Taking a look inside the GLVC men's basketball divisions

Posted: Dec. 7, 2012 3:28 am Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 4:15 am



Preseason East ranking: No. 1

2011-12 record: 29-4

Current record: 5-0

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. Quincy

At a glance: Division I transfer Vance Hall (18.8 ppg) and All-GLVC returner Chris Dowe (11.8 ppg) give the Knights, ranked No. 5 in Division II, one of the more talented backcourts in a guard-laden league. Another guard, Keisten Jones (8.8 ppg), missed five months in the offseason after a suffering knee injury late last season and is starting to hit his stride.


Preseason East ranking: No. 4

2011-12 record: 20-9

Current record: 7-0

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 at William Jewell

At a glance: The Greyhounds took advantage of six straight home games to open the season to achieve their highest national ranking at No. 17 since January 2004. Junior guard Reece Cheatham (15.8 ppg) paces an offense averaging 85.6 points per game. Indy got an offseason boost with the addition of senior forward James Hollowell (11.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg). He's a transfer who had previously been productive at Division I Eastern Illinois.

Kentucky Wesleyan

Preseason East ranking: No. 3

2011-12 record: 23-8

Current record: 5-0

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. Maryville

At a glance: In a league full of teams that can fill up the scoresheet, KWC is doing that the best so far. The Panthers, ranked No. 16 in Division II, lead the league with a 46.2 percent clip from 3-point range and in scoring at 88.2 points per game. It's a balanced attack led by Lucas Barker (13.4 ppg), a freshman guard from Australia who played club basketball in the South East Australian Basketball League.


Preseason East ranking: No. 5

2011-12 record: 17-12

Current record: 3-2

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 at Drury

At a glance: Named to the Division II Bulletin All-Freshman Team and selected as GLVC Freshman of the Year a year ago, sophomore Ryan Jackson (16.8 ppg) seems better than ever. He leads a young team that has just three upperclassmen. The Flyers need to grow up in a hurry as five of their first seven GLVC games are on the road.


Preseason East ranking: No. 8

2011-12 record: 18-12

Current record: 4-3

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. Illinois-Springfield

At a glance: The league's newcomers have the winningest coach in the history of men's college basketball in Harry Statham (1,478 wins and counting). They also have a dangerous guard duo of Clinton Happe (20.1 ppg) and John Steppe (17.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg) that will need to carry the Bearcats because talented big man David Ruckman is out for the season with a foot injury. Because it's still in the transition period to Division II, McKendree won't be eligible for the GLVC Tournament.

Southern Indiana

Preseason East ranking: No. 2

2011-12 record: 24-7

Current record: 4-0

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. Missouri-St. Louis

At a glance: The Screaming Eagles, ranked No. 7 in Division II, possess some of the league's top big men. Junior Taylor Wischmeier, a 6-foot-8 forward, leads the charge at 18 ppg. Senior Keith DeWitt, a 6-9 transfer from Division I Southern Mississippi, scored 25 points in his season opener before suffering a knee injury. He's expected to return this season.

Saint Joseph's

Preseason East ranking: (T) No. 6

2011-12 record: 8-18

Current record: 2-4

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 at Rockhurst

At a glance: The Pumas have been hurt so far by a defense that's allowing 73.2 points per game. In fact, SJC ranks near the bottom of the league in several statistical categories, which could make for a long season in the loaded East if things don't pick up soon. Senior guards Dayvon Sloan (15 ppg) and Damon Ellison Jr. (15 ppg) are the Pumas' sparkplugs offensively.


Preseason East ranking: (T) No. 6

2011-12 record: 8-18

Current record: 4-2

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 at Missouri S&T

At a glance: The Rangers are one of the league's few teams that don't rely on guards to do a bulk of the scoring. Jeremy Saffold, a 6-6 senior forward, leads the league in scoring at 22.8 ppg and adds 5.5 rpg. Sophomore Zygimantas Riauka, a 6-8 sophomore forward, adds 13.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg. UW-Parkside is benefitting early from a plus-seven per game turnover margin.

