Creighton has been tabbed as the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball title in 2012-13. The Bluejays, picked as high as No. 10 nationally in pre-season polls, received 398 of a possible 400 points (38 of 40 first-place votes) in a poll of league coaches, sports information directors and media.
Illinois State received the remaining two first-place tallies and finished second in the poll, receiving 327 total points to edge UNI (316). The defending regular-season champ Wichita State placed fourth in the pre-season picks with 298 total points, while Evansville — one of five teams that tied for third place in the 2011-12 conference race — rounds out the upper division with 240 points and a fifth-place slot in the poll. Drake is picked sixth with 184 points, and the Bulldogs are followed by Indiana State (165), Missouri State (122), Bradley (84) and Southern Illinois (66).
The Bluejays have been picked to win the MVC eight previous times since 1989-90, and in those years, they won the league three times and finished second five times.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott picked up Preseason MVC Player of the Year accolades and was named to the MVC¹s preseason all-Valley squad. He is the nation’s only returning First Team All-American and the defending MVC Player of the Year after averaging 22.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season.
Joining McDermott on the preseason All-Valley list were Colt Ryan (Evansville), Jackie Carmichael (Illinois State), Jake Odum (Indiana State) and Ben Simons (Drake). Creighton big man Gregory Echenique earned Preseason Honorable-Mention All-MVC accolades for a second straight season, and was joined by Wichita State’s Carl Hall and the Northern Iowa duo of Seth Tuttle and Anthony James.
Creighton went 29-6 last year and extended its league record with a 16th straight postseason bid. The Jays return 10 lettermen and four starters and have been ranked No. 16 by the Associated Press and No. 15 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll.