SIU men’s hoops picked fifth, women’s fourth in MVC preseason poll

Two SIU players were named to preseason all-conference teams

Back to Article
Back to Article

SIU men’s hoops picked fifth, women’s fourth in MVC preseason poll

By Sean Carley

The SIU men’s and women’s basketball programs are expected to finish in the middle of the pack after coming off bounce-back seasons.

Saluki men’s basketball was picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference while the women’s team was picked to finish fourth, according to the conference’s preseason polls announced Tuesday.

The men’s team is returning eight players from last year’s 22-10 team, but will have to replace 30 points and 15.5 rebounds per game of production in graduated senior Anthony Beane and transferring center Bola Olaniyan, among others.

Advertisement

Anthony Beane attempts a shot during the Salukis' 66-60 loss to Northern Iowa on Friday during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Anthony Beane attempts a shot during the Salukis’ 66-60 loss to Northern Iowa on Friday during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Wichita State was selected as the favorites on the men’s side for the fourth straight year, earning 37 of the 42 first-place votes and 413 points. SIU earned 228 points in the poll, edging out Indiana State’s 219 for fifth place. Illinois State (4) and Northern Iowa (1) earned the other five first-place votes to finish second and third, respectively.

UNI senior guard Jeremy Morgan was selected as the Preseason Conference Player of the Year to headline the preseason First-Team All-MVC team. He averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season.

SIU senior forward Sean O’Brien was named to the All-MVC second team and is the team’s leading returning scorer (12.1 points per game) and rebounder (6.0 per game).

SIU forward Sean O'Brien dribbles during the Salukis' 66-60 loss to Northern Iowa on Friday during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

SIU forward Sean O’Brien dribbles during the Salukis’ 66-60 loss to Northern Iowa on Friday during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Meanwhile, the women’s team is returning three starters from last year’s 20-13 squad. SIU earned its first postseason bid in nine years last season.

Drake was picked as the MVC women’s basketball favorite with 34 first-place selections out of 40 ballots cast and 394 points overall. SIU finished narrowly behind No. 2 Northern Iowa (four first-place votes, 317 points) and No. 3 Missouri State (two first place votes, 313 points) with 306 points.

Senior guard Rishonda Napier was selected to the All-MVC team after averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game last season.

Point guard Rishonda Napier hugs then-senior forward/center Dyana Pierre after SIU’s 102-69 victory against Morehead State on Dec. 12 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Guard Rishonda Napier hugs then-senior forward/center Dyana Pierre after SIU’s 102-69 victory against Morehead State on Dec. 12 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Women’s basketball opens its season at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Oklahoma while men’s basketball will face Wright State at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at home.

Men’s MVC Preseason Poll
School (First-Place Votes) Total 

1. Wichita State (37) 413
2. Illinois State (4) 356
3. UNI (1) 348
4. Missouri State 278
5. Southern Illinois 228
6. Indiana State 219
7. Loyola 179
8. Bradley 110
9. Evansville 106
10. Drake 73

Women’s MVC Preseason Poll
School (First-Place Votes) Total 

1. Drake (34) 392
2. UNI (4) 317
3. Missouri State (2) 313
4. Southern Illinois 306
5. Wichita State 248
6. Indiana State 199
7. Bradley 141
8. Illinois State 123
9. Evansville 109
10. Loyola 52

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU basketball news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement