Category Archives: MVC

Hoosier rival, Wichita State?

Jake Odum made Indiana State games meaningful the past four seasons.

Jake Odum made Indiana State games meaningful the past four seasons.

Indiana State joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1976. At no point since has it been regarded as Wichita State’s No. 1 rival. Most years, it probably didn’t register in the top five, except for a few baseball seasons during the 1980s.

While it is too early to consider Indiana State an MVC rival on the order of Tulsa or Creighton, the MVC’s All-Sports standings highlight the fact that the Sycamores might be the closest thing to a well-rounded challenger that exists. WSU easily won the All-Sports award and Indiana State finished second, its best finish. While I would consider Missouri State, because of its success in many sports and proximity, the logical choice to heat up the rivalry with WSU, the Bears need to do some work to grow more relevant than the Sycamores.

Surprising, I know. It might be hard for Shocker fans to muster up hard feelings for the Sycamores, based on the tepid history between the schools and location. There might not be any better choices in the near future.

Consider that Indiana State finished second in MVC men’s basketball and tied with WSU for the women’s title. Indiana State’s baseball team earned another NCAA at-large bid (to go with one in 2012) and finished ahead of the Shockers two of the past three seasons. In track and field, Indiana State replaced Northern Iowa as WSU’s biggest challenge in MVC meets.

The rivalry will grow or wither on the strength of men’s basketball, where WSU needs a school to push it in the manner Creighton did for so many years. With its recent success, Indiana State generates some buzz when it’s on the schedule. If coach Greg Lansing can keep his team near the top of the Valley, the rivalry might grow into something.

That Indiana State is mentioned in this discussion is a credit to its administration. It is the smallest (enrollment 11,494) of the MVC’s six public schools and Terre Haute’s population of 59,000 is the second-smallest among MVC cities. Indiana State doesn’t appear to be rolling in dough compared to its MVC rivals.




MVC Travel Channel – Des Moines

Previous stops on tour of MVC cities and campuses:

Illinois State

Missouri State

Southern Illinois


MVC Travel Channel: Normal, Ill.

Past trips:

Missouri State

Southern Illinois


My MVC preseason picks

MVC men’s basketball ballots are due today (I got mine in last week because I’m an overachiever). I didn’t make many changes from picks earlier in the summer, other than dropping Illinois State. I’m higher on Bradley than most of the magazines I’ve seen. The top six seem safe bets to finish in or around the top half – most are solid programs with veteran coaches. While schools such as UNI and Evansville lost several seniors, they shouldn’t fall off dramatically. The bottom four appears to be a real guessing game and I’m don’t see that group racking up many RPI-building wins.

Reggie Miller would put WSU’s Ron Baker on his preseason All-MVC team, if Reggie Miller had a vote.

My only small reach on the All-MVC team is Shocker guard Ron Baker, who didn’t play a regular-season MVC game last season. Good arguments can be made for players who appeared in more than 18 games and averaged double figures, such as UNI’s Seth Tuttle or SIU’s Desmar Jackson. I won’t be surprised if WSU’s Tekele Cotton is in this conversation in March. Baker’s not a reach based on how he played in March.

1. Wichita State - No reason not to pick the Shockers No. 1, although I don’t expect this season to be an easy ride through the MVC. What does winning a post-Creighton MVC title mean? I guess we’ll find out.

2. Indiana State - Tons of experience in a conference that traditionally rewards senior-laden teams. A healthy Mike Samuels (an enormous junior center who missed last season with an injury) would help. Shocker fans should cheer, cheer, cheer for the Sycamores, who are likely the Valley’s only other team with an NCAA at-large chance.

3. Bradley - Not an overwhelming amount of experience, so disregard the importance of MVC minutes when judging the Braves. I think coach Geno Ford can recruit and get his guys to play hard, so I’m buying the Braves as a rising power in the Valley.

4. Northern Iowa – We’ll see what Tuttle and Deon Mitchell can do without James, Sonnen and (Jake) Koch. Only two seniors, but that’s misleading because so many Panthers redshirt. I’m interested to see what Tennessee transfer Wes Washpun adds. Read More »

Wichita State, ORU and the MVC

From a Wichita State perspective, the empty spot in the Missouri Valley Conference offered a chance for geographic relief.

Shocker teams suffer the biggest travel disadvantage in the MVC and it gets worse with Creighton’s departure. WSU will have seven trips of 500 miles or more with the addition of Loyola. It is a competitive and budget hit that the Shockers deal with well enough to field the MVC’s strongest athletic program.

So did WSU push for Oral Roberts and the comfy-sounding road road trip of 177 miles to Tulsa? Read More »

Loyola’s history with Wichita State

Loyola coach George Ireland led the Ramblers to the 1963 NCAA title.

Wichita State and Loyola share a basketball history from the 1960s, when both ran as national powers. From 1963 to 1969, the schools met 13 times, playing at Chicago Stadium for Loyola’s home games.

Most times, they met as two of college basketball’s best.

Loyola won the NCAA title in 1963.  The Shockers played in the 1965 Final Four. The Ramblers also played in the NCAA Tournament in 1964, 1965 and 1968. The Shockers played in the 1964 NCAA Tournament and the NIT in 1962, 1963 and 1966.

Seven times one of the teams was ranked when they met during the 1960s. In 1963 and 1964, they met three times with both teams in the top 10. In 1963, the eighth-ranked Shockers defeated the eventual national champions 73-72 in Chicago Stadium, Loyola’s only loss in Chicago and one of two that season.

While both teams slid from prominence in the 1970s, the series continued. Loyola served as de facto member of the MVC for  the Shockers. They played twice, usually during January and February, from 1964-1974, even adding a tournament matchup in 1970. The series continued with single games in 1974-75 and 1975-76 before slipping away. They last met in 1989 in an Indianapolis tournament. Read More »

Reports: Loyola replaces Creighton

Any school that produced Bob Newhart should be welcomed.

According to the Chicago Tribune, among others, Loyola (Ill.) will join the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2013-14 school year.

The exercise of replacing Creighton was, from the start, a losing proposition. No school interested in the MVC can replace Creighton, at least in the short term. No school appeared to be a great addition in men’s basketball. No school presented a no-risk scenario (which is why adding three of that ilk makes no sense).

Apparently, the MVC presidents (who vote on the addition) are betting that Loyola possesses resources and will devote additional resources to escape years of men’s basketball mediocrity. Loyola athletic director M. Grace Calhoun was hired in 2011. Her top priority should be reviving Read More »

Creighton bugs out

Creighton announced its departure from the Missouri Valley Conference to the Big East, complete with a map.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Creighton needs to find some money.

MVC commissioner Doug Elgin issued a statement: Read More »

MVC Tournament rewind

Score: Creighton 68, Wichita State 65

Key stats: Creighton made 11 of 24 three-pointers. It made 12 of 24 field goals and committed one turnover in the second half.

How the game turned: Two three-pointers by Creighton’s Jahenns Manigat expanded the lead from 38-33 to 44-35 with 15:02 to play. The Shockers spent the next 13 minutes trying to rally. Read More »

MVC Tournament semifinals

Coverage in The Wichita Eagle/

Today’s schedule

Creighton 64, Indiana State 43

Wichita State vs. Illinois State, 4 p.m.

  •  I would expect both teams to be on their best behavior in the wake of the regular-season game in Normal. There will be a lot of eyes on the handshakes, and both coaching staffs know that.  The Redbirds played it straight after last Read More »