Excuse me, but why exactly isn’t Wichita State getting votes in the first ESPN/USA Today coaches poll?
Not one vote. None of the 31 coaches who comprise the poll’s panel gave a nod to the Shockers, including Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson, VCU’s Shaka Smart and a coach named Tim Cluess from Iona. Or is that “Clueless?”
OK, that was a cheap shot. But I’m surprised – dare I say shocked? – that Wichita State isn’t getting some love here. There were 48 teams that received at least one vote in the coaches poll. You’re telling me the Shockers aren’t among the best 48 teams in the country?
I get it, it’s not as if WSU has a perfect team returning. The Shockers lost three big components of their 2010-11 front line in J.T. Durley, Gabe Blair and Aaron Ellis. It’s not a slam dunk that Wichita State will suitably replace those players.
But there is no doubt that the Shockers have an outstanding and deep backcourt, led by seniors Joe Ragland, Toure Murry and David Kyles. That alone should get the Shockers a vote or two in the coaches poll, right?
And has everybody forgotten last season’s NIT? Of course they have, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.
Wichita State got on a run in the NIT and it culminated in a championship right there in Madison Square Garden in the middle of downtown Manhattan. I’m not one of those who was ready to throw the Shockers a ticker-tape parade for winning the NIT, but it was a big accomplishment for Gregg Marshall and his team.
Creighton, picked by some to win the Missouri Valley Conference this season, got 19 votes in the coaches’ preseason poll. OK, that’s not a big surprise because the Blue Jays have a nice team returning led by sophomore forward Doug McDermott and a proven coach in his father, Greg.
But you’re not going to get me to believe Creighton is any more deserving of preseason consideration than Wichita State.
I honestly thought the Shockers would merit some preseason Top 25 consideration. I personally think Wichita State will answer most of its front-line questions and be a better team than the one that won 29 games and the NIT last season.
Apparently, though, I’m in a minority.
No votes. In showing such disregard, coaches, I believe you just played right into the hand of Marshall and his team.