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Bulldogs far from feeling blue

MVC men’s hoops schedule starts Saturday for Drake, UNI

December 28, 2007
WICHITA, Kan. — Tied for the best record in school history through 10 games, Drake starts Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball play Saturday at Wichita State.

The Bulldogs enter with a 9-1 record to mark the fifth time in school history they have such a record. Drake’s best start was in 1968-69 under Maury John when it went 11-1.

Drake features the MVC leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal shooting percentage and 3-point baskets per game.

Sophomore Josh Young leads the conference in scoring at 17.4 points per game and makes 3.5 3-point field goals per contest.

Jonathan Cox is the MVC’s top rebounder at 8.9 per game, while Brent Heemskerk is tops in field goal shooting (76.6 percent).

Leonard Houston adds 15.9 points per game to stand third in the conference.

In the MVC team standings, Drake stands first in scoring margin, turnover margin, 3-point baskets made, steals and offensive rebounds.

One of the Bulldogs’ biggest improvements under first-year head coach Keno Davis has been their 3-point shooting. Last year, Drake was last in the MVC in both makes and shooting percentage.

“As I watched them I was reminded of people asking me what I thought about moving the (3-point) line back next year,” stated Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter. “And it occurred to me, I don’t think Drake will care. They’re not concerned about it. Not only do they shoot it well, they shoot it deep.”

Four Bulldogs are averaging at least one 3-point basket per game led by Young (35-of-76), who earlier this season became the first in school history to have at least six 3-pointers in consecutive games.

Wichita State (7-4) enters Saturday’s conference opener after victories at home against LSU and UAB.

Three score in double figures for the Shockers led by senior Phillip Thomasson at 11 ppg. Preseason first-team all-MVC selection P.J. Couisnard adds 10.9 ppg.

Road swing for Panthers

Northern Iowa starts its MVC slate as well Saturday with the Panthers playing at Bradley.

Three of UNI’s first four conference games are on the road.

The Panthers (8-3) fell to Nevada 55-52 in their last outing at the McLeod Center.

Northern Iowa’s strength lays in its frontcourt, while the Braves (7-5) have a potent backcourt.

The Panthers have outrebounded their opponents in eight of 11 games led by three of the top five individuals in the MVC. Eric Coleman comes off the bench for 8.5 rebounds per game to stand second in the conference. Coleman also leads Northern Iowa in scoring at 12 ppg. Adam Koch is fourth in the MVC in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and Jordan Eglseder if fifth (7.0 rpg). The Panthers also led the MVC in blocked shots behind Coleman (second, 2.2 bpg) and Eglseder (1.7 bpg).

Bradley is led by seniors Daniel Ruffin and Jeremy Crouch. Point guard Ruffin leads the team in scoring (14.2) and assists (6.1 apg). Crouch adds 13.4 ppg and is shooting 46 percent from 3-point range.

The Braves have been tough to beat at home as they hold a 15-2 advantage in the series over Northern Iowa in Peoria. The Panthers won last year 79-70.

Three of Bradley’s losses this season have come to Top 25 teams — Michigan State, Vanderbilt and Butler.

Fact Box

Saturday's Probable Starters
Drake Bulldogs (9-1)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
5 Leonard Houston Sr 15.9 3.7
15 Adam Emmenecker Sr 3.2 4.0
20 Josh Young So 17.4 3.0
24 Klayton Korver Sr 8.6 3.6
31 Jonathan Cox Jr 11.0 8.9

Wichita St. Shockers (7-4)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
2 P.J. Couisnard Sr 10.9 5.9
10 Ramon Clemente Jr 6.4 8.4
11 Phillip Thomasson Sr 11.0 4.0
1 Gal Mekel So 9.7 2.5
22 Matt Braeuer Sr 10.4 3.9

Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, Kan.

UNI Panthers (8-3)
Name Yr. PPG RPG
34 Adam Koch So 7.5 7.5
53 Jordan Eglseder So 11.8 7.0
14 Jared Josten Sr 11.4 2.7
15 Jon Montgomery Fr 3.4 1.2
22 Kerwin Dunham Fr 5.3 *2.0
* – assists per game

Bradley Braves (7-5)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
12 Theron Wilson Jr 8.5 6.8
22 Matt Salley Sr 5.9 5.9
14 Jeremy Crouch Sr 13.4 3.3
20 Daniel Ruffin Sr 14.2 *6.2
24 Andrew Warren So 11.9 3.0
* – assists per game

Saturday, 2:05 p.m.
Carver Arena, Peoria, Ill.



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