No cupcake here. Wichita State has been a serious men’s basketball program for a long time, and that hasn’t changed this year even though it lost its top five scorers from its 27-6 team of last season.
The Shockers are 5-0. They play Iowa in tonight’s Cancun Classic championship game. They served notice they were a serious team this year when they won at Virginia Commonwealth, 53-51. VCU, by the way, was the team that eliminated Wichita State from the NCAA tourney last March.
All four of the Shockers’ other five games were wins of 13 points or more.
It’s not a pretty style of ball this team plays, but it competes. It’s good in offensive rebounding, not so good in 3-point shooting. The mainstay is 6-foot-8 Carl Hall, a 238-pounder who hits the boards and has nine blocked shots in five games.
Wichita State has players with these first-names: Cleanthony, Chadrack, Tekele, Ehimen and Demetric. Which will make Iowa radio announcer Gary Dolphin appreciate Carl Hall all the more.