, ISUb 249, BU 254, SIU 348.


 

The above charts take into account each possible scenario as an equally-weighted possibility. For a more realistic projection of where teams may be seeded, below you will see the remaining 15 conference games with weighted odds attached to them (using Sagarin’s Predictor, pulled from rpiforecast.com). These odds are then used to calculate the below seeding probabilities.

 

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2015 Arch Madness seeding probabilities – February 16

It’s time again for one of my favorite features of The MVC Report – thanks to Hacksaw for his continued contribution.

With 20 conference games remaining, there are 1,048,576 different outcomes for the remainder of the conference season. The below charts break down the possible finishes. The top chart is the percentage of scenarios where each team finishes in each respective tournament seed, and the bottom chart is the actual count of those scenarios. These charts take into account the head-to-head tiebreaker (and mini round-robin for a 3+ way tie), if this does not break the tie, it goes to the out of conference strength of schedule tiebreaker. Currently that order is what I have from ESPN (WSU 27, DU 37, ISUr 42, MSU 114, UNI 150, UE 201, LUC 231, ISUb 250, BU 253, SIU 348).

 

The above charts take into account each possible scenario as a pure 50%/50% possibility. For a more realistic likelihood of where teams may be seeded, below you will see the remaining 20 conference games with weighted odds attached to them (from rpiforecast.com). These odds are then used to calculate the below seeding probabilities.

 

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Missouri Valley Conference Power Rankings – Updated February 11

With only five league games to play, the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title remains up for grabs.  Likewise, the other eight teams have the potential to significantly move up or down the MVC pecking order.  Starting this weekend, we will begin posting regular updates of Hacksaw’s seeding probabilities.

MVC Power Rankings

1) Northern Iowa 23-2, 12-1 - Led by MVC Player of the Year front-runner Seth Tuttle, Panthers cruised past Wichita State in Cedar Falls.  It’s easy to imagine the season finale in Wichita on February 28 being for the MVC title.
2) Wichita State 22-3, 12-1 - Wichita State will likely have a chance to defend their Valley title at home on the final day of the season.  While it’s hard to bet against Gregg Marshall, the Shockers can’t look too far ahead as they have 3 road games before then.
3) Indiana State 12-13, 8-5 - A sub .500 team sitting in 3rd place in the Valley with only 5 games to play?  I’m as surprised as you are, but the Sycamores have earned this spot.  Save for a home game vs the Shockers, it’s possible the Sycs finish 4-1.
4) Illinois State 15-10, 7-6 - Redbirds are 0-5 versus the teams above and 7-1 versus the teams below-  including a 26 point win over Evansville. Fourth place seems exactly right for this squad.
5) Evansville 17-8, 7-6 -  Losing Egidjus Mockevicius to injury has hampered the Aces, but it’s hardly an excuse for the Aces’ average play. That said, UE has the star power to contend with the top teams when healthy and could be a surprise team in March.
6) Drake 8-17, 5-8  – I buried the Bulldogs earlier this season, so I need to give them credit for their recent success.  Bulldogs have won 4 of 5 and have been playing well during the second half of the season.
7) Loyola 15-10, 5-8 - Ramblers have a difficult stretch to end the season – 3 of their final 5 games on the road along with UNI at home.
8 ) Bradley 8-18, 3-10 - Bradley gets the surprise victory of the week with their upset victory at Evansville, but having lost 10 of 12 keeps them in strong contention for Thursday night at Arch Madness.
9) Southern Illinois 10-16, 3-10 - Although SIU lost both regular season matchups with Missouri State, the Salukis move up from last place based on their victory over Illinois State last week.
10) Missouri State 9-16, 3-10 - Bears have lost 10 out of 11 and haven’t played well in the absence of Marcus Marshall.

 

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Report: MVC and Mountain West agree to resume Conference Challenge

A report from Dave Reynolds of the Peoria-Journal Star confirms that the Missouri Valley Conference and the Mountain West Conference have agreed to resume the conference challenge after a three year absence.

..”the Missouri Valley Conference and the Mountain West Conference are set to renew their MVC-MWC Challenge series for men’s basketball beginning either next year or the 2016-17 season.

According to MVC commissioner Doug Elgin, the leagues have reached an agreement for a four-year series. An announcement is expected next month, he said, detailing the matchups and what season the games would start.”

During the first 4 years of the challenge from 2009-2012, the Mountain West defeated the Valley 23-13.

Read the full article: Reynolds: Missouri Valley, Mountain West up for another challenge

 

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Missouri Valley Conference Power Rankings – Updated January 18

We are about 1/3 of the way through Valley conference play so let’s take a look where teams stand. Wichita State and UNI appear to be in great position for NCAA bids (and hopefully strong seeds) while Loyola and Evansville are possible NIT participants. Indiana State started 5-0 in league play after a dismal out of conference performance, but the Sycs lost yesterday to bottom dweller Drake, which spared me the dilemma of whether or not I should rank them in the Top 2 as some Twitter followers suggested.

