West Conference Review
The West looks VERY interesting this season. There (at least on paper), appear to be some new players moving into the mix in the Western half of the conference.
#1. Wichita St. 4180
2. Gardner Webb 4043
3. N Iowa 4022
4. Mizzouri St 3752
5. Illinois St 3637
6. W. Kentucky 3316
By the numbers, this looks to be the most competetive season in the Valley we have ever had. I am not sure it will play out that way, but it sure looks like it could.
Wichita State looks to be the class of the West, and the conference for that matter. As Reinsel has mentioned, their guards are a little weak for their normal standards, and overall, they are 5th behind every team except W. Kentucky and Mizz. ST.
However, they lead the pack in the SF position, and are a dominating 1st in the post. Will that inside domination be enough to return them to the top of the West... probably so. Gardner-Webb is #2 in the rating behind 2 extremely good guards, average SF's and some pretty decent bigs.
N. Iowa is just barely behind them with some really good guards (3), average SF's (by JC's standards), and some really nice big-men.
4th goes to Mizzouri St on balance, they have good talent at all 3 positions and could be a tough team to beat(especially at Hammonds).
Illinois State falls to 5th simply due to the fact that my rating system hurts them with no SF's. They have some nice guards... and alot of them, however, I don't see the rebounding from any of them I myself would require from a guy to play the 3 spot. They also have a couple nice big-men, but I don't find the ath/spd or the bh/pass I would want from this group to be a 3 either. This team has done very well in the Valley in it's short stay here and I don't expect this season to be any different.
The Hilltoppers have a guard, not much in the middle, and a big-man. The entire conference should enjoy their stops to the Land-of-the-Lakes. They aren't Indiana St bad, but they and Drake should have a Battle-Royal for the next to the worst team in the Valley title.
again, just by the numbers.....
Wichita St 14-2 9-1 23-3 NT
N. Iowa 11-5 8-2 19-7 NT (probable)
Gardner Webb 10-6 7-3 17-9 PIT (NT possible)
Mizzouri St 9-7 6-4 15-11 PIT (Possible)
Illinois St 8-8 9-1 (off the scale) 17-9 PIT (Possible)
W. Kentucky 2-14 3-7 5-21 Simmie gets fired as Coach