Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm / Updated at 12:06 am
BASKETBALL
Pivovar's Missouri Valley rankings, Jan. 9

World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Missouri Valley men's basketball teams (with rankings from NCAA.com).

1. Creighton (15-1, 4-0, 13th)

This week: at Missouri State. The Bluejays are one of six teams nationally to be shooting 50 percent from the field and hold opponents under 40 percent.

2. Wichita State (14-1, 3-0, 17th)

This week: Southern Illinois, at Evansville. The deepest team in the Valley, the Shockers have a dozen players averaging 10 minutes or more a game.

3. Indiana State (9-5, 2-1, 26th)

This week: Bradley, at Southern Illinois. A 4-2 streak against difficult competition has skyrocketed the Sycamores' RPI from 188th to 26th.

4. Northern Iowa (8-7, 1-2, 96th)

This week: Evansville, Bradley. Next to Illinois State, the Panthers are the Valley's biggest enigma as a veteran team searches for right combinations.

5. Evansville (9-6, 2-1, 131st)

This week: at Northern Iowa, Wichita State. Troy Taylor, at 6-feet tall, is averaging a league-high 12 rebounds a game in conference play.

6. Bradley (10-5, 2-1, 157th)

This week: at Indiana State, at Northern Iowa. Dyricus Simms-Edwards has had at least two steals in 14 of 15 games and ranks third nationally at 2.37 per game.

7. Illinois State (9-7, 0-4, 95th)

This week: Drake. Things are abnormal in Normal as a team that was expected to compete for a championship is still looking for its first league win.

8. Drake (6-9, 0-4, 218th)

This week: at Illinois State. Freshman Joey King has been the Bulldogs' most consistent scorer in league play, averaging 13.3 points off the bench.

9. Missouri State (5-11, 3-1, 281st)

This week: Creighton. A four-game stretch that includes meetings with Creighton and Wichita State will test the league's youngest team.

10. Southern Illinois (7-7, 0-3, 229th)

This week: at Wichita State, Indiana State. The offensively challenged Salukis have failed to score 60 points in 16 games over the past 1 seasons.

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