I took Saturday off and listened to Mike Kennedy and Dave Dahl call the second half. I’m watching the replay, but it’s time to get the regular season behind us and move to St. Louis. Read More
I took Saturday off and listened to Mike Kennedy and Dave Dahl call the second half. I’m watching the replay, but it’s time to get the regular season behind us and move to St. Louis. Read More »
WSU 76, SIU 55 FINAL And on Gregg Marshall’s birthday, all is right with WSU. Read More »
Wichita State forward Gabe Blair did some of the practice work today. He didn’t scrimmage much, but he did jump into drills and walk-through stuff. WSU coach Gregg Marshall said there is a chance he will play Saturday against Southern Illinois. The bigger concern is how his bruised left thigh will react. WSU definitely wants him healthy for St. Louis. Blair suffered a relapse after playing against Utah State and didn’t play against Bradley.
SIU is listing guard Kevin Dillard, its leading scorer, as questionable. Dillard missed Tuesday’s loss to Creighton with a sprained ankle.
Talk Shockers today from 1 to 2 p.m. You can sign up below to receive a free e-mail reminder before the chat begins.
I’m with Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, in not knowing what the final 20 minutes meant. The Shockers played well, although the defense still wasn’t up to earlier standards. At least, WSU looked more confident and more active. In Marshall’s mind, it’s meaningless unless things change in the future. The Shockers need to play with that focus for more minutes, especially early in the game. WSU was short-handed with Gabe Blair and David Kyles out. It is coming off a challenging travel schedule. Still, had it just been average in the first 10 minutes, things might have been different.
“We’ve got to come out for 40 minutes like that,” WSU guard Clevin Hannah said. “We just can’t seem to do it.”
The Shockers don’t really need to play that well for 40 minutes. Few teams play a locked-in 40 minutes. The Shockers need to avoid being totally unlocked-in for long stretches, like the first 10 minutes of the game at Bradley. When shots aren’t falling, they’ve got to find other things that work. Early in the MVC season, they did. Lately, they don’t.
That’s where Garrett Stutz and J.T. Durley come in. They should give WSU a one-two inside scoring punch that few MVC teams can match. Many Valley teams don’t have one post player who can score regularly. WSU has two. They seem criminally under-utilized. Usually, that’s on the guards for not getting them the ball and on them for not posting hard enough, rebounding or handling double-teams. You see a little bit of everything with the Shockers. Durley and Stutz can score, so the problem needs to be fixed.
Durley’s stats are very good in recent games – he is averaging 13.7 points and 10 rebounds in those games. Yet he seems to be scoring most of those points – all 13 in the second half Wednesday – to rally the Shockers instead of to build a lead.
“That’s a big key for our success, to get him going early,” Hannah said.”If he can come out and play like that for as long as he’s out there, we’ll be good. Sometimes when we throw it down there, they double them and trap them. They’re not effective when they do that. In the second half, we played out of the post.”
So the Shockers are left trying to build on those 20 solid minutes. They can finish unbeaten at home with a win over Southern Illinois on Saturday. They can finish second in the MVC. If they play well, they can do good things in St. Louis, It’s uncertain whether they can regain the snap they had earlier in the season. They showed some of it in the second half.
It’s going to be difficult to do anything in St. Louis until the defense improves. In the past six games, opponents shot 54.8 percent, 50 percent, 52 percent, 40.7 percent, 51 percent and 51.1 percent. WSU is 3-3 in those games.
BU 75, WSU 73 – Final. Difficult way to lose. The Shockers will look back at the first 10 minutes of the game. That’s when they lost it.
BU 75, WSU 73 (11.7) - There’s the danger in calling timeout. Great hustle by Maniscalco.
Bradley gave WSU a lot of time with that shot. Stutz checking in. I like Durley, if you can get him the ball. Need to get a shot or try to draw a foul.
BU 73, WSU 73 (44.1) – Checking if it’s a three. Clearly a three.
WSU 70, BU 70 (2:15) - Huge shot for a freshman on BU’s end. Simms-Edwards is 10 of 30 on the season from three and 5 of 18 in MVC games. Don’t think J.T. needed to dribble. He had Singh beat.
WSU 68, BU 67 (3:26) - I bet Gregg Marshall has one of his super-duper plays ready. He’s good in these situations.
65, WSU 63 (6:17) - The Shockers exerted a lot of energy to get it close, and they’re without Kyles and Blair. Four straight misses by Bradley. WSU is 11 of 19 this half. BU is 10 of 20. WSU is getting to the line – 8 free throws this half to BU’s 3.
BU 57, WSU 53 (11:38) - Nice work getting it to four points. The WSU zone is working. The Shockers are getting good shots. Now it’s a game. WSU is 7 of 11 this half, largely because it got some inside baskets. BU is 8 of 14, so the Shockers have work to do on defense.
BU 50, WSU 41 (15:35) - The second-half Durley seems consistently better than the first-half Durley. Why? These are the mysteries that boggle coaches. Maniscalco is confirming his place on my All-MVC ballot. He is having a very nice season. Shockers can’t let the Braves run out again. They’re in decent shape.
BU 39, WSU 27 – Halftime. That went halfway like WSU wanted. After a rotten 11 minutes or so, WSU is only down 12. That’s something. WSU is 10 of 26 from the field, 3 of 12 from three. BU is 11 of 19, 6 of 10. Sometimes that “first few minutes of the half is crucial” stuff is nonsense. Tonight, I think it’s important. If the Shockers can cut it to six or eight with 15 minutes to play, it’s a game. If it’s 16 or 18, it’s a different story. Stutz leads WSU with 10 points. He is playing well enough to start. I don’t know if the roster, without Blair, allows him to start.
BU 39, WSU 27 (43.9) - The Shockers would love to get a stop and go in down nine or 10. They’re back in striking range.
BU 36, WSU 21 (3:16) - WSU is finding things that work, especially for Stutz. Defensively, not so much. WSU had it within eight points at 27-19. Hannah is back in.
BU 25, WSU 12 (7:43) - Bradley is in the one-and-one. Hannah has two fouls, both of them committed while Maniscalco was taking a jumper. No need for either. Taylor Brown has two fouls for Bradley, which is helpful for the Shockers.
BU 25, WSU 6 (9:49) - Shockers are playing with no confidence, no fire. It’s not so much a lack of effort. It’s a lack of knowing where to direct the effort. They’re a step behind because they’re tentative.
After a game at Utah State, this seems like playing in an empty gym.
BU 17, WSU 6 (11:46) - WSU is 3 of 10 from the field. Bradley is 5 of 8. The Braves have scored eight points off three WSU turnovers.
BU 12, WSU 2 (15:45) - Shockers can’t or won’t get the ball inside. Too many jumpers. A team that couldn’t afford a bad start is off to a rotten one.
Wichita State’s Gabe Blair didn’t go through shoot-around. I don’t expect him to play tonight. He and David Kyles are in sweat clothes as the other Shockers in uniform filter out to start warmups.
Bradley’s Taylor Brown, suspended last game for inappropriate Twittering, is warming up. Expect him to play.
The most-asked question involving Wichita State basketball is – “Is WSU recruiting any Wichita kids?” Read More »
Go to the VarsityKansas.com blog to see more on the Falcon guard orally committing to the Shockers.
I’ve taken calls about it. I’m scared to check Shockernet, because I’m sure it’s ablaze. WSU coach Gregg Marshall doesn’t need me to defend him. Since I was the guy who got the quote and put it out there, I will explain so as to head off any hurt feelings in these times when tempers are short. Read More »
Not a good performance by WSU in Saturday/Sunday’s 68-58 loss. Not a horrible performance. Just another one that is hard to figure out. This team has become hard to explain. The reserves are coming on, which should be a huge boost. However, too many starters are struggling. Read More »
© 2010 Wichita Eagle & Beacon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.