Ranking the top 50 Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Starters
MBB: Indiana State the class of the Valley as conference play begins
An interesting text message went out last week to a group of Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball beat reporters.
Are you interested in a Valley-only fantasy league?
The league would be run by one of the media members that covers the league and it would have two defining characteristics. The first is it would be free (#DontBetOnIt) and the second is we would do an autodraft. Maybe this was out of scheduling necessity or maybe it was to keep us from having to choose players we cover. While the site would autodraft, we were allowed to rank the players we wanted.
This begged an important question: who are the best players in the Valley?
In trying to determine the answer, I decided to use figures and not feelings. There would be no eye test in my quest to rank the top players in the league. It would just be simple math.
While there are more than 150 scholarship players in the Valley, I decided to whittle down the list from the jump by only examining players that had started more than half the games during the first part of the year. This eliminated players such as Evansville’s Chuck Bailey, Belmont’s Malik Dia and Valparaiso’s freshman tandem of Jahari Williamson and Kaspar Sepp. Missouri State is the only team in the Valley that had more than five players qualify, leaving a total of 61 players in the pool.
I plugged all of the stats from the first part of the season into a spreadsheet and then sorted the following by per game averages: Minutes, Points, Rebounds, Assists, Turnovers, Steals and Blocks. I also sorted the following by percentages: Field Goal, 3-point Field Goal and Free Throws. The best player in each category got a value of 1 while the worst player got a ranking of 61.
To balance out that some players never shoot 3-pointers or that point guards will often turn the ball over at a much higher clip, I threw out the worst category for each player. Drake’s Darnell Brodie doesn’t need to be punished because he’s never taken a 3-pointer just as Northern Iowa’s Bowen Born doesn’t need to be dinged because he doesn’t block shots.
With all the individual categories sorted and the worst stat thrown out, I totaled up all the numbers and got left with a solid list that I used to rank the players. Here is that list.