UNI’s AJ Inexperienced takes a shot as Illinois State’s Jaycee Hillsman defends throughout a recreation final season. Inexperienced is one in every of two Panthers picked as preseason first-team all-conference. 

Ben Jacobson is among the many few basketball coaches prepared to publicly admit he enjoys taking a look at preseason polls and following the place groups sit within the rankings because the yr progresses.

For the primary time in 11 seasons, Jacobson’s College of Northern Iowa males’s basketball staff was introduced as the favourite to win the Missouri Valley Convention in a ballot of coaches, media and sports activities data administrators launched Thursday morning.

This time, the MVC’s longest-tenured head coach barely seen.

“There’s simply a lot uncertainty,” Jacobson mentioned, throughout a Zoom press convention of the MVC’s head coaches. “In a standard yr, I used to be most likely extra anxious to see that ballot and to see the place individuals voted.

“I didn’t even give it some thought (this yr) and the primary time I noticed it was a pair minutes earlier than I got here on right here. That’s merely to do with every thing that’s occurring in our nation and the uncertainty and the place we’re at with COVID.”

Certainly, the menace posed by COVID-19 is a cloud hanging over what could possibly be one other aggressive race inside a convention that has been outlined by parity in recent times.

Loads of expertise returns to the league.

UNI’s AJ Inexperienced — the reigning MVC Participant of the Yr — and middle Austin Phyfe are two of the 4 first staff all-conference picks again from final season, with Loyola middle Cameron Krutwig and Indiana State guard Tyreke Key additionally again. Bradley’s Elijah Childs was named to the preseason first staff, and should have been a postseason honoree throughout the prime 5 final spring if he hadn’t been slowed by an harm throughout league play.

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