Old School MVC wrote:For what it is worth, I would rank Wichita ahead of the Redbirds right now. Plain and simple, they are playing better at this point of time. Since their showdown, Wichita had one bad half against Bradley and one bad half against Evansville. ISUr has struggled since Halftime in the game right after the Shox (Bradley game).
Absolutely agree. Our offense has been mediocre at best. If we win both this week, then it's too 25 talk. If we lose Saturday, it completely justifies the rankings.
I would rank Wichita ahead of the Redbirds as well, though I would love to be proven wrong. Clayton and Evans do a great job off the bench, and Ndiaye is a great shot blocker, but that's effectively it for the bench. If McIntosh's injury persists--or we get into significant foul trouble against a top-half team, as we did against Evansville--we are likely to struggle. Look how we struggled early in the year, when Ndiaye and Wills were either absent or not fully healthy. And it's easy to forget that the WSU/IlSU game in Normal was really close with six minutes to go.
I do think the Redbirds' starters are better than WSU's this year. In some ways, it's a reverse of some previous years, when WSU had better starters but the Redbirds arguably had a better bench than many MVC teams.
And no, I'm not overlooking UNI. I don't think the Panthers have the talent they've had in many previous years, but Jacobson is obviously a fine coach.