Peaks and Valley's in the MVC

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 31 Evansville at Illinois State
Not too long ago, the Illinois State men's basketball team was talking about perfection. Now the Redbird sit at 3-2 in Missouri Valley Conference play after losing to lowly Indiana State in overtime.

Too much too soon?


The Redbirds (14-2 overall) are talented, no doubt. They have Osiris Eldridge, the Valley's preseason player of the year and someone I think could be a productive bench player in The Association. Team Osiris with Champ Oguchi, a BCS transfer from Oregon who can provide a scoring punch. Allow them to be coached by Tim Jankovich, an up-and-comer destined for a job at a power conference school sooner rather than later and you should have one of the best teams in the MVC.

But when you lose to Indiana State, it is going to damage the credibility built up by a perfect non-conference schedule filled with enough cupcakes to start a bakery.

Not only is the Illinois State loss damaging in the short term as it drops them into a three-way tie for third place, it gives teams hope that they can compete in the long run as long as it handles its business.

After SIU's 70-63 win against Evansville, Saluki head coach Chris Lowery said he tells his team to take it one game at a time and just keep moving up the rankings one spot at a time.

A week ago today, Southern dropped to 0-3 in MVC play and the team looked destined for a postseason-less March.

But after posting back-to-back wins for the first time this season and a little bit of scoreboard watching, it seems as if anything could be possible in the topsy-turvy Valley.