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Missouri Valley Conference 2002-03 Season Recap

May 30, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Missouri Valley Conference 2002-03 Season Recap

by Mitch Schneider

One season removed from first round victories in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Southern Illinois and Creighton once again dominated the MVC landscape, earning dance cards for the second straight season. Unfortunately, those cards warranted only one spin for both the Salukis and Bluejays, as Southern Illinois and Creighton each fell in their opening round games.

Still, their combined success (53-12 in 2002-03) brought some much needed respect and publicity to the often overlooked Missouri Valley Conference, finally putting “The Valley” on the college basketball map.

Along with Southern Illinois and Creighton, both Wichita State and Southwest Missouri State enjoyed solid seasons. And the Evansville Aces – a school that many predicted to end up dead last in the conference – surprised the rest of the pack by finishing in the top half of the MVC standings.

The teams of the Missouri Valley Conference collectively engaged in another standout season, which should spell trouble for other leagues in the future. Here’s a quick look back at The Valley’s 2002-03 year, with post-season results, conference awards and team capsules:

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (held in St. Louis, Missouri)

First round:
No. 9 Illinois State 63, No. 8 Drake 62
No. 10 Indiana State 61, No. 7 Northern Iowa 60

Second round:
No. 1 Southern Illinois 75, No. 9 Illinois State 63
No. 4 Southwest Missouri State 65, No. 5 Evansville 51
No. 2 Creighton 57, No. 7 Indiana State 56
No. 3 Wichita State 70, No. 6 Bradley 66

No. 1 Southern Illinois 64, No. 8 Southwest Missouri State 55
No. 2 Creighton 70, No. 3 Wichita State 69

No. 2 Creighton 80, No. 1 Southern Illinois 56

NCAA Tournament

Southern Illinois – No. 11 (Midwest)
First round: Loss, No. 6 Missouri (72-71)

Creighton – No. 6 (West)
First round: Loss, No. 11 Central Michigan (79-73)


Wichita State
Opening round: Loss, Iowa State (76-65)

Missouri Valley Conference – Awards

First Team
Kyle Korver, Creighton
Kent Williams, Southern Illinois
Phillip Gilbert, Bradley
Terrance McGee, Southwest Missouri State
Jamar Howard, Wichita State

Second Team
Jermaine Dearman, Southern Illinois
Clint Cuffle, Evansville
Greg Danielson, Drake
James Gillingham, Bradley
Ian Hanavan, Evansville

MVC Player of the Year

Kyle Korver, Creighton

Korver, an All-American selection, ranked second in the conference in scoring (17.9 ppg), and led The Valley in three-pointers per game (3.83) and free throw percentage (.897). The 6-7 forward guided Creighton to an impressive 29-win season as well as a sixth seed in the NCAA Tournament.

MVC Freshman of the Year

David Moss, Indiana State

In his first year of collegiate ball, Moss led the Sycamores in minutes (32.4 mpg), points (13.2 ppg) and free throw percentage (.806).

MVC Newcomer of the Year

Aaron Hogg, Wichita State

Hogg, a junior guard from Indianapolis, connected on over 46% of his three-point attempts, and earned the conference’s “Sixth Man” award.

MVC Defensive Player of the Year

Jamar Howard, Wichita State

Howard, a 6-5 forward, registered solid numbers in rebounds (5.8), steals (1.4) and blocks (0.4) per game, helping the Shockers to a third place finish in the MVC.

MVC Coach of the Year

Steve Merfeld, Evansville

In Merfeld’s first year as coach at Evansville, the Aces doubled their conference win total of a year ago, finishing much higher than expected in Valley play.

