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Green Bay And Valparaiso Getting Attention Outside of the Horizon League With Strong Early Play

A strong start and an NBA prospect have people noticing Green Bay, but don't forget about Valparaiso, which has already scored 12 wins this season.

Valpo's coach Bryce Drew
Valpo's coach Bryce Drew
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

As the out of conference schedule finishes off and the 2014 calendar year comes to an end, the Horizon League has a few teams that have drawn some attention nationally.

Green Bay is on a three-game winning streak and 8-2 on the year, with one of those losses coming at nationally ranked powerhouse Wisconsin in the second game of the season. The Phoenix have bounced back with a resume-boosting win at No. 15 Miami. Keifer Sykes continues to prove he is NBA material, averaging 18.1 points per game. The Phoenix have three games remaining before the new year, including a rematch against Georgia State, a team that they lost to by 24 earlier this season.

Valparaiso is one of only 10 teams in the country that has recorded at least 11 wins this season. The Crusaders are coming off a big road victory against one of the top teams in the Summit League, IPFW. Alec Peters continues to score at a high and efficient rate, shooting over 50 percent from behind the 3-point line and from the field overall. Vashil Fernandez leads the team in rebounds and blocks, and is averaging an outstanding 2.1 blocks per game.

The Horizon League is going to be an exciting conference to keep an eye out for with Green Bay, Valpo and Detroit, all playing great basketball and getting attention.

I look forward to covering the league for the remainder of the season, and will be posting stories weekly recapping all the leagues action.