Missouri Valley has Alaska flavor (Basketball)

August 25, 2010
Bradley Braves

The Missouri Valley Conference just got more interesting for The Last Frontier.

Bradley University big man Will Egolf of Haines used to be Alaska’s lone representative in the best midmajor conference in all of NCAA Division I.

But now he’s got company in Anchorage’s Anthony Cousin, who signed with Illinois State University after a breakout season at Butler Community College.

“Anthony and I talk every once in a while,” Egolf toId me. “I gave him a hard time when I heard he was signing with ISU because they are our biggest rivals.”

The longtime rivalry has been dubbed ‘The War on 74’ because the highway between Bradley and Illinois State is I-74.

“Even though Bradley is winning the series since the rivalry first started they beat us twice last year,” Egolf said. “It will be fun to have him right down the street for the next couple years.”

Egolf, of Juneau-Douglas fame, is a 6-foot-9 forward coming off a super sophomore season that saw him start 30 of 31 games and average 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game.

He said playing in the Missouri Valley Conference has been an incredible experience.

“It’s crazy. The entire conference is made up of hungry midmajors who love to get matched up with the countries best competition,” Egolf said. “Every year something new happens at the conference tournament and a MVC team makes it deep into the NCAA tournament.”

Like when Bradley marched to the Sweet 16 in 2006 or when Northern Iowa rolled to the Elite Eight in 2009.

Egolf expects to get Bradley back to that level in his two years on campus.

“I plan on being one of the most dominant forwards in the conference by next season and I feel I am on the right path to achieve that goal,” he said.

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