The Missouri Valley Conference has a proud basketball history. The league is known for players such as Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson. This past decade saw new players etch their names in conference lore alongside those legends. Furthermore, Wichita State and Loyola-Chicago have both made the Final Four during this past decade. Creighton also helped the conference gain national attention before leaving for the Big East.
Missouri Valley Conference 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
Fred VanVleet was one of the main reasons why Wichita State saw unprecedented success in the decade. He earned two player of the year awards and was an AP All-American honorable mention three times. He was also a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousey award for the nation’s best point guard. VanVleet left the Shockers as their all-time leader in assists and steals.
For his career, VanVleet averaged 10.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He is first in MVC history in assist percentage and fourth in assists, win shares, and offensive rating. While he was at Wichita State, the school won three regular-season titles and made it to the NCAAs every year. VanVleet was a freshman on the Cinderella team that went to the Final Four. He was the starting point guard on the team that entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated and earned a one-seed. Overall, VanVleet played on three 30 win teams and won nine tournament games. He is currently a member of the Toronto Raptors and played a big role in their NBA Championship last season.
Guard – Ron Baker, Wichita State
Ron Baker was the other main man in the backcourt during Wichita State’s historic run. He started his career as a walk-on while waiting for a scholarship spot to open up. When his career was over, he was a three-time member of the Missouri Valley Conference’s first-team and an AP All-American honorable mention in 2015. Baker is in the top ten in six statistical categories in school history.
He averaged 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game during his career. Baker is third in MVC history in career offensive rating and fifth in career win shares. He was part of the same teams with VanVleet that had so much success. He was most recognizable for his long, blonde hair that jumped with him when he took his shots. Baker made lots of clutch plays for Wichita State during their NCAA Tournament games.
Forward – Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
Seth Tuttle may not have as much name recognition to most college basketball fans as VanVleet and Baker, but he was arguably better than those two. He was the MVC’s freshman of the year in 2012 and player of the year in 2015, sandwiching between VanVleet’s two awards. He was a unanimous selection to the AP All-American second team for the 2014-15 season. Tuttle finished in the top five in UNI history in field goal percentage, made free throws, and points.
He averaged 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game for his career. Tuttle’s career shooting percentage of 57.6 is fourth-best in league history. He is the conference’s career leader in offensive rating and also ranks in the top three in offensive and defensive rebounds, win shares, and player efficiency rating. He took the Panthers to three postseason appearances, including one NCAA Tournament second-round appearance.
Forward – Kyle Weems, Missouri State
Kyle Weems played in two seasons during the 2010s decade for Missouri State. He won player of the year in 2011, the first player to ever win it for the program. He was also an honorable mention on the AP All-American team that year. Weems made the conference’s first-team in both years during the 2010s. The Kansas native is the only player in league history to have at least 1,800 points, 800 rebounds, and 200 made threes for his career.
In the decade, Weems averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is in the top ten in Missouri Valley Conference history in defensive rebounds, made field goals, player efficiency rating, and win shares. Weems helped the Bears win one regular-season title and play in one NIT during the decade.
Forward – Doug McDermott, Creighton
Doug McDermott is not only the best player in the conference for the past decade but one of the best in NCAA history. He announced himself to the college basketball world as the MVC’s newcomer and freshman of the year in 2011. He was also the first freshman to be named to the first-team in almost 60 years. McDermott won two straight league player of the year awards in the seasons that followed and would have captured a third if Creighton had not left for the Big East. He was the first Bluejay to be named to the AP All-American first team, making it twice while Creighton was in the conference.
McDermott averaged 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in three years in the Missouri Valley Conference. He is first in NCAA history in career offensive win shares. He is also second in made field goals, fourth in points produced, and sixth in points. McDermott is one of three players in NCAA history to have at least 3,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Including his final season playing in the Big East, he was the eleventh player in NCAA history to be named to the All-American first-team three times. Creighton won one league title and played in two NCAA Tournaments while McDermott was playing in the conference.
Guard – DJ Balentine, Evansville
DJ Balentine is another guard that came from the 2011 class, joining VanVleet and Baker. He made the MVC’s first-team three times. Balentine led the Missouri Valley in scoring for three seasons, joining Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson as the only other players to do so. He left Evansville as their all-time leading scorer.
Balentine averaged 17.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game for his career. He is first in conference history in career points produced and second in points and made field goals. He helped the Purple Aces make two CITs, including capturing the title in 2015. The league was blessed with three fantastic guards during the 2012-16 seasons.
Guard – Colt Ryan, Evansville
Colt Ryan was the first great guard for Evansville before Balentine, playing from 2009-13. He made the MVC’s first-team twice and finished his career as the Purple Aces’ all-time leading scorer, only to be passed by Balentine a few years later. He also finished as the program’s all-time steals leader.
For his career, Ryan averaged 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He is second in conference history in career made free throws and points produced, and third in points and free throw percentage. Evansville played in two CBIs and one CIT while he was there. Ryan passed the baton to Balentine, playing together for one season.
Guard – Jake Odum, Indiana State
Jake Odum played for Indiana State from 2010-14. He decided to stay home in Terre Haute and become one of the next great guards in school history. Odum made the league’s first-team twice, the fourth player in school history to earn that honor multiple times.
He averaged 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game for his career. Odum is third in Missouri Valley Conference history in made free throws and assist percentage. He is also fifth in career assists. Odum helped the Sycamores make four postseason appearances, including one NCAA Tournament and two NITs.
Center – Cameron Krutwig, Loyola-Chicago
Cameron Krutwig is the only current player to make the all-decade team. He was the MVC freshman of the year in 2018 and made the league’s first-team in his two seasons since. Krutwig became the first player in conference history to be ranked in the top five in a season for scoring, rebounding, assists, and field goal percentage this past year.
He is averaging 13.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game for his career thus far. Krutwig’s current 59.6 career field goal percentage would put him third on the conference’s career list. He also sits in the top five in two-point field goals, player efficiency rating, and offensive rating. Krutwig was a big piece of Loyola’s Cinderella Final Four run in 2018 and has also helped the Ramblers capture two regular-season titles.
Center – Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
Egidijus Mockevicius played alongside DJ Balentine at Evansville from 2012-16. The Lithuanian made the first-team twice and was the defensive player of the year as a senior. Mockevicius led the NCAA in rebounds per game at 13.9 for the 2015-16 season. He finished his Purple Aces career as the school’s all-time rebounder.
For his career, Mockevicius averaged 11.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. He shot 61.7 percent from the floor for his career, the best average in Missouri Valley Conference history. He is the league’s career leader in each rebounding category as well as blocks. His career defensive rebound total is also second in NCAA history. Mockevicius and Balentine were a great inside-out duo for Evansville during their four-year careers.