Missouri Valley basketball stars to watch
aj green, northern iowa
It should come as no surprise that the reigning Player of the Year finds himself on the “stars to watch.” AJ Green is one of the safest bets to be an All-Conference player this season as he takes the court as the best player for one of the favorites to win the league. He put together excellent numbers as a sophomore last year and is already a household name. Green is the conference’s most dangerous scorer, especially from distance, and should back up that statement throughout the year.
With Green returning alongside Berhow and Phyfe, Northern Iowa projects to have the best offense in the conference this season. Those three alone should push the Panthers to own a Top 50 adjusted offensive efficiency in the country. They are that good. Phyfe is also a star to watch.
cameron krutwig, loyola-chicago
Cameron Krutwig burst onto the national scheme right away as a freshman when he was a starter on Loyola-Chicago’s Final Four team. And while the Ramblers have not made the same national headlines over the past two seasons, Krutwig has steadily improved with each year. He is a do-it-all offensive threat and seemingly the entire offense will be built around his versatility this season. Krutwig will command a ton of post touches and has the shooters around him to spread the floor.
If defenses choose to double the senior big man, he could once again flirt with five assists per game. Once the Ramblers’ outside shooters start to devastate opponents, then Krutwig can take advantage of one-on-one matchups in the post. Defending Krutwig will be a “pick your poison” deal this season and he should put up huge numbers.