—Bluejays junior Doug McDermott tied the MVC record Monday with his sixth player of the week award, averaging 27 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in a pair of double-digit wins. Drake freshman Joey King earned newcomer of the week honors after sending the Bulldogs into overtime with a big shot against Indiana State.
—UE isn’t the only team having a tough time on the road. MVC teams are a combined 15-40 away from home, and the host won all five league matchups over the weekend. The Aces have lost five of six MVC road games, including their last four in a row. Only Creighton and Wichita State, both 3-2, are above .500 on the road.
1. Creighton (20-3, 9-2): The Bluejays rebounded from back-to-back losses with 10-plus point wins last week over Missouri State and Bradley, reaching the 20-win mark for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons.
2. Wichita State (19-4, 8-3): The Shockers, meanwhile, have won at least 20 games in each of the last three seasons. They’ll likely get another victory Tuesday at Southern Illinois, making it a school-record fourth straight.
3. Indiana State (14-8, 7-4): At least before Sunday’s overtime loss to Drake, the Sycamores appeared to have taken another step toward a legitimate NCAA tournament resume. Indiana State finally beat a ranked opponent (Wichita State) in its fifth attempt this season. Non-ranked losses have come to Morehead State, Illinois State and then Drake.
4. Evansville (13-10, 6-5): Colt Ryan officially has a wingman, and it’s his roommate. Ned Cox and Ryan have accounted for 52.9 percent of the Aces’ scoring in MVC play, 16 of the team’s 24 3-pointers and 52 of 76 made free throws. The duo also has combined on 10 of UE’s 13 double-figure performances since Jan. 16.
T5. Bradley (13-10, 5-6): The Braves head a four-team logjam that’s currently tied for fifth in the MVC standings — a dangerous position when it comes to Arch Madness seeding. The Braves do still have four games left at Carver Arena, where they’re 10-2 with the only losses to No. 3 Michigan and Wichita State.
T5. Northern Iowa (12-11, 5-6): UE dodged a bullet in its overtime win last week against the Panthers, who feature a sharpshooting guard. Marc Sonnen’s 48.3 percent 3-point shooting currently ranks second best all-time at Northern Iowa. Sonnen made three long balls against the Aces but only got off five attempts.
T5. Drake (11-11, 5-6): The Bulldogs have chipped away at what’s turned into a respectable season, now having won five of their last seven games. Drake also beats teams at their peak — UE off a Wichita State win, Creighton when it was ranked 12th and Indiana State just when the Sycamores started earning NCAA at-large talk.
T5. Missouri State (7-16, 5-6): The Bears, who start four freshmen, have seen those first-year players account for 631 of the team’s 1,404 points (44.9 percent) this season. UE, with 353 points, and Drake, with 333, are the only other MVC schools with freshmen who have scored 300-plus.
9. Illinois State (13-10, 4-7): Defense has keyed victories in four of the Redbirds’ last five games, when they allowed just 55.8 points per game in the wins. Bradley scored 77 points, however, in Illinois State’s loss last Tuesday.
10. Southern Illinois (8-14, 1-10): The Salukis have dropped 10 of their last 11 games, but coach Barry Hinson hasn’t stopped trying. He had his first — and second — technical fouls called near the end of Saturday’s 83-47 loss at Illinois State for arguing with an official.