Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Mid-Continent Offseason Update

October 15, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Mid-Continent Offseason News Update

by Cory J. Danner

The Mid-Continent Conference was all about change in the off-season. Many teams added new coaches, many players graduated and throngs of freshman are being brought in, and the biggest change of all was a new commissioner.

Ron Bertovich was brought in to guide the Mid-Con into the future. A former A-10 commissioner, Bertovich hopes to continue the excellence the conference has enjoyed over the past few seasons. One of the major goals of Bertovich’s is to expand the conference to 10 teams and maybe even more.

He hopes to increase the exposure through TV and radio. Expanding to nine this season with the addition of Centenary will bring more exposure to the southern region. With most all the teams in the Midwest, it’s hard to get much excitement outside the area. Unlike the Pac-10 or Big East conferences that rely on TV, the Mid-Con has to rely on positioned teams like Southern Utah and Centenary.

After a thrilling finish of the Mid Continent Conference championship last season between IUPUI and Valparaiso, of which IUPUI won, the 2003-2004 season is shaping up nicely with many off-season twists and turns. The biggest development in the Mid-Con is the departure of former Valpo player and last season’s coach, Scott Drew. Drew left to fill the vacancy created at Baylor after Dave Bliss resigned from the position. Bliss resigned because of the turmoil surrounding the cavalcade of lies regarding the disappearance of Baylor player Patrick Dennehy.

Taking over at Valpo this season is a familiar face for the Crusaders, Scott Drew’s father, Homer Drew. Drew guided the team before his son for years, and looks to rebound from the heartbreaker the team suffered to IUPUI in the Mid-Con final.

IUPUI re-signed conference Coach of the Year Ron Hunter after massive speculation that he would leave for greener pastures. For such a young team to already be competing for conference titles is really something spectacular. Usually after such a strong run through a conference tournament and a NCAA tournament appearance, the coach will take the reigns at a bigger school.

Oakland started off strong last season and faltered down the stretch, being knocked out in the first round by the lowly Southern Utah Thunderbirds. There is reason to be happy about the outlook of the season for the team though. Graduating only one senior, Mike Helms, the Thunderbirds should rock the western side of the Mid-Con.

Oral Roberts is another team that finished the season with a bad taste in their mouth. The team received votes in the national Top 25 early in their season, but slipped and fell in the conference, posting a meager 9-5 record. Losing four of their last six going into the tournament may have been the blinders the team had on when they fell asleep against UMKC in the first round of the conference tournament.

UMKC ran off to a 2-11 start, and the Kangaroos were almost ready to pack up the tent and go home. Michael Watson helped turn the team around midway with a 25.5 ppg average. The Kangaroos pulled off the major upset in the tournament as they knocked off the higher seeded Oral Roberts.

Southern Utah’s season could be summed up in one word: mediocre. Scraping together 11 hard fought wins, the Thunderbirds had a tough time pulling out only five conference wins. The ‘Birds did pull off a huge upset in the conference tournament against Oral Roberts. The team graduates four seniors and the upcoming season looks rough.

Western Illinois changed coaches in the off-season, and boy did they need it. Winning only three conference contests last season, the Leathernecks felt a need for a change. The new coach is former Mid-Con assistant coach with Southwest Missouri State, Derek Thomas. The man is known for his recruiting skills, and after losing their leading rebounder and assist man, he will need to do a bang up job.

Chicago State are the lovable losers of the Mid-Con. If there is ever a team you root for when your team is not playing, it’s the Cougars. The Cougars failed to record even one victory in the conference last season, so the team made the obvious move to change coaches. Kevin Jones will take the helm of a team who went 3-27 last season.

Centenary is the new kid on the block this season, being added to the Mid-Con. The Gents are located in Shreveport, LA. The conference seems to want to branch out more and more. Adding a team now spreads the conference west to Utah, south to Louisiana, north to Michigan, and east to Indiana.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.