Key statistics: WSU forced 23 turnovers and scored 29 points as a result. The Shockers outscored ESU 25-8 at the foul line.
How the game turned: Three-pointers by Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet started an 11-2 run in the first half that gave WSU a 26-13 lead on its way to a 49-26 halftime lead.
Records: WSU 1-0, ESU 0-0 (game counted as an exhibition)
Two guys act like they know something about basketball.
WSU’s offense is clicking in early November.
Bob Lutz: Baker, VanVleet make things go.
- Nick Wiggins shot three free throws (made ‘em all) in five minutes in the first half. That doesn’t sound significant, until you consider Wiggins shot 37 (making 27) in 461 minutes (over 36 games) as a junior. Wiggins drove to the basket twice and drew fouls, once converting a three-point play. Regardless of rules changes that make it tougher on defenders to bump dribblers, Wiggins wants to get to the line more often. “I told myself I was going to be a lot more aggressive,” he said. “Last year, I feel like I was more a jump-shooter. This year, I’m working on mixing it up. I’m going to be at the rim a lot.” Wiggins took 135 shots last season, 74 from behind the arc.
- J.T. Durley, Garrett Stutz and Carl Hall spoiled us in recent seasons with their post scoring (and that’s an oversimplification because all three went through their growing pains). Without an experienced post scorer, that spot will be under a microscope. The first two games, against lower-level competition, didn’t provide anything definitive. Kadeem Coleby, Chadrack Lufile and Darius Carter all had their moments. Carter showed the best moves and scoring instinct. Coleby’s explosive leaping will make him a threat on lobs and rebounds. He scored 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the exhibition, the best output by a center in the two games. Fouls kept Coleby from being a factor Saturday. Chadrack Lufile does a good job getting position and running the court. He scored eight points on Saturday and made an encouraging 4 of 6 free throws. He also grabbed five rebounds, including one off a free throw – the kind of “out of area” rebounding WSU coach Gregg Marshall craves. There is plenty of talent to work with and those three should combine for acceptable production. How quickly? WSU needs it soon with the non-conference schedule growing tougher soon. “Darius rushed things a little bit,” Marshall said. “I loved his moves. He didn’t get them to go through the net. Chadrack, I thought, rebounded well. I loved his offensive rebound on the foul line.”
- WSU is pushing hard to fill seats for Monday’s late game. Fans will get free energy drinks when they enter Koch Arena. WSU officials would like fans who can’t make the game to give their tickets away so ESPN2′s cameras won’t linger on empty seats.
- Next up: vs. Western Kentucky, 11:59 p.m. Monday (ESPN2)