Tag: MIssouri Valley

Fred VanVleet, Ka'Darryl Bell

2014 Missouri Valley Tournament Preview: It’s all Wichita

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source: AP

Just our luck, right?

The year that Wichita State just so happens to be coming off of a trip to the Final Four, the season where they just so happen to play like a National Title contender for the first four months of the season also happens to be the year that Creighton leaves the Valley for the Big East.

The teams the Bluejays left behind?

Well, outside of the Shockers, there really isn’t all that much there. In fact, I don’t think that it’s crazy to say that this is as down as the Valley has been in at least a decade, which may make it seem like it should be a cakewalk for Gregg Marshall’s club to take home a title they haven’t won since 1987. They’re playing for something much bigger than an automatic bid: an undefeated season as a No. 1 seed.

That’s a long way from a guarantee, however.

There’s a reason they call it Arch Madness.

(MORE: Browse through all of our conference tournament previews)

The Bracket

When: March 6-9

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis

Final: March 9, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)

Favorite: Wichita State

The Shockers are one of the best teams in the country, let alone the Valley. They have the three leading contenders for Conference Player of the Year: Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early and Fred Van Vleet, who actually won the award. They’re awesome.

And if they lose?: … Wichita State?

Yeah, they’re that good. All kidding aside, the second best team in this league is Indiana State, a group that has made a run through Arch Madness before and is led by one of the league’s best point guards in Jake Odum. The Sycamores have also picked up a win at Notre Dame already this season.


  • Northern Iowa: UNI finished in third place in the Valley this season, having won five of their last six games. That includes a win at Indiana State to close out the regular season.
  • Southern Illinois: The Salukis started the season 4-11, but they have turned things around in league play. They won three of their last four and seven of their last ten games.


  • Jake Odum, Indiana State: Odum is one of the best mid-major point guards in the country, averaging 13.0 points and 4.6 assists.
  • Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa: Tuttle might be the best front court player in the conference. He averaged 15.4 points and 7.7 boards.
  • Desmar Jackson, Southern Illinois: Jackson averaged 18.6 points, 5.5 boards, 2.4 steals and 2.1 assists for the Salukis.
  • D.J. Balentine, Evansville: Evansville was just 6-12 in the Valley this season, but Balentine averaged 22.3 points and 4.3 assists.

CBT Prediction: Wichita State over Indiana State

2014 combo guard Corey Henderson Jr. commits to Wichita State

Wichita State Shockers head coach Marshall takes part in practice for the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in Atlanta
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With a heart condition ending the career of freshman guard D.J. Bowles, Wichita State was in a position where they needed to add a guard to the program in their 2014 recruiting class. On Sunday the Shockers landed a verbal commitment from 6-foot-3 shooting guard Corey Henderson Jr., who made his decision after officially visiting the Missouri Valley Conference school this weekend.

Henderson is Wichita State’s third commitment in the 2014 class, as he joins 6-foot-7 small forward Zach Brown and 6-foot-6 forward Rashard Kelly. Henderson’s a native of Dallas, where he’s picked up experience at both guard positions playing for his father at the Episcopal School.

Henderson said his son can play both guard positions, although point guard is his main job at Episcopal. He gets most of his points driving to the basket and on mid-range shots. When open, he makes spot-up three-pointers, his father said.

“He’s learned to be more aggressive attacking the basket,” Corey Henderson Sr. said. “They’re getting a really heady player. Great court vision. High IQ. He loves having that ball in his hands.”

When he arrives on campus next year Henderson Jr. will join a backcourt that includes current junior Tekele Cotton, sophomores Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet and freshman Rian Holland. If the small forward position is included the Shockers will lose two contributors after this season in Cleanthony Early and Nick Wiggins, with Early being a preseason favorite for MVC Player of the Year honors.

Here are a few highlights of the versatile guard in action.

Wichita State freshman D.J. Bowles released from the hospital after collapsing in practice

D.J. Bowles
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Good news came this weekend for Gregg Marshall and his Wichita State Shockers.

On Sunday, the university announced that freshman guard D.J. Bowles was released from Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis after collapsing during a practice on Tuesday at Koch Arena.

An incident like this is scary for anybody, but it hits close to home especially for Marshall. On Thursday, in an interview with Rob Dauster, Marshall explained the tragic events he dealt with when Wichita State recruit Guy Alang-Ntang died during a workout in April 2007 at his New Hampshire prep school.

Thankfully, Bowles has seen an improvement in his condition, and the doctors have already ruled out hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as the cause. The school has asked for those to respect the privacy of Bowles and his family, as he continues to undergo tests.

Bowles is a 6-foot-2 guard from Cleveland, Tenn., who committed to the Shockers in November of last year.