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NCAA Basketball Missouri Valley Basketball

Missouri Valley Basketball: Top 5 Post Players for 2014-15 College Basketball Season

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Missouri Valley Basketball: Top 5 Post Players For 2014-15 College Basketball Season

Carmichael prepares
Paul Halfacre-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard for most mid-majors to land top frontcourt players because big men are at a premium and they are being courted by the most successful programs in the nation. For the Missouri Valley, frontcourt athletes can spell the difference between a pretty decent season and a deep tourney run. The team with the best frontcourt will have a decided advantage in the MVC. Here are the five best big guys in the conference.

5. Christian Thomas, Loyola (Chicago)

Thomas Dunk
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

5. Christian Thomas, Loyola (Ill.)

Thomas Dunk
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As an all-around player, Christian Thomas may be the best frontcourt guy in the MVC. He has a nice mid-range jumper and can rebound well despite not being an explosive athlete. Loyola (Chicago) will be dangerous if it puts more scorers around him.

4. Bola Olaniyan, Southern Illinois

Olaniyan post
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

4. Bola Olaniyan, Southern Illinois

Olaniyan post
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

There probably isn’t a big man more raw or with more potential that Bola Olaniyan. He was a double-double machine last year when he started receiving starter's minutes. With his strength and frame, he can be the best rebounder in the Missouri Valley.


3. Josh Cunningham, Bradley

Bradley rebound
Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

5. Josh Cunningham, Bradley

Bradley rebound
Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

Although Cunningham isn’t the traditional back-to-the-basket big man, he is one of the best post players recruited by the Valley in a long time. As seen by his high school stats (23 PPG, 14 RPG), this kid is versatile. Bradley won’t expect him to be Cleanthony Early in his first season, but is hoping he can become better with time.

2. Reggie Lynch, Illinois State

Lynch blocks
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

2. Reggie Lynch, Illinois State

Lynch blocks
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

As a freshman, Lynch led the conference in blocked shots with nearly three per contest. He terrorized the painted area while wearing a protective mask. He looked a like a super villain thwarting the plans of anyone trying to cash in on seemingly easy layups. Lynch has to stay on the court longer and avoid foul trouble so he can affect the rebounding battle more.

1. Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville

Evansville layup
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

1. Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville

Evansville layup
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

There aren’t many 7-foot players in any conference, and when paired with D.J. Balentine, Mockevicius gives Evansville a promising one-two punch. The big man from Lithuania led the Valley in rebounding and scored 12 points per game. He needs to be even more dominant if the Purple Aces expect to win the league.