Redbird men 2nd, women 5th in preseason MVC polls

Redbird Arena
Official practices are underway for Illinois State basketball ahead of exhibition games two weeks away. (WJBC file photo)

By Greg Halbleib

ST. LOUIS – Illinois State men’s basketball is picked to finish as runner-up in this season’s Missouri Valley Conference race while the Redbirds are selected to finish fifth on the women’s side.

The polls of coaches, sports information directors and media were released Thursday. Loyola is the choice to repeat as men’s champion while Drake is picked to win a third straight women’s conference title.

Three Redbird men have earned preseason All-Valley honors. Phil Fayne and Milik Yarbrough are on the first team and Keyshawn Evans is a second-team selection.

The Illinois State men host exhibitions on Oct. 30 against Lewis and Nov. 3 against Augustana before opening the season on Nov. 6 at home against Florida Gulf Coast. The Illinois State women host Quincy in a Nov. 4 exhibition before beginning their schedule on Nov. 11 at Southern Illinois Edwardsville.

Greg Halbleib can be reached at


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