No. 23 Wichita State at Tennessee

  • WSU is in a sweet spot tonight. The Shockers can help their NCAA resume with a win, although it remains to be seen how much the Volunteers will help the RPI. Certainly, it should be a small boost at worst. A loss is far from fatal.
  • WSU and Evan Wessel will need to make a decision soon on his broken right hand. He has played in eight games and can play in two more, should he choose to test his pain tolerance, and remain within the rules for applying for a medical hardship. If he can’t play, surgery would likely sideline him around six weeks.

P Wichita State Ht Yr Pts Reb

F Cleanthony Early 6-8 Jr. 13.9 5.4
C Carl Hall 6-8 Sr. 13.1 7.4
G Demetric Williams 6-2 Sr. 7.4 x-2.6
G Ron Baker 6-3 Fr. 7.4 2.4
G Malcolm Armstead 6-0 Sr. 7.9 x-3.4
Wichita State (9-0): G Evan Wessel will miss his second straight game with a broken pinky finger on his right hand. Wessel is shooting 45.8 percent in eight games, all starts. His absence likely means more time for Nick Wiggins, who scored a season-high 14 points in Saturday’s win over Northern Colorado. Wiggins, a junior transfer, is 5 of 12 from three-point range and made 4 of 6 in Saturday’s game. C Ehimen Orukpe, who started WSU’s first six games, is expected to play after a sprained right ankle cost him three games.… WSU made 12 of 24 threes against Northern Colorado, a season’s best for accuracy and amount. After making 25 of 94 threes (26.6 percent) in its first five games, WSU is 32 of 82 (39 percent) in the next four to raise its season percentage to 32.4.… WSU last met the Volunteers in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, winning 80-73 in Greensboro, N.C. The teams meet in Intrust Bank Arena next season.… WSU’s last trip to an SEC campus resulted in a 57-53 win over LSU during the 2006-07 season.
P Tennessee Ht Yr Pts Reb
F Jarnell Stokes 6-8 So. 11.9 7.9
F Kenny Hall 6-9 Sr. 7.3 6.0
G Josh Richardson 6-6 So. 6.9 5.1
G Trae Golden 6-1 Jr. 11.6 x-4.6
G Skylar McBee 6-3 Sr. 7.3 1.4

x-assists

Tennessee (4-3): .The Volunteers struggled against Georgetown’s zone defense in a 37-36 loss on Nov. 30. They lost to Virginia 46-38, but coach Cuonzo Martin said his team got better shots in that game, against a man-to-man defense. The Volunteers won’t be surprised if WSU, normally a man-to-man team, tries something different. “If you watched our film, I’m pretty sure they’re going to throw a little zone at us,” G Jordan McRae said.… F Jeronne Maymon, who averaged 12.7 points last season, has not played his season while recovering from knee surgery.… McRae averages 8.9 points off the bench and is making 34.6 percent of his threes.… G Quinton Chievous is the son of former Missouri star Derrick Chievous.… Tennessee is 0-2 against WSU and 5-7 against MVC schools.… Thursday’s games is “Tribute to Ray Mears Night.” Mears coached Tennessee from 1962-77 and won parts of three SEC titles.