MVC Power Rankings

1) Wichita State 16-2, 6-0 – The Shockers regain the top position in these rankings after another impressive Valley start. I thought yesterday’s game in Evansville might be the game where the Shox slipped and their league winning streak ended, but Ron Baker made sure that didn’t happen as WSU rolled.
2) Northern Iowa 15-2, 4-1 – Panthers have won 4 straight after a close loss at Evansville, but they drop to #2 this update as a result. More importantly, UNI remains firmly in the Top 25 and is positioned for an NCAA at large bid.
3) Loyola 13-4, 3-2 - Ramblers get the nod here due to their head to head win at Evansville and the fact that their only two league losses were to WSU and UNI. Porter Moser is my pick for Valley Coach of the Year right now.
4) Evansville 13-5, 3-3 - The New Year’s Day win over UNI seems like ages ago and the Aces are just 2-3 since then with the only wins over Bradley and Missouri State. With two of the best players in the league, I think Aces can go on a run if the supporting pieces step up.
5) Indiana State 9-9, 5-1 -  Losing yesterday at Drake brought the Sycs back down to earth after an impressive 5-0 start in Valley play. While their record should put them higher in these rankings, they’ve yet to play WSU, UNI, or Loyola so losses could mount quickly if the Drake performance is repeated.
6) Illinois State 11-7, 3-3 – My gut says the Redbirds are firmly above the bottom four teams, but they’ve yet to win against an upper division Valley foe so I don’t think we can rule out Thursday night in STL just yet.
7) Missouri State 8-9, 2-3 – The loss of Marcus Marshall is significant for Paul Lusk, but it also might galvanize the remaining group. An expected loss at UNI this afternoon would drop the Bears to 2-4 with the Shockers on deck. However, three winnable games follow and that should tell us much more about MSU.
8 ) Drake 4-14, 1-5 – I haven’t given the Bulldogs much love this season (and for good reason), but it’s time they get their due after a surprising win over previously unbeaten Indiana State. They get promoted to 8 after the win which is better than anything the bottom two have achieved of late.
9) Bradley 6-13, 1-5 – Braves have lost 4 straight by double-digits, but a earlier win over SIU means they must be better than the Salukis, right? Looks like another long winter in Peoria for Braves fans.
10) Southern Illinois 7-11, 0-5 – Barry Hinson’s club is winless in MVC play and has lost 7 in a row overall heading into tonight’s game against Loyola. Anthony Beane is averaging 16.2ppg but isn’t hitting at a high percentage and the rest of the Salukis haven’t been better – 321st as a team in scoring and 347th in assists per game. Ouch.

 

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Missouri Valley Conference Power Rankings – Updated December 28

As the Missouri Valley Conference nears the conclusion of the non-conference portion of the college basketball season, we offer our mid-year report on the league as a whole.  Updated power rankings are posted below and mid-season honorees will be named later this week. There is some significant shakeup since our last update and this is the first without Wichita St atop the poll.

MVC Power Rankings

1) Northern Iowa 10-1 – While it’s been good for the MVC to have a dominant team like Wichita State, it’s a better problem for them to have an equal.  UNI sits at #23 in the national polls with only a 2OT loss at VCU.  As WSU has struggled, we move the Panthers to top of the power rankings.. for now.
2) Wichita State 10-2 – The Shockers struggled mightily (but won) against Alabama and Hawaii, however, they couldn’t overcome GW on Christmas Day.  WSU has had offensive struggles and Coach Marshall will need the play of both Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker to improve to capture another MVC title.
3) Loyola 10-2 - Porter Moser’s club is the surprise of the Valley so far and we’ve given the Ramblers a battlefield promotion this week based on their 18 point victory over Texas Tech and solid win over Boise State.  It’s almost impossible to quantify what Milton Doyle’s unexpected return has done for Loyola.
4) Evansville 9-2 - The Aces have two losses this season (each by 2 points), but lack the signature wins of the teams ahead of them in these rankings.  A New Year’s Day MVC opener at home against Top 25 UNI should bring out a huge crowd and UE would send a resounding message to the rest of the league if they could pull off a victory.
5) Illinois State 7-4 -  ISU sits firmly in the middle of these rankings – Redbirds play well enough at times to beat the teams at the top of the MVC and poorly enough at times to lose to the bottom teams.
6) Missouri State 6-6 – Bears have scuffled in the early going and dropped three consecutive games prior to an important revenge victory over Oral Roberts on Monday.  Marcus Marshall has been tremendous averaging 22.0 ppg.

7-10) There is very little separating the bottom 4 teams so they are listed simply as Thursday night teams for this update:

Southern Illinois 7-6  A road loss to SEMO and home losses to New Orleans and Murray State aren’t all that bad considering the next three resumes.
Bradley 4-8 – Braves have lost 4 of 5 with only win over Eureka?
Indiana State 4-7 – Sycamores have lost 6 of 7 with only win over Truman State?
Drake 3-9 – Bulldogs own just three wins – over IUPUI, Jackson State, and Simpson College. 

 

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