#15 Wichita State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Wichita State Shockers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank:  #1 Missouri Valley

Wichita State Team Page#15 Wichita State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Wichita State Basketball Tickets

How shocking was Wichita State’s run last year?  Forgive the pun, but the Shockers were somewhat on the bubble after losing to Creighton twice in the last month of the season.  They received their at–large bid, and the run they went on was something Coach Gregg Marshall and the Wichita fan base could not have predicted.  They ran though the one and two seeds in their region (Gonzaga and Ohio State, respectively) before narrowly losing to Louisville in the semi-final.  It was a dream year for the Shockers.  Their leading scorer returns this season and they will certainly be the favorite in the Missouri Valley in 2013-2014.  

2012-2013 record:  30-9, 12-6 Missouri Valley
2012-2013 postseason:  NCAA – Final Four
Coach:  Gregg Marshall
Coach Record:  139-70 at Wichita State, 333-153 overall

Who’s Out:
No longer on the roster is point guard Malcolm Armstead.  Armstead was the team’s point guard, who did a great job finding the open man.  He averaged four assists per game last season.  The Shockers also lose Carl Hall, the team’s best low post player last season.  He led the team in rebounds (6.8 per game) while also scoring over 12 points per contest.  His proximity to the basket created high-quality shots on offense, and he also blocked nearly two shots per game on defense.  The team also loses Demetric Williams, a solid contributor who played in every game for the Shockers last season.

Who’s In:
Darius Carter is a junior college transfer that Marshall will include in the rotation, perhaps significantly.  He was tied for first on his junior college team in scoring with 15.8 points per game.  He is an athletic forward who will help replace some points lost by Hall.  Freshman Shaquille Morris is another forward who will contribute for the Shockers.  In the backcourt, they add a good guard prospect in Ria’n Holland, a speedy addition.  Marshall also adds another transfer in center Kadeem Coleby.  He averaged 9.5 points per game for Louisiana-Lafayette during the 2011-2012 season.

Who to Watch:
Everyone will be looking to see if Cleanthony Early can keep up with himself after last season.  He was a big reason the team went as far as it did.  He did a little bit of everything.  He averaged over 13 points per game and also contributed five rebounds.  He was one of the more reliable free-throw shooters in the conference as well at nearly 80 percent.  Early is helped by the fact that he will be surrounded by familiar faces in the starting lineup and on the bench.  He played about 25 minutes per game last season.  The Shockers have enough talent to spell Early, but after a solid season he may be expected to take on an even heavier load.

Final Projection:
Is it possible for Wichita State to repeat the magic from last season?  Of course it is.  At the same time, it is unlikely despite the fact that this team should be better than the Final Four squad from a year ago.  Armstead’s replacement at point guard will determine how far this team goes.  No matter what, they should be heavily favored in every conference game they play in this year.  They have a star in Early and nice depth coming off the bench.  Marshall has proven himself as one of the best coaches not at a big-time school.  As he and his team proved last year, anything can happen.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Cleanthony Early, Senior, Forward, 13.9 points per game
Ron Baker, Sophomore, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Tekele Cotton, Junior, Guard, 6.5 points per game (2011-2012)
Fred Van Vleet, Sophomore, Guard, 4.3 points per game
Nick Wiggins, Senior, Guard-Forward, 4.9 points per game

By the numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.7 (112th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.2 (45, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (125, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (35, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (117, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (169, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (162, 8)
Rebound Margin: 7.9 (7, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (118, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (119, 7)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#66 Cleanthony Early


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