Wichita State Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Wichita State Shockers
Missouri Valley (28-4, 17-1)


Wichita State came into the 2014-2015 campaign with a massive target on their back. Considering their frontcourt losses, the Shockers deserve a lot of credit for playing as well as they did throughout the regular season. Living up to the perfect 2013-2014 season was not going to happen and this group did stumble a few times along the way, but Wichita State is poised for a better tournament run this time around.

Big Wins: 11/29 Tulsa (75-55), 12/16 Alabama (53-52), 2/28 Northern Iowa (74-60)
Bad Losses: 12/25 vs George Washington (54-60), 1/31 at Northern Iowa (54-70), 3/7 vs Illinois State (62-65)
Coach: Gregg Marshall

Why They Can Surprise:
The Shockers are still built around the guard trio of Fred VanVleet, Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker. Once again VanVleet has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the nation and spearheads the efficient offense and tough defense. Few players in the country run an offense as smoothly as VanVleet and he score quite a bit when needed as well. Cotton may not be the best scorer around, but he is an amazing defender. Baker does most of the scoring for WSU and is easily the most prolific shooter on the team. On the year he has connected on 76 of his 193 attempts from beyond the arc, which is 39.4 percent.

Why They Can Disappoint:
There were lots of questions about the frontcourt heading into this season, but Darius Carter answered most of them. The 6-7, 245 pound senior has turned into a solid interior scorer and the most productive rebounder on the team. However, there is not much experience behind him. Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly and Shaquille Morris are all freshmen forwards who have been forced into important minutes early in their collegiate careers, whether it is to give Carter a rest or play beside him when Coach Gregg Marshall needs two forwards on the floor. Despite the lack of experience and size, the Shockers have done a pretty good job against taller opposition. When Wichita State does lose, it tends to be because of their three-point defense. In non-conference losses to George Washington, the Shockers gave up nine three-pointers in 15 attempts. In their other non-conference loss, Utah connected on 9-of-21 from long range. When Wichita State’s season comes to end, expect there to be similar numbers to those.

Probable Starters:
Fred VanVleet, Junior, Guard, 12.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.4 rpg
Tekele Cotton, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 4.0 rpg
Ron Baker, Junior, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.5 rpg
Evan Wessel, Junior, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Darius Carter, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Zach Brown, Freshman, Forward, 2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Rashard Kelly, Freshman, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Shaquille Morris, Freshman, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.7 (110th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.8 (9, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (105, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.8 (44, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (102, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (91, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (188, 8)
Rebound Margin: 5.3 (32, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (82, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.4 (5, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Cal Poly
2014    NCAA    Third Round loss to Kentucky
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Pittsburgh
2013    NCAA    Third Round win over Gonzaga
2013    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over LaSalle
2013    NCAA    Regional Final win over Ohio State
2013    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Louisville
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Virginia Commonwealth
2011    NIT    First Round win over Nebraska
2011    NIT    Second Round win over Virginia Tech
2011    NIT    Quarterfinal win over College of Charleston
2011    NIT    Semifinal win over Washington State
2011    NIT    Final win over Alabama
2010    NIT    First Round loss to Nevada
2009    CBI    First Round win over Buffalo
2009    CBI    Second Round loss to Stanford
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Seton Hall
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Tennessee
2006    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to George Mason
2005    NIT    Opening Round win over Houston
2005    NIT    First Round win over Western Kentucky
2005    NIT    Second Round loss to Vanderbilt

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules