Western Carolina at Wichita State

Probable starters:
Western Carolina
G Tom Tankelewicz, 6-4, Jr.
G Trey Sumler, 6-2, Jr.
G Brandon Boggs, 6-5, Jr.
F Tawaski King, 6-8, Jr.
F Preston Ross, 6-4, Jr.
Wichita State
G Malcolm Armstead, 6-2, Sr.
G Ron Baker, 6-3, Fr.
G Evan Wessel, 6-5, So.
F Carl Hall, 6-8, Sr.
C Ehimen Orukpe, 7-0, Sr.
  • Two games in (plus an exhibition), we can say the Shockers are winning the mind game. They played hard and together in two blowouts. They played with great composure and smarts in a win at VCU. Good signs for an inexperienced bunch. Now we get to see how they react after a big road win and two days listening to people tell them how great they played. Western Carolina doesn’t appear to be a pushover. It returns three starters from a team that got hot late last season and lost to Davidson 93-91 in the Southern Conference title game. Coach Larry Hunter is a veteran coach with plenty of success in his past. 
  • I knew the CAA’s departure from BracketBusters damaged the field significantly. It’s even worse to take a look at the field on paper, as I did after ESPN released the 122 teams on Wednesday. Ugh. Without the CAA, the list of road teams available to WSU (or any home MVC team) is not without hope, but noticeably thin. WSU, if it is worthy, has a chance to draw a projected top team from the Horizon (Detroit), Big West (Cal State-Fullerton), MAC (Ohio) or Metro Atlantic (Manhattan or Iona). That could be helpful. Unfortunately, the chances of a marquee matchup in this event seem to diminish annually. Over the years, it lost Gonzaga, Butler, the Sun Belt Conference, much of the WCC and now the CAA. Changes are being discussed. ESPN seems to wield unchecked power in most areas of college sports. It would be nice if the family of networks would use some of that pop to improve this product. BracketBusters has been a useful, exciting addition to the WSU schedule many seasons and it’s a shame to see it fade.
  • ESPN’s Andy Katz notices the Shockers.