Tulsa at Wichita State

P Tulsa         Ht Yr Pts Reb

F Kauri Black 6-7 Sr. 7.3 5.8
F D’Andre Wright 6-8 Fr. 8.0 5.5
G James Woodard 6-4 Fr. 17.2 5.8
G Shaquille Harrison 6-3 Fr. 4.3 3.3
G Scottie Haralson 6-4 Sr. 10.3 3.3
Tulsa (4-2): Woodard has earned Conference-USA freshman of the week honors twice. The lefty averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games last week. “He can score all the ways you would want,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said.… Haralson, Tulsa’s lone returning starter from last season’s game, scored 18 points in a 77-67 loss to the Shockers in Tulsa. He made 6 of 10 three-pointers. Haralson made 5 of 9 threes in a 2010 loss to WSU at Intrust Bank Arena.… Tulsa allowed Stephen F. Austin to shoot 50 percent from the field in Saturday’s 57-41 loss. “We had no fastbreak points,” coach Danny Manning said. “That’s not who we are. We’re supposed to defend, give up one contested shot, and get out in transition.”
P Wichita St.     Ht Yr Pts Reb
F Carl Hall 6-8 Sr. 13.2 7.3
C Ehimen Orukpe 7-0 Sr. 2.7 4.3
or Cleanthony Early 6-8 Jr. 14.0 7.0
G Evan Wessel 6-5 So. 6.0 1.5
G Ron Baker 6-3 Fr. 7.2 2.5
G Mal. Armstead 6-0 Sr. 7.7 x-3.8
Wichita State (6-0): WSU has won three straight in the series, which resumed in 2010 after a six-season hiatus. The schools extended their series from a four-game deal into six, running through 2015-16. This game is the third of the series.… WSU is 6-0 for the first time since 2006-07 team started 9-0. “Are we ahead of schedule?” Marshall said. “If you’re asking me if thought we would be 6-0 at this time, probably not. The win at VCU is obviously a good win. Iowa is going to beat some people. The other ones I thought we would win.”

  • The notion of a rivalry became a discussion during Tuesday’s news conference with Marshall. He told us fans made it clear that restoring Tulsa to the schedule was a priority with them after his hiring. Rivalry or not, it makes sense for schools to play. Is it a RIVALRY that means as much as it did when both schools played in the MVC? No. You can’t replace the feeling and the stakes of two (sometimes three) meetings a season with a November game. It would help if both teams could hit high points at the same time.
  • Want to know why the old people get revved up about Tulsa? Here are 12 stories from The Eagle that chronicle some of the rivarly’s highs and lows.
  • Injuries are expected to sideline two of Manning’s top players.
  • Manning is rebuilding with youth. He has seven freshmen on the roster, five of whom play significant minutes. Woodard appears to be a future star and Tulsa could quickly rise if Manning hits on several of these players.
  • Tulsa must be considered one of the losers in conference realignment, through no fault of its own. It joined the WAC and saw it break apart with top-level foes such as BYU, Utah and New Mexico depart. Then Conference USA embarked on a slow decline, losing Memphis, Houston, SMU and others. Soon, Tulsa’s conference foes will include Florida International, Texas-San Antonio and, it appears, Middle Tennessee State. It may not be over. Perhaps Tulsa rejoins former CUSA mates such as Memphis, SMU and Tulane (but not Louisville) in the Big East. The MVC’s stability looks good compared to that revolving door.
  • Football-only membership is a growing trend. East Carolina is joining the Big East for football, looking for another conference to park other sports. BYU is a football independent with other sports in the WCC. San Diego State is in the Big East for football, the Big West for 14 other sports. Would that make sense for Tulsa – football in the Big East and a return to the MVC in other sports? In this climate, I think it’s worth pondering. Eleven schools is an awkward number for the MVC. However, a 20-game conference basketball schedule may make sense as other conferences expand and cut back on their non-conference games. Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, according to the Omaha World-Herald, told a luncheon crowd he feared for the future of the Nebraska-Creighton basketball series if the Big Ten expanded and went to a 20-game conference schedule. Tulsa may reach a point where it makes sense to play in a nation-wide football conference while finding a more stable and geographically sensible home for other sports.