Belt Loops: Javon McRea and Shayne Whittington Among Nation's Best Mid-Major Players

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Our (sometimes) daily look around the world of #MACtion returns with news on two star MAC basketball players, cost efficiency among the MAC football programs, and more P.J. Fleck!

φ Two MAC basketball players are considered among the best Mid-Major ballers in the nation — In a list ranking the Top-20 Mid-Major basketball players for the 2013-2014 season, the MAC held down two spots. Western Michigan senior big-man Shayne Whittington (No. 20), and Buffalo's senior big Javon McCrea (No. 5) are considered among the best in the nation from Mid-Major schools. Recently the MAC has produced some stellar college players, and both of these men seem poised to have huge senior season. Whittington is now the big fish in the small pond of the MAC after Zeke Marshall graduated. McRea, arguably was the best player in the conference last season and is a dominating force in the post as well.

φ The Broncos are looking for a new approach to the running game — Last season the Western Michigan Broncos struggled in the running game. They we're eighth in the MAC in rushing yards per game, and struggled to hold onto the ball. Now with a new coach, and with an offensive line completely lacking in depth, the Broncos are trying to improve on the ground. Currently there's a three-way battle going on, but as if the line issues were enough to cause concern for the WMU backfield, they're also without senior running back Tevin Drake, who was suspended indefinitely following an arrest in early August. But if there's one thing new head coach P.J. Fleck isn't worried about, it's challenging circumstances. The running game will be an area of focus all season long.

φ Ball State is getting some fancy new video boards — The Cardinals' athletic department is installing new high-definition video boards in Scheumann Stadium and Worthen Arena this fall. The new boards will help provide better fan experiences for the Ball State crowds at football, basketball and volleyball games this year. What's really interesting is that the board being installed at Scheumann Stadium has the ability to roll up. That's right, the 33 foot x 18 foot LED screen replacing the current scoreboard, can roll up like a rug in the case of bad weather.

φ Three MAC football teams were recently ranked among the most cost efficient programs in the nation — A report studied the 2011 football season that looked at the final Sagarin Ratings from that season along with the programs operating budgets for that year to come up with cost efficiency values bast on success and money spent. Bowling Green (No. 6), Toledo (No. 7) and Kent State (No. 9) all came in amongst the 10 most cost efficient programs in the nation.

φ "Better buy your stock now here in Western Michigan football" — Those are actual words spoken by P.J. Fleck at WMU's Media Day. Fleck is determined to bring the Broncos to a national stage, and isn't coy about his beliefs that he can do so. I've spent a lot of time talking about Fleck in these posts, and rightfully so. The guy is polarizing. He's young, he's bold, and he's not afraid to speak his mind and piss some people off. The main is one hell of a motivator and if this whole football thing doesn't work out, I have no doubt he could succeed as a politician, just watch the video and listen to this man speak. You'll be ready to #RowTheBoat by the time it's done.

Miami's Googin Ice Center is in the middle of renovations —

φ Frank Solich and Beau Blankenship talked about the upcoming season at MAC Media Day, here's some video —

Send any news tips or neat tweets to @HustleBelt or FanShot them. You're also welcome to write a FanPost if you have a cool opinion on something that affects the MAC.


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