Wed, 10/28/2009 - 16:56 — Press Release
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Northern Iowa men's basketball team has been picked to finish first in the Missouri Valley Conference, according to the preseason poll announced today during the league's annual Basketball Media Day.
Northern Iowa, which returns all five starters after sharing the regular-season title with Creighton last year, earned 38 of 39 first-place votes in the survey of league coaches, beat writers, sports information directors and play-by-play men.
Pollsters have accurately predicted the league's regular-season champ only 11 times out of 25 since 1985-86. Two teams have been picked for second place but gone on to take the regular-season crown, Southern Illinois in both 2002-03 and 2006-07.
The preseason poll doesn¹t always match the year-end standings. Last year's Northern Iowa was picked sixth and ended up in a tie for first. The year before that, Drake was picked ninth, only to finish 28-5 and win the league title.
2009-10 MVC Preseason Poll
Rk. School (1st place votes) Total
1. Northern Iowa (38) 389
2. Creighton (1) 336
3. Illinois State 299
4. Southern Illinois 272
5. Wichita State 216
6. Bradley 208
7. Indiana State 173
8. Drake 105
9. Missouri State 92
10. Evansville 55
Poll determined by panel of league sports information directors and media.
Preseason All-MVC Team
Osiris Eldridge*, Sr., G, Illinois State
Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Jr., G, Northern Iowa
Tony Freeman, Sr., G, Southern Illinois
Adam Koch, Sr., F, Northern Iowa
P¹Allen Stinnett, Jr., G, Creighton
Josh Young, Sr., G, Drake
*Preseason Player of the Year
Kevin Dillard, Southern Illinois
Clevin Hannah, Wichita State
Jake Kelly, Indiana State
Sam Maniscalco, Bradley
Harry Marshall, Indiana State
Toure¹ Murry, Wichita State