For the first time in four years, Creighton has been chosen as the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball pre-season favorite, as announced by the conference office. Creighton received 386 total points and 29 first-place tallies in the poll, conducted by league coaches, media, and sports information directors.
The Bluejays, one of six Valley teams that reached the postseason last year, return four starters from last year’s 20-10 team. Creighton, which tied for second in The Valley standings a year ago, is led by pre-season Player of the Year pick Nate Funk.
Funk is joined on the six-player pre-season unit by teammate Anthony Tolliver, Missouri State’s Blake Ahearn, UNI’s Grant Stout, and a pair of Southern Illinois seniors - Jamaal Tatum and Tony Young. Two student-athletes from last year’s regular-season champ, Wichita State, are pre-season honorable mention this year: PJ Couisnard and Kyle Wilson.
MVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll -- School (First-Place Votes) -- Total
1. Creighton (29) -- 386
2. Southern Illinois (9) -- 354
3. Wichita State (2) -- 325
4. Missouri State -- 289
5. UNI -- 223
6. Evansville -- 163
7. Drake -- 150
8. Bradley -- 136
9. Illinois State -- 125
10. Indiana State -- 48
Poll determined by panel of league sports information directors, media, and coaches.
2006-07 MVC Preseason All-Conference Team
Name, School, Pos., Ht., Wt., Year, Hometown (High School)
Blake Ahearn, Missouri State, G, 6-2, 190, Sr., St. Louis (Mo.)
Nate Funk, Creighton, G, 6-3, 195, Sr., Sioux City (Iowa)
Anthony Tolliver, Creighton, C, 6-9, 245, Sr., Springfield (Mo.)
Jamaal Tatum, Southern Illinois, G, 6-2, 175, Sr., Jefferson City (Mo.)
Grant Stout, UNI, F, 6-8, 240, Sr., New Sharon (Iowa)
Tony Young, Southern Illinois, G, 6-0, 190, Sr., Schaumburg (Ill.)
Honorable Mention: PJ Couisnard, Wichita State; Kyle Wilson, Wichita State
Preseason Player of the Year -- Nate Funk, Creighton