The last few seasons have been a struggle for the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils. A member of the SWAC conference, the Delta Devils are a combined 4-43 in the last 2 seasons with all of the wins coming in conference play.
The Delta Devils are led by newly minted Head Coach Lindsey Hunter. Hunter took the job in the 19-20 season as the Delta Devils were coming off 5 straight seasons of single digit wins. Coach Hunter has previous coaching experience. He was an assistant at the University of Buffalo under Nate Oats and also was the interim Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns in 2013.
Although the Delta Devils have struggled over the last few years, there have been some bright spots. The 19-20 team was led by senior Michael Green and freshman Caleb Hunter. Green averaged 18 points per game for the Delta Devils and was considered one of the best players in the SWAC conference. Hunter had a very promising first season as well. He took home SWAC Freshman of the Year honors finishing with 16 points per game and 3 assists per game.
Some of the highlights in the 19-20 season included a sweep of Alabama A&M, as well as a game winning 3 pointer against Arkansas Pine Bluff on the road. The Delta Devils were underdogs in all 3 games but found a way to pull through leading all 3 games most of the way.
Following a 3-27 campaign in the 2019-2020 season, Mississippi Valley State lost 14 of the 15 players on the roster to either graduation or transfer. Some of the most notable losses include senior guard Michael Green who signed an overseas contract following the season. Also, senior guard Torico Simmons who brought great leadership to the team averaged 11 points per game.
The other losses came through the transfer portal with 10 players transferring following the 19-20 season. These players include: forward Brandon Kimble who is now a walk on at University of Arkansas, and forward Jordan Lyons now attending Simon Fraser University in Canada. Some losses in the post include forward Dario Milojevic currently attending Division II Saint Michaels College, and sharpshooting big man Richard Rivers Jr also known as Big Tuna now attending JUCO Lincoln Trail College. The other transfers remain uncommitted: guard Ahamdu Sarnor, forward Gabe Samaha, forward Cossy Kowouto, as well as walk-ons Jordan Johnson and Rich Jones.
The 2020-2021 Delta Devils team includes 12 newcomers of the 13 total players. The only returner is Coach Lindsey Hunter’s son, SWAC Freshman of the Year award winner Caleb Hunter. The Delta Devils had low expectations going into the 2020-2021 season coming off a 3-27 year and only returning 1 player. Some of the key newcomers include: JUCO guard Kam’Ron Cunningham from Dayton State College. Another newcomer JUCO guard Terry Collins from Independence CC averaged 12PPG at ICC. JUCO guard Keiondre Jefferson from Panola College was recently granted eligibility. Freshman 7 footer Lee’Andre Howard, guard Devin Gordon, and guard Treylan Smith bring some depth to the Delta Devils.
Mississippi Valley State had a rough start to the 2020-2021 season as they had to travel to 8 states in the span of a month with very few days off. The Delta Devils had a tough non conference schedule which started with a 142-62 drubbing against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville. MVSU played more notable teams in non conference including: North Texas, Western Kentucky, Memphis, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and GCU. The Delta Devils entered conference play at 0-8 losing all non-conference games by 25+ points. Conference play also began as a struggle for the Delta Devils as they opened with a 92-52 loss to Arkansas Pine Bluff. MVSU would go on to lose the next 7 conference games by double digits which included a 77-31 loss to Prairie View A&M where the Delta Devils managed to only score 5 second half points.
After many rough losses to fellow SWAC members, Mississippi Valley State finally came through winning at Alabama State 68-65. JUCO transfer Kam’Ron Cunningham was very impressive in the Delta Devils victory as he scored 34 points on 8/14 shooting from 3. Caleb Hunter and Keiondre Jefferson also scored double digit points. JUCO guard Terry Collins was very active on the glass pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 9 points.
The Delta Devils currently sit at 1-17 with six remaining games on the schedule. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Lindsey Hunter and the Delta Devils over the next few seasons as they try and build the program back up and reach another NCAA Tournament.