Preseason MVC ballot

The picks I faxed to the MVC office today: 

1. Creighton - Bluejays getting tons of national love, and it’s deserved. They should be a fun team to watch and should carry the MVC in the national rankings. Their big question is replacing point guard Antoine Young. Any improvement in defense is a bonus.

2. Wichita State - WSU coach Gregg Marshall has a big job to integrate the newcomers and blend all the talent and egos into a cohesive unit. This strikes me as a team that will be much better in February than November.

3. Illinois State - First-year coach Dan Muller steps into a sweet situation with a good team and a town that loves him from his days as a Redbird.

4. Northern Iowa - Lots of good players and they will be a tough out every night. Not sure the Panthers possess the inside game to move into the top three. Could be the reverse of WSU – a team that doesn’t improve dramatically from early to late.

5. Evansville - Did the Aces find a big man who can help Colt Ryan?

6. Drake - The Bulldogs could make a big move if Seth VanDeest is healthy and improved.

7. Indiana State - Who helps Jake Odum? Manny Arop? If Odum returns to good health, the Sycamores will be dangerous enough to move up in the standings.

8. Bradley - The bottom three teams could present a major problem for the MVC and its RPI. I see all three struggling mightily. Bradley should be the best of the bunch with a reasonable amount of size and experience.

9. Missouri State - Injury to Jarmar Gulley is a killer.

10. Southern Illinois - It will take Barry Hinson two or three seasons to dig out of the mess he inherited.

All-MVC

Doug McDermott, Creighton

Colt Ryan, Evansville

Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State

Ben Simons, Drake

Carl Hall, Wichita State

Player of the Year - McDermott