Southern Illinois (24-7, 16-2/1st MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 2/3

Key losses:
F Jermaine Dearman (graduated)
G Kent Williams (graduated)

Key returns:
G Darren Brooks
G Stetson Hairston
C Josh Warren

New coach for 2003-04: Matt Painter (replaces Bruce Weber who left to coach Illinois)

Leading scorer: Kent Williams, 15.3 ppg
Leading rebounder: Jermaine Dearman, 6.5 rpg
Leading assist man: Darren Brooks, 3.3 apg

Creighton (29-5, 15-3/2nd MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 2/3

Key losses:
F Kyle Korver (graduated)
G Larry House (graduated)

Key returns:
F Mike Grimes
F Brody Deren
F Michael Lindeman

Leading scorer: Kyle Korver, 17.8 ppg
Leading rebounder: Kyle Korver, 6.3 rpg
Leading assist man: Tyler McKinney, 4.1 apg

Wichita State (18-11, 12-6/T-3rd MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 0/5

Key losses:
G Craig Steven (graduated)

Key returns:
G Randy Burns
G Jerome Holman
G Aaron Hogg
F Jamar Howard

Leading scorer: Randy Burns, 15.1 ppg
Leading rebounder: Jamar Howard, 6.0 rpg
Leading assist man: Jerome Holman

Southwest Missouri State (17-12, 12-6/T-3rd MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 1/4

Key losses:
G Terrance McGee (graduated)

Key returns:
G Merrill Andrews
F Monwell Randle
F Shelton Colwell
F Tamarr Maclin

Leading scorer: Terrance McGee, 14.9 ppg
Leading rebounder: Monwell Randle, 7.1 rpg
Leading assist man: Terrance McGee, 4.1 apg

Evansville (12-16, 8-10/T-5th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 3/2

Key losses:
G Tobias Brinkley (graduated)
F Ian Hanavan (graduated)
F Larry Ferguson (graduated)

Key returns:
G Clint Cuffle
G Lucious Wagner
C Dan Lytle

Leading scorer: Clint Cuffle, 16.5 ppg
Leading rebounder: Ian Hanavan, 7.3 rpg
Leading assist man: Lucious Wagner, 3.2 apg

Bradley (12-18, 8-10/T-5th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 1/4

Key losses:
C Michael Stewart (graduated)

Key returns:
G Marcello Robinson
G Phillip Gilbert
G James Gillingham
F Danny Granger

Leading scorer: Danny Granger, 19.2 ppg
Leading rebounder: Danny Granger, 7.9 rpg
Leading assist man: Marcello Robinson, 4.6 apg

Northern Iowa (11-17, 7-11/7th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 0/5

Key losses:
G Ryan Paulsen (graduated)

Key returns:
G Ben Jacobson
G Chris Foster
F David Gruber
F Matt Schneiderman

Leading scorer: David Gruber, 13.3 ppg
Leading rebounder: Matt Schneiderman, 7.6 rpg
Leading assist man: Chris Foster, 4.2 apg

Drake (10-20, 5-13/8th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 2/3

Key losses:
F J.J. Sola (graduated)
F Greg Danielson (graduated)

Key returns:
G Lonnie Randolph
G Luke McDonald
G Josh Robinson

New coach for 2003-04: Tom Davis (replaces Kurt Kanaskie)

Leading scorer: J.J. Sola, 14.4 ppg
Leading rebounder: Greg Danielson, 8.9 rpg
Leading assist man: Lonnie Randolph, 3.4 apg

Illinois State (8-21, 5-13/9th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 1/4

Key losses:
F Baboucarr Bojang (graduated)

Key returns:
G Vince Greene
G Gregg Alexander
G Trey Guidry
F Marcus Arnold

New coach for 2003-04: Porter Moser (replaces Tom Richardson)

Leading scorer: Vince Greene, 12.3 ppg
Leading rebounder: Gregg Alexander, 5.0 rpg
Leading assist man: Vince Greene, 4.4 apg

Indiana State (7-24, 2-16/10th MVC)

Number of starters lost/returning: 1/4

Key losses:
F Brian Giesen (graduated)

Key returns:
G David Moss
G Wilfred Antoine
G Marcus Howard
G Lamar Grimes

Leading scorer: David Moss, 13.2 ppg
Leading rebounder: Brian Giesen, 5.1 rpg
Leading assist man: Wilfred Antoine, 3.2 apg


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