Sunday, September 24, 2017

Missouri Valley Teams Battle for Title with Wichita State's Departure, Valpo's Arrival

Wichita State's departure for the American Athletic Conference four years after Creighton left for the Big East gives Loyola, Missouri State and perennial upset threat Northern Iowa along with new arrival Valparaiso chances at a conference title and March Madness bid. Northern Iowa is the one basketball contender that also has a strong FCS football team.

Illinois State is the best returning basketball team, going 28-7 to rank 49th a last year, but it appears the aforementioned trio may have more talent returning.

Value Add projects Missouri State's Alize Johnson as the elite player in the conference, ranking in the top 2% of all players (62nd of more than 4000) to easily lead the list of the top 15 players listed below.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Missouri Valley team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools (including behind the 129 FBS schools). Updates will be provided here.

Missouri Valley / 2017 SeedHoops 2017-18Football
Loyola Chicago66
Missouri St.119190
Northern Iowa129112
Illinois St.18894
Southern Illinois196119
Indiana St.242168

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 MVC PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Alize Johnson7.44Missouri St.`6-09
Donte Ingram 06.22Loyola Chicago`6-06
Phil Fayne 106.10Illinois St.`6-09
Aundre Jackson 246.04Loyola Chicago`6-05
Tevonn Walker5.00Valparaiso
Armon Fletcher 224.77Southern Illinois`6-04
Ryan Taylor 04.76Evansville`6-06
Tevonn Walker 24.66Valparaiso`6-02
Bennett Koch 254.60Northern Iowa`6-10
Thik Bol 404.35Southern Illinois`6-08
Clayton Custer 134.31Loyola Chicago`6-01
Brenton Scott 44.20Indiana St.`6-01
Donte Thomas 14.07Bradley`6-07
Reed Timmer 123.91Drake`6-01
Obediah Church 53.79Missouri St.`6-07

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Missouri Valley with Wichita State 10th of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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