The best time of the year, when conference games start to heat up and everyone is able to tell what each team is really made of and what teams are going to have a long road ahead. One thing is for sure in the Horizon League and that is Green Bay is as good as advertise, and Keifer Sykes might be better.
Green Bay Phoenix (14-3,3-0) remains the last undefeated team in conference play, and the only team in the Horizon League that has a top 25 win this season (Miami.) The Phoenix have won each of their three conference games by at least 15 points, and have a scoring defense ranked 24th in the nation allowing only 58.1 points per game. Green Bay is led by former conference player of the year Keifer Sykes (19.2 ppg) who in three conference games so far this year is averaging 28.7 points per game.
Valparaiso Crusaders (16-3,3-1) come in tied for second in the standings tied with Cleveland State (9-9,3-1.) These teams met up this past Saturday night as Valpo was able to reign supreme in a battle to the end 58-56.
The Crusaders who are battling point guard issues with injuries to Lexus Williams (preseason injury) and Keith Carter (9.7 ppg) out with a big toe injury, have been able win games with great team play and Alec Peters (18.2 ppg) ability to step up and knock down shots in crucial moments. Peters is shooting 47.2 percent from three on the season.
The Vikings started off with a rough non conference record (6-8) but has found significance in the Horizon League winning their first 3 conference games of the season. Trey Lewis (15.2 ppg) leads the team in scoring but has struggled recently, that's where Anton Grady has been able to fill the role, scoring at least 18 points in three of the four conference match-ups.
Though the season is still very young, Green Bay and Valparaiso continue to prove they are the big dogs in the Horizon League this year, both having star players with the ability to take over at any moment in the game, you will be sure to hear more about them and their teams this conference season.