This was my first year to attend Arch Madness in St. Louis for the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament. It was a lot of fun, but there were only a couple of thrilling games. Illinois St.'s defeat of Evansville and Wichita State. Both games were back and forth. Wichita State's fan base while incredibly bias, is a riot to witness.
Evansville was up 6 or 7 at halftime over Illinois St. ISU adjusted, Evansville did not. Reggie Lynch (C) is a force in the middle offensively and defensively. However, like most ISU players he plays on the fine line of greatness and too aggressive. I'll never understand why UE didn't attack him repeatedly until he fouls a few times and has to sit. I think it's worth trading 5 possessions to get him out of the game.
If ISU had beaten UNI today, the Valley would have three teams in the tournament. They got off to a hot start, but went ice cold late. Shot selection was an issue. Senior guard Daishon Knight could not get the ball from his teammates to shoot late in the game. It seems every Illinois St. game involves unnecessary mental errors. They bounced the ball on the out of bounds line during a routine end bounds play against UE and committed unnecessary fouls late against Wichita St.
Evansville had the most disappointing season since I enrolled in 2002. Expectations were high, but tempered. DJ Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius held up there end of the bargain, both landing on the 1st Team All MVC. Transfer guard Mislav Brzoja landed on the All-Bench team and was 2nd for UE in RPG, APG, and BPG. Sophomore Duane Gibson shot 51% from the field, but only managed 5.5 PPG.
How does a team with two 1st Team All-MVC players finish 9-9 in the MVC?
1) Shouldn't any player who makes the All-MVC Bench team get a chance to start?
2) Our student turnout is embarrassing. Probably the worst in the country.
3) Is the beloved motion offense capable of producing NCAA tournament teams? I love it, but it seems to have run its course at the college level.
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