MVC Media Day Kicks Off

By Jerry Palm - October 30, 2007

ST. LOUIS -- The throng is starting to gather for the media day event here for the Missouri Valley Conference, the league that all the other non-majors want to be when they grow up.

This year will feature a lot of new faces...

Five teams have new coaches, which is the biggest turnover for the league since 1978. This league is often seen by coaches as a proving ground for a bigger job, which is often how coaches leave this league. That was not the case though this time. Three of the five coaches that left were fired and a fourth retired. Mark Turgeon, who left Wichita St for Texas A&M, was the only one to leave for a bigger payday.

Creighton coach Dana Altman actually left for a bigger gig also (Arkansas), but only kept it for a day before changing his mind and returning to Omaha.

The 1978-79 season also happened to be the last season a Valley team made the final four (Indiana St). Folks around here are hoping for a repeat.

They are hanging their hats on Southern Illinois, which is the #23 in the preseason USA Today coaches' poll. The conference preseason poll has the Salukis as a unanimous #1.

They are followed by Bradley, Missouri St, Creighton, Illinois St, Wichita St, Northern Iowa, Indiana St, Drake and Evansville.

The preseason all-conference team was also announced. They are preseason MVP Randal Falker of SIU, Eric Coleman of Northern Iowa, PJ Couisnard of Wichita St, Deven Mitchell of Missouri St and Bradley's Daniel Ruffin.

I'll have more on the teams themselves in the Valley preview later this week. Today is about what these folks have to say for themselves.

Posted by Jerry Palm at 10:05 AM on October 30, 2007

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