Missouri Valley Conference Recruiting Splash
(St. Louis, MO) – The Missouri Valley Conference will be just fine thank you. That is if Wednesday’s national signing day is any indication. No fewer than seven players have been tabbed as impact players by the ratings services from the Valley’s incoming freshmen class.
There are numerous players that will pass the ‘airport test’ and of the nine teams reporting signings, Drake reported the most National Letters of Intent with five. Led by Chicago Simeon’s three-star recruit Messiah Jones, first-year head coach Niko Medved has reloaded his senior heavy roster virtually over night.
Jones is a 6’6 small forward and ranked one of the top 15 players in Illinois. His recruiting class includes 6’10 New Zealander James Moors, a member of New Zealand’s U18 national team.
If you want size, Evansville signed 6’10 Aleks Novakovich, and Illinois State landed two 6’9 players in Demontay Dixon and Rey Idowu.
Fans will remember that Greg Lansing’s Indiana State team has already picked up a Butler freshman transfer Cooper Neese in mid October. A prolific high school scorer, the 6’4 Neese is a 2.3-star player according to VerbalCommits.com. While sitting out this season he’ll join a talented freshman class that contains 6’3 guard De’Avion Washington (19.6 ppg) and 6’8 forward Blake Brinkmeyer.
Loyola’s Porter Moser keeps stockpiling talent. Cooper Kaifes and Isaiah Bujdoso are well respected guards, but the prize of this freshmen class is Franklin Agunanne. The 6’9 Dallas native is a 3.5-star player that tips the scales at 220 pounds and Moser says he attacks every rebound as if it’s his.
Fans will also remember Missouri State landed Xavier freshman transfer Jared Ridder. The Springfield Kickapoo graduate left Xavier and enrolled at MSU and must sit out this season. The 6’7 Ridder is a three-star player.
Northern Iowa’s only signee so far is 3.5-star A.J. Green. The Cedar Falls native is the son of assistant UNI coach Kyle Green. UNIPanthers.com says Green is a Top 100 player nationally.
Green (6’4″, 175 lbs., Guard – Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls HS) is ranked among the top-100 recruits by ESPN (No. 74), 247 (No. 77), Scout (No. 77) and Rivals (No. 88). He is a four-star recruit and a first-team all-state pick by the Iowa Newspaper Association in both 2016 and 2017.
Another son of an assistant, Darius Beane is a three-star recruit for Southern Illinois. The second son of assistant Anthony Beane to play with the Egyptian Dawgs, Darius is more of a point guard than his older brother Anthony Junior who is the Salukis’ third all-time leading scorer.
The Valley’s newest team the Valparaiso Crusaders aren’t to be left out. Coach Matt Lottich landed a highly rated Chicago player in Javon Freeman-Liberty. The Whitney Young guard is a three-star player playing for one of the best programs in the state of Illinois.
There will more signings, but seven players rated above the two-star level is a great start for a league that is attempting to climb the ladder of respect and success at the mid major level.