Busting Brackets

Missouri Valley Conference Basketball: A look at the 5 new head coaches for 2024-25

Missouri v Arkansas
Missouri v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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Holes to Fill

While those coaches are hiring coaching staffs and hitting the recruiting trail, there are huge holes to fill on all the Valley rosters. Bradley’s Duke Deen is the only player of the league’s three, all-conference teams that remains. 

Indiana State lost five all-conference players and the league’s ‘sixth man’. Belmont watched three, all-league members walk out the door. Of the league’s top sixteen players (the Valley’s first team includes the player of the year and five ‘first teamers’), three exhausted their eligibility and the others are in the portal. 

Player of the Year Tucker DeVries went with his father to West Virginia and two Sycamores (Julian Larry and Jayson Kent) have signed with Texas. Belmont’s Malik Dia has landed at Mississippi. His teammate Ja’Kobi Gillespie will play for Maryland and UNI’s Nate Heise will play for Iowa State. Bradley’s Connor Hickman signed with Cincinnati. 

Bradley was hit hard by the transfer of the outstanding Hickman, but has resigned former Brave Zek Montgomery (Rhode Island) and the return of Deen and forward Darius Hannah could make the Braves the early Valley favorite.

Every member of the Valley’s ‘all-newcomer’ team has left and two of the MVC’s all-freshmen team are gone too. We don’t know if the league will ever need a ‘most improved’ team again. 

The five new coaches have virtually no players on their rosters. Belmont lost its top six players and Evansville lost both an all-newcomer and an all-freshman team member in the portal and several other contributors have graduated. 

Top 50 early transfer portal commits. dark. Next. Top 50 early transfer portal commits

Writers and broadcasters will literally ‘not know the players without a scorecard’. This could be a season of re-birth for the Valley are a dark season prior to a hoped-for turn around.