-- Compiled by Blake Toppmeyer




Preseason West ranking: No. 2

2011-12 record: 17-11

Current record: 6-0

GLVC opener: Dec. 6, beat Missouri-S&T 88-52

At a glance: Senior guards Brandon Lockhart and Alex Hall are four-year starters and All-GLVC returners. Lockhart (7.8 apg, 4.8 spg) is the creator and the stopper, while Hall (21 ppg) is the scorer. Hall is shooting 56.8 percent from 3-point range to pace a Drury squad that is shooting 40.4 percent beyond the arc and averaging 87.5 points per game. Drury has won at least a share of the West title in four of coach Steve Hesser's first seven seasons.


Preseason West ranking: No. 4

2011-12 record: 15-13

Current record: 2-5

GLVC opener: Dec. 8 at Quincy

At a glance: The Prairie Stars go as 6-10 sophomore forward Dylan Sparkman (11.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) goes. All five of the Prairie Stars' setbacks have come by 12 points or less with an average margin of defeat of eight points in those games. UIS should get a late season boost by playing four of its final five regular-season games at home.


Preseason West ranking: No. 5

2011-12 record: 13-15

Current record: 7-1

GLVC opener: Dec. 5, beat Missouri-St. Louis 72-65

At a glance: The early surprise of the league so far, the Saints are getting it done with a defense that's surrendering 60.1 points per game. A couple dependable scorers in the backcourt in junior Asa Toney (15.9 ppg) and sophomore Armon Provo (13.3 ppg) also helps. The Saints also have the luxury of playing four of their final five league games at home.

Missouri S&T

Preseason West ranking: No. 7

2011-12 record: 7-20

Current record: 2-3

GLVC opener: Dec. 6, lost to Drury 88-52

At a glance: The Miners are searching for their first winning season since 1996-97. Missouri S&T has gotten a boost from junior guard Mudi Eruteya (14 ppg). He's a transfer from South Suburban (Ill.) College who hit a 3-pointer to give the Miners a win over Westminster College last week after making a trey at the buzzer to push S&T past WIU in an exhibition game.

Missouri-St. Louis

Preseason West ranking: No. 1

2011-12 record: 19-9

Current record: 5-0

GLVC opener: Dec. 5, lost to Maryville 72-65

At a glance: Offense hasn't been a problem for the Tritons, who have four players averaging in double figures scoring. Senior guard Joshua McCoy (17.8 ppg) can either get to the rim or score from the perimeter. The trouble is, USML is allowing a conference-worst 72.7 ppg. The Tritons shouldn't lose many late leads as they're leading the GLVC with an 81.9 percent clip from the line.


Preseason West ranking: No. 3

2011-12 record: 18-9

Current record: 3-2

GLVC opener: Dec. 8 vs. Illinois-Springfield

At a glance: The return of senior forward Tyler Thompson (12.2 ppg) has been key early on for the Hawks. Thompson missed all last season with a torn ACL. QU also will lean on junior guard Chris Babbitt (12.6 ppg). QU's success in the West likely will be linked to how quickly a young roster, which features only three juniors and seniors, develops.


Preseason West ranking: No. 8

2011-12 record: 7-19

Current record: 1-6

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. St. Joseph's

At a glance: The Hawks have just one senior – a non-starter – and thus might be a year away from being competitive. As it is now, Rockhurst ranks last in the nation in scoring (53 ppg) and last in the GLVC in field-goal percentage (35.3 percent). Brandon McCann (8.7 ppg) tops a trio of junior guards who lead the team in scoring.

William Jewell

Preseason West ranking: No. 6

2011-12 record: 9-17

Current record: 3-3

GLVC opener: Jan. 3 vs. Indianapolis

At a glance: The Cardinals have a couple things going for them. One, they have one of the league's best big men in 6-9 sophomore Dillon Deck (15.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg). He's made an immediate impact after not playing last season. Two, they're coached by Larry Holley, who has 834 wins to his name. The downside is they play four of their final five league games on the road.

-- Compiled by Blake Toppmeyer

Note: Maryville was referred to as the Bulldogs in a previous version of the story. The school's mascot is actually the Saints.


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