Category Archives: Missouri Valley

Ten Underrated Graduate Transfers for the 2018-19 Season

Nehls, Austin
After three years at Central Connecticut State, point guard Austin Nehls will take his talents to the MAC as a member of the Ball State Cardinals for the 2018-19 season. (Source: Mid-Major Madness) (Header: The Virginian-Pilot)

SARNIA, Ont. — It’s easy to be overlooked in today’s college basketball world.

According to Verbal Commits, over 700 players have transferred this season, and the list continues to grow with each passing day. Last season, a total of 885 players transferred to different schools across North America. Many fans and members of the media focus on the higher profile players, thus overlooking several players who will have significant impacts at smaller programs across the NCAA.

This off-season has been no different. All eyes tend to focus on the power conference schools, overlooking the vast majority of programs until the NCAA Tournament rolls around. However, there is a ton of talent on the move this season that will have a big impact on how the 2018-19 season plays out.

Several of this year’s transfers qualify as graduate transfers, meaning they’re eligible to play immediately for their new programs. The graduate transfer market has grown with each passing season, and the likes of the Nevada Wolf Pack and Xavier Musketeers have loaded up on talent by way of the graduate transfer market in recent years.

With such an extensive list of transfers out there, it’s tough to narrow lists down. Instead of listing the top graduate transfers for next season, we took a different approach. Here are 10 graduate transfers who have been overlooked this off-season, but will have a strong impact with their new programs throughout the 2018-19 season.
Continue reading Ten Underrated Graduate Transfers for the 2018-19 Season

Four Players Who Will Look to Turn Heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Battle, Tyus
After leading Syracuse to the Sweet 16 in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, guard Tyus Battle will look to turn heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. (Source: Sports Illustrated)

CHICAGO — Two days in the middle of May can go a long way in making or breaking the NBA dream for several players across the NCAA.

The 2018 NBA Draft Combine will take place in the Windy City on May 16th and 17th, and 69 of the top prospects from around the NCAA have been selected to attend. It gives players from all levels of college basketball the chance to showcase their skills for NBA scouts, general managers, and executives alike from all 30 teams in the league.

In terms of the top spots in the draft, it’s no secret as to who the top prospects are in this year’s field.

Sports Betting Dime says that the battle to be the no. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has, realistically, been whittled to three names: center DeAndre Ayton of the Arizona Wildcats, power forward Marvin Bagley of the Duke Blue Devils, and Slovenian guard Luka Doncic.

While Ayton is the favorite to go first overall, it will depend which team wins the draft lottery. Phoenix has the best odds and, with Devin Booker in place in the backcourt, has a greater need for a skilled big. However, if Memphis lands the top pick, Doncic may hear his name called first. It’s not that the Grizzlies don’t need a dynamic center like Ayton, they just also desperately need better guard play. You could say similar things about both the Magic and Hawks.

As things stand, Ayton is the favorite to be selected with the top pick (1/2), followed by Doncic (4/1) and Bagley (7/1).

At the combine, you won’t see Ayton or Doncic among the 69 players in attendance. Instead, you’ll see several guys who are considered fringe selections, and they’ll be looking to put forth impressive showing to help improve their draft stock come June’s draft.

Here are four names to keep an eye on over the two-day combine in Chicago. Continue reading Four Players Who Will Look to Turn Heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Evansville Purple Aces Release Their Non-Conference Schedule for 2018-19

Evansville NC 18-19
On Wednesday, the Purple Aces released their non-conference schedule for the 2018-19 season, becoming the second school to do so. (Source: Evansville Athletics) (Header: Evansville Athletics)

EVANSVILLE, In. — The 2018-19 season is still close to six months away, but with each passing day, college basketball gets a little bit closer.

On Wednesday, the excitement continued to build for the Evansville Purple Aces, as they released their non-conference schedule for the upcoming season. The North Carolina Tar Heels were the first team to release their full non-conference slate back in mid-April.

