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Pass on this: Wichita State’s VanVleet joins Valley statistical race

Wichita State senior Fred VanVleet led the MVC in assists the past two seasons.
Wichita State senior Fred VanVleet led the MVC in assists the past two seasons.

Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet played in his 12th game on Wednesday at Missouri State, making him eligible for national and Missouri Valley Conference statistical lists. Athletes must play in 75 percent of their team’s games to qualify.

He debuts at No. 44 nationally with an average of 5.3 assists. That puts him second in the MVC, behind Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun (5.7). VanVleet leads the MVC in steals at 1.8 and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6).

So VanVleet is officially back in the race for a rare MVC triple.

He can join three others as MVC players to lead the conference in assists three seasons. He can join a list of 12 athletes who led a major statistical category (scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks) three or more times. Evansville’s D.J. Balentine (scoring) and Egidijus Mockevicius (rebounding) can also lead a category for a third time (Had Reggie Lynch not transferred from Illinois State to Minnesota, he had a shot to join them in blocks).

The trend is good for VanVleet, who in the past five games averages 6.8 assists to Washpun’s 4.2.

Perhaps unfairly, assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t a stat that gets as much publicity. VanVleet can add a third title there, as well. He led the MVC in assist-to-turnover ratio the past two seasons — 4.0 in 2013-14 and 3.1 in 204-15.

Naturally, the list of athletes on the list represent the top of the MVC — Oscar Robertson (scoring), Larry Bird (scoring), Wes Unseld (rebounding) and Xavier McDaniel (rebounding).

MVC athletes with three assists titles

Name

School

Seasons

Assists

Average

Jim Les

Bradley

1983-84

158

7.1

Jim Les

Bradley

1984-85

263

8.7

Jim Les

Bradley

1985-86

275

7.8

Anthony Manuel

Bradley

1986-87

237

8.7

Anthony Manuel

Bradley

1987-88

373

12.0

Anthony Manuel

Bradley

1988-89

216

8.0

Jamar Smiley

Illinois State

1995-96

208

6.7

Jamar Smiley

Illinois State

1996-97

219

7.3

Jamar Smiley

Illinois State

1997-98

186

6.4

VanVleet’s past two seasons

Name

School

Seasons

Assists

Average

Fred VanVleet

Wichita State

2013-14

193

5.3

Fred VanVleet

Wichita State

2014-15

183

5.2

Wichita State athletes with three MVC rebounding titles.

Name

School

Seasons

Rebounds

Average

Bob Elmore

Wichita State

1974-75

302

11.6

Bob Elmore

Wichita State

1975-76

275

10.2

Bob Elmore

Wichita State

1976-77

441

15.8

Xavier McDaniel

Wichita State

1982-83

403

14.4

Xavier McDaniel

Wichita State

1983-84

393

13.1

Xavier McDaniel

Wichita State

1984-85

460

14.8

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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