We had a great time Sunday – all day Sunday – at Side Pockets. We played eight games in the fictional Shocker Invitational, including a buzzer-beater that had the place hopping late in the evening, and watched with many others as Wichita State defeated Evansville in real-life basketball, 84-68, to remain undefeated.
Here are the first-round results with some of guys who played well in our XBox simulated game. And kudos, again, to Derek Pruett, who worked really hard to make this all happen. And to Jamin Anderson, who didn’t work as hard but still wants to bask in the glory. Just kidding, Jamin.
Team 13, 82, Team 15, 72 – Randy Burns 29 points, P.J. Couisnard 26 for the winners; Cleanthony Early 38 points, 10 rebounds in losing cause.
Team 4, 84, Team 3, 75 – Dave Stallworth 41 points, Henry Carr 15 rebounds to lead Team 4; Jamie Arnold 25, Ron Washington 23 for the losing team.
Team 10, 88, Team 7, 74 – Ron Harris 31 points to lead Team 10, Robert Elmore 19 points and 12 rebounds, Ron Mendell 21 points, Jamar Howard 14 points, 14 rebounds for Team 10; Carl Hall 20 points for Team 7, Warren Armstrong a disappointing 17 points, four rebounds.
Team 6, 84, Team 8, 76 – Cliff Levingston 36 points, nine rebounds, Garrett Stutz 24 and 12 for the winners; Bob Wilson 31, Al Tate 17 and 12 in a losing cause.
Team 12, 97, Team 14, 78 – Jamie Thompson 33 points, Aubrey Sherrod 22, Terry Benton 21 points, 13 rebounds for the winners; Joe Stevens 25 points for the losers, Calvin Bruton 14 points and 14 assists.
Team 9, 98, Team 16, 78 – Antoine Carr 35 points, 13 rebounds to lead the win, Paul Guffrovich 35 points; Ray Shirley 22 points for the losing squad.
Team 5 98, Team 1 79 – Xavier McDaniel with a ridiculous 44 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists to lead the win, Bob Trogele with 20, Ron Baker with 19; Sasha Radunovich 30 points for Team 1, Cleo Littleton with 20.
Team 11 89, Team 2 88 — Kyle Wilson with 39 points, including a 40-foot three-pointer at the buzzer for the win, Maurice Evans with 19; Jason Perez 29 points, Malcolm Armstead 20 for Team 2.
* It was great to see the family of Darin Miller – his parents and grandmother – at the event. They watched with enthusiasm as Miller, who played for Scott Thompson and Randy Smithson during the late 1990s, contributed 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Team 9 in a winning cause. They will be back at Side Pockets for the quarterfinals on March 2. I covered Darrin Miller when he played at WSU and there’s never been a nicer guy. Same goes for his family. It was great to see him.
* Kyle Wilson’s in-laws showed up for his game, the last one played Sunday night. And boy, were they treated. Wilson, who played for Mark Turgeon and was a part of the 2006 Sweet 16 team, made the biggest shot of Day one to give Team 11 the win. It came just seconds after Jason Perez made a shot to put Team 2 on top. There was a great reaction to Wilson’s game-winner and hopefully he’ll be able to attend the quarterfinals. He’s currently working for Gatorade in Dallas.
* Some of the greatest Shockers in history had tremendous performances, including Xavier McDaniel, Dave Stallworth, Cliff Levingston and Antoine Carr. But I was peeved that Warren Armstrong, a great Shocker from the late-1960s, was sub-par in Team 5′s loss. I watched Armstrong play a lot of basketball at WSU and he was rarely, if ever, sub-par.
* Paul Guffrovich with 35 points? The guy couldn’t miss.
* This is going to sound corny, I realize. But it was fun watching some of these guys play again, even in animation. I loved it that Jamie Thompson, a huge part of the Shockers’ Final Four team in 1965, had a 33-point game. Remember, we’ve worked hard – Derek Pruett has worked hard – to make these players look as life-like as possible. We’ve come really close with a few, although we had a difficult time simulating the flat-top look of the 1960s, which is the hairstyle Thompson had.
* We had somewhere from 60-80 fans show up intermittently throughout the day to watch Shocker Invitational games. Everybody was curious about what was going on. We even made some program sheets so people would know which players were on which teams. We’ll do the same for the quarterfinals in a couple of weeks and hope to have some more ex-Shockers in the house.
Quarterfinal matchups, March 2, Side Pockets, 600 S. Tyler Road
2 p.m. – Team 13 (P.J. Couisnard, Cheese Johnson, Ozell Jones, Randy Burns, Joe Ragland) vs. Team 4 (Rob Kampman, Dave Stallworth, Henry Carr, Leonard Kelley, Randy Smithson).
3 – Team 10 (Ron Harris, Jamar Howard, Robert Elmore, Ron Mendell, Jimmy Bolden) vs. Team 6 (Dave Leach, Cliff Levingston, Garrett Stutz, Kelly Pete, Fridge Holman).
4 – Team 12 (Jamie Thompson, Steve Grayer, Terry Benton, Aubrey Sherrod, Paul Scheer) vs. Team 9 (Robert Gray, Antoine Carr, Darin Miller, Paul Guffrovich, Tony Martin).
5 – Team 5 (Ron Baker, Xavier McDaniel, Ev Wessel, Bob Trogele, Terry Hankton) vs. Team 11 (John Cooper, Kyle Wilson, Claudius Johnson, Maurice Evans, Clevin Hannah).