Missouri Valley Conference Basketball: 2011-2012 Predictions

Todd MarverContributor IMay 19, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Head coach Greg McDermott of the Iowa State Cyclones reacts against the Texas Longhorns during the first round game of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 10, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 2010-2011 Missouri Valley Conference tournament concluded over two months ago, and summer workouts for all teams begin in June in preparation for next season.

With this being the case, it is not too early to look ahead to the 2011-2012 campaign.

The Valley looks to be stronger next season as five of the 10 members from the 2010-2011 MVC all-conference first and second teams return, and the league could possibly send multiple teams to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.


1. Creighton

The Bluejays lose two contributors to graduation in guard Kaleb Korver and center Kenny Lawson, but have a ton of returnees.

All-conference first team selection and freshman of the year forward Doug McDermott returns, as well as second-team selection junior guard Antoine Young, all-newcomer team pick sophomore center Gregory Echenique and all-freshmen team member guard Jahenns Manigat.


2. Wichita State

Five seniors concluded their careers with the Shockers after winning the NIT, notably first-team selection center J.T. Durley, forward Gabe Blair and guard Graham Hatch.

However, the returnees to the squad should lead WSU back to the top of the Valley, including second-team pick junior guard Toure' Murry, sixth-man of the year junior forward Ben Smith, junior guard David Kyles and junior center Garrett Stutz.


3. Indiana State

Senior guards Aaron Carter and Jake Kelly helped lead the Sycamores back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.

A pair of honorable mention selections junior forward Carl Richard and freshman guard Jake Odum, as well as junior guard Dwayne Lathan experienced that success also and look to continue that into next season.


4. Evansville

Despite losing three seniors to graduation, guard Kavon Lacey, forward Clint Hopf and center Pieter van Tongeren, the Aces return second-team selection sophomore guard Colt Ryan, junior forward Kenny Harris and junior guard Denver Holmes. 


5. Drake

The Bulldogs suffer the loss of senior guard Ryan Wedel, but return three underclassmen.

Honorable mention pick freshman guard Rayvonte Rice, sophomore forward Ben Simons and sophomore center Seth VanDeest will lead the way for DU.


6. Illinois State

Five seniors ended their careers after an opening-round loss at the MVC tournament, including leading scorer senior guard Austin Hill, but the Redbirds return second leading scorer sophomore forward Jackie Carmichael.

ISU will bring in a slew of new freshmen and transfer guards, which was a point of weakness for the squad in 2010-2011.


7. Northern Iowa

UNI loses first-team selection senior guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe and all-defensive team member senior forward Lucas O'Rear. The Panthers return honorable mention pick sophomore guard Anthony James and junior guard Johnny Moran.


8. Missouri State

The Bears, regular-season champions of the MVC, lose four of their five starters to graduation, including second-team selections forward Will Creekmore, pending his fifth-year eligibility ruling and Jermaine Mallett, as well as guards Nafis Ricks and Adam Leonard.

MSU returns MVC player of the year junior forward Kyle Weems and all-freshmen team pick forward Nathan Scheer.


9. Bradley

Three senior guards have concluded their careers with the Braves including first-team selection Andrew Warren, Sam Maniscalco and Dodie Dunson.

Top returnees include junior forward Taylor Brown and sophomore guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards.


10. Southern Illinois

The Salukis lose honorable mention selection senior guard Carlton Fay. SIU returns junior guard Mamadou Seck and fifth-year senior Justin Bocot.