Head coach Walter McCarty has put together a challenging slate that will undoubtedly test the Purple Aces, considering they will be without their top three scorers from a season ago. Evansville will play six games away from home, while hosting seven non-conference games before the 2018 calendar year comes to a close. Continue reading Evansville Purple Aces Release Their Non-Conference Schedule for 2018-19

Fayne, Yarbrough Lead Illinois State Past Missouri State, 72-68

Fayne, Phil
Phil Fayne (above) and Milik Yarbrough (top) recorded 23 points apiece to lead Illinois State past Missouri State on Sunday afternoon, 72-68. (Source: Illinois State Athletics) (Header: Illinois State Athletics)

NORMAL, Ill. — After losing their four game losing streak in their last outing, the Illinois State Redbirds got some redemption on Sunday in their 72-68 win over the Missouri State Bears.

The Redbirds fell to the Drake Bulldogs in their last outing, bringing an end to their four game win streak. At home on Sunday, Illinois State was looking to start a new streak at the expense of Missouri State, who came into the day riding their own four game winning streak. Thanks to 23 points apiece from Phil Fayne and Milik Yarbrough, the Redbirds bounced back and held down their home court.

Missouri State gave the Redbirds a fight in the second half. After trailing by as many as 10 points in the second frame, the Bears managed to take a three-point lead of their own with under four minutes to play. Illinois State wouldn’t allow the Bears to pull ahead any further, and they retook the lead in the closing minutes to secure the 72-68 win on their home floor.

Sunday marked the first loss in conference play for the Bears. Continue reading Fayne, Yarbrough Lead Illinois State Past Missouri State, 72-68

January 7th Game of the Day: Missouri State Bears at Illinois State Redbirds

Rhodes, Jarrid
Senior wing Jarrid Rhodes (15) will look to help guide Missouri State to a fifth straight win on Sunday afternoon when they face off against the Illinois State Redbirds. (Source: The Standard) (Header: Illinois State Athletics)

NORMAL, Ill. — In the off-season, the Wichita State Shockers made the move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the American Athletic Conference.

The move added stiffer competition for the Shockers and bolstered the talent level of the AAC as a conference. At the same time, it opened up the Missouri Valley Conference and made the race for the league title much more exciting than in year’s past.

The Missouri State Bears came into the season as the preseason favourites, and have lived up to the bill through three games. Coming into Sunday’s contest against the Illinois State Redbirds, the Bears are one of just two teams who are still undefeated in Missouri Valley Conference play, along with the Drake Bulldogs (4-0).

Missouri State has won four straight games, and will be looking to move to 4-0 in conference play. The Redbirds won’t make things easy, as they are coming off a loss that ended their own four-game winning streak. On their home floor, Illinois State will be looking to start a new winning streak at the expense of the Bears.

Here’s what you need to know in advance of Sunday afternoon’s Missouri Valley Conference game between Missouri State and Illinois State. Continue reading January 7th Game of the Day: Missouri State Bears at Illinois State Redbirds

Sunday Recap: Colorado Remains Perfect, Miles Bridges, and a Quadruple Overtime Thriller

George King recorded 25 points and eight rebounds in the Championship game of the Paradise Jam to lead the Colorado Buffaloes past Mercer for the title, 79-70. (Source: Buffzone.com) (Header: Sports Illustrated)

CANMORE, Alta. — The second weekend of the 2017-18 season is officially in the books, and what a Sunday we all experienced to cap it off.

Admittedly, the first week of the season had its moments where it was a bit underwhelming. A lack of upsets left excitement on the table and fans wanting more, but we also got to experience our fair share of exciting basketball and close games. College basketball is unpredictable with each passing game, which is why we take it all in stride.

November 19th brought a little bit of everything to the forefront. A trio of early-season tournaments came to a close, a pair of top ten teams dodged upset bids, and we witnessed our fair share of overtime games that had fans on the edge of their seats right to the final buzzer.

If you opted for the NFL as opposed to the NCAA, here’s what you may have missed over the course of the day on Sunday. Continue reading Sunday Recap: Colorado Remains Perfect, Miles Bridges, and a Quadruple Overtime Thriller