One-on-One: Who’s the best men’s basketball team in the MVC?

Wichita State
BY ALEX KRYAH

Though both Wichita State and Illinois State have lost to each other, Wichita State’s bludgeoning of the Redbirds last weekend unequivocally shows the Shockers are still the best team in the MVC.

Illinois State took down the Shockers in Bloomington by 14 points a month ago, which set up the biggest game to date in the MVC last Saturday between the two in Wichita. However, Wichita State proceeded to obliterate the Redbirds 86-45. That’s the second biggest margin of victory for the Shockers all year.

I don’t think I need any other argument than that to prove my point. In ISU’s biggest game of the year where they could’ve gone into Wichita and taken control of the conference, they completely dropped the ball and received repeated haymakers without responding.

On top of that, Wichita State is leading the league in scoring per game with 81.7 points per game and have an average margin of victory of 19.1 points per game. The next closest in those categories is ISU, but the Redbirds are significantly worse in those categories.

 

Josh might say this game was a fluke and it’s not indicative of ISU’s dominance throughout the rest of the season. A 40-point win for the Shockers is no fluke – it’s a statement that they continue to be the class of the MVC, and that Josh continues to practice terrible judgment.

 

Illinois State

BY JOSH NELSON

The Missouri Valley Conference seems to be a two-team race between Illinois State and Wichita State at this point in the season, and ISU is the team to beat.

ISU is the best in the conference when it comes to stopping the opposition from scoring. The Redbirds are allowing an average of 62.2 points per game, which makes them the 11th best scoring defense in the country.

Offensively, forward Deontae Hawkins is averaging 14.5 points and 13.5 points, leading the Redbirds this season. Senior point guard Paris Lee is averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.2 assist a game to complement Hawkins.

When all is said and done, having the senior leadership from key guys like Hawkins and Lee will play a factor when these two teams see each other in the MVC tournament. I think that experience will benefit the Redbirds when they play at a neutral site.

Alex will say Wichita State is the better team, and he’ll allude to the butt-kicking the Shockers gave to ISU. Let’s also forget about ISU putting a beating on the Shockers earlier in the season. Don’t trust him.

Besides, Alex once claimed Southern Illinois was going to win the conference this year ‒ he’s full of it.