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Illinois State at Wichita State: Day After

Ben Smith scored 14 points against Illinois State on Saturday.It doesn’t look as if Wichita State will win a weekly award from the Missouri Valley Conference this season. The Shockers are too balanced and the chances of one of them putting together big numbers in both games of a week are diminishing.

Creighton freshman Doug McDermott owns the Newcomer of the Week award and quite often his numbers are better than the Player of the Week. When you start thinking about it that way, perhaps McDermott belongs in the Player of the Year discussion – his seven double-doubles are more than any other MVC player.

J.T. Durley has been a good candidate for player of the week. So has Toure Murry, David Kyles and Gabe Blair. It’s hard to compete with Kyle Weems (three POW awards) and Kwadzo Ahelegbe (two), players who get more minutes and more shots.

But this is about the Shockers. Junior Ben Smith, in most years, would be a strong candidate this week after averaging 12.5 points and making 8 of 10 shots (4 of 5 threes). He also grabbed six rebounds and didn’t commit a turnover in wins over Indiana State and Illinois State. He did all that without playing 20 minutes in either game.

McDermott again put up crazy numbers, but his team lost to previously winless (in MVC play) Bradley. Maybe that matters.

Regardless, the Shockers should reject any weekly award that may come their way. Just like Xavier declines mid-majorish recognition, the Shockers should decline individual awards. They don’t fit WSU, not this season.Around the Valley

Indiana State had its chance to upset Missouri State. The Sycamores will have to be satisfied with a good effort.Creighton coach Greg McDermott pushed the Bluejays hard after a loss to Bradley. He liked their response in a win over Evansville.Missouri State’s Adam Leonard needed about 1,000 jump shots to regain his touch.Life without Lucas O”Rear is off to a rough start for Northern Iowa. Without O’Rear, the Panthers are starting a guard at power forward and hoping for the best.Horrible week at SIU, where a proud program is in bad shape.