Category Archives: Basketball

Tekele Cotton’s dunk of the year

Hard to argue with this from WSU’s win at Illinois State.

A basketball that belongs in Wichita

Francis Johnson played for the University of Wichita and the 1936 Olympic team.

Francis Johnson played for the University of Wichita and the 1936 Olympic team.

The basketball used in the 1936 Olympics is for sale. If you know a Shocker with six figures to spare, this might be his or her chance to purchase a pieced of history with Shocker ties (one of my great skills, as former president Don Beggs said about those who agitate for the return of WSU football, is spending other people’s money).

This story in the Kansas City Star details the journey of the basketball from Berlin to Canada to Overland Park, where it awaits sale. The 1936 team was heavy on Kansas ties  with the McPherson Oilers and former University of Wichita coach Gene Johnson served as co-coach with former WU players Francis Johnson and Jack Ragland on the team.

A million dollars is a lot of money to pay (if that is the price) for a ball. In fact, it’s silly. But it sure would be a fitting addition to Koch Arena and a way to highlight Wichita’s role in the first Olympic basketball tournament.

Always vigilant on recruiting

It should come as no surprise to Wichita State basketball fans that coach Gregg Marshall is open to adding another recruit this spring. He doesn’t necessarily need another player and there are no visits scheduled. However, it never hurts to look, so Marshall isn’t totally closing the door on another addition.

Tevin Glass, who signed last week, is a 6-foot-8 forward from Northwest Florida State College who averaged 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds. He made 55.1 percent of his shots and 68.4 percent of his free throws. As a freshman, he averaged 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds.

“He’s kind of an active four-man,” Marshall said. “He needs to gain some weight, get a little stronger, continue to develop his perimeter game. He affects the game with his tenacity.”

His signing puts WSU at its limit of 13 scholarships. Marshall wouldn’t say no to the perfect fit, however.

“If the right player comes along,” he said. “Somebody that affects winning. It doesn’t have to be a particular position. He’s got to be good enough to help us win. All sizes, all skills sets and all positions.”

Marshall said he is close to hiring an assistant coach to fill the spot vacated by Chris Jans, now at Bowling Green.

“I’m leaning toward a couple guys, but I haven’t made that call yet,” he said. “There’s no urgency. We’ll have that in place by the time we start summer school, which is in June.”

Eric McKnight and Wichita State

Eric McKnight is a 6-foot-9 forward who is leaving Florida Gulf Coast (Dunk City) and is eligible immediately because he graduated.

McKnight is interested in Wichita State and it is his understanding that the feeling is mutual, he said Monday. He has not talked to WSU coaches, perhaps because they cannot contact him until they receive a release from Florida Gulf Coast. Should WSU contact McKnight, he is interested in visiting.

“I’m very interested in their program,” he said. “I’ve watched their success over the years. I like their style of play.”

McKnight considered turning pro, but said he has decided playing his senior season in college is the best course. He said he is also considering Bowling Green State (where former WSU assistant Chris Jans is coaching) and Tennessee.

McKnight averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds as a junior. He started 21 games after serving a 12-game suspension for a violation of team rules.

Catching up on MVC recruiting

No MVC school needed good news in April more than Bradley, where the once-promising Geno Ford era detoured to a 12-20 record in 2013-14.

Ford remade the roster this spring, highlighted Tuesday by Chicago forward Josh Cunningham, who picked Bradley over Indiana.  Bradley also added juco guard Warren Jones and juco forward Jermaine Morgan, who had committed to Washington State. In all, Ford has six new players, four from junior colleges.

Missouri State added Shawn Roundtree, a guard from Edwardsville (Ill.) High.

Demetrius Moore and Mike Samuels (who never played) are leaving Indiana State. Guard Brenton Scott, arrested during the MVC Tournament, remains on the team.

Daytona (Fla.) State College forward William Ransom signed with Illinois State.

Orr (Ill.) High forward Marlon Jones signed with Loyola.

Wichita State pitching double dip

Former Shockers Mike Pelfrey and Kris Johnson will start Thursday for Minnesota in a double-header against the Dodgers. Remember 2004? Pretty good WSU team and those two at the top of the rotation helped.

More from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Shocker visitor scheduled

Northwest Florida State College forward Tevin Glass (6-foot-8) is scheduled to visit Wichita State on Thursday and Friday. Glass, named to the 2013 NJCAA All-Tournament team, averaged 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds as a sophomore, playing 20.9 minutes a game.

He made 55.1 percent of his shots and 68.4 percent of his free throws.

As a freshman, Glass averaged 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in 10.1 minutes a game. Read More »

A look at the Mizzou job from St. Louis

Bryan Burwell of the Post-Dispatch: Mike Alden might have trouble luring a top name because of his relationship with Frank Haith.

But anyone who thinks that Mizzou is going to land a coaching star like Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, VCU’s Shaka Smart or even Dayton’s Archie Miller better slow their roll.

This isn’t a bad job, but it’s a job with certain, shall we say, difficulties.

Dave Matter of the Post-Dispatch: Missouri will start with WSU’s Gregg Marshall.

Missouri will begin its search with the biggest name in the field: Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall. On Sunday, Marshall’s agent told the Post-Dispatch that Missouri had not made contact with him or Marshall about the vacancy. That doesn’t mean a third-party search firm has not made some initial contact. Alden has historically used national consultant Bob Beaudine to assist in coaching searches and he could go that route again.

Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch: Mizzou basketball has a lot of rebuilding on its agenda.

Alden claims the athletic department is in a much better financial position now than several years ago. That’s easy to believe given Mizzou’s move to the SEC. But does that translate to lavishing $3 million on a new hoops coach when Gary Pinkel had to take his football program to three conference title games before reaching that stratosphere?

Off-season moves around the MVC

With the April signing period underway, let’s catch up on the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference. The theme, as it usually is in the spring, is transfer. MVC schools concentrated on adding junior college talent, while dealing with players who either left in search of a better fit or where “encouraged” to leave.



Read More »

An early guess at 2014-15 for Wichita State

It’s hard to top perfect, so the Shockers will likely take a small step back next season. It won’t be much of a regression. They will be favored to win the Missouri Valley Conference and start the season ranked in the top 25. If they don’t return to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight season, it will be a big surprise.

Such is the confidence in returners Fred VanVleet, Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker. It’s just impossible to think of that trio presiding over an unsuccessful regular season. Add in coach Gregg Marshall’s track record (averaging 29.2 wins the past five seasons) and fans are free to make big plans for next March. Read More »