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No. 38- Creighton
Doug McDermott is back for his sophomore season at Creighton, and while the 6-foot-7 forward enters the year as the top player in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Blue Jays as a team will be amongst the best mid-majors in 2011-12. Creighton returns their top three scorers from a season ago, led by McDermott, Antoine Young, and Gregory Echenique. With the goal of a MVC crown on their minds, Creighton will also be in search of their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007.
No. 37- UNLV
San Diego State and BYU were the top dogs in the Mountain West in 2010-11, however things may be switching up, as UNLV and New Mexico look poised to battle for conference supremacy this season. Chase Stanback and Oscar Bellfield are back to lead the way for the Runnin’ Rebels and newly-appointed head coach Dave Rice. Juniors Anthony Marshall and Quintrell Thomas also return, so expectations are high in Rice’s first year at the helm.
No. 36- Purdue
JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore will be tough to replace, but Purdue welcomes back Robbie Hummel in 2011-12. Plagued by injuries, Hummel is finally healthy and looking to reemerge in West Lafayette. However, the Boilermakers and head coach Matt Painter are going to need guards Lewis Jackson, Ryne Smith, and D.J. Byrd to step up if they hope to compete near the top of the Big Ten this year.
Be sure to check back with The Arena Pulse for the continued release and countdown of our Top-40 teams heading into the 2011-12 season.
Paul Seaver, DeAnte Mitchell, Greg Lewis, Justin Tetreault
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