U-N-I and Drake return to Missouri Valley Conference play tonight. The Panthers take a 2-1 Valley mark to Wichita State. This will open a tough week for the Panthers who visit Missouri State this weekend but they would be two big victories if they can get them.
U-N-I coach Greg McDermott whose team swept this road trip last season says it’s easier said than done. He say any team that can do that has a leg up on everyone else. McDermott says it helps psychologically that they swept the trip last year, as he says both have good fan bases.
It will be hard to top last year’s finish in Wichita when Ben Jacobsen’s three pointer at the buzzer gave U-N-I the win. Shocker coach Mark Turgeon says they won’t forget it, but he says it won’t have much impact on this year’s game. Wichita State is also 2-1 in conference play, 11-3 overall and Turgeon says he’s been pleasantly surprised at how quickly this team has come together.
The Panthers are 12-2 overall.
Drake is at home to play Bradley. After opening conference play with a victory at Evansville the Bulldogs have lost two straight but coach Tom Davis says it is not due to a lack of effort. Davis says it’s hard to build any momentum with the league being so good. He says it’s a constant challenge to keep the teams morale up.
Bradley is vastly improved this season and the Braves already own victories over UNI and Creighton. Davis says they’re playing really well with a lot of guys back from last year and says they’re playing at a high level.
Drake is 8-6 overall.