Previewing the 2014-15 UNI men’s basketball season

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BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

With the 2014-2015 season just around the corner, here’s a sneak peak of how I believe the season will turn out. Let’s start with a small recap of last season. The Missouri Valley Conference was dominated last season by Wichita State, recording one of the best seasons in NCAA history with a 35-1 record. The rest of the MVC had a down year with only three schools recording a winning percentage in conference play. Wichita State went undefeated in conference play with an 18-0 record, Indiana State was second with a 12-6 record, and UNI was the third with a 10-8 record.

While the Panthers finished third in the MVC, winning 10 of 18 conference games, they barely finished the regular season with a winning record going 16-15. If the Panthers want to be a major contender this year, they have to start winning on the road. UNI won all but two games at the McLeod Center, and those two teams happen to be Wichita State and Indiana State. But on the road, UNI lost all but three games. All the home success in the world cannot make up for a 3-10 away record.

There will be a lot of experience on the court with most of the leading scorers returning for this season. Seniors Seth Tuttle and Deon Mitchell are looking to continue their success from last year as top-scorers. Tuttle averaged 15.4 points per game while Mitchell added just over 12. Matt Bohannon averaged 9.9 points per game while leading UNI in 3-pointers made with 77 on the season. First-team All-MVC performer Seth Tuttle will also be the front man on defense as he led the Panthers in all defensive categories. 

Wichita State, Indiana State, and UNI will again lead the MVC this season. Wichita State will continue their successful run with another conference championship, but UNI may give them a run for their money. With the success at home and veterans on the court, the Panthers are capable of finishing the season 24-10 and second place in the MVC.