- It’s not often a guarantee game offers this much mystery. Charleston Southern gets paid $90,000 to test out the new-look Shockers. I don’t think anybody knows what to expect. Three WSU starters are out. Players used to playing 10 minutes in a supporting role are needed to do more, while trying not to do too much.
Charleston Southern (4-5): Coach Barclay Radebaugh spent two seasons as WSU coach Gregg Marshall’s assistant at Winthrop, helping the Eagles to the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Harper scored 25 points, making 4 of 5 threes in Tuesday’s 72-51 win at East Tennessee State. Sophomore F Cedrick Bowen came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven rebounds. Senior F Mathiang Muo, who averages 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds, has missed three games with an unspecified injury and is not expected to play Thursday. He started six games and scored a season-high 16 points at Arizona. The Buccaneers are the preseason favorite to win the Big South’s South Division. Nimley and Harper were named to the preseason all-conference team. Nimley scored 12 points in last season’s 85-57 loss to WSU.
Wichita State (9-1): Coach Gregg Marshall said his starting lineup is far from set. Center Ehimen Orukpe, who started six games before an ankle injury benched him, is also a possibility. “We’ve got nine guys, and everybody will be playing quite a bit,” Marshall said. Early is coming off his worst game of the season. Limited to 17 minutes by fouls, he scored two points and missed all five of his shots in last week’s 69-60 loss at Tennessee. Williams scored 12 points in last season’s win over Charleston Southern and Cotton came off the bench to add 10. The Shockers forced 23 turnovers and held the Buccaneers to 29-percent shooting (18 of 62). This season, Charleston Southern is averaging 75.6 points and making 34.5 percent of its three-pointers. “They’ve got a lot of guys that can drive it and shoot it,” Marshall said. “They’ve won three in a row now and they’re coming in off the high-water mark of their season.” WSU will pay Charleston Southern $90,000 for Thursday’s game.