No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 16 Cal Poly

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Three ways for the Shockers to advance

  1. WSU must be prepared to play defense late into the shot clock against a patient team. “If Wichita State can’t turn them over, they’ll run that clock and get a great shot with seven seconds left,” says an assistant coach from the Big West. “They’re very disciplined offensively. They don’t take bad shots.”
  2. Don’t be surprised if Cal Poly coach Joe Callero empties his defensive playbook. He has played match-up zone in his past, although not much this season. “I think he’s going to throw the kitchen sink at them, make them have to do something against things they haven’t seen,” the assistant coach said. “Some type of trickery. They know individually they can’t match up.” The Mustangs are normally a man-to-man team that wants to make the Shockers shoot contest shots. They’re not much for pressing or causing turnovers. “They don’ t play soft at all,” the assistant said. “They’re a physical team.”
  3. Senior forward Chris Eversley is the key scorer for Cal Poly. He averages 13.7 points, although his shooting percentage is low (40.9). The Shockers must be prepared to stop him on pick and pops and he will shoot the three, although not particularly accurately. “You’ve got to limit his post touches and make him shoot contested shots,” the assistant said. Guard Kyle Odister is Cal Poly’s top three-point shooter (36.5). Dave Nwaba drives the ball and gets to the line, where he makes 69.6 percent of his shots.

Our helpful assistant coach calls Cal Poly a team that is much better than its record, toughened by a difficult non-conference schedule. As the margins of victory in the Big West Tournament indicate, the Mustangs are peaking. He expects WSU to win, but he does not believe a Cal Poly upset is out of the question.

“They’ll try to slow the game down as much as possible,” he said. “They’ll give them a good game.”

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