—Missouri Valley Conference teams are 60-33 (.645) so far in non-conference play, with Creighton now owning the best record in the league. The Bluejays are 4-0 against programs from BCS conferences after last weekend’s win at California.
—Creighton junior Doug McDermott went for 34 points and nine rebounds in that Cal game to earn MVC player of the week honors (again). Indiana State junior Manny Arop, a Gonzaga transfer, scored 18 points in the Sycamores’ win at IUPUI en route to earning MVC newcomer of the week recognition.
—After a loss to Tennessee, Wichita State dropped out of all top 25 polls. Creighton, at 17th in the Associated Press poll and 13th in coaches, is now the lone MVC representative in the top 25. Wichita State still received votes.
1. Creighton (10-1): Junior Doug McDermott continued rolling, but the Bluejays also lost senior guard Josh Jones for at least a month — maybe more — due to a heart condition. Coach Greg McDermott said Jones will undergo a procedure before evaluating his basketball future. Jones was averaging seven points per game off the bench.
2. Wichita State (9-1): With their loss at Tennessee, the Shockers fell one game short of the program’s best start in school history — 10-0 — and also received some bad news on the injury front. Center Carl Hall injured his hand in a weekend practice and will require surgery that should keep him out a month. Hall averages 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, both team highs.
3. Bradley (6-2): The Braves, who have four players averaging double figures, are one win away from matching last season’s win total. Bradley posts 74.5 points per game and shoots 54.3 percent from inside the arc. The Braves also force 16.6 turnovers a game and average 10.6 steals per contest, ninth in Division I.
4. Southern Illinois (5-2): The Salukis haven’t beaten a team with a winning record yet, but they too can soon surpass last season’s win total during the next stretch of five games in eight days. Southern Illinois, which plays once at home this month, is 3-2 so far on the road.
5. Illinois State (7-3): Senior Jackie Carmichael scored a career-high 30 points during Sunday’s win over Missouri State, becoming the third Redbird to accomplish the feat this season.Junior Bryant Allen and senior Tyler Brown have also scored 30, making Illinois State the only Division I team to have three players reach that mark.
6. Indiana State (5-3): Heading into the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, which will consist of three games in three days starting with Mississippi, the Sycamores have a magic number. Indiana State is 5-0 this season, including last weekend’s win over IUPUI, when keeping opponents under 63 points.
7. Evansville (6-4): The Aces have won six of their last eight games but have yet to notch a signature non-conference victory. After Tuesday’s game against Division II Oakland City, UE has one more chance to do so Saturday at Butler. Senior Colt Ryan, by the way, is 19 of 20 from the free throw line this season, best in the MVC. If he’d shot enough to qualify for NCAA statistics, Ryan would be seventh in the nation.
T7: Northern Iowa (6-4): Off a loss to Iowa, the Panthers wrap up a grueling non-conference schedule with games against 21st-ranked UNLV and Saint Mary’s. The Iowa loss snapped a three-game winning streak as Northern Iowa reeled from an 0-3 trek through the Battle 4 Atlantis.
9. Drake (4-5): While Drake averaged 9.6 3-pointers a game entering last Saturday’s loss to Iowa State, the Cyclones held the Bulldogs to four and allowed a season-low six free throws. Just one of Drake’s five losses has come by double digits.
10. Missouri State (2-8): The Bears will still be seeking their first win this season against Division I competition when they travel to Alabama A&M on Tuesday. Missouri State is young, however, relying on six freshmen to score 20 points per game.